Dating a sexually abused
Believing sexual closeness is the way to feel loved but experiencing love as abuse, some of these men solve their dilemma by engaging in frequent, indiscriminate, and compulsive sexual encounters.These are not free, joyous expressions of erotic passion.Boys who grow up without coming to terms with their childhood abuse often struggle as men with addictions, anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide as well as the inability to develop or maintain relationships. A first step is acknowledging that abuse occurred and articulating what has been silenced.Putting the experience into words is freeing for many men, whether they tell a loved one, a professional, a confidant, or simply write in a journal. Knowledgeable professionals can help, as can healing retreats, some 12-Step programs, and men's groups focused on victimization and masculinity.They may assert that they weren't abused, weren't hurt, or were in charge of what happened.
Many believe sexually abused boys almost inevitably become sexually abusive men.But, while a significant proportion of male abusers were victims themselves, there's evidence that relatively few sexually abused boys actually become abusers.Because of the myth, however, many men fear they'll become abusive or worry that if they disclose their history, others will consider them predators.Boys are supposed to be competitive, resilient, self-reliant, and independent, but certainly not emotionally needy.
"Real" men initiate sexual activity and want sex whenever it's offered, especially by women. As a result, boys may not even recognize their sexual victimization.This may alternate with merging with loved ones so they hardly know where they end and others begin.Confusing affection with abuse, desire with tenderness, sexually abused boys often become men who have difficulty distinguishing among sex, love, nurturance, affection, and abuse. Talking about boyhood sexual abuse and its aftermath for men can be difficult, even painful. By age 16, as many as one in six boys in America has had unwanted sex with an adult or older child.