I started dating a woman awhile back and things moved along very well. I generally am picky and dislike the majority of woman I meet, mostly because I lose interest very quickly. Surprisingly, I somehow conjured up a way to keep her around for awhile because we go well together, very casual, no petty crap, and we both enjoy our quality time and space often. Through out the months we have been to a few weddings together, took a nice long vacation, and been on a variety of romantic evenings. We both choose to keep it slow, which is fine for both of us.
I have noticed a trend in our relationship and after several months it began taking a toll on me, she is very hard to get close with, usually I have to lead the way, sometimes she just drifts away in thought. I decided that the best way is to sit down and start discussing our relationship, where we are heading, and what we need to go together. She is slow to trust and things comes out a little at a time. I thought perhaps it was the lack of a sex life, so for the first time in my life I told her that I have no choice but to keep it slow because I have ED. Which we are working on together to fix. Shortly after I round out she was raped by a previous boyfriend about five months prior to me dating (almost a year ago). I haven't been able to get much out of it, because she was afraid to tell me. Which I completely understand and I am glad she is that comfortable with me. It was pretty rough for her though she wouldn't go in to the details.
At first, things were looking up, she began to get closer but she still drifts away, she gets uncomfortable if (especially I) touch too much, and some days she vanishes (I think because she won't let me see her fall apart). I am trying to help her as best as possible, but also not bring it up so when she is with me it won't burden her as much. But, the problem is things are beginning to take a toll on our relationship, my will to stay together especially. I know what she has gone through shadows anything on my end. But, this distance is getting bigger, the fluctuation in her attitude, and I hate to say it this stubborn, negative attitude she is starting to form about herself. I care about her a lot, but pushing me away isn't helping, how can we get past that? How can I get her to be more comfortable, it's at the point sometimes she just won't let me lay in bed with her, and I can tell by her face and tone something is eating at her? She started therapy recently, but me and her both agree her doctor is a manhater so we are thinking about changing?
The following user gives a hug of support to TrainUnderWater: Lady1121 (12-22-2010)
I have never been through anything like that, so my advice may be way off the marker because I really can't relate to it. However, in my mind, it seems to me that you cannot move past it with her. You can support her while she does, but she has to be willing the one willing to do the work. I think the fact that she has chosen to go to therapy is a wonderful beginning for her, providing she finds a good therapist. Sometimes i feel these people can be a little wacky and do more harm then good. But mostly I think they are helpful. I dont think you can push at her to move faster, or ask her to dig any deeper for you either. She will when she is ready to. Saddly, I think that all you can really do is just have patience, let her know that you are allways there to support her, and wait it out. And only you know if you are capable to handle that or not. That is an aweful lot to ask of somebody with a HUGE possibility that things will not work out in your favor. Whether or not you attempt to stay really depends largely on how much of the emotional roller coaster we call the "healing process" you are capable of whitnessing as well as how long your capable of sticking it out. It could take weeks, months, even years......and I think after a trauma like that, sometimes the damage is permanent. Not allways, but sometimes. And that's the best advice I can give you. Like I said, all you can do is support her. No amount of action on your behalf is going to help. It didn't happen to you and the healing isn't yours to go through. I wish I had something happier to say. But best of luck to both of you.
I agree with Mel. A close friend of mine was a rape victim. Dating was hard for her and getting intimate was very difficult. She told me one day that when she gets intimate... the memories of her rape - the images, the fear, the emotions - it would all come back.
You cannot rush this and there is no way of expediting things. She just needs to take it slow and when she is ready... she will let you know. Its most definitely a gradual process. Always be supportive and understanding... and it sounds like you are. I am so glad she sought therapy - may want to change docs if you think she is a man-hater.
You know, I will keep trying... maybe when you guys are out for a quiet walk, you can tell her that you absolutely care about her, worry for her and would like to know what she is thinking... and that you want both of you to get thru this. try and see if that helps!
Thanks for the advice, it's helping me clear my mind, and it is resolving my, I suppose, anxiety from this. I tell her I am going to stick around and work together as much as possible and when ever she needs me I'll be there. She knows this but doesn't believe I think, it's hard to tell mostly because she is a very independent woman and I have noted through out the months she likes to take care of business by herself which is good. The thing is, she does the hard way to help herself and she really won't take my advice. We agreed to find a new therapist but she doesn't want to go, I am trying to convince her to at least give a new doc just a few sessions, and this weekend we'll go out to the country and relax to get her mind off everything. I found out she hasn't been to work since Monday, she has been hiding in her room, and all the times I have dropped by she told me she had things going on. Her room mate is back and said she just sits in bed all day and she asked if something was going on with me and she said that she needs distance from me because it's bothering her. I do not understand, why she isn't at work, she doesn't deny it she just says she isn't feeling very well. I decided today for lunch I'll bring her something nice and maybe just have a small conversation before I leave.
Today, her ex dropped by her apartment just as I came by from lunch as he was on his way out. It was the first time I have ever seen him, and honestly it was hard to maintain a solid bearing being around him. As reserved as I am, I don't know why but I decided to push right by him and make sure my girl friend was all right. She was no where in sight. He took off shortly after saying he had to get stuff that was his. She came back a few minutes later and now we realized laptop, phone, 360, and the games are all gone. I know the 360 is her's because I was with her when she bought it a few weeks ago. She won't call the police, she just yelled at me and told me not to get involved. It's really crappy, I know she is super stressed so I am not worried about that, the sad thing is I think he is just trying to get to her.
I am beginning to think our relationship is on the brink of falling apart, she doesn't want to go out this week end, nor is she going to her brothers wedding next week which we all ready have the tickets for the flight, and she gave my room key back to me saying just in case she loses it. She kissed me and went back to her apartment and said she needs to be alone. Do I let her be alone or should I be with her, do yall think this is one of those moments where I should take a stand on this? It all hurts, but I am not trying to just let it go, if she needs time I am willing, but I cannot get it through to her I can't really help her until she starts helping herself. But, I am beginning to think that the problem brewing in our relationship is she feels that she needs me because it's so one sided, that I never seem to have problems nor ask for help, nor have I ever needed her for anything.
And maybe she isn't ready for a relationship right now. I really cant say. Like I said, I have never experienced this, nor do I know anyone who has. And I cant begin to imagine what it feels like. However, I dont think I would take any more stands for a while and I think I would stop allowing this be the topic of everything. Let the relationship pull back a little, and get sorted out. In the meanwhile, try to do something spontaneous.........like a very special gormet dinner that you cooked by yourself, served by candle light with a couple of her fav. movies that evening. No sex, no conversation about ex's or rape or needs......but just a nice unplanned evening with no expectations. Date her again, and keep it fresh. Either that, or let her go. I dont think you can put any pressure for her to behave one way, or move along in a certain direction.......all you can do for this is quietly be there while she heals. If you start to put any demands on her, my guess is she is going to pull even farther away.