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Help – I Love Someone Who Suffered Child Abuse?

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9:57 pm
September 30, 2009


New Member

posts -1

I just found out a person I have loved for over three years was abused as a child. She is now 42. She was adopted from Korea.

She won't seek professional help, she won't talk about it. She has been to counseling once, but it didn't help her and she refuses to go.

She has been in a number of failed relationships and she has started to turn away from me.

She fears initimacy, commitment and has trouble trusting and as the relationship has aged, she has pulled further and further away. She told me in a "weak" (her description)moment trying to explain why she is not as loving to me as she once was.

She strives to be unemotional and "strong" and gets angry with herself when she shows me and others her more emotional sides

In her more tender times she tells me that I am the only man she has ever truly loved.

What do I do to help her? I am in love and don't want to lose her.

Tell me please, what is she thinking? what does she fear? What can I do?

8:13 am
October 1, 2009


New Member

posts -1

I am sorry she had to endure such as a child. No child should ever.

I don't have any strong answers for you. Counseling would be best and possibly she will reconsider. If her other experience w/ the counselor was bad let her know there are jerks everywhere and in every profession and to try again. She needs counseling to get thru this.

Otherwise all I can say is just love her. If she does not want to talk about it then don't. That is hers to share or not share, but you can sit down and address what you are seeing in her, as in her pulling back from you, as in your fear of losing her. Let her know you too have feelings and how much you care for her.

I hope things work out for you.

8:57 pm
October 1, 2009


New Member

posts -1

The best thing you can do for her is leave her. If she dosen't care about helping herself she will bring you down with her. I know this sounds horrible but it is the facts. She has to see she is in serious trouble and if you who is closest to her can't in a positive way help her see she needs tons of mental health then give it up. Right now she will poison any relationship she is in now.

7:00 pm
October 2, 2009


New Member

posts -1

Wow, That sounds very, very harsh and would break my heart.

Anyone else have ideas?

7:03 pm
October 2, 2009


New Member

posts -1

Just be there for her and love her.

8:19 pm
October 2, 2009


New Member

posts -1

She needs to hold on to any "normal" in her life she can. She probably thinks if she reveals her feelings they may be used against her later. They probably were before. If she becomes too close to you and lets her guard down, you could use it against her later. She probably knows you won't but it is an automatic internal safety net. Also, she may dissociate from certain feelings to help her distance herself from previously painful memories that she has not worked through. Please understand that to do the work of healing, one must go back through the pain. Not fun stuff. But it is the only way to be free. So……understanding why she is doing what she is doing will help you most. She has an internal list of rules that she lives by to survive and she may be able to tell you why she does what she does if you ask her at the time she is doing it in an unprovoking way. The less pushing her where she is afraid to go and the more you are understanding and able to give her space when she needs it, the more she'll be able to share with you. She has to have more "proof" that you are trustworthy over time than the usual person. Hope this helps.

9:05 pm
October 2, 2009



posts 14

I would suggest you honestly look at what you need in your relationship and see if your partner is able to be there for you. We all come into relationships with baggage but it's how we deal with them that really matters. You don't want to be in an unbalanced relationship. If she is this removed from herself, then I do not know how she can be an equal part of the relationship. She needs therapy but this is something she needs to do for herself. For now you can let her know you are there for her.

The key is for you to be honest with her and let her know what you need in the relationship as well as be there for her when she needs to talk about her past.

9:58 pm
October 2, 2009



posts 39


So, she saw a counsellor 'once' you say? That's not really putting an honest effort into seeking help as it takes a considerable amount of time for anyone to gain from counselling. Sounds like she is making excuses for not seeking help. Obviously she is not willing to look into herself.
Have you considered a 12 step program from yourself? You may likely benefit from that. Sounds to me like that may be your best shot under the circumstances anyway.

It's no fun being there where you are now in your relationship. Been there myself. My ex was also a victim of childhood abuse. Many deep issues with that. In the end, for us, it didn't work out. She had quit counselling/the 12 step program/sponsoring & gradually went downhill from there.

Without a concerted effort from the both of you, it can & will further wear your own level of self worth down over time. It did me. It is one of the consequences of being in a relationship with a very unhealthy mate.

It's said that it's extremely rare for people with a background such as hers to be able to do ok in the long-term without continued strong outside support of some kind. Of course, you cannot force her to deal with her issues & until she deems it necessary for herself (if ever) to do so, then things aren't going to improve.

Meanwhile, u have to look after yourself, your own personal well being. This can sometimes have what they call a 'ripple effect'. In other words, your changing can affect a positive change in her. It might even serve as a catalyst to her making positive changes in her thinking.

7:10 am
October 3, 2009


New Member

posts -1

New here and I found much help here in this thread. Esp CraigCo. The acknowledgement that this is hard and takes both people. The wearing down of your own self worth. I really understand that. Yes seek help and support for yourself. You will be amazed at how much it will help you.

10:10 am
October 3, 2009



posts 161

Well said Craig.


Speaking from personal experience, the damage from childhood has been a lifelong struggle.

Stepping away and taking care of yourself is the best route.

10:28 am
October 4, 2009


New Member

posts -1

Dear BrokenbutNotDestroyed,

You have hit the nail on the head with her. When she revealed her past to me she almost immediately had serious regrets. She claims it is no-ne's "damned business" but her own and swears she will take some secrets to the grave. That said, I think that is her "rules" talking and not who she really wants to be.

The relationship has taken it's toll on me. I have entered couseling myself. I had some self-worth issues related to work and the decline of the relationship has made me worse. As I became a little needy and less stable, she tended to pull away.

She has moments of honesty with me when she reveals her true inner feelings but she has to feel very "safe" to do so.

As I have become less safe, she has pulled away. She hung with me for a long time but grew impatient as I began to take from her.

I know she needs me to be confident, secure, reliable, stable. I haven't been.

We are currently separated at her request so we could both go off and "fix" ourselves. We are about a month into it and I have asked to stop communication for awhile because I have been violating the emotional space that she needs and I feel she has begun to fear me since recently revealing her past.

I am hurting due to the seperation and after I am more stable I plan to try to continue the relationship with a new understanding of what her needs truly are.

I have asked her many times if she just wants to end the relationship. So far she has not. I think she really wants to trust me and she really loves me – she is just fighting her inner demons that some of my insecurities have brought out.

If that doesn't work, I know I will be forced to leave her. The thought of that kills me, but in the end. I know I need to be true to myself.

10:46 am
October 4, 2009


New Member

posts -1


Thank you. She did see a counselor for a period of time but said it didn't work for her. It was one who pushed medication at her.

Can you tell me more about the 12 step program?

If you've read the other part of this thread you will see that I have entered counseling myself and my therapist has an extensive background in childhood trauma issues.

If I could get my mate to go to one session with her I think it would have positive effects.

I like your "ripple" effect words. They give me some hope. It also tells me that I have done right by concentrating on myself first. It is working. Just being on this thread talking to people about it helps.

I am willing to do anything I can to help her I love her that much and I know there will be very tough days ahead when I need to genuinely smile when inside I feel like crying.

If I don't succeed, then I can live guilt free knowing that I have done all I can do.

I really appreciate your insight.

8:52 pm
October 5, 2009


New Member

posts -1

You are destined to a failed relationship. I went through one like this for eight years and every year it got worsre. Don't even think about having any kind of close relationship until she gets a year or two of conseling under her belt. She is seriously a confused and abused person. If you want to be a saint by all means go ahead but you have issues to because your co-dependant and don't realize when you are headed for trouble. You need to get a book on codependency to see why you are asking to ruin you life to save anothers. Be a friend if you like but don't get involved until you find out why your attracted to this kind of person.

3:26 pm
October 9, 2009


New Member

posts -1

As a child I was sexually abused by two men, both very close to me. My father, and my step-father. Im now a teenager, and emotionally, Im a wreck. Physically, Im fine. I smile the smile and walk the walk. But, deep down, you would never begin to imagine what Im like. Sir, the problem is that she is fine, but only on the outside. My boyfriend knows, but he sees the fake smile and the extremely fake courage. He doesnt EVER see my emotional side. Nor does anybody else. Beleive me, i broke down in math today and almost ran out of school bawling. I cant control my emotions all the time but when i can I do.


5:28 pm
October 9, 2009



posts 453

Sometimes, we love the wrong person. It's that simple. If she is unwilling to seek out and remain in professional therapy for her past traumas, her chances of recovery and being able to sustain a semi-normal relationship with ANY man are nil. Ain't gonna happen.

I do appreciate how much you care about her. However, she will never be able to give you the trust and candor which are the cornerstone of any stable, healthy relationship.

And I do understand that this is NOT what you want to hear. However, my hope would be that you utilize this time of forced separation to focus on YOURSELF. Remain in counseling. Find out WHY you are willing to remain attached to a woman with such serious intimacy issues? There is always a reason.

My best to you…

Ma Strong

4:18 pm
October 14, 2009


New Member

posts -1

I suffered from child abuse actually my Father molested me from the tme I was 8 till I was 14 and told someone. my own Mother gave me no support. That's what they need. SUPPORT. I am now 30 and have 2 boys and I know I would never let that happen to them. But as I get older sex really disgusts me. I feel like thats all I'm good for. So know there will be issues.

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