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Help understanding girlfriend.


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Hello. Just joined these forums. Looking for some advice and help.


I have been with my girlfriend over 6 months now, and found out about 3 months in that she was sexually abused by a family member when she was a child.


Now the relationship is great, and I do believe that I love her, my first proper relationship really, and I'd be torn apart if I lost her.


Sexually it's not so great, but I can understand the reasoning behind it too, I only receive, not through choice, and am not allowed to return the favour and no intercourse. Nothing below the belt on her basically.


I may have been a little pushy, but not really, I have asked every-now-and-again if I can return the favour. Always a no, and she has said sex soon but I cannot forsee it happening. So have given up on that, and maybe one-day she'll be ready.


She occasionally has moods, where she'll become very clingy, stop talking and sometimes cry, and this is due to that as have asked, and although she doesn't talk about it, she did nod when I asked if it was the reason.

It tears me apart. I can't stand seeing her like it, just hold her and tell her I love her, for long time until she feels in a better head-space. I don't know what else to do.


She does not talk about it, and I don't want to try and make her, I just want to know really how I can help her, and what I can do.

Thanks very much to anyone who can give some advice. I'll be very grateful.

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i was abused as a child also, so i understand how she feels.

just let her know that you are there for her, and try to be there when she's having those moods. don't go below the belt, until she feels completely comfortable with you, and trusts u. once she has that trust, then she might be more willing to try a bit more. until then, the most u can do is just support her.

try not to make her talk about it, because it is such an awkward topic to talk about. i know that's it's good to talk about these things, but i myself refuse to talk about my past with anyone, because i feel ashamed.

just give her time. it may take awhile, but if she's worth the wait, and you can wait, then you have an amazing relationship to look forward to.

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if you truly love her, dont push for sex. you say you'd be torn apart if you lost her. but forcing her into something like that would tear her apart, scars like that go really deep and can haunt people for many years. be patient, in time you could help heal her.

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I haven't pushed her, I meant pushy in the sense I've asked about it a few times and she says no, and I accept it. I wouldn't dream of actually pushing her into it. Sorry if I didn't explain it too well.

Thanks for the advice though. If anyone has anything else to add would be great.

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I agree with everyone here that you should be patient with her and understand what she's going through. But she needs some professional help. She is obviously very fragile and traumatized and unfortunately, she is still dealing with some serious emotional scarring. Does her family know about this? How old is she? If she was abused by an immediate family member and is still under the same roof, then something needs to done. This is a serious issue and a crime. I applaud you for being so understanding and wanting to help, but she needs more than just your support. She needs counseling and therapy in addition to the support of her loved ones. It might be hard to talk about, but bottling it up inside will only make things worse. If she is not comfortable talking about it with you then perhaps you can encourage her to seek some psychiatric or psychological treatment. Good luck and best wishes.

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No, no longer living with them, her mum's dad, and they broke all ties when her mum realised what had happened. I think her mum and step-dad have discussed councilling with her but she turned it down. She's 17, this happened when she was very young to my knowledge. I could try to encourage her to, or even talk to her parents, but I can't begin to understand what it's like really so, I have no idea what to do.

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just let her initiate all sexual contact. also let her know that you don't need the oral sex she has been giving you...that may add pressure to her. she is VERY young. it's hard enough as it is to deal with issues of sexuality at that age, and especially so with her abuse background.


you sound like a wonderul and caring guy. you sound like you are doing everything just right. dont approach her or her parents about the issue. it really is not your business (you are not a member of their family at this point). just keep telling her how much you care about her and that you enjoy her company without the sex. do be supportive, but dont let youself get lost in her depression either. it's easy to do at your age. just be yourself, stay happy and fun and let her come to you if/when she is ready.


know that his may be very frustrating and may never result in a sexual relationship. if you are willing to accept that, then forge on. otherwise, just remain friendly and transition into "friends" rather than future lovers. be very careful with her fragile feelings.

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  • 1 year later...

Returning to this old topic of mine. Hopefully that's okay, I reckoned it was a better idea than creating a new one.


I am still with this girl. It's been just over 2 years, the relationship has progressed sexually but never intercourse, I have been able to 'return the favour' as I described it before.


Our situation has changed a bit, she is now studying quite far away, and although I do see her roughly once a month and summer and winter holidays.


I have begun to have some doubts, although it has happened before and they went away, but there has been other interest in me from other girls, although they know where they stand and I would never cheat, let alone on someone who has already been hurt so much in their life.


These doubts often disappear when I do see her, but after awhile they seem to come back. I'm not sure what to do about it. I do still love her, and I'm very sure she does me, I'm scared of leaving her because I am probably the closest person to her, even though she is still very closed off to even me.


It's not as though I want to either, but I worry if our relationship will ever change, and some close friends of mine who know some about our situation have even said things like "A relationship without sex isn't a proper one" and "Surely by now she loves and trusts you enough to have sex with you".


And those kind of comments do hurt. And although I disagree, they do stay in my mind, and worry me. I feel this relationship may not be good for my own sanity, and although I do enjoy it, some parts really get me down, and I don't want to sound selfish, because I know she has had it worse.


Any advice would be most appreciated.

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You're not being selfish...you deserve to be happy. Maybe it would help to look at this relationship and what you would do if the aspect of her being sexually abused wasn't a part of it. I know that is hard to do, but I don't think she'd want you to stay in the relationship out of a sense of pity or obligation. If you decide to end things, you can still remain a supportive friend if that's something she's open to.


So, you're in a long distance relationship with someone and your feelings have started to change. You've been with eachother for two years and still haven't been intimate with eachother. Other girls are starting to show interest in you. You're not sure if a sexual relationship will ever develop. What would you do if she didn't have these past issues?


It isn't selfish to do what's best for you and for your future. If you choose to end it, you can do so secure in the knowledge that you tried, you were understanding and patient and that unfortunately, it just didn't work out.


She's dealing with some very serious issues and there's a good chance that she's going to need therapy before she's ready to enter into a healthy relationship. Has she taken that step yet? If she hasn't, then there's nothing you can do to move things forward until she's ready. If you do decide to break things off, it may actually be a good thing for her in the long run as it might spur her on to seek counseling and begin the process of healing.


You wrote that you don't feel that the relationship is good for your own sanity. It's very obvious that you care about her and that you're a kind and decent person, but you need to care for yourself as well.

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Thank you very much, a very helpful reply. To be honest I don't believe I would have left her any sooner if she hadn't been abused.


Because apart from no sex, and it's almost long distance now, it's an awesome relationship, we've seen quite a few friend's relationships start and end in the time we've been together. We get on extremely well, and share lots of similar views. Although plenty different.


I don't understand why the sex is such an issue, but it seems to be.

She has been suggested therapy and was considering it but now she's at university, I don't think she feels she has the time, or needs it.


Really unsure of the situation. I feel so half and half.

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Is the sex an issue because of your own feelings or because of the opinions of your friends?


I'm concerned that she doesn't feel she needs counseling though. She must realize that at some point things should develop into a full sexual relationship. Does she feel that this relationship is important enough to her to try and make that happen and have the two of you spoken about it in depth?

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I think that she should seek counseling. Sexual abuse isn't easy to work through.


And when it comes to sex, after assault, it's something that you have to learn to deal with.


Sometimes you can have flashbacks, it can be scary. But it can be controlled as well (in some instances).


I wasn't abused as a child, but I was raped. And at a certain point you are able to place emotions associated with rape, aside, and be a sexual being.


But it's hard.


When you've been violated in that way, it's hard finding a balance.


There are feelings of guilt and shame associated with sexual abuse. I think your girlfriend may always have a moment of hesitation.


She'll probably question whether the experience will be good or bad. She is, afterall, opening herself up to you.


If she does so, will you rape her?

Will you stop if she asks you to, if she starts to panic?

What if you don't?

How will she deal with that?

It'll be her fault right, because she basically laid down and gave you permission to do whatever?


Who ever thought having sex could be so complicated right? But those are the thoughts that could be running through her mind regarding the whole sex issue. It can be quiet scary.


But in time, she'll be able to put things in a different perspective. She'll learn how to control the fear. Maybe she'll only think about her assault a few seconds before sleeping with you, and momentarily put those feelings aside. Instead of becoming consumed by it.

It won't completely go away, but it can get a lot better.


And if you can, try not to be pushy, I think that might only make things worse.

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