My girlfriends ex was abusive how can I be supportive?

She's new to me so we both are still opening up. However I noticed she'd always pull away or close up. Or we'd be talking and having a great time and then she stops and says sorry I talk too much and shut down. It would take me a while to coax her into telling me more and that it was okay. I asked her about the past she was hesitant. I told her I wasn't going anywhere no matter how bad it was. I wanted to know her childhood, her dreams and her ex's. I knew someone hurt her previously it was a bit obvious. Then she told me something I didn't expect which was a lie. She told me something that resembled picture perfect. I tried letting her to come to me on her own. I went to her friends and they told me how bad it was. She grew up with parents who didn't want her who made her have self esteem issues. Her last boyfriend used to yell at her or be really rude if she talked too much. He'd hit her if she didn't follow his order. he cheated on her so much that whenever she made an attempt to leave he'd threaten her. She finally got to escape when he was pulled into jail for something. Her friends say its been at least two years but it still haunts her. She's always been left or cheated on which I don't understand since she's so sweet... Anyways should I tell her what I found out? How can I be there for her? I never dealt with this before but I'm willing to try.


Most Helpful Girl

  • My boyfriend deals with this with me, I was raped and sometimes I get so overcome with fear that I have a panic attack.

    The best thing you can do is just remind her you're there for her, give her as much affection (keep an arm around her, hold her hand, etc) as she is comfortable with, it really, really helps me at least. If she doesn't want to talk, don't get frustrated, just be patient as it might take her time to get past the initial fear.

    Once you're more familiar with her you can ask her yourself what you can do to help, but don't do that until she becomes more open and trusting of you. It'll take some time but she'll probably appreciate that you're making an effort.

    • Sorry - also, don't tell her you know about this, wait for her to open up to you. Just be loving and supportive

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What Guys Said 2

  • Just bear with her, she'll open up to you eventually. Until then, give her so much love that it'll make up for the shit she's been given by her exes.

  • Don't bring up her past unless she does.