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Although hearing that a man has been sexually abused is distressing, sometimes this information can help a partner make sense of some of the behaviours they have been observing.
It can then provide a starting place for positive change.
Remember to take time out if it gets too intense, and then to return to the topic and talk about the important stuff when you have had a breather.
If your partner was sexually abused, some of the ways he has learned to cope, or to keep the thoughts and memories of the abuse at a distance, may be “playing themselves out” in your relationship with him.
Some men try to manage feeling moody, withdrawn, uncertain and uncommunicative by taking himself off and keeping himself to himself.
You probably already have most of the tools you need.
This may include self-soothing by use of alcohol, overwork, excessive interest in sex or pornography, etc. You do not have to accept or approve of behaviours that are not working for you or your relationship; nor is it your job to fix them.
It is worth encouraging him to access support that helps him develop more life-affirming patterns and ways of dealing with stress and distress.
It is also good to remind yourself that, although you are impacted by his behaviour, it is not all about you.
One of the best things you can do is to keep respectful communication flowing.