Sexual Child Abuse: What Do Boyfriends Think?

by Dawn
(Ontario, Canada)

I want to start off by saying - I know this isn't an advice column - and I'm asking for a perspective, but am not interpreting it as advice for my situation...I would just like to hear the perspective of boyfriends - and what is going through their minds when a girlfriend discloses sexual abuse in her past. Do you feel like you'd prefer knowing - or was ignorance bliss?

In my situation, I feel like eventually I need to tell someone I'm intimate with (although, sadly, at this point in time, I just can't have a sober conversation about it). I have trouble saying "no" to this day when I am uncomfortable - so feel like it's important for them to know upfront...especially since there are times where I feel like my behaviour/intimacy issues need some sort of explanation.

Obviously, I have lots of issues - and this weighs on any relationship I have...twice I've told boyfriends...I just don't know if it's helpful for them to know. One actually told me (after we'd broken up - we remained friends) that it was just a huge turn-off and he couldn't enjoy being with me (sexually) after that. He explicitly said that he thought it weighted heavily on our sex life...which I'm sure it does...the other boyfriend was a bit more sensitive in his reaction - but basically was worrying about the same things. He seemed to forever be worried about things he'd said to me, etc. in the heat of the moment...I felt like it changed the way he related to me.

I guess I feel for myself like it's important for a boyfriend to know (even though I don't usually disclose and can't actually have an adult conversation about it right now). It seems bad to bottle it up - but I definitely worry about how boyfriends take this kind of information...I worry about the judgement they may or may not be passing as well.

Just wondering what's going through your heads.

Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: I welcome you to follow me on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I hope to hear from you there!

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Comments for Sexual Child Abuse: What Do Boyfriends Think?

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Nov 01, 2009
Believe you deserve a better boyfriend, and you will choose a better boyfriend...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Dawn, a man who loves you and doesn't want to know everything about you is a man who isn't thinking about YOU. By the same token, disclosing what happened to you with an intimate partner is something that should only be done when there is true trust in the relationship. This can only happen after two people get to know each other well. Any boyfriend worth his weight, one that is worthy of YOU, would never in a million years consider what happened TO YOU a "huge turn-off". If he doesn't understand that you were victimized and not at fault, then he's got problems that you don't want to be a part of. But you can't be worried about their problems; you must take care of your own, Dawn. I recommend counselling in order to help you deal with the repercussions of being sexually abused, and on how that affects the way you relate to men in intimate situations. When you believe you deserve better in a boyfriend, you will choose a better boyfriend. Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Nov 02, 2009
Sexual Child Abuse: What Do Boyfriends Think?
by: KJA

I'm a boy, but its kinda the same situation I have, i was abused and i don't feel comfortable telling my partner i was abused, cause it makes them feel guilty. I think it really played a role in one of my relation ships because my boyfriend, was very frustrated with me about my intimacy issues, then i finally tell him why and he feels like a major perv. Its like a lose, lose situation, i do feel it was important for me to tell him what i liked, and what i didn't like, and stuff like that, but some people just cant deal with the emotional weight of a abuse victim. That doesn't make them wrong or cruel, it just means they cant deal with it or they feel they cant. But i think if i hadn't told him we would be running around in circles about the main issue. Me personally i would like to know if my partner was abused in the past so i can make them not feel victimized or pressured when i want to be intimate, i just think it comes with the territory, that if you want to be with someone you need to accept them and try to help them in any way possible to make them comfortable with you and themselves.

Feb 28, 2010
Here's what I think...
by: A Boyfriend

I actually find the way that your partners reacted to you disgusting.

Darleen is right.

The way I see it, what was going through the minds of the two partners you described was selfishness. What crops up in their heads is the fact that if you were sexually abused, then you may not be willing to give them everything that they want at the drop of a hat. They are too worried about having to give you any kind of support, and can?t be bothered with the hurdles they face in helping you overcome what has happened to you.

I a sense I can understand the concept of that feeling, but in itself it has never really reached me.

You deserve better than that Dawn.

This subject is very close to my heart because my girlfriend was sexually abused in her childhood, but decided to first tell my brother, rather than telling me. It made me think hard about what sort of person I was, so when I found out from my brother I thought it best that I knuckle down and do what is right for her. We?re in a much better situation now, and in a lot of ways helping her was an enlightening and eye opening experience; if I went back again, I still wouldn?t miss out on it. It has been one of the few things in my life where I?ve really felt I?ve made a difference.

If you tell somebody, it shouldn?t just come to the conclusion that it ?weights heavily on your sex life? or that the other person ?can?t enjoy being with you sexually anymore?, because that isn?t the conclusion and that isn?t where it ends.

If you?re in that situation then you need to get some help and then perhaps you will find somebody that understands and is willing to sacrifice themselves and their own satisfaction for a matter that is actually of higher priority.

Feb 10, 2011
What do boyfriends think...
by: Nat

Your past boyfriends were being selfish. I told my boyfriend of 8 months that I was sexually abused for 2 years by my last boyfriend. He has just been less concerned with his needs in the relationship to make sure I'm getting support from him. Which I greatly need & appreciate but don't want to take advantage of. Point being: honesty upfront is better.

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