Getting into a new relationship is complicated. It’s really exciting, but there is also usually a lot to unpack and learn from each other. Add traumatic experiences like sexual assault to the mix, and communication and sex can become difficult. While it may seem easier than ever to discuss sexual assault with a new partner in the #MeToo age, having the conversation about your own experience can be quite the opposite. This is why it is very important to determine if, when and how you want to discuss it with your new partner. But it’s very important to remember that you don’t have to share your story with your new partner unless you want to.
“Sometimes you don’t have to [tell your story]. Unfortunately, we in our society are obsessed with sharing everything with our partner and if we don’t, we’re supposed to be bad partners, damaging the relationship. “This is not true. If the decision is not to share, you do not have to do it – nobody has the right to know your story,” says Expert.
How to start a conversation about a sexual assault experience
Reliving such a traumatic experience as a sexual assault can be painful, difficult and scary, and it doesn’t matter if you’re not ready to share yet. It can be a particularly difficult conversation to have with a partner, even if you trust them and feel comfortable and secure in the relationship. However, if it is something that affects your feelings or behavior in a relationship, it might be a necessary conversation. If you don’t know how to start the conversation, Dr. John suggests first telling your partner that you have something difficult that you need to share with him – then simply telling him about your experience in a direct and direct.
A Healthy Reaction You Should Get From Your Partner looks like..
When you open a sexual assault, not knowing how someone will react can make the prospect of the conversation even more frightening and scary. But if someone is truly a healthy and supportive partner for you, their reaction will be filled with empathy and love, not judgment or shame.
“A healthy and non-toxic partner will respond with empathy, care, love, support, and sadness for your pain,” says Dr. John.