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Relationship Understanding Intimacy Issues in Partners with PTSD and Domestic Violence Trauma

rsal57

New Here
I wanted to better understand my partner. For context, she was violently abused by her ex boyfriend. Broken collarbone, concussion, and black eye. She also told me when she would say no, he would still force sexual acts on her and she would go with it because she wanted to "please him." A year later we've discussed a relationship but she has said she is not ready to be physically intimate with someone. She said she loves me but cannot meet my basic needs there. And she also said, "I'm emotionally unavailable and my guard is up."

I'm trying to better understand intimacy issues so I don't take her lack of intimate contact with me personally. Can anyone help me understand intimacy issues in a partner with PTSD and Domestic Violence Trauma?
 
She said she loves me but cannot meet my basic needs there. And she also said, "I'm emotionally unavailable and my guard is up."
Sounds like she has good boundaries and good communication despite her traumas and PTSD. Also sounds like she explained herself pretty well.

As a sufferer it would be hard for me to try to explain intimacy issues without projecting myself onto your partner. Have you seen the AI feature on the website? I bet the AI would do a bang up job of describing intimacy issues in partners with PTSD and domestic violence trauma, and you could follow up with specific questions. I’d be really curious to see that conversation.
 
I guess I need to communicate with her more in the intimacy department. I'm not used to having to discuss intimacy with a partner. I'm used to free flowing intimacy in a relationship. I guess with a partner with trauma there needs to be a lot more of a focus on consent and getting my partner to let her guard down.

We've agreed that she cannot meet my basic needs right now and it's unfair for her to claim me when these issues are present. So I guess we're on a break. It's a really tough thing to navigate because I do love her but I also won't sign up for a relationship with very little intimacy. I just can't do it. We are still good friends and I do see a future with her but her trauma is all in the past year so the timing for a relationship is not right. She hasn't processed and healed yet from her trauma.
 
I think the truth is you don't know when or even 'if' she would ever choose to, with you or anyone. For some, not all people, intimacy is going to look a lot different than you might have been accustomed to. That is something you have to determine if you can accept or not; and how that affects your feelings and plans. One thing for sure is that she likely has different connotations and associations to it than you likely do.
 
We've been intimate already but it's been rough going in our relationship which is mostly due to my lack of communication around intimacy and her recent trauma. We've decided we each need to work on some things alone before we can revisit a relationship and will remain close. I can accept that my communication needs alot of work and we definitely feel differently about intimacy. I'm willing to accept the differences and adjust. It's hard right now because she has to heal and process her trauma before anything else can take place so we're just sort of on hold.
 
he would still force sexual acts on her and she would go with it because she wanted to "please him."
Thos bolded part right here? Unless she completely changes her spots (which will take awhile, or may never happen), or you have the most rock solid boundaries on the planet; is going to most likely cause profound trust issues for you.

Because if someone fawns & lies when they get stressed (instead of fight/flight) you could get consent every 2 seconds, on video, and she can spend the next three days puking and scrubbing her skin raw in the shower, feeling you’ve raped her. Worse? (Yep, there’s a worse) If she’s far enough gone “refusing to put up with the AGAIN!” and reporting you to the police for rape.

It’s a reeeeeally common & extremely difficult position that people who’ve experienced spousal rape / partner rape find themselves in. As well as often also not being able to trust their own judgement (did they just jump from one abusive relationship into another one?!? Are they being gaslit, or are they “really” triggered?!? Was this rape?!? What’s real?!?).

=

A) If she’s not the kind of person to get her bearings / learn control by sleeping around, but has immediately gotten into a relationship? it’s reeeeally smart for her to hold off on any kind of sex, until her head is right.

B) If or when the 2 of you do start having sex, it would be really smart to have a sex therapist that the two of you are seeing together to reality check with.
 
Thos bolded part right here? Unless she completely changes her spots (which will take awhile, or may never happen), or you have the most rock solid boundaries on the planet; is going to most likely cause profound trust issues for you.

Because if someone fawns & lies when they get stressed (instead of fight/flight) you could get consent every 2 seconds, on video, and she can spend the next three days puking and scrubbing her skin raw in the shower, feeling you’ve raped her. Worse? (Yep, there’s a worse) If she’s far enough gone “refusing to put up with the AGAIN!” and reporting you to the police for rape.

It’s a reeeeeally common & extremely difficult position that people who’ve experienced spousal rape / partner rape find themselves in. As well as often also not being able to trust their own judgement (did they just jump from one abusive relationship into another one?!? Are they being gaslit, or are they “really” triggered?!? Was this rape?!? What’s real?!?).

=

A) If she’s not the kind of person to get her bearings / learn control by sleeping around, but has immediately gotten into a relationship? it’s reeeeally smart for her to hold off on any kind of sex, until her head is right.

B) If or when the 2 of you do start having sex, it would be really smart to have a sex therapist that the two of you are seeing together to reality check with.
This was incredibly helpful. Honestly I’ve been her rock through all of her trauma and I think we just sorta jumped the gun on a relationship because we both love each other. It has revealed that she’s not ready. And frankly, I didn’t know what being a partner to someone with PTSD was like. We each have clarity into where we are at and what our needs are. Not really sure what is next for us other than me continuing to support her but not in a romantic relationship
 
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