Relationships always start on a high note. Your mutual attraction combined with your commonalities stirs up your feelings while finding out about your differences and exploring the world together makes your relationship fresh and exciting. When your relationship starts to become more intimate, you may begin to wonder when the right time is for you to open up to your partner about your past sexual abuse.
Being a survivor of sexual assault is, unfortunately, not uncommon. So, when is the right time to open up to your partner about your past, and how do you tell them?
It’s important as a survivor that you are in control of when you share your story. Centre yourself around your own needs and share only when you’re ready, and not before. You may need to discuss it first with a therapist, counsellor, friend or support group.
Know What You Need
Know in advance what you’ll need to get through this discussion. You may need your partner not to ask questions, or not to touch you while you’re talking. Be honest and upfront, and ask for support when you need it.
Prepare for a Response
How people respond to your story will vary widely. Hearing sexual abuse disclosures affect both the person telling the story, as well as the person listening. Your partner may be silent for a while as they take the information and consider what to say. Give them time to process it. If it makes you more comfortable, you can ask them to give you some time before you discuss the matter again.
Opening up and discussing difficult, sensitive topics with your partner is never easy. However, these challenging times are often the ones that create milestones in your relationship, and will ultimately bring the two of you closer than ever.
Are you a sexual assault survivor and want to share this with your intimate partner? Call my office today and let’s set up a time to talk.