i've been in a wonderful long distance relationship for a little over a year. in the past, i have told my boyfriend that i've experienced some negative moments with past relationships (abuse and forced situations) which was true, but not the entire truth. i was raped a little over a year ago, and, in hopes to ignore the event and be a strong girl on my own... i decided to keep this to myself.
however, i find it incredibly difficult to trust my boyfriend in almost all aspects of our relationship and this has been a source of frustration for him. yesterday, i finally broke down and told my boyfriend the whole truth about my rape and how it kills me everyday.
im not sure what i expected him to do, or how he could help me... but he didn't do much. he mentioned that he wanted to beat the kid up, but other than that, he offered no support, no words of encouragement, no friendship...nothing. im sure he was upset...but... he asked a few questions...nothing having to do with me (but rather the guy)...then after many minutes of silence, he said he was tired and wanted to go to bed.
i have never told anyone this information before, and i know that i need support from someone. im wondering if his reaction was truly careless? or if he just didn't know what to say. he is not usually a very heartfelt person or in touch with his feelings...but, he knows i need some sort of help. im wondering what i should do. i can't just forget about this...but, what do i do if he kinda forgets about it...acts like everything is normal? do i ask him for help (even though he already knows i need him)? is this a normal reaction from a boyfriend? he doesn't seem very concerned. i dont need a lot of attention either....i just want someone to talk to, and someone to talk to me. someone to truly care. im all mixed up and lost.
i would appreciate any help anyone can offer. thank you
His reaction was definitely normal. Most people just don't know how to react in these types of situations. If you really need support from someone about this particular issue, I'd encourage you to seek out counseling, or a support group of some type. Often friends or significant others don't know how to provide the support you need, whereas a trained professional will.
I really wouldn't take your boyfriend's reaction to mean that he doesn't care or doesn't want to help. He probably just doesn't know how. If you want support from him, the best way to get it is to figure out exactly what you need and tell him. If you want him to just listen, say that. If you want him to tell you words of encouragement or ask how you're doing, say that that's what you need. If he doesn't know what to say, he may try to act like everything's normal. If that upsets you, you should have a plan about how to talk about it and explain what you need.
I was raped about three years ago, and, while my boyfriend and I have talked about it a lot, we know each other's boundaries. He doesn't want to hear the specific details. I don't want to talk about the guy who did it. We each respect those needs, and our relationship is healthier for it. So communication is key, and a counselor or therapist can help you figure out how to have conversations with him.
Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008
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Iím sorry that youíre feeling so hurt right now. Sometimes when we tell a partner, or even a really close friend, that weíve been raped, it can be a very difficult to hear as well as to process. Atm said something that I thing is really right on with a lot of this, your boyfriend wasnít trying to hurt you or ignore what happened to you, but he probably just really didnít know what to say. And too, finding out that someone we care about has been raped is a very emotional thing for both the person talking and the person listening. When I first told my boyfriend that I had been raped, he didnít say much that first night and I was really hurt by that too. When I told him later how I felt like we should have talked about it, he said that at that point he had a lot of his own feelings and he didnít want to say something that would be interpreted incorrectly.
Also, I just wanted to point out that dealing with rape alone doesnít mean youíre stronger than someone that needs help, and if you want to seek out help that certainly doesnít make you weak. You survived, you reached out to another person, and thereís no doubt that youíre strong.
Do you mind if I ask too how you brought the conversation up? I notice you said this is a long distance relationship, was it a phone conversation, internet communication, or an in person discussion. This also can play a role in exactly how we react, as well as how our partner sees our reaction. For instance if it was over the computer, he may not have wanted to say something that in words could be misinterpreted due to lack of expression.
Trust can be a very difficult thing to deal with after rape. Now that he knows why itís been so difficult for you, you may find that heís a bit more understanding and less frustrated by your reactions to different things. His telling you that he was tired and needed to go to bed was most likely his was of expressing to you that he just needed some time alone to think. I understand how difficult it is for you, and how youíre feeling right now. Do you think that you would be comfortable explaining how his reaction made you feel. Itís likely that he doesnít realize that youíre feeling dismissed, and in his trying to address his own thoughts he may have not realized that heís stepped so far back. Also, if you would like a counselor to talk with about this we can assist you in finding some people in your area. And know that weíre here to help you in any way that we can.
-------------------- "Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon Posts: 3429 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008
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thank you, both of you, for responding and helping. i feel better knowing his reaction was normal. (to stephanie) the conversation was over the phone. although i can still understand why he just didn't have much to say or know how. as of now, he is talking to me as though i did not say anything about this to him, which is a little frustrating. im not sure why though. i guess all i wanted is for him to know and understand more about me... and now he does. im not sure i should push the issue anymore. i mean, for some reason his reaction, or lack there of, feels weird...but maybe he doesn't feel the need to share any of his feelings with me...
i would feel comfortable explaining how i feel to him, but basically...im not sure if i should. maybe i should just let it be.
thank you both so much again
Posts: 2 | From: california | Registered: Dec 2008
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Especially being over the phone, you may find that he's just trying to spend some time processing the information and talking may come a bit easier in person next time you see one another or even later in phone conversations. Everyone processes information differently, and you have to be patient with him as I hope he will be with you inyour reactions and needs. Also, waiting to see if he brings up the discussion on his own is a good tactic in showing you understand that this is difficult for him to hear as it was for you to share.
Ultimately, you know him better than any of us here, and you know what he would respond to better as well. If you want to let it be for now that's fine. As always, if you want to talk with someone and would consider some type of counseling we can assist you in finding resources in your area, or if you need suggestions on dealing with triggers if you're having any problems there we'd be more than willing to help. (PS: welcome to ST)
As a survivor myself, I know how hard it can be to tell someone else about it. My boyfriend was also the first person I told. I brought it up randomly when a conversation we were having drifted in that direction and I had never mentioned it until we had been dating for 11 months. He didn't take it well either and it hurt.
When we discussed it later after the dust had settled I explained how it took me 11 months to build up the courage to tell him because it's hard to talk about and I've always had trouble with it. I'm never sure if it's something that I should put on the table right way or if not how long I should wait. He said that not only did my experience come as a shock to him, but also that having that knowledge was difficult for him to deal with because he could tell that my experience still hurt me and that was painful for him. He said that he felt helpless because he didn't know how to help me heal. I eventually convinced him that he helps me just by being there.
If you're in a relationship with someone who really cares about you, it upsets them when other people hurt you even if it was in the past. I would suggest waiting for the dust to settle and then discussing your feelings openly and honestly. In my case, anyway, my boyfriend said that he appreciated my telling him about it because it explains, for example, why I had a hard time trusting him when we first started dating and he was relieved to know that it wasn't him who had done anything wrong.
It is never a mistake to tell someone who is supposed to care for you about something that has deeply impacted your life. If your boyfriend truly cares about you, he'll learn to appreciate your courage in telling him about your experience.
-------------------- "Only fear the things which have the power to harm" --Dante Aligheri, "Inferno" canto 2
A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law. Posts: 136 | From: Roma, Italy | Registered: Jul 2006
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Hi. I was raped 2 years ago and got pregnant. I give the baby up for adoption as I want the baby to have a good future and in good hands. My ex boyfriend is going to be my husband soon. I don't know how to tell him about this. My relationship with him lasted about a year and broke up for 3 years and now he's going to be my husband. I don't know how to tell him. My parents told me to tell him too.
Posts: 1 | From: Singapore | Registered: Dec 2013
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Can you make a new topic with this question so we can address it on its own instead of in this old thread? You can just click the "new topic" button at the bottom of the page and post a new thread with this question.
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