My girlfriend was raped 2 years ago, and since then we haven’t had sex. She’s been in therapy the whole time, and I’ve tried my best not to pressure her but honestly at this point I feel like a roommate that she can dump her problems on.
We’ve been together for a total of 6 years now, I was planning on marrying her before this happened, but I just can’t go into a marriage where the intimacy is dead from the outset.
I don’t know how much longer I can really wait, life isn’t eternal and I’d like to settle down and have a family with someone. I love her but I don’t see what I can do. But that being said I’d feel like a total piece of shit if I left her for this. And I think everyone I know would think that too. So I don’t know what to do. I can’t pressure her to have sex obviously, so I can’t bring it up, I can’t leave. I’m just stuck.
I am SO sorry to read this. One of my daughters experienced this when she was in her mid-20’s and it ruined her emotionally and mentally for a couple of years, as you would expect. Couldn’t go anywhere by herself, a dark movie theater was out of the question etc. It was a long list. And her boyfriend tried valiantly for about a year and then threw in the towel. It was no one’s fault. No one blamed anyone. PTSD is no fucking joke as you know. The best that I can suggest is to speak with a professional, either you alone or all three of you, and try to get some clarity if there is any kind of path forward. It is NOT unfair of you to want a family and want intimacy. You SHOULD NOT feel bad for yourself. I specifically told the boyfriend of my daughter the night he broke up with her, that I did not blame him. It was horrible, but he also had a life too and he’d given everything to hold her and himself together for more than a year. Trauma counselors and psychiatrists need to lead you two out of the woods, if it’s even possible. PLEASE don’t feel bad about yourself for having your feelings. You’ve been supporting a traumatized girlfriend for two years. NO ONE can accuse you of not making every effort.
>I can’t pressure her to have sex obviously, so I can’t bring it up
“Bringing it up” isn’t the same as pressuring someone. If you haven’t approached this issue for the last two years based on this misunderstanding then that’s very unfortunate. Raise the issue with her as soon as possible.
You need to speak up, she’ll be aware of your needs but she’ll be terrified at the same time. Tell her that your concerned about your relationship.
Ask for a small change in your intimacy, try sitting so your touching, holding hands, heads on shoulders, peck on the cheek, tiny hugs. If she can accept this, if she can be comfortable, there’s hope. It’ll take a while, but you introduce new touches slowly and watch for triggers. (A big one is smell btw, I suggest, if you havent, find your own unique smell that she likes. If there was alcohol involved in the incident, make sure she cant smell it off you. It’s can be a massive trigger.)
If not. then it’s hopeless. Sometimes, a person can associate everything related to them at the time of the trauma, to the trauma – including those who were there to support them. The fact that you know everything means your both dealing with it and she cant just wipe the slat clean, repress and try to forget. Everyone deals differently.
I agree with the aforementioned suggestions on professional counselling, but if your area is like mine it’ll take months before you get an appointment. So there’s a suggestion, at the end of the day if holding hands or putting a head on the shoulder is too much, after two years, theres not much hope.
I suggest posting this to r/rape or r/secondary_survivors/ for better tailored advice.
Have you considered couples counseling? Your in an unfair position and I doubt people would belittle you for leaving, rape survivors have it tough it isn’t uncommon for them to experience years of being closed off due to the trauma they went through. It’s like you said above, life isn’t eternal and you want a future together with a family.