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Very sensitive - if you have been raped, did you tell your partner, how did he react?

(9 Posts)
rahrahthelion Tue 20-Nov-12 14:44:37

My partner of five years and I are having some real problems mainly due to poor communication and not being honest about our feelings. We are having counselling and learning to communicate.

I feel that I need to share with him that I was raped when I was 19 but I have never told anyone and I am scared about how he will react. I don't wnat him to think I want pity. Im also scared he might see me as damaged or needy/ weak.

I don't want to make things worse, and there is no real need to tell him as it doesn;t affect my life anymore, but somehow I don;t feel like I am sharing my soul with him if he doesn't know.

How do men react to these things?

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 14:50:16

Firstly I'm so sorry to hear that happened. Not that I know how you feel or anything, but I think you should tell him, especially if you are undergoing counselling together. You may feel as though it doesnt effect you anymore, but it is still something dreadful that happened to you and it's so much better to tell the one you love. I can't see why anyone would see you as 'damaged' or weak or needy. If anything you are a far stronger person than most, to have come out the other side of a horrible ordeal like that and still be able to have a relationship that you are willing to work on. You are a brave person, so just tell him, then its out in the open and you can say to him you don't want it mentioned, or if you feel comfortable talking to him about it or ever need to then you know he's there. If he in anyway acts uncaringly, then is he really the man for you? xx

rahrahthelion Tue 20-Nov-12 15:51:02

Thanks. Thing is, because I feel like I've dealt with it - I don;t really want it in my current life. If that makes sense. I would hate for something that is so in the past to spoil my future. But you're right, it shouldn't change anything, and if it does then he's not really the man for me.

SackGirl Tue 20-Nov-12 15:54:46

I completely understand that you want it to stay in your past - but there is no reason it has to be 'apart' of your future just because you tell him. I have a very trivial example... If you tell you current partner about an ex boyfriend, that ex boyfriend isn't then part of your future IYSWIM, but you gotta go with your gut as only you know what will benefit you emotionally

Polecat2011 Tue 20-Nov-12 16:09:58

I am so sorry that this happened to you, but agree that it can be part of your past. My fear for you is that any emotional or sexual problems you and your partner have together, he will attribute to you because you have been raped. I agree that he might see you as "damaged goods". In an ideal world this would not be so, but in reality it often is. My friend's partner used very occasionally to throw her abused background at her if he got angry or very drunk. One little bit of him saw her as dirty. He clearly was angry for her as well as at her. She had been abused by a family member and made the mistake of telling him. She maintains that she has never ever told any partner after him as she felt it was too big a personal secret to burden someone with.
It may help expunge it to tell someone safe, perhaps your mother, a personal counsellor, Women's aid, if you every feel you want to talk about it.

rahrahthelion Tue 20-Nov-12 16:22:33

Yes, polecat that is my fear. It seems so wrong that I wouldn't be able to trust him with this.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 20-Nov-12 17:08:05

Polecat, I think that your friends partner was a pretty disgusting human being to have acted this way. I also don't think that it's normal to hold rape or abuse against someone.

I told my DH about my abuse and it hasnt changed a thing. Sorry, that's wrong. It has made him more sensitive to me sexually. He is far more boundaried and thoughtful and hates the thought of making an unwanted advance towards me in case I feel frightened by it.

That sensitivity has made things better for us. If you chose not to tell your partner, are you really invested in the relationship?

keepyourglasseson Tue 20-Nov-12 17:25:08

I was raped when I was 16 and when I mentioned it to DH he gave me a lovely hug and it hasn't affected our relationship. I do feel a bit closer to him now that he knows more about me. It was a long time ago for me, so I didn't feel the need to make a big confession and I also don't think I had the need to talk it over with anyone (it was something that was mentioned in relation to a news article so it came up in conversation).

I think that if you wanted to talk it over in detail, it's best done with a counsellor who is trained to deal with that, because it's quite a skill and your partner isn't the most appropriate person to help with this, as it needs to be someone who is more detached from you and has professional boundaries.

I don't think it's affected our sex life, but DH has always been respectful and if anything I make more of the sexual advances in our relationship.

It's really sad to read that other women have had such negative reactions, like polecat's friend - but tbh if that's the kind of reaction you get, it's probably a sign they need to leave that relationship. With men like that, they'd probably find another excuse to be angry/drunk, so the rape/telling your partner is not the issue there.

Offred Tue 20-Nov-12 18:23:27

The most important thing I took from my recent rape counselling was that just because you have been raped doesn't mean no longer have privacy and that because you spend a long time drawing it out it is common to go through a phase of feeling like you should tell people but being raped doesn't mean you no longer have any privacy. It is ok to keep it private if you want, also ok to be completely selfish over who knows, there is no such thing as somebody "deserving" to know and you should make sure you only share it with people you want to know and who will be supportive.

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