Sexual abuse leaves a scarring effect on most individuals. At a tender age one is made aware of one’s psychological and physical vulnerabilities and more often than not people take a lot of time to overcome the trauma. Sexual abuse is also laced with social malice, ignorance and criticism of the victim. This pushes people towards mental anxieties such as stress and depression and can also lead to other crippling consequences.
Sexual abuse takes its toll or rather leaves its mark even on a marriage. A matrimony where either one or both partners have been sexually abused is has a very high probability of being troubled. However, the way forward is to recognise the effects of sexual abuse on marriages and to try and work around them.
The effects of sexual abuse on a marriage
Breaking the barrier
Communication is the key to any successful relationship. And the effect of sexual abuse on a marriage is that partners cannot communicate with success. Often sexually abused individuals build walls around them. They believe that by upping their defence they will thwart any attempt at hurting them again. This makes it very difficult for their partner to communicate their true feelings.
Lack of trust
Because of the underlying fact that most sexual abuse is also an abuse of trust done by an individual who was at that time in a position of dominance, most sexually abused individuals suffer from the lack of trust. Trust is considered to be one of the building blocks of any marriage and a lack of it will lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Survivors of sexual abuse usually find it difficult to connect with another human being on the emotional level. They are suspicious and wary about any acts of kindness or love and tend to live in a cocoon. Symptoms of emotional insecurity in a relationship is a problem that you might face if your partner has faced child sexual abuse. Detachment will lead to problems in a relationship and it will be doubled if that person’s partner is also emotionally detached in nature. Patience and constant perseverance are the keys in eliminating this problem.
Intimacy in the relationship
Sexually abused people can have problems with sex. Some might be reluctant to indulge in it and some may become obsessed with it. The problem lies in the fact that sexual abuse makes a person look at sex in a different way. If that person has derived any pleasure form the activities initiated by the perpetrator of the act then they either become guilty of it later in life or become completely absorbed by it. In either case, the marriage takes a hit because although it may seem all hunky dory all the outside problems with the level of intimacy in the relationship manages to affect the marriage.
Understanding the effects of sexual abuse on marriages is important if either or your partner has faced it in your life. Sexual abuse if often misunderstood and in fact ignored because of the unavailability of appropriate sex education that teaches children about of good touch and bad touch. Therefore, if you are aware about what you are getting into then it will lend you better perspective to deal with the issues at hand and will also help the relationship.