Can You Tell If Your Partner Was Molested
The short answer is no, you can not tell by looking at someone whether they were molested or not. The only way to know for sure is to ask them.
However, molestation victims suffer many psychological and physical problems. Long term effects, affect most sexual abuse victims, and this is probably why you suspect something is not quite right.
If your partner is suffering from severe anxiety, heightened emotional reactions, low self worth, have suicidal tendencies or displays some of the traits (not just a couple) discussed in molestation and its effects then it is possible.
If your partner is enjoying an intimate time with you and comes to a sudden stop in the middle of sex and their mood turns cold, is also a possible indicator that your partner is experiencing flashbacks.
You must remember that just because a person displays certain traits, does not mean they were molested. If you suspect, then ask them, you are close to them, so you may very well be correct. You will never know unless you ask.
Let’s take a couple of extreme examples, to emphasis what is being said here. Suicidal tendencies, problems functioning socially or within relationships, low self worth, eating disorders, anxiety are a few manifestations of childhood molestation.
Many sexually abused people suffer from these disorders, however so do many other people who have never been sexually abused. They may have been abused in some other form, physical abuse, bullied at school, or be predisposed to this behavior.
How to Ask The Question
There is no right or wrong way to ask someone if they were sexually abused as a child. You know your partner best, you know how they respond to certain things. You need to find a way that could work for you.
If you ask straight out they could tell you, or they could lie to you. They are used to keeping this secret for most of their life. It may be extremely difficult for them to just come out and confirm abuse if it is actually abuse.
It is possible you could ask them how they would feel if they suspected someone had suffered child molestation, how they would ask them or talk to them about it. Go from there. However once again you know your partner best, they could turn around and say they'd mind their own business.
It is up to you to find out the best way to ask, however you must be gentle, loving, supporting, non accusatory. Understand that if they were molested, they feel guilty about it and so would feel shamed and defensive if you are even slightly aggressive.
They have no idea how you will respond if they confirm your suspicion, so they will more than likely be wary. If you have a very trusting and close relationship, then you may find they will tell you straight up.
If your assumption is correct, then you have a great deal of work ahead of you, helping your partner on their road to recovery.