Dear Hope: What Should I Say To My Boyfriend About His Secret
My boyfriend and I have been dating for 8 months. We haven’t had sex yet and we just said I love you to each other. We are both 17, we never argue and we get along great. Everything is perfect except he just told me he was sexually abused when he was younger. He said his parents were very supportive and they took him to counseling. He said he was ok now, but he wanted me to know. I acted like everything was fine, but it freaked me out a little. I feel horrible that it happened. It does not change how I feel about him, but why did he wait so long to tell me and will he be ok having sex? I really didn’t say anything when he told me. What should I say, I don’t want to upset him.
Sexual abuse is not an easy topic to discuss. It took a lot of courage for him to share something that personal. I don’t think he waited too long at all. He waited until he was ready and felt secure enough within the relationship. He trusts you and knows how much you care for him.
Your reaction was perfectly normal. Hearing something like this can bring up all sorts of thoughts and emotions. It’s ok to take time to process. When you are ready, reassure him that it does not change the way you feel. It was something that he had no control over and it does not change who he is. Be supportive and give him opportunities to discuss if he wants or needs to.
You also asked if he will be ok having sex. I don’t know the answer to that, but he does. Have a conversation about sex. Then you can see how he feels because only he knows what is right for him. Make sure you’re both comfortable with anything that happens. Anytime you’re taking a relationship to another level there should be a conversation. If it’s too uncomfortable to talk about that’s a sign to wait.
Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.
One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult.
If you need help please reach out.