There are many people in the world who come with skeletons in their closet. These skeletons can come out and challenge you and your partner when it comes to growing further in your relationship. This is especially true if your partner has been sexually abused. While it is not as common to hear about men being sexually abused, it does happen and it is an experience that will leave its mark for years to come. Before you balk and walk away from this delicate situation, there are some things you can do to help your partner through tough times. Don’t decide to not pursue a potential relationship with a great guy because you are afraid of this sensitive topic.
- Do your research. It’s always better to be knowledgeable about a topic instead of haphazardly guessing your way through it. While not everyone is the same, there are many people who have the same triggers or anxiety issues when it comes to intimacy if they have been sexually abused at one point or another. You also need to rid yourself of any assumptions of what you think is best for him.
- Understand that it’s not about you. If your partner has difficulty being intimate with you, don’t take it personally. Whatever he’s thinking or experiencing in his head and heart are the reasons he hesitant. Don’t badger him into talking about it what he’s feeling or thinking. If you do not get a direct answer or a soul-baring talk session with him, leave him be. The worst thing you can do is badger him to into talking. It was a difficult and traumatizing experience he had to go through and he probably has a difficult time talking about it.
- Help him move forward. It can be hard to take the next step forward if you are stuck in the past. By being his support system, you can help steer him toward a better future. If you show him how supportive you are, he will be more open to talk to you and move on from his experience with sexual abuse. Being morally supportive is probably one of the best things you can do.
- Do not use sex as a weapon. While you should never use sex to manipulate any partner, this is definitely a rule you should abide by with partner who’s been sexually abused. Men or women who have been sexually abusive situations may find it hard to trust people on an intimate level. Manipulation of sex will seem like a violation, because it is. Don’t use sex against them and don’t even withhold sex either. If you two are fighting, then do the right thing and communicate with each other.
Help your partner overcome his troubled past by being supportive and loving. You may need a bit of patience to help during the difficult times, but if he’s someone you want to grow with, he will be worth it. Always remember that sexual abuse is a life altering event and many people cannot easily move on from.