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Dating an abuse survivor

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courageous posted 9/28/2013 12:31 PM

I was wondering how does surviving abuse effects relationships.

So if you are in a relationship with someone who has survived abuse or you have survived abuse how does it effect your relationship? Are there some extra things you have to do to feel safe in your relationship? What are your struggles?

jo2love posted 9/28/2013 17:57 PM

You may find some answers on the ICR thread "Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses".

NaiveAgain posted 9/29/2013 08:05 AM

I have dated several abuse survivors, and I am one myself. (Not childhood abuse though, mine was perpetuated by an ex-husband).

There are some similarities that all abuse victims deal with, but whether they remain a victim or become a survivor makes a huge difference. If they take their healing seriously and get some help for the abuse, then you may end up with someone who is wiser, more compassionate, and more understanding than the average person. If you are dealing with someone who just can't face their past, then there are going to be issues of secrecy and probably some unhealthy toxic emotions buried in there.

NotDefeatedYet posted 9/29/2013 12:20 PM

If they will openly discuss it, and I don't mean talk about it all the time, but will at least be open about what happened, then I don't see it as a problem. I have been in three relationships with abuse victims (I'm a magnet for that sort of thing, I guess). Unless they have confronted the abuse and dealt with it, then it will continue to come up and cause severe damage to any relationship they are involved in.

uncertainone posted 9/29/2013 12:25 PM

(I'm a magnet for that sort of thing, I guess)

OR "that sort of thing" is sadly all too common.

Don't know if I can help. I'm not an abuse survivor. I'm someone that experienced abuse. Period. It's a part of my life.

How does it affect my relationship? I avoid assholes that are abusers.

courageous posted 10/9/2013 23:40 PM

Thank you to all who replied.

Jo2love... I wasn't ignoring you, I hope you know. I have looked in that thread before and have even posted there. Most comments there are from either the abused or someone who discovered the A had some connection to previous abuse.

I asked my question because I'm in the beginning stages of trying to come to terms with past abuse.... things that happened as a child. I don't think I have ever had a "normal" relationship. I don't know what unselfish love looks or feels like to receive. I ask this question to many people IRL and I can't really get an answer.

So I wonder how hard is it to be dating me.

So what's the difference between a victim and a survivor? I don't think I would consider myself a victim because that would require me to not feel responsible for the actions that were done to me.... before you say it... I know I am not responsible for being raped. (I can give the textbook answer just like the best of them). I know it but I don't feel innocent.

NotDefeatedYet posted 10/10/2013 11:50 AM

I asked my question because I'm in the beginning stages of trying to come to terms with past abuse.... things that happened as a child.

Nothing but complete admiration for someone who takes that first step. My wife is in year four of counseling and it was almost, quite literally, the death of her until she had no choice but to face it.

courageous posted 10/10/2013 14:43 PM

Nothing but complete admiration for someone who takes that first step

Thanks. four years!! wow! I was hoping it would be something a lot quicker.

Counseling didn't go very well for me. I had a hard time taking my "mask" off and my IC didn't call me on it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now.

NotDefeatedYet posted 10/10/2013 22:47 PM

My wife went to a counselor once and didn't say anything about the abuse. She didn't go very long. She lied to another counselor for a year before finally coming out with the information.

You need to try a few counselors. If you aren't feeling it, find another. She went through four before finding a pretty good one. If you don't bring it all up no one can help you with it. It shouldn't be a secret to be ashamed of and it shouldn't have anymore control over you.

Nature_Girl posted 10/11/2013 01:09 AM

So what's the difference between a victim and a survivor?

My grandfather molested me for ten years. I was raped at age 19. And we all know what an abusive asshole I've been married to. Here's where I'm at on this:

I'm a victim as long as I'm still experiencing it, whether it's actually happening or if it's being replayed in my head and I can't control the replay. My daily life is impacted by it, even if I don't realize it. It overwhelms me, even if I don't realize it.

I'm a survivor when I've moved past it, I can function but I'm still a walking wounded. I don't realize all the ways I'm still controlled by it, but I am aware of some/most of the ways. I still struggle with it, I still trigger, it's still a problem. It's still bigger than me.

I'm an overcomer when I've transcended it and have turned my suffering into personal growth and the ability to help others. I may sometimes still have sadness, I may sometimes have a knee-jerk reaction, but those are few & far between. For the most part, it doesn't impact my daily life other than the fact that I am now a better person than I was before or could have been had this not happened to me.

I'm not a victim anymore. I spend most of my time these days as a survivor or overcomer (depending on the experience we're referring to). I am determined not to let these things ruin me. I am determined not to let these things define me. I am determined to rise above all of it.

Having said all that, I know that I am not ready to date. Even though I have made great progress on my journey, dating at this point would not be beneficial for me. I may choose not to get involved with a man again.

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