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Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to express my need for advise. I counseled many couples and helped them to live happy spiritual, emotional, inellectual and physical lives together. But now its my turn. I need help. I feel in love with a caring, loving woman (nurse) a year and a half ago. I feel the oness of the above four categories....well, most of them. Even though she did not tell me herself I know that she was sexually abused at 8 years old by a friend of her drunken father who first gave her a oyster to eat then sexually abused her. What I am not sure of is if the father was in involved or watched. He was not a good example of a father or husband. Her father also hired prostitues in front of her as well. Then at age 15 she had sex with a older man who was 11 years older than her. She married a mean, controlling man who she eventually divorced. Then as a young nurse she feel for a Doctor, who was knowned as Mr. Poison and Doctor Around About because he eventually got around to all the nurses. She believed his implications that they would be together forever with his money. But all he wanted was sex from her. They were together for 9 years and when she asked him to marry her he said "NO". She left him also because he was always negative and complaining and I also believe she knew he was seeking other women. Then she met another guy who took her to Hawaii and Italy and fished with her sons but once again they broke up. Im not sure why on that one. Then about a year after that, I come into her life. She invited me to church and we started dating. We both found out that we enjoyed each other in the above four categories. Except she was not as affectionate as she is today. It took lots of love and kindness and patience on my part to see her grow and trust again. She is now able to say "I love you to me" and kiss me and show affection. She knows I want to marry her but she is not ready yet and I understand. Most of my friens waited for 2 years to marry. I am still just a man and I love her deeply from my heart but my body wishes to follow and express my love to her by making love to her but I resist that because it would not be good for her until the day she leads in that area. I love her so much and I just wanted to know what else to do to help her heal. We pray together alot and I know that she seems to enjoy that even when I express appreciation to the Lord for helping us to live in the hear and now and forget the past and move to the future. Help me please. I know that I am the only man in her life that has not pushed sex or expressed real love from the inside as I have. Please give me some advice. Am I on the right track? Thank you. Don
 

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I'm not sure you can do anything else to help her heal. Does she say she loves you in an intimate way, or does she say it in an endearing way? I would hate to think that you've gone all this way thinking one thing, and her not having the same thought (ie marriage). Based upon her history, you would appear to be a knight in shining armor and one would hope that she would be happy to finally have a secure and well founded partner. So something tells me she doesn't see you as a marriage partner. And certainly, there doesn't appear to be any reason she couldn't have sex with you. She's had plenty of it with others.
 

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Something incredibly healing in dealing with trauma is the ability to find comfort in the arms of a loved one. Do not push her to do anything with which she is uncomfortable. Just be there for her. Keep loving her and helping her. Love her unconditionally (without expecting sex, or anything in return). She has not had many who knew how to love unconditionally.
 

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Sex abuse does permanent damage, even moreso when it happens in childhood. She really needs counseling but often, as with my wife, the victim internalizes all of the fallout from the abuse and will not participate in counseling.
I did not know that my wife was abused until a number of years after we were married. We have been married 15.5 years and she has just ended a 17 month affair.
I wish she would have gotten or would accept help.
 

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Scotsiam,

I have much experience in this area.

The advice I would give, will not be popular or easily understood by those not having to deal with this themselves. Therefore I will be happy to share in private messaging in detail, but I have no problem sharing details in public but only if requested.

But in brief, these things:

A woman with sexual abuse, she is going to appreciate not being pressure of course, but the pitfalls are real concerning the emotional toll already taken, that she will need respect but as well, she will have strong tendency to equate physical affection to security, and difficulty separating the two, and the man unable to balance these things will have a most difficult chance of any success: His own confident pursuit of his own sexual desires (treating her like a "not abused woman" so to say), and being respectful of the limitations that she must have in place for her healing. Too much of the former, hurts long term success. Too much of the latter, spark of sexual attraction rarely forms.

So however strong your instinct is to diminish your own desire for sex, to a woman with sexual abuse past, often communicates that "sex is dirty", and therefore you WILL communicate that this woman is "dirty" because she has been abused sexually.

The past abuse, in attitude, action, and behavior, must be separated from healthy sex.

I repeat, the past abuse and healthy sex, they MUST be separated for any chance of success.

The greatest success is achieved, when the man is confidently demonstrating that healthy sexual relations is nothing in common at all with past abuse and is not "dirty".

This most successful achieved by actively demonstrating that, you, the good man today, is what a man is, and the sexual fire you light in your woman, is what healthy sex is.

That the abuser man of the past, is a weak predatory less-than-a-man that was only a perversion and shadow of what sex really is about.

So the very real possibility, a man likely fall fast into "friend zone" pitfall much easier with such a woman due to noble intentions causing him to restrain his sexual communication, and the man who instead is quicker to pursue his own selfish sexual desires (as her past relationships testify) is able to quickly light the spark of sexual desire, even though over the long term the necessary components of long term relatoinship success are sorely lacking.

So to love a woman with sexual abuse, do not be afraid to be bold with your own love, your own desires and visions of a healthy, blissful sexual experience, but do so always with the attitude it is a journey you invite your woman to take with you. This is the way to healing.

Avoid the pitfall of communicating sex is "dirty", or that your woman is "dirty", or thinking she cannot in the near future enjoy healthy sex because of past abuse.

Do not rob her, or yourself, of a lifetime of a wild, erotic, passionate sexual relatoinship!

BE BOLD!

Be ten times the man of any past abuser man! A hundred or a thousand times this man!

Again, Private message or invite more details to put this in place, and I am happy to help. I have been down this road with sexually abused men and women sadly so many times too much to count.

But I know what works.

I wish you well.
 

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Sounds like a recipie for heartache, there is a lot of baggage there to sort through and remember, you are only getting her side of the story.

If you didn't have reservations, like the voice in the back of your head I know you hear, you wouldn't be here. It is not YOUR job to fix, rescue or heal this woman through a relationship with her. It won't end well.
 

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You can't fix this woman. Only she can fix herself. She needs counseling from a qualified psychologist who can help her heal.

To be honest, she may have trouble being with you as a boyfriend because she equates sexual exploitation with relationships. She may not know how to interact in a healthy relationship. She may love you as a friend, but be sexually drawn to men who are users because that is how she was raised. Obviously that is unhealthy, but it may be the case. I am not saying this is the case, just that it may be a possibility. Only she knows.

I would talk with her about where she sees the relationship going and tell her that you want to make love to her to express your love and ask her how she feels about that. If she says she's not ready, ask her if she thinks in time that a physical relationship is something she could have with you. That may help you gauge where she is.

She has a very complicated and traumatic past and all the love and care you are giving her is wonderful, but you cannot ever fix another human being. You can help create a positive environment, but your girlfriend has to take her life in her own hands and heal her own wounds.
 

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Something incredibly healing in dealing with trauma is the ability to find comfort in the arms of a loved one. Do not push her to do anything with which she is uncomfortable. Just be there for her. Keep loving her and helping her. Love her unconditionally (without expecting sex, or anything in return). She has not had many who knew how to love unconditionally.

Yes, I agree with the doc here. Unconditional love will eventually lead her to open up to you. It just takes time and patience. I know that it can be hard but if you care about her, which I'm pretty sure you are sir, endure it.

As Mother Theresa once said,

"The unadulterated love of one person can nullify the hatred of millions."

Fact or Fiction?

It depends on how you see it. It will be a fact for you if you see it through the glasses of unconditional love.
 
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