Top tips from partners
Not only do I talk to sexual abuse survivors, I often hear from their partners as well.
That’s why I decided to get together with some partners and discuss their struggles and tips, a while ago. The sessions turned out to be very successful. By sharing their thoughts and feelings they came up with a list of very useful tips, that I would like to share with you.
Top tips to stay true to your self
The following list is in random order, not in order of importance.
Note: This list was made by and for partners of sexual abuse survivors. So when we talk about partners in this blog, this means we are speaking about the person with sexual abuse trauma.
- Share your thoughts, feelings, expectations with your partner. Don’t avoid doing so just to keep the peace.
- Your needs count. Tell your partner what you need.
- Keep the trauma outside of yourself. It’s good to feel compassion but don’t let your partner’s trauma become yours by letting it traumatize you.
- Don’t try to solve the trauma. This is something only your partner can do.
- Let go.
- You have all the time in the world. Let things move at their own pace, just as long as they are moving.
- When you both focus completely on your partner’s growth you’re selling yourself short. Make your own growth (more) important.
- Put yourself on number 1. No matter how important your partner is to you, you are the most important person in your life.
- Set boundaries. Communicate about what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
- Make decisions. Even if your partner doesn’t want you to. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat if need be.
- It’s okay to feel annoyed with your partner. He/she is a human being and at times irritating. Don’t always suck it up “because of her/his past.”
- Treat your partner like an adult. He/she may often behave in a childlike manner sometimes when triggered. Don’t make allowances for this behavior on the shaky grounds that he/she had such a hard time as a child.
- Don’t allow him/her to become too dependent. You can’t keep up, plus your partner needs to find her/his own independence.
- Tell your partner everything. When you’re upset. Sad. Angry. This way it’s out in the open (good for you) and your partner learns to open up by your example.
- Don’t honor every single requests. You don’t have to solve all her/his problems.
- Discuss how best to handle conflicts before they arise. Consider time-outs. Or leave a note with the question/topic you want to discuss on the fridge, for your partner to come back to later. When your partner has a hard time talking to you about certain things, ask her/him to write you an email. This is sometimes easier than discussing hard topics face-to-face.
This is just a small selection of tips our partners came up with.
Please feel free to share any thoughts or tips you might have!
This is true for all my blogs. We love to hear your thoughts, anything you feel like sharing.