Relationships always start well in Cary, Crystal Lake and elsewhere. Your mutual attraction combined with your common interests stirs up intense feelings, while your differences makes your relationship fresh and exciting. When your relationship starts to become intimate, you may wonder when to open up to your partner about your past sexual abuse.
Being a survivor of sexual assault is, unfortunately, not atypical. One in three women and one in six men in the United States experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. So when is the right time to disclose your past, and how do you do it?
It’s important that you are in control of when you share your story. Share only when you’re ready, and not before. You may need to discuss it first with a therapist, counselor, friend or support group.
Know What You Need
Know what you’ll need to get through this discussion. You may need your partner to not ask questions, or to not touch you while you’re talking. Be honest and upfront, and ask for support when you need it.
Prepare for a Response
How people respond to your story will vary. Hearing sexual abuse disclosures will affect both you, as well as the listener. Your partner may be silent for a while as he listens and considers what to say. Give him time. If it makes you more comfortable, ask him to give you some time before you discuss it again.
Opening up and discussing difficult, sensitive topics like this is not easy. But these times can be the ones that create milestones in your relationship, and may ultimately bring the two of you closer.
Are you a sexual assault survivor and in need of guidance and counseling? A licensed therapist, like myself, with a doctorate in psychology is equipped the most to help. Call my office today and let’s set up a time to talk.