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My boyfriend was raped as a kid

September 3, 2022

My boyfriend (straight) was raped when he was around 10-12 years old by a friend's father. He told me this when we were talking about anal sex and I was joking about him ever doing it. He ended up telling me about the incident. The only other person he told this to was his ex-wife who kind of disregarded it. I listened to him, tried to be as supportive as possible without making a huge deal out of it so that he doesn't feel awkward. Everything is fine between us but I know he has some discomfort related to this but he doesn't share it with me and keeps joking around about everything in general. Sexually he seems ok with almost everything but sometimes I feel there are things which bug him. He did tell me that he used to have issues with anyone touching his butt, but seems ok when I do it. He said this incident was one of the reasons why he keeps a beard. He also has a history of REM sleep behaviour disorder where he feels that someone close to him (always a woman) is trying to hurt him and he wakes up trying to defend himself and takes a while to come back to reality. I don't know how to ask him or talk to him about it in detail. I don't want to be someone who reminds him of the incident. I really want him to be able to talk to me about this because it seems like he's never really spoken about this with anyone. I want him to know I'm there for him and always happy to just listen.

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Post Information
Title My boyfriend was raped as a kid
Author AeEnAeEnWaiAe
Upvotes 32
Comments 4
Date September 3, 2022 7:09 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
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[–]SoundProofHead 15 points16 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I really want him to be able to talk to me about this because it seems like he's never really spoken about this with anyone.

I don't think it's necessarily healthy for him to talk to you about all of this if he doesn't feel comfortable doing so. He told you quite a lot already, which is good and a very good sign your relationship is on the right track, him telling you more doesn't mean he'll feel better. If he needs healing, he should do it with a therapist. Don't pressure him and don't make him feel bad for not being able to tell you more, you're not here to heal his trauma, you can only support him on his journey to healing. If you suggest he goes to a therapist, don't judge him if he doesn't want to go, many people are resistant to therapy and facing your own trauma is scary. Still, it'd be better if he went but that's his choice.

You seem to already be doing what you need to be doing : be supportive, be a safe person to be around, and be non-judgmental.

Do you feel like him not talking about his trauma more is like him putting distance between you guys? Because that's not what it is and it's important you don't feel bad about him putting boundaries.

Hope that makes sense!

[–]Mutoniumortalis 9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Get him to talk to a psychologist. This issue is meant to be dealt with by a professional.

[–]OSRS_Antic 9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for taking him serious and not being dismissive. I agree with the other commenter that professional help is the way to go.

[–]LettuceBeGrateful 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

First of all, I just want to say that it's really kind how dedicated you are to giving your boyfriend the space to share on this issue.

I was abused as a child, and bringing it up to partners can feel dicey. Not necessarily because my girlfriends have been dismissive, but because of the baggage that typically comes with carrying trauma for an extended period of time. You often normalize or bury it to an extent so you can go about your life, and raising it to other people can make you feel like a burden. There's also an element of shame.

Your boyfriend may not be experiencing any of these feelings, but the point I hope I'm making is that just because he doesn't want to talk about it further with you, doesn't mean you've failed to give him the space to do so. You are a good partner.

I also +1 all the comments recommending that he talk to a psychologist, if he hasn't already. It's a really tough conversation to have, because you don't want to make the person feel like they're in need of being fixed, but if you can find a way to gently bring it up and at least see what his thoughts are, it could plant the seed in his mind. It's not something you can force if he resists, though.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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