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Simple question: Is it better to tell your current partner that you had an abusive relationship in the past and some scars and struggles still exist from it (and occasionally your reactions or behaviors are a direct result of that past) but you're working hard to be a better person, or to just keep quiet and roll with it, slowly improving who you are until you're the healed person they deserve?

I trust and love my SO immensely, but find myself bouncing back and forth between the two choices. On one hand I feel like if he knew he wouldn't feel responsible for my dark moments since sometimes while they seem like something *he* did wrong, they're actually me projecting fears from the past onto the present. And that there wouldn't be what almost feels like deceit, by hiding this damaged part of me from him and not letting him make the choice if he wants to have to deal with it.

But on the same hand, I feel like if I tell him, he'll see me as broken or unworthy of his love, because I allowed someone to damage me in the past, and clearly if I still have bad days, I'm not healed and therefore not ready to be his SO.
 

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In my opinion, and no one can really say who is right or wrong here, your past experiences have influenced you as a person. What you have gone through has helped shaped your morals, standards, character and so on. It does not define you but it has caused you to make choices and carry the consequences.
I like my SO to know who I am and why I am that way. I also like to think that I can learn from my SO and that they can help me through the issues that still need to be worked out. This could be by just holding me if I need to cry about it. Or to support me with advice from their own experiences.
If they will perceive me as broken or unworthy because of my past experiences, then they were not the right person for me.

But this is a very personal decision and only you know what is right for you.
 

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I think it's only fair if you truly care about your partner for this reason...

On one hand I feel like if he knew he wouldn't feel responsible for my dark moments since sometimes while they seem like something *he* did wrong, they're actually me projecting fears from the past onto the present.
The poor guy feels like his responsible for responses that he isn't.

Would you want to know if it was the reverse?
 

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How long have you been with your partner?

If it is any length of real time (i.e., a committed relationship), then I totally agree with @strangestdude here. In my experience, the most likely outcome out of all your fears is that you will lose your partner because he's misreading why you might push him away or act out at times -- it's most likely he'll blame himself or feel like you don't love him, and end up leaving.

I know it's hard to risk and be vulnerable, but this kind of "closing yourself off" so that you can only show your mate your perfect side is something that is typical of emotionally abused people (including Adult Children of Alcoholics, for example, but many other groups as well). You want to only show your perfect side to your mate, so he won't reject you. But if he doesn't know how to interpret your behavior, he will likely read it wrong and in a way that will end your relationship sooner.

If he loves you, he will want to look out for you. And you want him there out of love.

I haven't had to make that decision in a relationship because I have different issues, but I did with my kids -- for example, their grandfather is an alcoholic, and at some point when they were about 8-10, we had to talk to them about it because they witnessed his behavior and we did not want them to blame themselves or read his behavior as their fault or misunderstand it. So we were honest with them, in a way that wasn't too overwhelming or shameful to anyone involved, so that they would not misunderstand the weird things he'd do around them or blame themselves for any outbursts he might have. I felt bad having to fill them in; however, it was really helpful to our kids, and they all remain pretty level-headed, empathetic people today even thought their grandfather has not improved.

Sometimes hiding just makes it worse. I know you just want to give your mate all the good things you feel he deserves, but real relationships have issues like this sometimes and it's part of making the relationship stronger to share them. If he knows you weren't telling him out of love for him, and now you are telling him out of love for him, then that's better than him misunderstanding why you are acting as you have been acting.
 

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If you trust him enough to make yourself vulnerable to him, then yes by all means, share those parts of yourself. It could even make you feel closer. : )
 

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I'm a guy and I have been there in several occasions. Please keep in mind this is not from my invention, find what's useful and use it, drop whatever is not.

Problem: the growing numbers of "Ohhh my ex was abusive and did this and that to me". Check this with the "I was sexually abused" and also fake rape stories, something that creates a lot of fire from female readers but it takes to be a man to hear and face such situations, I mention this as something many of us face, not as something to be discussed or worse, proved, that's silly, have nothing to prove.

Many of us have faced that and sometimes, we might try to detect how sincere things are, otherwise many just walk away "too much work" and there is no guaranty of things being real. Don't like it? sounds terrible? don't blame us, blame the princesses who play with those stories of "all my exes where abusive".

Simple question: Is it better to tell your current partner that you had an abusive relationship in the past and some scars and struggles still exist from it (and occasionally your reactions or behaviors are a direct result of that past) but you're working hard to be a better person, or to just keep quiet and roll with it, slowly improving who you are until you're the healed person they deserve?
Working hard to be a better person? good for you, really, it takes a lot of effort. Telling your partner? I would say YES. Why? because many times he could feel over-the-age-responsible for something that goes beyond his acts: your memories and have nothing to do with him. If you can keep that line clear, then good even if he doesn't know, but it takes a lot and might drain your energy. It sucks to feel guilty for the sins of other people (been there). I know it sounds easy but keep in mind he is he, the past is the past... yes it sucks how easy it sounds.

There is no clear line on when or where to tell but as long as it affects the both of you and THE FUTURE, then yes.

I trust and love my SO immensely, but find myself bouncing back and forth between the two choices.
If it's about struggling with the past, that's something you should deal with, not him, not dragging him. Sucks to tell you this but one should:

1. Being able of telling when one is kinda ready for a relationship, or else, avoid getting other people involved
2. To talk at the right time, terrible or not we should let others know what they are getting involved

On one hand I feel like if he knew he wouldn't feel responsible for my dark moments since sometimes while they seem like something *he* did wrong, they're actually me projecting fears from the past onto the present. And that there wouldn't be what almost feels like deceit, by hiding this damaged part of me from him and not letting him make the choice if he wants to have to deal with it.
From the bottom of my heart I can tell you, it sucks to be there (I don't know how deep or serious the problem is) but men feeling guilty for the emotional status of their loved one, while they are innocent... that can break many things inside a good hearts man. Trust me, some will never recover. Don't listen to the haters, this time focus on this: that's why many jump and begin to ignore the loved one's pain, one never knows what's mine and what's from other person, its too confusing, never put a person into a constant guessing position, it hurts.

His choice? yes, absolutely, exactly as you said it.

But on the same hand, I feel like if I tell him, he'll see me as broken or unworthy of his love, because I allowed someone to damage me in the past, and clearly if I still have bad days, I'm not healed and therefore not ready to be his SO.
It depends, you are right on what you say but that's just ONE OF MANY options. Many men who really love their partners won't go into seeing you broken or unworthy, instead, many men jump into treating you with more care, not broken just fragile, as if one man hurt you and one will heal you, but this doesn't depend just on him, but also on you and not only how you treat him, but on how you make him feel.

Perhaps I'm too old... but sometimes what hurts is working so hard for being with someone... to get "X things" while others paid a lower price and also got it!!!, that HURTS!!!!

I had a very serious relationship with a woman who was married, he was abusive (got the chance to research) and then he died. The thing is I was being treated as guilty in many situations due to over reactions, she was still hurt from past abuse, I was innocent, that hurt. And about the "price", he was treated better than me, be it out of love (before the big problems) or out of FEAR, the thing is I was treating her like a queen and was receiving sad stories, "I can't do that" and the like. So, I paid a higher price and got less than him, while he treated her poorly, just tried to explain that.

Good luck
 

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I'm of the persuasion that honesty is always the best policy. Of course there is a bit of a risk involved. It could scare him off. However, if that is the case then the relationship wasn't strong enough to survive anyway.

I was married for 10+ years to a woman that had been abused/neglected as a child and was also raped about a year before I met her. This made her quite emotionally and mentally fragile. She did see a therapist (albeit not a very good one), but it didn't seem to help. The culmination of these issues among other things led to some destructive behavior on her part and we divorced.

Recently I began seeing a woman who after three weeks told me about her past (raped in high school and beaten by her ex). I saw a lot of similarities between how she dealt with these issues and the way my ex-wife did. Call me what you will, but I broke things off with her the next day. I just couldn't go down that road again.


The long and the short of it is tell him. If he loves you then he'll support you with dealing with it. If not, better you find that out now than waste more time.
 

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I'm always upfront about this kind of shit. They need to know it and accept it, and if they can't then that's a pretty clear sign they gotta go.
 

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Simple question: Is it better to tell your current partner that you had an abusive relationship in the past and some scars and struggles still exist from it (and occasionally your reactions or behaviors are a direct result of that past) but you're working hard to be a better person, or to just keep quiet and roll with it, slowly improving who you are until you're the healed person they deserve?

But on the same hand, I feel like if I tell him, he'll see me as broken or unworthy of his love, because I allowed someone to damage me in the past, and clearly if I still have bad days, I'm not healed and therefore not ready to be his SO.
It’s definitely not something to bring up on the first date, but I think that once you get to know someone it is necessary to talk about! Our past experiences be they good or bad influence both who we are and who we will be in the future. I would want to know if my partner had been through something similar, and I would see telling him about my past as a way to gauge whether or not he is worthy. Someone who judges or pulls away is clearly not ready for a commitment in my opinion.
 

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You're basically asking whether you should be open about something that affects your relationship.

The answer should be obvious.
 

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If you're working on it, I don't see a problem. My wife had a very traumatic past. I lent a hand in her recovery because I chose to listen to her, empathize with her situation or at least try to. I made a conscious effort to be aware of her episodes and difficulties. I made her feel that it was okay to be vulnerable with me, and that she is not her past and that I am not the person who hurt her. It's really your decision... Just be cautious. There are people out there that may not be as willing to stand by you as you would like to think. I have seen it happen.
 

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But on the same hand, I feel like if I tell him, he'll see me as broken or unworthy of his love, because I allowed someone to damage me in the past, and clearly if I still have bad days, I'm not healed and therefore not ready to be his SO.
I want to add that in addition to honesty and open-ness as others are discussing, this reason in and of itself is not a good foundation for action IMO.

It seems to me, in fact, that the above-quoted line of reasoning itself is likely to come from the abusive situation/experience. Your SO is obviously with you now for who you are and that is the same person whether or not you tell him about that you experienced abuse in the past.

So this shame about being abused - shame yielding to concern that he'll see you broken or unworthy of his love and the assumption that the abuse is your fault in a way that suggests somethig wrong with you - just seems to be more likely a clinging product of the past abusive experience than a response to actual reality in the present. And specifically, silence about this, silence due to shame/fear/sense of self as possibly broken or unworthy .... really seems to me like it could actually be a continuation of the abuse's effects on you and thus not a good foundation on which you should base decisions about what to do.

Of course, if your SO actually believes that abuse survivors should be judged broken or unworthy because of our past experiences, then I myself would question whether he is a good person for anyone to be in a relationship with. But hey, that's just me.
 

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As my SO put it, my pain is his pain. He would rather me be upfront and honest about what truly bothers me instead of letting me suffer through it on my own. Not everyone has that same stance, but I can tell you that it’s moments like these that really help to deepen the bond between partners and determine the maturity level of a relationship. Be the partner you would want your SO to be to you. If honesty and openness is something you really value in a relationship, don’t be afraid to hold back.
 

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It depends on how close you are, but when you are close, the answer is yes. It is about trust.
 

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It is straight up wrong not to tell him because he has a right to know what he is getting into by being in a relationship with you. If you told him later and he got mad because he then understands the why of your behaviour, whys that he may have attributed to faults in him, he would be in the right. You have to tell him.
 
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