Is it a red flag if a woman has been sexually abused?

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
If a woman had been sexually abused when they were younger (rape) and they don’t want to work through it in therapy, is this a red flag?

They had trouble talking about emotions and being emotionally intimate even though we could joke around together and that seemed like emotional intimacy to me in retrospect...

She broke up with me a month ago and I’m having a hard time processing things. No idea why I’m still infatuated with her (in limerence) and thinking I messed everything up. This question is mainly to figure out if I’m being irrational in not considering this red flag (if it is one) a major dealbreaker long term (if it even worked out since she broke up with me and everything anyways).

She also wanted traditional marriage roles, was of the same faith tradition as I am, etc. - but, the unresolved trauma broke us up, I think due to her projecting her trauma response onto me when was was trying to repair the relationship. Her having these values (which are so hard to find in America) is making it hard for me to move, on on top of the infatuation I still feel. We were talking about marriage and everything and we were both on board it seemed like...
 
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magaman

Woodpecker
If a woman had been sexually abused when they were younger (rape) and they don’t want to work through it in therapy, is this a red flag?

They had trouble talking about emotions and being emotionally intimate. When the truama would be triggered, there would be emotional and physical distance for a day or two.

She broke up with me a month ago and I’m having a hard time processing things. No idea why I’m still infatuated with her (in limerence) and thinking I messed everything up. This question is mainly to figure out if I’m being irrational in not considering this red flag (if it is one) a major dealbreaker long term (if it even worked out since she broke up with me and everything anyways).
Yes, huge red flag. If she had told me that before starting a relationship, I would have immediately nexted her. Very likely she is incapable of truly having an emotional bond with anyone so her future relationships aren't going to be any better and she's certainly not anyone I'd want to be the mother of my potential children. She actually did you a favor. Hopefully you've learned a lesson from this experience. You can always work on yourself but you can't change her. Don't respond to her if she comes around.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
Yes, huge red flag. If she had told me that before starting a relationship, I would have immediately nexted her. Very likely she is incapable of truly having an emotional bond with anyone so her future relationships aren't going to be any better and she's certainly not anyone I'd want to be the mother of my potential children. She actually did you a favor. Hopefully you've learned a lesson from this experience. You can always work on yourself but you can't change her. Don't respond to her if she comes around.
I definitely made mistakes in the relationship too, don’t get me wrong here. But, it’s really difficult since she wanted traditional marriage roles, was of the same faith tradition as I was, etc. even if spiritual values are aligned and she’s traditional, this still is a red flag? Just clarifying since she seemed like a “diamond in the rough” weirdly enough...

Why I ask is it seems like you’re saying that it was an obvious “huge red flag” and I’m wondering more about the “why” behind that even though you said a bit above. I wonder why I didn’t consider it so when we were starting the relationship and everything too.
 
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magaman

Woodpecker
Yes, still a red flag because the trauma is still there and would very likely prevent any serious bonding with any partner. Shutting you out for days at a time on a repeated basis is another huge red flag and that alone would be a lot to deal with.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
Yes, still a red flag because the trauma is still there and would very likely prevent any serious bonding with any partner. Shutting you out for days at a time on a repeated basis is another huge red flag and that alone would be a lot to deal with.
Yeah, I do think you’re right. Why I’m confused though is that she said she loved me first (seemed like emotional bonding) and this was two month into the “official” relationship. We had met in person once before that and other than that communication was over text and FaceTime. Met her family on the second trip to see her too.

The shutting me out for days at a time emotionally and physically only happened once. I should have been more clear. But, it was what led to the breakup due to her not being willing to resolve the disconnection. Just more info into the situation.

Maybe I’m just venting here too since I’m still processing and all that. I’m a younger guy so I haven’t seen many red flags yet and don’t know major vs. minor ones.
 
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SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
Sure, it sucks for her and wasn't even her fault but either way you also have to think about yourself and your future children. So you gotta ask yourself if you're really willing to deal with all the problems like this that will come from her trauma? You can't fix other people, she has to fix herself.

It is a red flag.
Yeah, it not being her fault at all makes it even harder to move on and find clarity. I know I have to think about myself and my future. Maybe I’m not seeing all of the problems that could come from her not wanting to get help for her trauma either... what other problems could you forsee?
 

Tex Cruise

Pelican
She also wanted traditional marriage roles, was of the same faith tradition as I am, etc. - but, the unresolved trauma broke us up, I think due to her projecting her trauma response onto me when was was trying to repair the relationship. Her having these values (which are so hard to find in America) is making it hard for me to move, on on top of the infatuation I still feel. We were talking about marriage and everything and we were both on board it seemed like...

I don't mean for this to be taken too harshly, but have you considered that as "she wanted traditional marriage roles", maybe the type of guy who starts multiple threads on an internet forum seeking specific relationship advice about her (and no other topics), perhaps wasn't displaying the kind of leadership that she was seeking in order to perform those roles, that maybe she wasn't "projecting" after all, and that the "infatuation" you "still feel" could be described in old RVF terms as Beta oneitis?
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
I don't mean for this to be taken too harshly, but have you considered that as "she wanted traditional marriage roles", maybe the type of guy who starts multiple threads on an internet forum seeking specific relationship advice about her (and no other topics), perhaps wasn't displaying the kind of leadership that she was seeking in order to perform those roles, that maybe she wasn't "projecting" after all, and that the "infatuation" you "still feel" could be described in old RVF terms as Beta oneitis?
That probably was the case too. I did make mistakes, like I said. I was inconsistent at points in the relationship and really lost frame near the end of it all. She said she felt unsafe and disconnected when she broke up with me (aka, not feeling protected) because I left her when she was experiencing a trauma response one night because I told her I wouldn’t stay the night with her because I wanted to hold my boundary (even though I could have stayed with her). She then disconnected emotionally and physically and I got really anxious and started to break frame and stuff to try to get her to communicate and resolve the conflict instead of being peaceful and not falling into my chaotic emotions like a beta.
 
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Yes, huge red flag. If she had told me that before starting a relationship, I would have immediately nexted her. Very likely she is incapable of truly having an emotional bond with anyone so her future relationships aren't going to be any better and she's certainly not anyone I'd want to be the mother of my potential children. She actually did you a favor. Hopefully you've learned a lesson from this experience. You can always work on yourself but you can't change her. Don't respond to her if she comes around.

I concur.

It is a tough situation. The girl is the victim if she was truly abused in that manner; it's not her fault.

However, she does carry baggage emotionally and psychologically from that. The very first thing she needs to do is get long-term professional help/therapy to overcome this. If not, it will manifest itself into a worse red flag as she will likely project her issues onto you/whomever she seeks intimacy in the future, and likely jerk you and others around with manipulation.

I knew someone in a similar situation and it was just like you described: she projected trauma. She also didn't respect men innately due to what had happened to her in the past, and she admitted to seeking more of a type A/masculine stance in relationships - I assume to compensate. She was also in her early 20s and while she dropped all of the routine "I want to get married and be a mother" talk - ultimately, she didn't know what she wanted to do in her life; she was very capricious.

It's a mess and I feel for your mixed emotions on the matter.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
I concur.

It is a tough situation. The girl is the victim if she was truly abused in that manner; it's not her fault.

However, she does carry baggage emotionally and psychologically from that. The very first thing she needs to do is get long-term professional help/therapy to overcome this. If not, it will manifest itself into a worse red flag as she will likely project her issues onto you/whomever she seeks intimacy in the future, and likely jerk you and others around with manipulation.

I knew someone in a similar situation and it was just like you described: she projected trauma. She also didn't respect men innately due to what had happened to her in the past, and she admitted to seeking more of a type A/masculine stance in relationships - I assume to compensate. She was also in her early 20s and while she dropped all of the routine "I want to get married and be a mother" talk - ultimately, she didn't know what she wanted to do in her life; she was very capricious.

It's a mess and I feel for your mixed emotions on the matter.
Yeah, it is tough, because I also made mistakes too in the matter (losing frame by placating, going to far sexually and then moving the boundaries back since I realized my mistake, being needy once she started distancing emotionally and physically from me on our last trip, etc.). But, yeah, what’s hard is that all of this isn’t her fault, but it’s up to her to want to go to therapy to work through the trauma.

The larger red Flags in the future being manipulation... I didn’t see that in the relationship when it was going on, but maybe I was blind to it. Not to say she hadn’t started it yet, but that’s what’s confusing to me as well... because she was so generous, kind, giving, etc. and not really manipulative at all. May be the rose-colored glasses talking here though. Although, I can say that emotional intimacy was lacking and was confused with sexual intimacy (both were combined together to the lack of differentiation of one from the other, it seemed).

She was definetly more type-A/masculine in our relationship. But, what’s confusing is it seemed like she knew what she wanted and then the trauma event happened and then she projected it onto me and then I became what she didn’t want... but I do have to say that I may have become what she didn’t want due to losing frame and getting anxious and placating when she started emotional and physical distance (this only happened one time. The other time it happened she was able to push through it and work through it herself which was when she shared, in great detail, what had happened to her... which was traumatic for me and still is).

It’s hard to not blame oneself for the end of things (breakup) when you see the trauma as a factor, but also knowing that it wasn’t her fault at all and she’s the victim in it all. It’s like I should have known better and either jot gotten into the relationship, and also shouldn’t have made the mistake of going too far sexually with her (yes, I made that mistake and own it... tried to pull the boundary back after that mistake, but it was really hard given the trauma she went through in that area in her past).

This may be tmi, but we had dissimilar views on what the Church taught about sex too... her saying anything but penetrative sex was okay (her wanting to go further), and me thinking/saying it’s much more than that and that anything past a sensual kiss can be considered “sexual,” it being more centered on restraint, etc.
 
@SingularityOne

Nowadays, I suspect many men feel like this in situations like this, because they are trying to find a viable option to live a morally upright life within a monogamous marriage (do the right thing so to speak).

The problem is, many girls/women (secular-minded, but this might include some not all faith-based types as well) will tell you what you want to hear in the short term, only to turn up as "fool's gold" in the mid-to-long term (leaving most men heartbroken or sorely disappointed).

Ultimately, you may not see it now, but you dodged a bullet, and I can relate to the experience. Finding a prudent and chaste woman nowadays is extremely difficult. The best advice I can give you is just to work through this struggle (and the aftermath of this past bitter experience you've had), then use the experience to vet a better woman in the future, without getting prematurely overly-attached in the process.
 
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Cr33pin

Peacock
Gold Member
I dated a girl for 11 years who was sexual abused at 12 years old by her mothers boyfriend. An this girl was more then a normal man could have asked for.... However I got tied up in the idea of foreign lands and broads so I ventured out into the world. That decision still haunts me to this day... at the same time had I not made that decision I would have never learned the things I did and became the man I am now.

To instantly paint every girl with some previous trauma as "unredeemable goods" is a travesty in my opinion. Human beans handle trauma in different ways. It could lead a girl to latch on to what she sees as a good man who can love and protect her. I am not saying every girl with some previous sexual trauma in her past is going to make a great wife.... however I think it should be taken on a case by case basis and not instantly disregard any girl who was abused in her youth.
 
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If a woman had been sexually abused when they were younger (rape) and they don’t want to work through it in therapy, is this a red flag?

They had trouble talking about emotions and being emotionally intimate even though we could joke around together and that seemed like emotional intimacy to me in retrospect...

She broke up with me a month ago and I’m having a hard time processing things. No idea why I’m still infatuated with her (in limerence) and thinking I messed everything up. This question is mainly to figure out if I’m being irrational in not considering this red flag (if it is one) a major dealbreaker long term (if it even worked out since she broke up with me and everything anyways).

She also wanted traditional marriage roles, was of the same faith tradition as I am, etc. - but, the unresolved trauma broke us up, I think due to her projecting her trauma response onto me when was was trying to repair the relationship. Her having these values (which are so hard to find in America) is making it hard for me to move, on on top of the infatuation I still feel. We were talking about marriage and everything and we were both on board it seemed like...
Is it a red flag?
Yes...and no. History of abuse (and the subsequent trauma) on its own is not a red flag on its own..."Coping mechanisms" (acohol or drug abuse, smoking, history of abusive relationships in adulthood etc) are.
Without doubt, it is easier for a women who had not been abused (and thus traumatized) to bond and form meaningful relationships - get married and form strong, traditional family units.
However, if she is willing to address the trauma and seek help, there is hope. It depends the particular women -use your faith and you gut feeling to determine whether she can be helped or not.

Anecdotal evidence, I know...but my cousin's wife is a rape victim. (Raped by her teacher). she confesse dit to my cousin. They met in a church group and had a church wedding. 14 years of marriage and three children later theya re still together and are happy.
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
@SingularityOne

Nowadays, I suspect many men feel like this in situations like this, because they are trying to find a viable option to live a morally upright life within a monogamous marriage (do the right thing so to speak).

The problem is, many girls/women (secular-minded, but this might include some not all faith-based types as well) will tell you what you want to hear in the short term, only to turn up as "fool's gold" in the mid-to-long term (leaving most men heartbroken or sorely disappointed).

Ultimately, you may not see it now, but you dodged a bullet, and I can relate to the experience. Finding a prudent and chaste woman nowadays is extremely difficult. The best advice I can give you is just to work through this struggle (and the aftermath of this past bitter experience you've had), then use the experience to vet a better woman in the future, without getting prematurely overly-attached in the process.
Yeah, it’s a struggle. And I also could have done better on my side as well. It was hard to parse through the potential “fools gold” since it was only a 6 month relationship too. Makes her harder to get over since the “image” was probably/maybe still up.

You’re right. Just gotta learn from it and keep moving forward. I got overly attached and need to take my time in the future.

How do you advise working through this considering it sounds like you relate with my struggle and may have some tips?
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
I dated a girl for 11 years who was sexual abused at 12 years old by her mothers boyfriend. An this girl was more then a normal man could have asked for.... However I got tied up in the idea of foreign lands and broads so I ventured out into the world. That decision still haunts me to this day... at the same time had I not made that decision I would have never learned the things I did and became the man I am now.

To instantly paint every girl with some previous trauma as "unredeemable goods" is a travesty in my opinion. Human beans handle trauma in different ways. It could lead a girl to latch on to what she sees as a good man who can love and protect her. I am not saying every girl with some previous sexual trauma in her past is going to make a great wife.... however I think it should be taken on a case by case basis and not instantly disregard any girl who was abused in her youth.
I think you’re totally right in this. My question would be, was she willing to get help/therapy for her trauma?

If she was unwilling to get help/therapy for her trauma, would you consider it a red flag, or would you say that it is still case-by-case?
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
Is it a red flag?
Yes...and no. History of abuse (and the subsequent trauma) on its own is not a red flag on its own..."Coping mechanisms" (acohol or drug abuse, smoking, history of abusive relationships in adulthood etc) are.
Without doubt, it is easier for a women who had not been abused (and thus traumatized) to bond and form meaningful relationships - get married and form strong, traditional family units.
However, if she is willing to address the trauma and seek help, there is hope. It depends the particular women -use your faith and you gut feeling to determine whether she can be helped or not.

Anecdotal evidence, I know...but my cousin's wife is a rape victim. (Raped by her teacher). she confesse dit to my cousin. They met in a church group and had a church wedding. 14 years of marriage and three children later theya re still together and are happy.
I agree 100%. But, it seems that the caveat you are saying is a red flag is that they won’t get help/therapy for their trauma.

Would you consider it a red flag if they weren’t willing to get therapy/help for the trauma and work through it in that way (since the significant other can’t do that for them)?
 

Zagor

Woodpecker
If a woman had been sexually abused when they were younger (rape) and they don’t want to work through it in therapy, is this a red flag?

They had trouble talking about emotions and being emotionally intimate even though we could joke around together and that seemed like emotional intimacy to me in retrospect...

She broke up with me a month ago and I’m having a hard time processing things. No idea why I’m still infatuated with her (in limerence) and thinking I messed everything up. This question is mainly to figure out if I’m being irrational in not considering this red flag (if it is one) a major dealbreaker long term (if it even worked out since she broke up with me and everything anyways).

She also wanted traditional marriage roles, was of the same faith tradition as I am, etc. - but, the unresolved trauma broke us up, I think due to her projecting her trauma response onto me when was was trying to repair the relationship. Her having these values (which are so hard to find in America) is making it hard for me to move, on on top of the infatuation I still feel. We were talking about marriage and everything and we were both on board it seemed like...
How did this breakup come about?
 

SingularityOne

Robin
Orthodox
How did this breakup come about?
We were LDR. Met on a Facebook Orthodox group. Had a 6 Facetimes or so together before we met up for the first time. I made a mistake and got sexually intimate with her too early. We had been flirting prior to meeting for the first time and I went too far. I told her that I wanted to move the boundary back to no clothes off. But, she said that she had trauma in her past before we met for the first time we met (rape) and I didn’t take that into account before the first visit. I hadn’t thought through my boundaries.
The second meetup we had I moved the boundaries to everything above the belt because I didn’t want to trigger any trauma responses after going too far with her sexually on the first visit. I enjoyed her family and we all had an amazing time. We played games together and everything. I even went golfing with her brother. He was a cool guy too.
For the third visit she visited me. She got an AirBnb because my roommate didn’t want a girl staying at the place. So then one night when she was in town, we were being intimate and she had a trauma response. I know I went too far sexually and it ruined everything... but: she had the response and I left her alone at night when she had that response because I wanted to be consistent and not changing my boundaries all the time... I left her when she had her trauma response and then she avoided me emotionally and physically for about two days. Then I got anxious and tried to move the boundaries back to everything we did on the first trip because I was scared of losing her.

she said she felt disconnected and unsafe in the relationship and then broke up with me a week later after she had met my family and everything.

we were talking about marriage and everything. She said she wanted to get married to me as well.

I know the relationship ended because I entered the sexual relationship even though I knew that she had trauma in her past... but, I know my lessons for the future: this is what I learned:


Learning:

  • clarify what people mean when they say something and ask what they need/want - curiosity/humility
    • Pray to create space, time, and communion before reacting from my sin/pride/lack of attuned communion
    • Strive for unassuming/detached love when anxiety arises and attach to the Lord for clarity as to how I should react from that space/place I surrendered to and allowed to be present in thanksgiving to the Lord
    • You analyze because you are fearful of abandonment and you assume problems (mind read) without curiosity because you don’t want to overburden the other into leaving you... so you try to solve the pseudo-problem without curiosity... in the future you should be curious about the other when anxiety rises and not assume anything from mind-reading
    • Be patient and let the other have space when anxiety rises and be curious when you do enter “resolution-mode” instead of assuming from the fear of abandonment and “worst case scenario analyzing”
  • Move slower in relationships
    • Don’t say I love you first until you see how they resolve conflict because love and grit cannot be separated
  • Be solid in my boundaries and flexible when they are negotiable
    • Don’t let the sexual enter the relationship before marriage
    • Communicate about sexual boundaries prior to engaging intimately
    • Commit to the strength of restraint in the Lord to provide the stability of an oak
  • Pay for my share of things
 
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