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.
They can become unmanageable, unwelcome for the man and for you.With enough support, it is possible to develop alternative, more sustainable and more life-giving ways of coping.One of the best things you can do is to keep respectful communication flowing.Remember to take time out if it gets too intense, and then to return to the topic and talk about the important stuff when you have had a breather.Try to keep each other up to date as to how the relationship is going for each of you, but without increasing pressure to have stuff resolved right now.
It is also good to remind yourself that, although you are impacted by his behaviour, it is not all about you.
Some of those things took the edge off things for awhile and that’s probably why I kept doing them.” It is really important to avoid seeing everything that happens in a relationship through the prism of sexual assault. Couple relationships often involve two people muddling their way through, negotiating and sorting things out, trying to ultimately build satisfying and supportive lives.
Many of the ways you have used to get through difficult times together will continue to be helpful in overcoming problems related to sexual abuse or sexual assault.
At Living Well, we recognise that there is not a lot of information and support out there for partners of men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault, particularly in relation to the impact on couple relationships.
Whilst relationships can be a place where difficulties with trust, intimacy and sex can appear, they also provide an opportunity for issues to be worked through and resolved.
Sometimes, it is only when things aren’t playing out the way that you hoped for that you identify what you most value and appreciate about relationships and what you want from a partner.