Underneath The Shame: My Boyfriend Was Sexually Abused

By YourTango

sad man
How could we move forward if he's carrying such darkness from his past?

I loved M more than words could express. I loved the part of him that lay deep down inside underneath all the pain. The part that surprised me with love sticky notes every morning, planned a scavenger hunt for me and talked about his dreams for us together. He was like a little teddy bear inside that turned into a porcupine when provoked. I was afraid. What would happen if we had kids? If one of us had a health scare? Or got laid off? Would it trigger him? 

After walking on eggshells for months on end after his revelation, I finally confronted him. I told him his desire to have oral sex with another man was likely related to reenacting his abuse and not sexual orientation. I told him our relationship had become fraught with constant arguments, lies and verbal attacks, all the remnants of a past he didn't want to deal with. I told him we had to go to therapy if this was ever going to work. I told him I didn't want him to feel ashamed or embarrassed for something he was a victim of. This is not what he wanted to hear. He angrily accused me of not accepting him the way he was, that this was the way he always was, and that therapy would never help.

Another woman might have seen the situation for what it was; a sinking ship. But our relationship created the perfect storm for my codependency issues and his neediness. I grew up with an emotionally unavailable father and a demanding mother. My need for approval, my feeling responsible for others and my fear of rejection propelled me into a toxic relationship with someone who wasn't capable of honest healthy love. M grew up not trusting anyone and never feeling cared for. I couldn't get enough of his adoration and sought to prove that I wasn't like the other women who let him down. He couldn't get enough of my love seeking to fill his empty heart that like a sieve could never be full. I had inadvertently set up a situation in which nothing I ever did would be enough. Just like with my parents, I was always acutely aware that his love for me came with conditions, none of which I could ever meet. But yet again I brushed aside his words hoping things would change.

However when I caught him lying about emailing an ex-girlfriend while we were on a brief break, I knew it was time to end it. M didn't think his lies, criticisms, or reenactment desires were a problem. I knew I couldn't live in a state of constant emotional abuse and instability. Though I knew M loved me, I had to come to terms with the fact that love wasn't enough. M wasn't capable of giving me what I deserved; a happy, healthy, supportive adult relationship. I decided it was time to choose myself. With heavy hearts, we parted ways. I can only hope one day he chooses himself too.

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