Can Your Spouse Deal With The Knowledge of
Your Childhood Sexual Abuse
It is not unusual for an adult who was sexually abused as a child to keep the abuse from their spouse/partner. Whether you are male or female victim, it is difficult to raise the subject.
When you first get to know someone, then begin dating, you are not likely to tell them of your trauma. As you become more familiar with each other, and get closer it becomes harder to tell them, for fear of their reaction. You don't want to upset them, you don't want to lose them, so it's easier to keep silent. It's easier this way as too as you're used to keeping your abuse a secret from most people if not all.
In fact, we would not suggest that you tell all your potential dating partners early in the relationship. However when it begins to look like a committed relationship for the both of you, then that is the time to bring it up.
As time goes on, and you are in a relationship, (possibly married,) part of you may want to tell them about the abuse. You don't really want to keep secrets from them, but it is so hard, you feel you can't tell them. Fear of rejection and fear of the outcome holds you back.
What you don't realize is that most people would not leave you for having been the victim of child molestation. Most will want to help and comfort you as best they can. To help you through, they love you and want to support you.
They may feel the problem is too big for them to handle on their own and request that you seek help elsewhere, perhaps together. Some will do the best they can under the circumstances. But most partners will not desert the victim.
Some Will Leave
Yes there are some partners that will leave. There are those who are unwilling to stay with a person who has been sexually abused. Some may openly admit they don't want to cope with this type of situation. If this is the case, then they are likely not very committed to your relationship are they.
In reality if they do leave, are they really someone you want to be sharing your life with? Your partner/spouse is someone you should be able to rely on more than anyone else, and if after they are told of your sexual abuse, they leave, then you are better off without them.
It may not seem like that if you are very emotionally attached to them, however think of it logically. Would you like to be with someone who will leave because of a past event? Would you ever do something like that? What would you think of yourself if you did?
You need someone who will stand by you, look after you, help you through the effects that you are going through. Someone who will love you regardless.
Don't Want Them To Leave?
You know them best. If you think it would have serious repercussions by telling them, or you know they may choose to leave you, yet you want them to stay, then do not tell them. If this is the case, then you must be the type of person who can keep a secret completely hidden from everyone till the day you die.
Remember that as a relationship develops, the bond grows stronger in most cases and therefore any fracture later on will be far more difficult than one now. Does anyone else know of your abuse? If so then the chances of it remaining hidden are very slim. If your partner finds out and it was not you who told them, it is likely that the damage will be permanent.
It is best that you seek help elsewhere though, because the long term effects of child sexual abuse will take their toll on your relationship. They will either feel it is their fault, or they will tire of the way you are coping with the relationship, not understanding why you are the way you are.
Do They Already Know?
Of course there are those spouse/partners that have been told of the molestation, and find it very hard to cope with the effects on their marriage/relationship. Unless you get help to recover from the abuse, they may tire and leave anyway.