(Closed) Discovering partner’s self injury

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
24 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

That sounds like a HUGE secret to have kept from you. It is obviously a problem that doesn’t involve you (directly), but something that he needs to get resoved.  That’s not as simple as finding out your signifigant other doesn’t like your homemade meatloaf after all this time!  Get him help.

Post # 4
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My Fiance used to have this problem as well.  Thankfully it is something we dealt with early on and he hasn’t done since we started dating.  However, his body is filled with the scars and it still often makes me sad that he went through all of that alone.

I don’t think that it’s about your relationship right now – it’s about him.  I wouldn’t be upset at him for not telling you, he is probably ashamed.  Giving him options of different forms of help would be the best idea right now. 

Post # 5
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’m sorry you are having to deal with this but I am glad that you are standing by your partner and helping him work through it.  I don’t have any experience with a friend or loved one cutting but I sure this can’t be an easy thing to find out.

I wouldn’t be upset at him for not telling you.  I agree with a PP that he was probably ashamed and if he hadn’t cut in over 5 years and you’d only been with him the last two,he probably thought he was past it and had developed other better coping strategies.  Unfortunately, this very stressful time brought the old strategy to the surface again.

I would encourage him to go back to therapy, at least for a short time.  They can help him get though this stressful period, maybe add or adjust medications for his anxiety, and help him understand why he reverted back to a coping mechanism that he had given up for so long.

Good luck!

Post # 6
1 posts

I’m a regular poster using a pseudonym.

I had a severe self injury problem throughout my teen years and into my early 20s, so perhaps my perspective will be helpful.

1)  I cut myself for many of the same reasons your Fiance mentions.  To relieve anxiety or cope with unpleasant feelings.

2)  I almost always his the wounds and scars, both because they were unattractive and because I was ashamed of what I’d done.  I also had some unhealthy ideas about strength and weakness that led me to think it was better to hurt myself than to burden anyone with my problems or show emotion.

3)  It is imperative that he go back to therapy.  It’s very easy, once you’ve started, to keep doing it, even if you haven’t for years.  I think of it as being a little like booze for an alcoholic.  There’s no such thing as “just once.”

4)  You should be very concerned.  That is was a single cut or not very deep doesn’t matter.  What’s important is that someone you love felt that hurting himself was a good coping strategy.  I think you would probably feel pretty bad if you did something similar and he wasn’t too worried, right? 

5) Without knowing your Fiance, it’s hard to say what would be helpful, but something that meant a lot to me was knowing that particular people would always be available to listen when I felt the urge, and that they didn’t see me as a bad person just because I had bad coping skills.  My best friend would always say, “I care about you.  I don’t want you to hurt yourself.  What’s making you feel like you should?” and then just let me talk.  In contrast, my ex made a point of letting me know how freakish and disgusting he thought my cuts or scars were in an effort to get me to stop.  That worked about as well as you might expect. (Not at all.) 

6)  I understand feeling conflicted that he wasn’t upfront, but now is probably not the time to bring that up.  If he’s anything like me he was probably terrified to come clean to begin with, and a harsh response will just make him more likely to lie in the future and pretend the problem has gone away when it hasn’t. 

7) It’s perfectly natural to have lots of feelings about this.  Anything ranging from concern to anger to disgust is valid.  But please be careful about what you communicate to him.  You have to hate yourself (or parts of yourself) and your feelings pretty intensely to believe you ought to literally suffer for them,

8)  The worst thing you can do is issue ultimatums.  Not saying you would, but throwing it out there because it’s so important.  My ex (same one from above) used to talk about how if I really loved him or valued the relationship or cared about how he felt I wouldn’t cut because I could see how much it upset him and that he couldn’t be with someone whose issues were so large.  This not only made me feel like a complete freak, it reinforced all sorts of preexisiting ideas about how selfish and worthless I was.  It also, surprise! did nothing to help me stop and actually made everything a whole lot worse.  Think about it – why would someone with decent coping skills want to hurt him or herself?  If you’re to the point where slicing yourself open seems like a good idea or a viable long term solution to your problems you obviously don’t have many good options available.  What I mean is, you’re probably choosing to hurt yourself because it’s the least crappy of lots of really crappy options. 

Apologies for the length, but I wanted to be thorough.

Post # 7
45 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

This is something I, as well as my Boyfriend or Best Friend, struggled with for years even while we were still dating. It is a very very hard situation and I can tell you from experience the best thing you can do is love him and let him know you’re here.

My Boyfriend or Best Friend had planned out his suicide before we started dating and all it took was me being nice to him to help him postpone it. I am not saying at all that this is where your man is, just giving you some history on us. I truly believe love cures everthing.

The guilt he must feel for starting the habit again and if he feels he has let you down must be horrible, I too have been there. When my Boyfriend or Best Friend would discover I had cut again it made it a thousand times worse because I felt…damaged and not good enough for him. He stopped cutting way before I did because he knew he had to be strong for me and I love him to death because of it. I have not cut for over 2 years and owe everything to my Boyfriend or Best Friend.

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions on how we over came self injury or if you just need someone to talk to who can relate since I have been on both sides.

I am sorry you are going through this. 🙁

Post # 10
45 posts
  • Wedding: May 2012

I hope everything works out for you both.

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