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My partner's surprise announcement has left me reeling!

Tagged as: Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 July 2006) 2 Answers - (Newest, 31 July 2006)
A male , anonymous writes:

My partner of five years has recently told me that about 10 years ago she was seriously sexually assaulted. She has recently decided to prosecute the man concerned and has been in touch with the police. She tells me that one of the reasons for leaving it so long to take action was that she didn't want her past dragged up in court. It turns out she was very promiscuous in her youth, sleeping with nearly fifty men by the time she was thirty. I was shocked to hear about this and the assault. I have had only ten partners. I was going to ask her to marry me soon, but now feel I can't. I still love her and want to be supportive at this difficult time.

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A female reader, doublethink +, writes (31 July 2006):

doublethink agony auntShe doesn't know you were going to ask her to marry you. So she hasn't lost anything there - you don't need to feel bad about not doing something she was unaware of in the first place!

I think you do need to try to talk to her about the whole situation, though. What does she want from you? How can you best support her? Does she want to talk about the assault? How did she expect you to respond? Does she know you find the news shocking and hard to deal with?

On that last point, have you found it more difficult dealing with her past promiscuity than the assault? If so, why is that? Presumably you know she's faithful to you now: you may just need to accept the fact that you've found out something new about her. It doesn't turn her into someone different, though.

Give yourself time to get over the shock, and TALK TO HER!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2006):

First of all, before you go and change any of your intentions, give yourself some time to adjust to this seriously shocking news. It must be really weird to see your girlfriend in this new light. If it helps, try and imagine how embarrassing it must have been for her to have to reveal this to you. She's changed a lot since then, or else she wouldn't be so ashamed of it now. After you've lived with the idea for a while, then try and consider how comfortable you'd be with it in the longterm. Don't kid yourself, if after a month or a few months it still makes you feel like you can't stay with her, the humane thing to do is end the relationship BEFORE getting married. Too many people think marriage is a great way to save a relationship - which is utter bullshit. EVERYthing should be in great shape the day of your wedding, all the t's crossed and every i dotted.

I think you're still reeling from the shock though - it's very likely that you'll find you can handle this and even get back to feeling the same way about your girlfriend with a little time.

My sympathy is with her, as I'm sure yours is, too. No one deserves to be violated like that.

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