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Author Topic: Disclosure in a relationship
crazytownbananapants
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Trigger warning: Mentions of past rape

5 years ago, I was date raped and ended up pregnant. I got an abortion, saw a therapist, and took time to deal with all the emotions that come from that type of thing happening. I absolutely feel that I handled things in the best way for me, and for me that included not discussing any of the above with anyone other than my therapist.

Now I am in a relationship that is starting to get serious, and am wondering if there is any sort of moral obligation to tell my boyfriend about any of that. I don't particularly want to tell him, because to me it feels kind of like a car accident caused by another person; it happened, it sucked, I dealt with it and moved on and it has no effect on my current life.

I know one should disclose any STD/STIs, and discuss sex thoroughly with a partner, but does this count as something that should be discussed?

Posts: 2 | From: PNW | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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Hi crazytownbananapants and welcome to Scarleteen,

no, from where I sit there certainly isn't a moral obligation for you to tell your partner anything, and I mean anything, from your past experiences to what you had for breakfast this morning. [Smile]

That said, a lot of people do share their previous experiences with partners, because they share things as a way to connect intimately with each other. Someone might, using your example, share that they were in a car accident, not because they need their partner to know, but just because it's one of the many things they've experienced in the life they had before their partner knew them that they feel like sharing at the time.


partners who are with each other for an extended period of time (and I'm talking years, here) generally have an intimacy and connection different from that we might have with someone we're dating. Do you feel comfortable, if this person becomes your life partner, with having something so significant in your past life be something your partner never knows about? What do you think would happen if you became life partners and your partner found out much later on about all of this? please understand, I'm just asking these questions as hypotheticals, not as ways to convince you to make one decision or the other, or to make any decisions now.
From what you've described, it's felt more comfortable to you not to talk about your experience with date rape and the subsequent pregnancy with *anyone*. If that's the case, then again, there's no obligation for you to tell your current partner about it just for the sake of telling him.

Do you think that anything would be gained or lost if you told him? That is, what do you think would happen?


ultimately, it really is up to you what you decide to do, and when. Again, there's nothing moral about your decision, and, from what you've described, it doesn't sound like you're actively harming anyone in choosing to keep this to yourself.

What do you think?


you've mentioned STIs. It sounds like you were tested for those and the tests came back negative? something else related to your sexual health would be if you have any anxieties or triggers around sex or physical interactions.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
crazytownbananapants
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Thank you for your response!

When discussing relationship-y things with friends, a lot of them believe that 100% honesty and disclosure is necessary in a good relationship. While I'm all for honesty (and if my partner ever asked specifically about rape or abortion in relation to me I'm pretty sure I'd be honest), just telling someone something so they know it doesn't come naturally to me.

And I know if I told him he'd be supportive of me. I know he's very pro-choice and believes in enthusiastic consent. I think my biggest fear is that he'd assume I have (and try to be extremely sensitive to avoid triggering) any negative feelings or anxieties about sex from that incident. His image of who I am might change, but I'm still the same person I was when he met me, just a part of that was slightly influenced by a part of my past (which is pretty much the case for everyone ever).

I think for right now it's just a topic I'm going to keep to myself. If he ever asks, I won't lie, but it's not something I'm going to bring up in casual conversation. Maybe down the road I'll consider talking to him about it, but things are still new-ish, and I'm just not there yet.

Also, yes, I was tested for STIs and all the tests came back negative. And I've kept on testing after a new partner since then. And really the only social effect was that I kept a more careful eye on my drink at parties/bars and made sure my friends knew I wasn't planning on leaving with anyone and they should at least talk to me before I left when we all went out.

Thanks again, I feel a lot better about the whole situation!

Posts: 2 | From: PNW | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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You're welcome. It sounds like you just needed to talk that all through. [Smile]

if you need anything else, come on back. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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