Dating a sexually abused
If your partner was sexually abused, some of the ways he has learned to cope, or to keep the thoughts and memories of the abuse at a distance, may be “playing themselves out” in your relationship with him.This may include self-soothing by use of alcohol, overwork, excessive interest in sex or pornography, etc. You do not have to accept or approve of behaviours that are not working for you or your relationship; nor is it your job to fix them.It can then provide a starting place for positive change.Men and their partners have identified a number of ways that the experience of childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault has impacted on them and their relationships.Your partner might at times seek out re-assurance and assistance, and at other times distance himself, wanting to work it out on his own.Some men try to manage feeling moody, withdrawn, uncertain and uncommunicative by taking himself off and keeping himself to himself.Relationships where one or both parties have experienced childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault are no different.They benefit from partners talking, sharing interests and working together to address difficulties as they arise.
Whether you or your partner was sexually abused or not, this will always be the case.
It can be useful to talk and understand how this behaviour developed, the reason behind it and how it has become a habit.
Some behaviours that may have worked for a while or in particular circumstances can overstay their welcome.
relationships require time, effort and commitment – from both parties – to be successful.
A relationship can be a place of intense joy and pleasure, and at times can produce considerable heartache and distress.