TW: Rape and my relationship
Ok so I (F21) was raped 2 years before I met my current partner (M22), we have now been together for 2.5 years. At the start of our relationship I really struggled to deal with it but he helped me and now its not something that I think about or worries me on a day to day basis.
I just recent found porn saved onto his phone and when I confronted him about it he said its because he cant get hard when he looks at me because he thinks of me being raped. He says he doesnt want to make me do anything that I dont want to do and he doesn't want to hurt me, which is wonderful and I am thankful for that but I have told him that Im ok and and he has never hurt me, if I didnt want something I would say so. He just cant seem to get over it though.
I dont know how to go about this, how do I help him heal from the trauma. It sorta doesnt make sense to me, he wasnt there, I didnt even know him at the time and like theres nothing he could do. He helped me through it all so hes done literally everything in his power to make me comfortable but I just cant seem to do it with him.
He says he has really been struggling mentally recently and I brought up the importance of talking about whats going on and not hiding things and he says he knows its just too hard. Does anyone have any recommendations on what to do about this situation
Thank you for sharing your story with the community. We know it isn't easy to share, but it can be really impactful chance to share and hear from some lovely people.
We think there'll be some lovely responses here once people start to spot your post. If you're wanting some more immediate support, there are a few options. You can reach out to the counsellors at the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or online anytime. You might like to try 1800RESPECT for support with this also. Your partner could also contact Mensline to talk this through.
It's so important to look after yourself, first and foremost. So thank you for taking the step to reach out here.
Hello, I'm so sorry about what has happened to you and understand what you have been saying.
I'm not sure this can be overcome by yourselves, but know that it's not easy, because where do you start, that's why I suggest you both have counselling on your own and then perhaps have joint counselling, although I'm not too popular on the latter, simply because of my experience at that time.
I am a male and must confess to looking at porn throughout my life. I am not going to offer any form of advice about your horrific situation regarding the rape . However, I have been in a similiar situation in that my partner does not like me looking at porn and could this be situation. I wonder whether you partner previously look at porn before he met you and this is something that he just does. Erectile dysfunction is something I have have had to deal with all my life and it is far easier to look at porn and have wank then perform in the bedroom . Maybe as I do not know him he is embarrased but the fact that you found porn on his phone and is looking for reasons for his erectile dysfunction and blaming you.
The warmest of welcomes to you
Your partner sounds like such a beautiful, thoughtful and deeply caring guy. You sound so blessed to have him help you through such a horrible traumatic experience. My heart goes out to you so much, given all you faced and still continue to face with this new challenge. It sounds like, in his mind, he's found what he feels would work for the both of you in some way. Of course, as you mention, the porn isn't something you particularly want in your relationship. Do you think it may be a matter of how to lead him to become intimate in ways that naturally excite him without leading him to feel bad or stressed in some way?
Wondering whether you've both ever considered intimacy from a more soulful perspective? It's more about relaxing into each other and shared forms of intimate touch in the natural build up of energy that can happen over minutes or even hours. I think a lot of people are in the habit of expecting what they've always expected from themself: They can get into bed and it's all so passionate it's over with within half and hour or so, sometimes a lot less than that. Of course with everyone else out of the house, a new and unexplored form of intimacy can begin in the dining room over a meal, with some intimate suggestive talk. It can then move to the bathroom with a couple of glasses of wine (if that's your thing) with some background music and scented candle while you enjoy a bath together. Here, there's more flirty chat or perhaps a deep and meaningful chat. To the lounge room it may go for intimate massage with oils or perhaps the bedroom. Instead of the energy working up starting in the sack and ending in there in minutes, it begins a couple of hours before it finally gets there. As a 52yo gal, I've found it's more about sharing the gradual build up of energetic excitement. The end result is more so the icing on the cake. Why only look forward to the icing when you can enjoy sharing the cake.
Porn's basically designed to create a build up of energy, which it definitely does for some folk. In some ways it's also designed to stimulate the imagination. So, you could say if it's you that stimulates his imagination instead of the producers of porn then he may begin to look to your imagination more. Just a thought. There are shops filled with stuff to fuel the imagination for couples when it comes to intimacy. If he prefers you are the one responsible for what you bring home from such shops, that might lead him to feel more comfortable with the choices. If he prefers you are in charge of what choices you make but he is the one that goes off to do the shopping (if you're more comfortable with that), then that's something he can also respect.
I think sometimes our partner can fear triggering us and not being able to live with themself with having done so. While I have never faced the same horrible trauma you've had to face, my husband and I had to work through intimacy after my first miscarriage many many years ago. The fear he faced following our first intimate moment together, where I cried uncontrollably, was something he found upsetting and stressful in some ways. He wanted to avoid sex so as not to upset me again because he loved me so much. Our partners can be facing so many mixed emotions in relation to something others can see as nothing but enjoyable. They can take on so much responsibility for our feelings.