When Your Partner Hurts from Past Sexual Wounds
Husbands have wives who need support AND likewise, wives have husbands who need support below. The pronouns of she/her/hers are used but could easily be replaced with he/him/his for your situation.
Please be more patient. I know you need to also grieve because a heavy burden is now placed on you. Yes, it might seem like it’s taking forever for her to heal but give her more time. She needs to grieve, she needs to vent, she needs to cry, she needs to vent, and she needs to learn to trust. All these take time. She might be acting crazy and confused and depressed and withdrawn. She might be fine one moment and depressed the next moment. She might have a flashback moment and need to walk away. Don’t ask her to snap out of it or to get over it. That’s not what she needs to hear from you. How would you like it if she told you that in your time of need and hurt? It’s your turn to meet her needs and not think about her meeting your needs. It’s her turn now, okay? Treat her with even greater gentleness and respect as the weaker partner whose life has been deeply traumatized by this deep hurt. Your words have the ability to bring life or death. Choose life-giving words that soothe her soul. Whoever is patient has great understanding which is exactly what is needed the most now. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight so give her some more time. God can give you this additional patience since He has lots…
Don’t take it personally. This is all about her and not about you so don’t think she is mad at you when she just needs to be mad at the world or at her offender in the past. Be her punching bag during this time and don’t take the jabs as if they’re intended for you. They’re not. If you try to hug her and she recoils, it’s because she’s reminded of the time when someone else tried to hug her and forced himself on her. If she doesn’t want to have sex, it might be because it will remind her of another time when forced to. If she doesn’t want to tell you her pain, it might be because she told others who told her to be quiet then. Maybe she equates sex as death because of her abortion. Maybe she equates flattery as deceit because of her date rape. Maybe she equates authority with the camp counselor who used it to make her obey. The list could go on. Take your time to go through this website and find out how she might be feeling. Your job is to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, especially now. Imitate God, who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. See the bigger picture here and ask God to show you that.
Please be her partner. When God created marriage, He did it for the purpose of giving each of you a personal helper and a covenant companion. You are one flesh whose bodies now belong to each other - so remember that as you do your best to minister to her. She is heirs with you of the gracious gift of life. She needs your help like never before. She has been there for you through thick and thin; do the same! She puts up with your faults so it’s your turn to return the favor. Let her know you’re on her team together and that you’ll work through this as a couple – for better or for worse, till death do you part. Remember that vow? Now is when it gets to really kick in and take root during this painful healing
Don’t make her panic. Though you want to kill the person who has hurt her, you can’t express that now. It’s been so tough for her to finally face this pain and share her misery; don’t make it worse by making her think she will lose you because you’ll end up in jail for your reaction or revenge. Then, what will she have? Make sense? Do your best to control your outwards expressions of anger, rage, shock, grief, impatience, and injustice when you listen to her. She needs to see you as strong when she feels weak. If she feels that you’ll overreact and be impulsive, then she won’t tell you everything because you can’t handle it. You need to handle whatever she tells you about her sexual hurt – with composure and calmness – because that’s what is best for her right now. Ask God to give you this much-needed dose of self-control and sacrificial spirit that He possesses within Himself and wants to now give to you today.
Please be her pastor. Let’s being to step up our game and know our Bible better and learn how to love even deeper, during this time. You’ve got the huge assignment job to help her be holy and feed her soul. You’ve never been to seminary and feel completely unprepared for this new role? Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. That’s the message for you and your spouse. She needs both your emotional support and spiritual guidance. Your personality is just not enough like it used to be. Your new approach is similar to that of Jonathan who saw David so that he could encourage him and help him find his strength and support in God. Your presence is good but not enough. One day in the presence of the Lord is better than a thousand anywhere else so your job is to encourage her to be in His presence. Be that heavenly pastor she needs and not just an earthly partner. This is a spiritual challenge since you’re called to love her as Christ loves His church. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. You’re not a couple; you’re a trio with the Triune God. Enjoy that union and unity. Time doesn’t heal all wounds – God does. That’s your best shot at dealing with this pain. He is the One who is able to wipe every tear from her eyes and put an end to her mourning and crying and pain. Hopefully this website will get you started to better know the Bible which will give you a deeply transforming hope, which is what you both need the most right now…
Don’t ask her to snap out of it or to get over it.
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