Looking for Advice/Resources for the Loved Ones of Someone Who Was Physically Abused as a Child

My boyfriend recently opened up to me about the physical abuse he experienced at the hands of his father when he was growing up. Finding this out has connected a lot of dots for me in terms of some insecurities he had expressed previously. As he told me about what he went through, I just tried to be a safe space for him to open up as it was obviously an incredibly difficult thing for him to talk about.

My heart hurts for him, and I feel out of my depth in terms of knowing how to best support him (as well as figuring out how to understand and interact with him in the most loving ways) in regards to the trauma he experienced.

I’m wondering if there are any resources you could recommend that would help me navigate this aspect of our relationship in the most healthy way possible, and that might also allow me some insight into his pain and the ways that the abuse has shaped him into the man he is today. Any advice, books, or articles you could share with me would be so appreciated.

(Sidenote: I 100% understand that it isn’t my job to be his therapist or counselor and that I don’t have the ability to heal or fix him. I would just love to know how to be the best partner I can be to him.) (From Canada)

I think this is a terrific thing you are doing, with the right amount of sensitivity and concern, with a true understanding of your limitations and a desire to learn how to be in the relationship. I encourage you to look for counselors in your area that can help with either individual counseling for your boyfriend or couple counseling for the two of you. Here are some resources that may be helpful.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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