Nervous too, but not alone

How does past rape, molesting, or other sexual abuse effect future marriage?
pmedicchris
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Nervous too, but not alone

Postby pmedicchris » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:01 am

Before I found this site today, I thought I was the only one who was terrified about my wedding night because of my past. I was sexually abused as a little girl, abused by my parents, and later by boyfriends. I was forced to do things no woman should have to go through. Before I met my fiancee, I didn't trust men easily, especially single men. They all would tell you what they thought a girl wanted to hear so they could get inside her pants. Then I met the guy who is now my fiancee. He adores and loves me unconditionally. He knows about my past and his love for me hasn't changed. Kinda hard to get used to honestly.

One thing a good friend told me once (before I met my fiancee) is that sex on my wedding night with the right guy would be ok. I believe her. I'm still nervous and scared out of my brain, but I know it will be ok. I know my fiancee will go slow and will be considerate of my feelings/emotions. Although I'm super nervous, I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with the one man who loves me for me. Currently, one of my favorite songs is by JJ Heller and is called What Love Really Means.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby mamame » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:33 am

Congratulations!!

What kind of recovery work have you done in respect to your abuse?

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby pmedicchris » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:05 am

I've gone to counseling and a couple different weekend retreats, one for sexual abuse and one for people who have been through abortion. I've gone through a post abortion bible study at a pregnancy care center. Now, I help on the retreats as part of the team and I volunteer at the pregnancy care center where I was a client at.

I believe healing is a process and doesn't happen over night. I think the more I learn to trust my fiancee, the more I will heal from the past too. God continues to show me how much He really does love me. Thats one reason why I believe God put him into my life, so I could have a face to face constant reminder of how much God loves me and that His love really is unconditional. I grew up believing God to be somebody that looked forward to punishing me when I screwed up, somebody who was easily angered and somebody that had a bunch of rules to follow. But now, I know God is my Dad and i am His little girl and He is the best Dad any girl could ever ask for. He has completely changed my life in the last 2 yrs. Looking back, its kind of unbelieveable.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby mamame » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:20 pm

It sounds like you've done a lot of work. Good for you. You're right - it is a lifelong process. I only ask because some people go into marriage not having done any emotional recovery work. The first time after marriage can possibly trigger some things (especially if the abuse hasn't been dealt with at all)

Whatever happens on your wedding night will be part of your story and it will be a beautiful one.

I have found it helps me when I'm scared to try to identify the fear. Can I ask what you are scared of specifically?

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby pmedicchris » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:28 pm

I guess I'm afraid partly because he's never seen me naked. The closest to naked I've been is when we were at the beach and I had a one piece swim suit on. I told him recently that I was trying to loose weight before our wedding and his response was that he thought I looked good where I was at with my weight. My first thought was "Yeah, but thats with clothes on".
Guess part of it too is that it might bring up memories from the past abusive situations and would trigger emotions and might freak him out....or bring up crudd I don't want to remember again and would rather forget.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby mamame » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:41 pm

Re: nakedness - I think it's so hard for women because we hear all the time how visual men are. In my experience, they are that visual - but they aren't as CRITICAL as women. We take our critical visualness and try to multiply that and then we think "wow - no way I'm letting him see me naked"

But it does not seem that men are visual that way. I have doubled my weight from when I married my DH. I've had several children. I live on a planet with gravity. Those things have all changed my body. BUT Dh thinks I'm sexier now than I was. And I honestly am - because my mind is sexier. It's like men don't see just with their eyes. Plus there is the Pavlovian response. They experience their greatest pleasure with OUR body. That kind of wires them to like what we have to offer.

Men's minds are kind of simple in this area. A woman's mind might be thinking "my breasts are a little saggy, I don't like the shape, or the size yada yada yada" Men's minds are thinking "BOOBIES!!! BOOBIES!! BOOBIES!!" They exist. That's really the only criteria men care about.

The same thing can be said for all parts of our bodies. God made them that way. They are mesmerized by our goods.


If something gets triggered - that's OK. He'll be there. He may or may not know how to act. It might be a good idea to let him know what you think you might want. Just last night I was watching a TV drama with a romantic storyline. I thought about how that man could not hold a candle to my DH. My man has held me while I cried and shook. He's held my hand as I healed and grew. That's seriously hot.

We're here for you too. Through the whole process. You've got YEARS of womens' experience right here at your fingertips.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby pmedicchris » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:42 pm

Thanks. We will be doing premarital counseling with his pastor. I'm sure it will be fun and a good learning experience....although I hope he doesn't ask about csa the first time we meet cuz I don't really know him. I'd rather feel comfortable with the pastor before I feel like i have to open up and share the dark secrets of my past. But either way, I trust my sweetie and he will be there. So its all good.

My fiancee used to work Child Protective Services and has had experience with sexual abuse victims. He got burned out from it and moved on to another career. But anyhoo....the one time I did talk about what an uncle did, he just held me. The first time he kissed me, he asked if it was ok. Then he asked if it was too weird or too uncomfortable or whatever. He asks those questions every time he does something new. So I'm guessing, he will be the same way when it comes to our wedding night and beyond.

Its hard to imagine sex being enjoyable though. its always been something forced/demanded. I guess that might be more healing to do when the time comes.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby 2gether4ever94 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:14 pm

I would like to comment on here if I may,

My dw was a csa vicitm as well. She was also a victim of rape. She's healed from that thankfully. And we're stronger than ever.

Back to my point, I would like to commend you and your fh for the work you've done thus far and for tellin him upfront about it. It was wise however I'm sure terrifyin to do. Imo and experience by doin this you made him aware of your past and prepared him mentally (though you undoubtedly did not know that) to take things slowly, at your pace, and STOP when you feel uncertain,uncomfortable, or unsafe.

Further, with your fh's background and education he knows to be EASY and GENTLE. With what you've said to us imo I think you may be pleasantly surprised once you're married. I'm not sayin things won't pop up but you and he are more and better able to deal with them with the knowledge that you both have.

And recovery is a lifelong process. Smoothie (my dw) didn't tell me at first for two very good reasons. #1 she like you didn't trust men (me included). #2 I was not a christian by ANY means and tbh I truly don't know that I could've handled it at the time.

When she did I was a christian. And I'd suspected for awhile. And even though she trusted me things did pop up and we had to work thru them together. We have and now it's 100% trust and millions times better than either of us EVER thought.


I wish the best for you and hope that you and yours are as happy as we are.


2g
With all of these men linin up to get neutered it's hip now to be feminized. I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair Oh honey I'm still a guy. Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked there's a gun in my truck Thank God I'm still a guy
-Brad Paisley

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby mamame » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:58 pm

pmedicchris wrote:Its hard to imagine sex being enjoyable though.


If that is an issue, we will help you navigate that. What is going to happen on your wedding night (or later) is something you have never experienced before. You will be making love with your husband. A Holy and sacred union that God designed. Your story will have a special layer of sweetness because of the tenderness of your husband. The enemy tried to steal something from you, and you and your DH are turning that into something beautiful.

It took me almost 20 years of marriage to learn what sex was all about. I had a hard time letting myself be vulnerable. You sound light years ahead of where I was.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby LovesGG » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:42 pm

mamame wrote:The same thing can be said for all parts of our bodies. God made them that way. They are mesmerized by our goods.


Amen to this whole post! It's really so true. So try to put that one down for good!

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby pmedicchris » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:08 pm

Since my fiancee is different from any guy I've ever known before, it would make sense that my wedding night will be a completely different experience from what I've been through. Don't know if this will come out sounding right, but how do you know that you will be a participant instead of feeling like an object?

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby pmedicchris » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:16 pm

Back to my point, I would like to commend you and your fh for the work you've done thus far and for tellin him upfront about it. It was wise however I'm sure terrifyin to do. Imo and experience by doin this you made him aware of your past and prepared him mentally (though you undoubtedly did not know that) to take things slowly, at your pace, and STOP when you feel uncertain,uncomfortable, or unsafe.


I told my fiancee about crudd back when I didn't know him very well yet, but knew enough to know that he could possibly be the one I would marry. Then I emailed and told him. His response totally floored me. He told me that was my past and not who I was today and that God had forgiven me and loved me. He also said he recognized that there would be times something would trigger things from the past and during those times, I needed to face it and work through it instead of stuffing it. And then he still wanted to talk to me...LOL! I believe God gave me my fiancee so I could have a constant hands on/face to face reminder of how much God really does love me. I know God's love for me is greater, but the love I receive from my fiancee is unconditional, just like God's love....hard to explain.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby 2gether4ever94 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:51 pm

pmedicchris wrote:hard to explain.


Not to those of us who've btdt.

It's AMAZING.

2g
With all of these men linin up to get neutered it's hip now to be feminized. I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair Oh honey I'm still a guy. Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked there's a gun in my truck Thank God I'm still a guy

-Brad Paisley

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby mamame » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:29 pm

pmedicchris wrote: Don't know if this will come out sounding right, but how do you know that you will be a participant instead of feeling like an object?



I know exactly what you are saying. A lot of that is going to be up to you. Be an intentional participant. Spend some time picturing what that will look like. Picture yourself looking into his eyes. Welcoming him inside of you. Embracing him with your body. Find some phrases that feel good to you and let those positive phrases run through your mind and push out the others.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby LovesGG » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:11 pm

Really good stuff Mamame is giving you. I would just add this: Jesus said, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." -John 8:32. This of course has significant meaning regarding our salvation, and many other good applications.

In your case, as Mamame has said, we need the Lord to do a little reprogramming. There are bad memories that cause you pain and contribute nothing helpful to your life. Jesus can heal those. There are lies the enemy has told you, and that people have told you. Jesus can demolish those lies, and the power they have over your life. There is the truth of who you are in Christ, that your future husband has so beautifully stated. Jesus can put that truth deep in your heart. There is the truth about what God created your married life to be like, including the intimate part. God can and will reveal that to you. With a very simple prayer, I recommend asking the Lord to do all that for you. And, I would continue praying that prayer until you feel you have the breakthrough you need. Christians of old called it "praying through." Ask your pastor and other trusted friends to pray with you.

Last, I am so sad for the damage that was done to you. That should never have been. But I can't help but thank the Lord for giving you a wonderful man who can help you heal! That is such a gift, and such a God thing! That same Father Who loves to give good gifts has so much more in store for you. Keep taking your burdens to Him, and watch Him work on your behalf! He LOVES to do it!

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby Dadtoall » Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:22 pm

You did say that he knows about your past, and that's good that you told him. But, does he know and appreciate that this is not in your past - that is, it did happen long ago but still colors your current outlook, emotions, etc.?

Speaking as a HD guy who married a woman who told a "half-truth" regarding her childhood, there is a huge difference between "yes, this was a fact of my childhood" and "yes, this was a fact of my childhood, and it affects me today. You need to be ready for a period of bad or no sex should this turn out badly."

For my stbx, she portrayed the former but was mired in the latter and never overcame it. I understand that what I'm about to say might reflect poorly on me, but had I known the truth I very likely would have never agreed to marry her. That's why, when asked, I always advocate getting all the dirty laundry out there before the wedding happens.
Always grateful for the opportunity...

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby mamame » Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:25 am

DTA - please note that this is a young woman who has already done a lot of emotional work in this area AND has made a lifetime commitment to continue. She came here looking for advice about how to openly approach this with her future DH.

but had I known the truth I very likely would have never agreed to marry her.

Which truth are you talking about? The truth that she suffered abuse, or the truth that she did not seek help dealing with it?

Those are different things.

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby 2gether4ever94 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:49 am

mamame wrote:The truth that she suffered abuse, or the truth that she did not seek help dealing with it?

Those are different things.



Agreed and from what the op has told us I fail to see where she's not done both. She has told her fh and he still wants to marry her. She has sought counsel and healin and imo is bein proactive in preparin for their marriage.

Imo she's a remarkable lady who's come along way and only intends to get better.

2g
With all of these men linin up to get neutered it's hip now to be feminized. I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair Oh honey I'm still a guy. Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked there's a gun in my truck Thank God I'm still a guy

-Brad Paisley

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby Dadtoall » Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:26 pm

mamame wrote:DTA - please note that this is a young woman who has already done a lot of emotional work in this area AND has made a lifetime commitment to continue. She came here looking for advice about how to openly approach this with her future DH.

but had I known the truth I very likely would have never agreed to marry her.

Which truth are you talking about? The truth that she suffered abuse, or the truth that she did not seek help dealing with it?

Those are different things.


(1) To reiterate, my suggestion was that she acknowledge to her FH that she is still nervous and unsure (as she has noted here) despite the work she's done to date. Please note that I'm not in any way diminishing the work she has put in to get to where she is now. My only point was that for the OP this is a present issue (still affecting her currently) and her FH needs to know this so he can go in with eyes open.

(2) The "truth" I was referring to was the fact that my stbx did not acknowledge the erotic / "fun" sex component of the relationship (vs. procreative or "connection" sex), for whatever reason. Her CSA (and resultant bias) meant she was unqualified to assess whether she could be a good sexual partner. It would have been more fair to me for her to say "I was a CSA victim, and it continues to impact my outlook in the present" and let that disclosure drive further analysis into whether getting married is a good idea.

Note that I'm not saying the OP is trying to misstate her capabilities; I'm just giving my opinion at to what is fair to the prospective spouse. Note also that I'm fully aware that my stbx's poor sexual performance may have reflected how she felt about me personally, but for this discussion I'm presuming that her inability to perform was a general problem caused by her CSA.
Always grateful for the opportunity...

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Re: Nervous too, but not alone

Postby pmedicchris » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:22 pm

Ok, so have kinda been occupied with work...was crummy last week. Anyhoo, I do believe my fiancee understands how my past abuse has the potential to affect or be triggered by events (sex or whatever) in the future. He's explained it this way....a person might keep all their bad experiences in a box tucked back in the farthest deepest corner in their closet where nobody can find out about it. But sometimes, something happens that reminds you of something in that box (trigger). You take it out of the box, hold it, feel those emotions, think those thoughts, and then you put it away again. The problem comes when you get it out again and keep it out and hang on to it....instead of letting it go.

Don't know if that makes sense, sounds better when he explains it. For example....I'm a paramedic and this last week at work I had two infant cardiac arrests calls. I've also been through an abortion.....so having a young infant die tends to trigger things from my abortion. That kind of stuff. So, I cry. I talk. My fiancee holds me. Then I put it away again. I don't stay in that dark place. I can't be who God wants me to be if I did.

We haven't talked about sex specifically, but I know that when it comes up, I think I will feel comfortable telling FH that I'm nervous about it and he will understand that. I'm guessing I could do all the work in the world to get through the past crudd and I would still be nervous about the first time. I'm thinking that maybe after the first time is in the past, having sex and the idea that it can be a good thing, won't be so hard to believe or freaky.


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