Above all, the most important things you need to be are patient and understanding. Don't pry or ask her a lot of questions about it, but be sure ask her how she's doing, if she's okay. She'll open up to you about everything when she's ready. This is a sign of her trusting you and getting more comfortable with you. Things are probably going to progress very very slowly and it's going to be frustrating on both parts , so even when things get awkward or difficult just make sure she knows that you're there for her and you want to help her.
Hey buddy, good job on listening. Survivor of a violent rape over 35 years ago here. In my experience the best support I had was my husband who neither ran from my pain nor tried to fix it or make it go away; he stayed present to it while I worked through it. I could tell it was painful for him, but he did it out of love and that helped me heal. You're doing the right things and asking the right questions about your responses. Make sure you're mindful of giving her the power over her recovery.
Live into the reality that this trauma doesn't make up who she is; it will eventually become a much smaller part of her life. Fight against the stereotypes that's she's somehow "damaged" at the same time you allow her the space she needs for her healing. Realize that recovery isn't a steady line; it looks more like a looping spiral. And yes, sex can get back to an amazing, fun, joyful, loving gift. Raped a year and a half after we were married, just celebrated our 38th anniversary. I'm married with someone who has past experience with sexual abuse.
I was myself abused as a kid. Don't make it too much of a deal, her life is not over. Even bad memories fade by time and becomes more distant. She done nothing wrong and nothing you can do to undo it. Be you and treat her no different then before you knew. She didnt tell you because she wanted you to look or treat her as a vicitim, she just wanted you to know what is going on in her head. Her past experience doesnt define her. If she wanna talk about it, then listen, if you cannot answer or do not know what to answer, thats fine.
Don't go with default "I understand" and "I know what you mean", when you don't. People that advice you to treat her as a victim and tiptoe around her doesn't want your relationship to last at the end. My SO given me so much kudos for not changing myself around her. You don't want a certain behavior of your SO connected to a past event. Plenty of support outside from friends and family, sometimes you just wanna go home to someone you love and just put everything away. I think there is a big thing to tell rape victims that they are broken and will never be the same. I don't necessarily agree.
People will be violated in multiple ways. Rape victims mostly go on to live perfectly Normal lives. Read the statement by Brock landers victim. She doesn't remember anything, her trauma comes from how she was treated afterwards in the hospital. OP here, just want to say thank you to everyone who gave me their advice. Reading all your comments made me feel better, it feels like knowing what to expect gives me a guidebook to prevent myself from harming her or even me by accident in the future.
To those of you telling me to give up, let me assure you that I have made up my mind to do the opposite. This lady might just be the one and I would regret leaving her just like that for the rest of my life. I hope that one day you will find someone that will make you feel like I feel right now. To those of you who have suffered and shared their incredibly touching stories with me, I wish you all the strength in the world to overcome the demons of the past to become someone's Angel in the present.
To those of you that are in the same boat and to those of you who that send me their love, I give you all my biggest hug! Keep fighting the good fight. To those of you claiming she lied, you were not present when she switched, so I would appreciate you would not make those claims.
This discussion shouldn't be about our different worldviews. Let's focus on how to make this topic more about how to react when faced with a situation like this, back to the topic please. To those of you praising me for my actions, please know that there is plenty of guys like me out there who would have done the same thing, don't believe the hype, most of us guys are scared shitless when it comes to women, so much so we forget to ask. It also may not be. Some people become hyper-sexual after rape.
While that isn't to say sex isn't an issue, the lack of it won't be. Rape can affect people so differently. As a guy who has a few friends who experienced that event, youre doing good right there. Being with her and being understanding is more that what most people do because they oversimplify the act of rape to just people having sex rather than someones body and mind being attacked. Im echoing most of the other comments but i just want to commend you for being you. Never trivialize what happened to her.
We all have rough lives and hers was made worse by being horribly violated, so alway remember to be there for her. But just by what you did i dont think youll have a problem being the best friend you can be for her. Ask if things are ok - for instance, if you want to take her shirt off or something rub the shirt and ask if you can take it off. Or, let her take charge and lead the advances if she feels comfortable doing so. Be gentle, unless she asks otherwise. Be willing to stop and don't act disappointed if you do - and don't ask to rub one off since she asked you to stop.
These are all things I have from experience Asking if you can rub one out after is a big thing. It makes me fellow victim feel like I disappointed him, because we all know doing it yourself isn't as good as having someone else to do it with for most. It's a bummer that I can't get him off because of my PTSD, but I feel worse when it seems like that's all he wants in that moment. As the boyfriend of someone who was raped, us guys often don't have the mindset you think we do. I personally am completely fine with rubbing one out on my own, though I admit my personal situation is complicated since we are long distance.
However, when I am needy, especially when I was really triggered the first few months after, it's nice to do that with my girlfriend there. Her being there, being a presence with me while I dealt with sexual desires, meant far more than anything sexual she was directly doing to help me. Masturbating is a fine substitute for when she needs her own time, and doing it with her presence helps make it a lot more authentic.
Vice versa happens too, though not often. One day she rubbed one out while I did some work on my computer, it was actually kind of fun and relaxing. Building sex up into a big event you have to perform at is triggering in itself, because then you feel forced to perform. Having one person masturbate if the other is not in the mood, but having the other be fine and relaxed with it was a critical backup valve for our sexual tension.
I'm so glad you had a similar experience. The person who assaulted me is an ex boyfriend - when I would finally gain the courage to say no he would say this. My boyfriend is so understanding and works with me very well. I haven't told him this bothers me, in fact, I reassure him that it doesn't. I don't want to take away his pleasure. Just felt I should clear that up before anyone starts saying he's a terrible person or anything, haha. Thank you, hope you are doing well as well. I don't want to tell you how to handle your situation, because it's so delicate. But I want to encourage you to be open and honest with him.
Maybe not in the moment, but at some point, soon. My sex drive has suffered a lot due to bi-polar disorder, medications, and some more recent physical limitations. My husband has been so clear over our ten years that he enjoys touching and feeling me, and sex and getting off is secondary. My goal is still to get in the mood enough every time we food around, that I feel like pleasuring him or having sex.
It doesn't always happen. I used to always let him get himself off afterwards - he doesn't even always go for it, more often we just settle into comfy snuggles. And he's never, ever suggested to me that this is disappointing. But he does ask sometimes if I mind if he finishes, and I used to always say 'go ahead. Anyways, one day while we were having out, not fooling around, I broached the subject. I think I said something like, "I hate that I don't always feel like reciprocating when we fool around.
You make me feel so loved, so secure, and so sexy. It's not that I don't feel those things for you," and he stopped me, explained that he understood. We'd had that conversation a lot. So I told him, "I know this isn't fair, but then when you roll over and have to finish without me, I really feel like I've let you down. We talked probably more times about it, and we've worked some things out, some compromises.
Of course he just didn't realize I felt that way, and now I have a better understanding that he doesn't see it that way at all. He thought he was allowing me to rest comfortably, removing the burden of finishing him, doing a nice thing for me, actually. So yeah, I know you didn't ask for this wall of text or any advice at all. But though I'm not coming from the same background as you, I have worked through something similar with my husband. So I wanted to offer that. If you're triggered then it's not you who disappoints him, but the assailant for giving you these feelings.
I'm the boyfriend of someone who has been in multiple abusive relationships and just recognizing this logical fallacy has helped a lot. It's better for both parties to be open about their feelings, because even if he acts like everything is cool, you'll recognize the disappointment. In the end being disappointed by not coming is purely hormonal for males. You get the hormones for getting exited, but never the ones that bring the actual pleasure. For women, this mechanism works a bit differently, so it could be difficult to recognize.
Again all of this is not your fault. Asking to "rub one out" that even sounds terrible is another thing entirely, of course. If you're uncomfortable then that should be the end. He doesn't literally "ask to rub one out", that does sound terrible. He just asks if I mind if he finishes, and I say I don't mind. It's awesome that you're so good with your partner who has been abused and that you recognize fallacies like that. Bottom line, just be there for her.
If she needs to talk, listen. If she needs company, be there. Above everything else, respect her; respect her autonomy, respect her right of choice, respect her privacy. If she speaks details and you don't know how to respond, don't be silent. Say something like, "I'm sorry that this happened to you and I don't know how to respond other than to ask if I can hug you for a while.
Honestly, I don't think you'll need too much help through this - you have great instincts already, so just keep doing what you're doing. Don't ever be nervous to ask her consent, and be graceful if she rejects something, never take it personally. My first serious girlfriend told me she was raped about a month into dating her. She didn't want my knowledge about the rape to change anything, but it was something I tried to be aware of.
I don't have all the answers on how to handle it perfectly, but I can say that you seem to be doing it well. I will never truly understand what she went through, but I tried my best to listen and always be patient with her. When I first started dating my current boyfriend I debated whether or not to be completely upfront with him from the beginning. I had no idea we would develop into a serious relationship and didn't know if it would be beneficial to tell him the nitty gritty of my life so early on, but it definitely was the smart thing to do.
Just be aware that anything might be a trigger for her; eye contact, perceived agression or a little too rough, and just be willing to stop and listen if it happens. Be willing to talk to her if she's willing to be open not everyone is as open as I am and try not to pass judgement on the situation that occurs. Go slow, and try to let her initiate the contact. If she knows that she's in control, it might help to alleviate some of the anxiety and fear she is feeling. Also take pride in the fact that she apparently trusts you enough to share this information with you.
You must be someone important to her and that sort of trust is necessary for any relationship to advance. As others have said, it's amazing that you want to be supportive and learn about this. Remember to be careful not to forget about yourself. There's a certain high to giving, caring, and being selfless. If you feel the urge to put yourself and your feelings firmly second out of deference to her suffering, due to her experience, think again. You're not doing anyone any favours that way. Don't try to be a superhero. Just be a good, strong human. That means taking care of yourself too.
I'm not a woman, not sure if my comment is breaking any rules. Hope not, apologies if I misstep. My girlfriend of two years was raped when she was 14 years old at a party. That was 10 years ago, and it's very apparent that there are going to be permanent scars she carries around with her for the rest of her life. She told me about it very soon after we started dating and initially I was very cautious about initiating anything sexual.
Communication and understanding is the key. I try as hard as possible to listen to her needs and make sure that we're always communicating about how we feel. It disgusts me that there are so many men out there that could do these heinous things to another human. No woman deserves it under any circumstance. Dating a rape victim has really made me more aware of the culture we live in and just how much things need to change. The worst part of the whole thing for her was that her best friend refused to believe her because the guy that did it was super "popular" and she didn't want to lose her "cool" friends.
To this day it really hurts my SO. I'd say you handled things well though. Remember that she's a victim, and there's trauma there that probably won't ever go away. It's not her fault and if you truly care about her, you won't try to push her boundaries at all. Just let her know you're there to listen and that you won't ever judge her. Good on you man. I think it's amazing that you were able to notice that she was so uncomfortable initially, and wanted to stop and ask her about it in the moment.
That you wanted to make this thread and ask about it to looks for ways to help her is already a great sign. There's a lot of great advice here. Be patient, be soft, be careful. Maybe propose going to therapy with her? Or her going on her own? Whatever she's more comfortable with. She likely has a lot of guilt feelings that are associated with any intimacy, so make sure she feels valid when she's upset.
Sometimes she might get upset and you won't know why but there's so much going on under the surface.
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You're on a fantastic path to understanding and loving her well right now, and I wish you both the best of luck. Don't ever lie about how you feel about things. If things start getting bad in the relationship and you can no longer handle trying to help her with her issues, don't stick around to reassure her. Cause it will only get worse and she will hate you for no longer supporting her the way you once could. Be honest and walk away. Or get counselling with her. Her problems will eventually effect you a lot more because they will become your problems as well. Dude, I just want to thank you for asking this on Reddit and I hope a lot of us guys read this.
This situation is so unbearably and unbelievably common. Asking here was a great idea. Sometimes asking and communicating helps, if she knows you know the true situation and are not simply guessing it can help a lot.
Let her know you want to never hurt her and understand what happened so you never trigger the memories, the key words when she explains it will be the things to avoid in all situations. A lot of my symptoms are beyond my control and triggers can change my behavior at the drop of a hat.
My bf of 2 years and I have decided that mainly due to my mental health it is time to part ways. The reason we are splitting in my view was that he has been making feel guilty. He complains constantly about how tired he is. How we can't go out because he's afraid he will have to soothe me at some point. That he never gets to watch the things he likes because violence is a trigger for me. I don't blame him for voicing his feelings and I know he means well. However this dynamic is damaging for both us, perhaps more so for me. I love him and I feel like if I was better, different, undamaged he would invest more into our relationship.
Without meaning to, he make me feel less than. Complaining will happen, don't let the traumatized person take the brunt of it. Have support yourself, have activities outside the relationship. Be Careful if she gets in a corner somehow. Don't grab her forcefully. Take care if your arguing. If she starts trembling just be supportive. Never been in this situation, but I would recommend trying to avoid movies or tv shows that depict rape.
There's a chance she could be suffering from PTSD, so if she sees it on tv especially if it's a graphic or realistic portrayal it could act as trigger for her and cause her to panic. Now, she should definitely seek counseling, but you might not wanna be the one to bring that up because you don't want it look like you think she's "crazy" that obviously wouldn't be the case, but "therapy" is a dangerous word in certain conversations.
Everyone always assumes the worst about it. If you ever see she looks sad or anxious, you don't have to pry too hard, but just letting her know that you're available to talk or go for dinner or to the movies or something would probably help her feel a lot more at ease. Don't bring it up a lot. Let her bring it up if she needs to discuss something about it. Don't show her articles or stuff you think are relevant, it might make her feel like that's all you're seeing now.
Treat her like someone who's in the healing process and everything should be clear: I dated a victim for a bit and she obviously had a few triggers. Pay attention to what those are and just ask questions. Don't get weirded out. For example, if she does something that makes you question whether to keep going during sex or not, simply ask is it ok? She'll tell you and just be nice to her. Date and laugh and cuddle and let her be the one to initiate sex.
Safe words are great but sometimes rape victims find themselves overwhelmed during sex and unable to voice it, so a safe gesture is another failsafe. You might need to practice it so you recognize like, start with hugging or hand holding and her tapping to make you let go. Encourage her to talk about it. With you, or a friend, or a therapist.
Talking about it will help her to continue processing and moving on. Keeping it inside will just eat her up. Don't push her too hard or she might pull away. Thank you for being supportive of her. It's a really, really difficult situation and having someone get it and try and help is one of the best things for her. My girlfriend was raped a couple years ago, while we were dating. It still affects me daily she's better at handling things than I am but we work together through it. Our relationship is complicated in that it's long distance USA to South Africa and we're waiting for sex and oral until marriage, though we're doing other things.
It sounds like you are doing a good job from what you wrote, but here's some thoughts. Every now and then I ask her what color she is, or if she freaks for any reason she'd say Red. Green means in her comfort zone, no problem at all. Red means freaking out and not okay. Yellow means slightly uncomfortable but okay. So first, if she says Red that means stop everything instantly.
No ands, ifs, or buts. No being upset about not getting to finish. Red means she is hurting and priority switches from anything sexual to being there for her. Continuing purposefully after she says Red would be rape, so it means full stop, no questions asked. Yellow is the interesting keyword. We had two modes. In fun mode, Yellow means avoid what you are doing as it's uncomfortable, but it's okay to keep going with sexual things, just change what you are doing so it's back to green.
However if you always avoid what you are afraid of, your fears will grow and will keep you from enjoying life. So sometimes she'd want to do things that she used to enjoy but were now scared of. So in healing mode, I would purposefully try to get her to go into the yellow areas. I didn't try to make her stay for long, just doing something yellow and seeing that it didn't hurt her was the goal.
That way the yellow areas become green, and then some red areas become yellow. Note that communication in lots of detailed ways are a must. The simple color codes are more about fighting off flashbacks, as if you ask someone who's experiencing a flashback if they are okay, they might say "yes" as it's an unbelievably strong human nature to pretend to yourself that you are okay if you are experiencing shock. The color makes her choose in a way that's harder to shrug off, and if she can't answer than I know she's experiencing a flashback or something and is in full Red.
There will still be complications even with a good system in place, such as times where you continued when she was Red but said Yellow because she didn't realize she was Red until after. This happened to us a couple times which caused her to swing emotionally to not wanting anything to do with sex at all until we got married, which freaked me out and we had a big fight over it. Finally we cooled down and worked together to get a better balance. At first she had a lot of trouble because even masturbating was red for her, so she had a lot of sexual desires with no safe way to release them.
However, touching a little bit was yellow so we started there. These days she's fine and we don't really use the color codes, but as I said we're not actually having sex or even physically together, so once we marry and things get more intense, we'll probably return to that. Red will always be a safe word, and she'll have some areas the rest of her life that are red, and I will too.
Neither of us could ever handle any rape roleplay or violent sex or even rough sex, which many people have as fetishes, though we're interested in light bondage with safewords so we'll have plenty of fetishes to explore. Another thing to know is that for awhile after being raped, sexuality will swing back and forth wildly.
Some months, she was convinced she would never want sex for the rest of her life. Other months she wanted to have sex with strangers, because she felt devalued after being raped and by having more sex with more people, it would dilute the meaning of what was taken from her. We worked together to fight against both extremes, but it was hard and challenging. Even though I'm waiting for sex until marriage, I know that because of what happened, we probably won't have sex on the wedding night.
Pressuring her into sex that night would be the exact wrong thing to do, as that could feel like being forced to have sex. I've told her that I don't expect sex on the wedding night over and over again too, so that when she doesn't feel ready on our marriage night, she knows she's not disappointing me.
We're waiting for oral too and she doesn't have the same fears about that, so I imagine we'll be trying a lot of those things for a while. I've told her that I do want sex eventually but A. I will be more than happy with plenty of other things for the first few months of marriage, B. I won't ever force a strict time limit or deadline, and C.
I was in a similar situation in college, i didnt handle it badly and was supportive, but probably could have done better with it and wish i had a resource like this to utilize. I don't know how people will react to this, a lot of this I've never really shared much of and they're very complicated emotions so bare with me but I've been through something similar and whilst it saddens me to say it doesn't have a happy ending, maybe you can take away something from this and learn from my mistakes.
So, I was in a long term relationship whilst I was at University, things were great for a long time and even now I look back on it fondly but over Christmas break in our second year, my girlfriend was unfortunately raped. She didn't tell me for quite some time after the event, several months had passed. Honestly, it tore me apart. I was devastated that someone I loved so deeply had to experience such pain, I wanted nothing more than to comfort her and be a place of safety. After a couple months, things generally got back to usual.
We had just gotten home from a night out with friends when she suddenly became quite serious and upset. She proceeded to tell me that over that Christmas break she had actually gone home with the lad with all intention of cheating on me but realised at the last moment it wasn't at all what she wanted. The lad however wasn't taking no for an answer. So now, I don't know what to say. I pretty much just remained silent, I had too much running through my mind to really make sense of what I was feeling. Looking back now I know what I felt, I felt betrayed but I was also angry at my self for feeling that, sad for my girlfriend and worst of all, all these emotions had nothing tangible to be focused on.
I wanted a face, a face to mentally though I'd have preferred physically, obviously punch my frustrations in to but it never came. It felt like we were fighting an invisible monster. I regret to say eventually it broke us apart. I've remained mostly single since aside from the odd date here and there, I just can't find the motivation to commit. Unlike most people i dont think you actually need advice.
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You are doing everything that you need to do. Dont press the issue and be available to talk about it when she is ready. I'm sorry for her past but i think stumbling on you will turn it around for her. My ex was raped when she was in the Navy by one of her fellow servicemen a few years before we met. She developed a pretty bad case of depression that I was unaware of until several weeks into our relationship. Be there for her, but don't be overwhelming. Idk if she has depression, maybe you found her early enough to help prevent it.
Also, she can't get help if she doesn't want help. My ex had her issues, and had medication, but she never used it or went to therapy. You can't forcibly help somebody if they aren't open to it. Suggest things to try to help her cope, but don't be overbearing. Also, never give her any reason to doubt your intentions or your interest in her. Even if you don't intentionally do something, she may perceive it much worse than it actually is.
She is in a vulnerable state right now, so be very careful. Being a rape victim as well I really appreciate that you are respecting her boundaries and not pushing it. Honestly that's the best thing you can do. It took me years to get through my feelings and thoughts about my first of 4 inappropriate sexual experiences molested and almost raped by my brother and one thing I can say is I haven't found many people with your consideration and who cares for me as you do for her.
Remember that during a rape a survivor lacks complete control. I think you're on the right track here. Best of luck to you and your girlfriend and I hope she gets through this.
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I would stop everything about this being a sexual relationship at this point. And I wouldn't be her therapist either. This is not the social, emotional, or mental setting to start a relationship in. Not a good relationship. I know you are looking for help from the female crowds, but as a guy who has also been dating a girl who was a victim for the past year, I got to say you're doing great so far.
As many have said above you have to continue to be there for her, my girlfriend is long distance, so there's been some dire calls in the middle of the night, but you have to be there for her. By that I mean whole heartedly, because unconditional love is the only thing that can help them. Be reachable, be open, be accepting and let her open up to you over time. She has had some terrible people in her life, but somehow God or The Universe brought you two together, so be the man that makes right in her life. Do right by her, do right for you. Make sure you're doing what you're doing in paying attention to body language and let her set the pace.
Being a rape survivor several times over myself the best thing any SO has done for me is be there for me emotionally when I needed someone. I obviously can't speak for her experience in particular, but one thing I've noticed is in the case of physical-touching triggers; I, and others, have trouble when touched unexpectedly. Do your best to make sure she's aware of where you want to be touching even in non-sexual scenarios, my husband tries his best to announce himself into a room before hugging me from behind etc.
You can definitely figure out a way that works. Been in the same situation many times I'm a dude. Be sensitive, don't treat her like shes broken and other than that just be a normal good dude. It could take years for her to get comfortable with doing it again. I'm not what you're asking for exactly, but I was in your situation and 5 years later still am: If you are thinking more longer term and support then consider finding your local Rape Center and speak to them it, i.
However, if you do then don't mention her details nor sign her up for anything etc I will explain why in a bit -- solely do it just for you and to understand some of the effects and to get some guidance on how to act moving forwards. Your reaction that night was good, you were a good person and not a creep - congrats! P I'm sure she appreciated it. One of the pieces of information I found most helpful in my situation was about power and control.
Its often one of the things commonly taken away by the incident and can last a long time. So as a supporter its important not to do the same thing by trying to control or "fix" the situation yourself. Overtime she will talk to you and you will have opportunities to breach those topics, will talk about that in a bit. Also dont ask stupid questions like why not fight back or delve in for details etc -- let her talk about it in her own time. That being said, I think the biggest thing you can help is to just listen and be there when she is ready to talk, believe them and help them understand its not their fault if they blame themselves.
For example, if she tells you she is struggling you can say you found this place and some of the information they gave helped you understand and maybe it could help her too, do you want me to pass it on? Over many conversations I did something very similar with my partner and it took her about a year before she approached me and said lets give this counselling a go. I think you know this already but apparently some supporters dont get it, that this can be a life altering event that will likely affect many parts of her life, ability to trust people etc and ultimately then your relationship and you, so dont expect it to be solved soon or place those expectations on her.
Finally something I don't think anyone has mentioned, if your relationship continues and you support, it can take a toll on you. Make sure you are ok and have the support you need, if your mental health goes downhill you will be unable to support yourself, let alone her. Most rape centers offer counselling for the close supporters. One more for you too, don't feel trapped in the relationship because of this, if the relationship isnt right it aint right, i. Long story short you seem to be doing great.
There may well be some down times as with any relationship but if she is that person and you develop a great relationship, then there will be as many highs. It is probably too late and my comment will just get buried, but don't forget about yourself! What she went through is terrible and awful and she needs and deserves someone to be there for her.
However, some people take a long time to heal and hurt people often hurt other people. Keep an eye on your own mental and emotional health if things get more serious with this person. Taking care of yourself has to come first. Everyone else has already said great things and as a person who has been in your shoes and seen some of the uglier sides of PTSD in a partner and done just about everything wrong, i wanted to add that. Hope the best for you two. It may also help to consider what this phrase means to you in this context: If you see her going down a spiral, change the paradigm, change the topic, context, don't let her drown in her own darkness.
Even your hate towards the rapist won't go over that well, because you're still bringing the horrors up. If she wants to talk about it, talk about it but most likely she won't. Don't get angry at her if she ever tells you any details. Some woman here posted about her boyfriend or fiance leaving her after she got raped. She mentioned some gruesome details of the rape to him and he couldn't understand how she could allow him to do all that. You see when you are paralyzed by fear there is not much you will do to resist.
It happens to plenty of people, both men and women. Oh and if you get in a fight over safety, don't ever pull the "you're the one who got raped so your opinion is invalid" card. Basically, don't let her trauma turn you into a bitter person.
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You see, we are all being forced one way or another. Very few percentage of people in the world are able to live exactly how they want to, especially young people, who are inexperienced, naive and afraid. But in the end, we overcome the hardships, and that makes us stronger.
However if you'll choose to be bitter about everything, she won't love you. If you feel down, change the scenery. Hugs, smiles and even plushies go a long way. Always look at the positive side of life though. Make yourself enjoy your life more despite the dangers that are out there.
When it comes down to facing evil, fight back. But don't drown yourself in "what if" worst case scenarios. Acknowledge the negative, but concentrate on the positive. Do cool things together. Do a weekend getaway, but most importantly accept you can't control the bad things that happen in the world all by yourself. That's why most people are angry in the first place. Don't take it personally ever. It's not you, it's her and totally not her fault.
I was accused of using my experiences as an excuse when I wasn't in the mood, which really showed his insecurities and lack of trust in me. Listen to her when she feels the need to talk about it but don't push her. You're an awesome partner for noticing her changes in demeanor like you did. If you're not already doing so, find your own therapist. Your thoughtfulness is noble and you'll need your own space to process your emotions about what she has been through and the impact it will have on the relationship. It may be one of the healthiest things you can do for her.
Hey there's loads of great advice here. I wanted to give some perspective from someone who has been where you are and how to take care of yourself. As a woman who would like to go back in time and offer this advice to men I attempted and failed to date Use your time getting to know her in other ways. Yes, I understand intimacy is important, but that can be accomplished in many other ways without intercourse.
Your ultimate goal here is to be a safe person. Someone she feels secure with. Someone she trusts to not cross boundaries. Be her friend, the one she wants to call when anything goes on in her life - good or bad. Be a friend who adores her romantically. Who kisses her and holds her hand without fear if she's okay with that. Let her set the pace physically. Tell her you understand and that you will wait if you're okay with that until she gives you the signals without adding pressure. Never ever ever make her feel like you're angry or disappointed that you didn't get intercourse.
That's a recipe for adding self blame to her shoulders. Just be there and care for her the way you would if you both decided to 'wait for marriage'. Even if that isn't the case, it's a good way to conduct the relationship. That way you have all other aspects of a nurturing, romantic companionship - just without intercourse.
I'm only responding because I want you to succeed and because I know how easily that can be achieved WITH the right mindset. My inability to convey these simple thoughts is why I haven't been with anyone in 14 years. The intercourse is just too important to most men, even if they're relieved in other ways. I feel that's a shame because there's so much more to a relationship than the intercourse part. Getting to know the deepest parts of someone that sometimes even they don't know are there is a thrilling and deeply bonding experience - but it's something many of us miss out on because the element of sex steps in and sidelines us from looking further.
Just be patient with her.
She will love the little things you do for. Just treat her like a queen. Well what most people here will not tell you, and I will most likely get downvoted for massively, is that the first thing I advise you do is make sure that this is someone that you want to be with long term, and if you are ready to learn how to change how you would normally go through your life in order to help her. If this is something you are not ready for it is better to noht continue on with the relationship because you may do more harm than good.
If you choose to continue on with the relationship because you care about this person, a best first course of action would be to try to get her to consult a therapist. Inform her that she doesnt have to report the man if she does not want to, she can still seek psychiatric help without doing so.
Establish a protocol of communication that's easy to follow. It's not outside of the realm of possibility that there might be a time where you don't pick up on body language cues and she might feel too scared and intimidated to say anything. In the bdsm community the saying is "safe, sane, and consensual. The problem, from experience, is how do you determine the difference between a fantasy and the real? Make sure that you guys establish a pre-agreed upon method in which to kill advances.
I mean as long as your normal dating and sex dynamic includes clear communication and stopping if either person is uncomfortable, what needs to be different? You might want to talk more deliberately abount boundaries, and be more verbal about consent. But she's still the same women you've been dating for the past few weeks. Your relationship isn't broken, don't run around trying to fix it. This post is spot on. My wife and I have been married for 20 years this year and the effects are still apparent.
Recently my son noticed that my wife leaves the room when anything violent comes on the telly. I had to try and explain without giving too many details So we are all still learning how to cope and I guess it will never end. Don't push things too much not talking sexual things.
That's my experience of dating a rape victim. Coming from someone who luckily has not been through a traumatic event like this, but has many relatives and friends who unfortunately have. OP, the way you've spoken about this situation shows what a caring person you are. In my opinion, don't pry for information as she will open up if she's ready maybe. The most important thing is to know that when anything happens she may want to stop and you have to be okay with that, there will be many triggers for her and it won't be easy to go back into a sexual relationship.
Some people like seeing a therapist as this benefits them by understanding that the trauma they've occurred is a not their fault and b by a horrible individual and not everyone is like that. Although, some people, therapy is not the way, but this is a decision that she will make for herself and like others have said, be emphatic, you can't really give much advice on these options.
She is so lucky she found you And maybe you're lucky as well who found a girl who changed your life dynamics. Man I love you. Don't get me wrong. But you are the best guy who found love and not lust. Seriously dude I love you. I don't know you though. But if you were in front of me I'd have kissed you by now At least 8 times.
I am not very familiar with cases like these, but is it too late or too bad of a time to try and press charges? Why is it that women often don't press charges in horrible situations like these? Not a rhetorical, genuinely curious. The way I see it, as someone who this will never really effect in their life, isn't it best to try and make sure the perp never gets the chance to do this again?
I'm just not very familiar with the process and everything and would appreciate some perspective. I have been with my husband for 40 years, and I just told him a few days ago about something I had been trying to forget. Its taken me this long to realize that I cant carry the burden anymore of when I was gang raped when I was Yeah I was just now reading some articles and it doesn't seem ethical at all really.
DoJ need to reevaluate how they go about these cases And I'm sorry about what happened. You probably don't need me to say this but keep being strong. You're in for a long, yet hopefully rewarding road with your patience. When I was in Denver my next door neighbor and I became very good friends. Wed spend next to every night with each other after work just eating pizza and watching Netflix. Eventually, we ended up sleeping together, but just that - no sex, just sleeping. Her most recent ex had forced himself on her and the emotional damage was definitely there.
Ultimately we had 4 or 5 of these close calls, and she'd always hesitate in the end. I'm a patient person and would always be very easy going around it. Ultimately she and I focused hard on becoming friends above all else, and a great relationship blossomed from that. It took a significant amount of time and patience, but the sex eventually happened and we're glad we waited as it helped us, again, focus on us as close friends.
I've been raped but the thing is, everyone is different and reacts differently. I actually am into aggressive guys but NOT actually scary aggression that's violent like rape. There is a definite dividing line, of course. Treat her the same, and just be a good person. It sounds like you are. The fact that she told you, and that you want to do the right thing, is wonderful. Tell her how attractive you find her, of course -- and that you don't want to do the wrong thing.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of this situation is that her rapist, a man who turned a confident and bubbly girl into an insecure mess, takes no responsibility for his actions. He brags about their hook up, and believes she is making the entire story up. This creates a deeper sense of neglect for my girlfriend, who feels ashamed and lonely in the seemingly winless battle against her own mind.
Those close to my girlfriend have felt unimaginable sadness. Her mother has taken mental health days home from work, unable to concentrate on her career. Her father has cancelled trips because all he can think about is his daughter. I often have what feels like hundreds of emotions flowing through me at a single time. I feel embarrassed—my own fraternity a place that I spent six miserable weeks pledging my allegiance to accepts rapists. And maybe the worst emotion of all—I feel alone.
And if I ever complain about how I feel, it will be trite compared to the trauma that my girlfriend feels on a daily basis. As my story can prove, rape is a crime that can ruin far more than two lives. So, whenever you hear about a rape victim, know the severe psychological pain that they face on a daily basis, and be respectful of their feelings. Wow, I really love this. Would love to check out any other work you might have on this topic from this particular perspective. Sign up for the Thought Catalog Weekly and get the best stories from the week to your inbox every Friday.
You may unsubscribe at any time. By subscribing, you agree to the terms of our Privacy Statement. Tord Sollie Let me start off by saying that I am the lucky one in this situation. All was going swimmingly, until one night, she started crying as we lied in bed together: And the worst part is that he will never believe it.