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Unsupportive partner ): - September 1st 2012, 12:34 AM

First post but i've been lurking this forum for quite a while! Basically i've been struggling with SH for about 4 years, and i've been with my boyfriend for 2 years now, we live together, and he has a *problem* with me self harming. Since moving in with him i've gone from doing it every day or every couple of days to once a week or even less. I appreciate that he doesn't understand it, hell I don't even understand it sometimes... but he always makes it about him, not about me, if that makes any sense? When he finds out i've done it again he gets angry, tells me to stop (which I think a lot of other self harmers will agree that's one of the worst things to say because it puts so much pressure on you and makes you feel guilty when you do it again) and how weird and unsettled it makes him feel. He can't even say "self harm" or "cut" or so on, he always just refers to it as "that thing". He's also said the killer "they're not that bad" when he's seen them which makes me feel like I can't even hurt myself properly, and that comment has made me do it more severely each time since then and now they're getting pretty bad.
I wish he'd just ask me how i'm feeling and if i'm ok sometimes, that's all I want from him. I feel selfish for saying that but no one else knows about it apart from him so I have no one else to talk to :/

/don't even know why i'm posting this really. It would be great if anyone who has a partner who knows about them to offer their experiences with how they react.
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Re: Unsupportive partner ): - September 1st 2012, 03:54 AM

My first partner was kind of the one that turned me on to SH, so that's out.
But my most recent ex, who I had been engaged to and with for about 5 years did not support me at all.. She actually left me within three weeks of me telling her.
My best advice (because I didn't do it, and I wish I had) is to talk to him about it.. How you feel, why you feel that way. Ask him why he gets angry, tell him what you just wrote above. Maybe he doesn't realize that he's not helping, maybe he doesn't realize that you're actually doing better/trying to do better. Or maybe he might feel like it's his fault. You really don't know exactly why he acts the way he does unless you ask him, or talk to him about the situation. At least he acknowledges it.. Because trust me, not acknowledging it is sometimes just as bad if not worse than telling someone to stop.
Tell him you just need someone to talk to without harsh judgement, and that person should be him.

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Re: Unsupportive partner ): - September 2nd 2012, 08:19 PM

Hey there,

I'm really sorry that you're going through this at the moment, it must be hard. When people find out that people close to them are self harming, they're going to understandably be upset, confused and maybe angry. Usually they won't really understand it and why people would want to do it. In your case it sounds like your patner is angry and upset about the whole situation and rather than confronting it, he just wants it to go away.
I would suggest sitting down and talking to him, perhaps explain why you orginally started to SH. Explain how you feel and make it clear to him how you want him to help and support you. It might take him some time but hopefully he will understand and start to help you more. As for his "it's not that bad" comment, it just shows his lack of understanding, perhaps explain how much that hurt you and why you need the support.
As for the SH I would suggest talking a look at the alternatives thread, they will help to distract you if you ever get the urge to SH. Remember it is trial and error and therefore not all of them may work for you, but hang in there and you will find one that does.
If you ever want/need to talk, feel free to PM me,

Take care and best of luck,

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Re: Unsupportive partner ): - September 2nd 2012, 11:05 PM

Honestly, I had an ex who was not supportive (he was my biggest trigger, most of the time), and I know how much it sucks.

That being said, I have been with the same guy I'm with now for almost 2 years. He's not really supportive or unsupportive. It's hard to explain, but I guess the best way to say it is this. He doesn't like me self-harming, but he doesn't get mad/upset if I do it (though, he used to, until we established that upset made it worse). If I do slip up and self-harm (which these days, is seldom), he asks me why I did it, what was/is wrong, etc.

I'd say the best advice I can give you is, find a website/book/etc. meant for helping family and friends who live with a self-harmer (I've found them online, but I don't remember the URLs). If you find a guide that you think would be beneficial, share it with your boyfriend. Maybe if he understands that his reactions are making the situation worse, maybe he'll pick up better strategies to help you through this.

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