telling fiance about child abuse

How does past rape, molesting, or other sexual abuse effect future marriage?

telling fiance about child abuse

Postby Racinghorse » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:09 pm

Hi, I'm new here and this is my first post.
My fiance and I are getting married in 3 months and we have started going through pre-marriage counselling session. I know fairly soon in the sessions we will talk about past relationships and abuse and if there is anything we are bringing into our marriage that needs to be worked through. When a was a child I was sexually abused by my cousin who was older than me. I have only ever told this to a few people. My earliest memory of this was probably age 6 and it happened a few times, though I only have 2 strong memories of it. Since that time I have completely worked through my abuse, it does not impact me in my daily life, and I hardly ever think about it. Years after the abuse my abuser asked for my forgiveness, and I gave it freely. I have not told my fiance this before, and I feel worried to do it now, but know that I need to. How can I tell him this story without freaking him out, or having him think of me as fragile and broken, which I'm not.

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Re: telling fiance about child abuse

Postby happilymarriedkate » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:52 pm

Hello Racinghorse and welcome to TMB! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!! Do you plan on telling him in the premarital counseling session or do you plan on telling him privately first? I would encourage you to consider telling him one on one first and then use the premarital counseling session to process it further with the help of the pastor. I think that giving the same information you provided here would be a good way to start. Have you been to therapy re: the previous abuse? I know that you said you dealt with it and that it does not affect your daily life. I would caution you that while it may not affect your daily life it may affect you during times throughout your life- such as when you become sexually active, give birth, have a child the age that you were when you were abused and maybe other not so predictable times. It is good to be aware of that. Also, it is good to consider how the abuse may have have affected your opinion/ attitude about sex/ intimacy. A lot of the things we hear and see and feel as children can influence our perceptions...just another thing to be aware of. Also, be prepared that your Fiancé may experience a wide variety of emotions when you tell him. He may become angry at the abuser, fearful that he would trigger feelings, etc... He may also want details with which you may or may not want to share with him. It is good to consider that as well...praying for you as you prepare to share this with your fiancé.
~HM Kate

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Re: telling fiance about child abuse

Postby robin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:11 pm

You need to tell him sweetie. It's too important of a detail to not disclose. I know it's difficult, and believe when I tell you that I understand not liking being seen differently or even thinking that people might see you differently, but marriage is a big deal. I got engaged when I was 17 and my future husband was one of the first people I ever told and it was very difficult, but I couldn't consent to marry him until he knew. Years later when it did start bothering me and starting affecting our marriage I got help. When I thanked my husband for being such an amazing source of support while I was getting everything dealt with my dh told me if he hadn't known beforehand that the sa (and the dysfunctional upbringing that allowed it) was at the source of my struggling he would have blamed himself for what was going on with me and would have reacted badly when I started having trouble. That single painful moment of honesty before we were engaged and well before we had any clue what any of it meant bore 27 years of good fruit in our relationship and made us so much stronger.

I'm glad to hear that you have gotten help and feel that the sex abuse is no longer affecting your life. As a fellow survivor please allow me to just caution about one thing. How the abuse affects you may (or may not) change over time. Big moments in life or even an accidental trigger by your husband can trip you up in ways you might not see coming. Your husband is going to need to know what the source of that is.
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Re: telling fiance about child abuse

Postby convicted » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:13 am

Also realize that you don't need to lay out details to include who it was nor even the nature of the relationship- kin, family friend, sibling of a friend, etc.
It happened. rough age. what you've done about it since then. ways you think the experience may interject into your relationship with your FH. Triggers you've noted. etc. you can refine the details as you feel led and mature enough to expound on.

I've found there's often more anxiety over the details than there is about the fact it happened and often we don't separate the two. As in I can't tell him, it would be too - "whatever"- to talk about.
Opposed to:
"this" happened or I've experienced this - this is the info that I discern as being necessary concerning this revelation to you.

btw RacingHorse. welcome to tmb, congrats on your engagement & you've revealed your gender... :mrgreen: :wink:
If our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.

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