Just a brief email for you today on a topic no one wants to touch.

Sexually abused woman: Should you date them? And what’s it like to do so?

First things first… and this needs to be said not simply for optics, but because the consequences of it need to be internalized in you guys…

Sexual abuse is a terrible thing.

The trauma of a woman being raped or molested (especially as a child) causes issues far beyond what many of you are prepared to imagine. It affects not simply a woman’s sexual behavior but her entire psychology. It shatters her identity, and unless the woman is indeed strong, it will lead to a lifetime of further self-destructive behavior.

Usually, this behavior ensures future sexual acting-out; it is common for a traumatized individual to “replay” the trauma over and over again. Often this takes the form of sleeping around — either due to simply unconscious imprinting or as an attempt to “take back the power.” Other times, the inverse will occur: a woman will become terrified of sex, and will completely dissociate from it. Sometimes both occur simultaneously: she becomes promiscuous, but acts numb and limp throughout the experience.

These sexual extremes are accompanied by emotional ones. You will commonly see such women date abusive, neglectful men — or abuse the men they are with; their unconscious anger demands an outlet (aka “Alpha fux, Beta bux” to the extreme). While they might “love bomb” a man to get him in the picture, they take it out on him once they don’t think he will leave them.

This abuse does not always take the form of anger, however. Often a woman will direct her blame not outwards, but inwards. This manifests as a sort of helplessness and depression that the guy she is with needs to deal with. The guy is also drained from the relationship, but cannot leave; he feels guilty she might harm herself or will be lost without him.

Obviously from all the above you can tell — dating a sexually abused woman is almost never easy. There are numerous ways her trauma might manifest itself, but every one of them guarantees difficulties in a relationship.

So what are you to do if you fall for such a woman? Is it an automatic “next?”

Not necessarily. But the important thing to understand is this… and it applies well beyond sexual trauma…

If she is not taking responsibility for what happened to her, there is *no* chance things are going to get better.

I don’t mean this in the sense of “victim-blaming,” in that she is literally responsible for what happened to her. I mean that she must take responsibility for her healing. She must understand not only that she has baggage to deal with, but must actively be working with someone to deal with it.

You can support her in this process. But you can neither be the villain nor the savior she chooses to dump her emotions on.

And if she continues to violate your boundaries and project this pain onto you, you will have to leave.

Difficult to hear, I know.

But here is the good news:

If you treat her well, and communicate all of this to her when you do break up with her…

There is a very good chance, even if things were not meant to be for the two of you, that your actions will prompt her to get the help she needs.

Because you not only cared about her, you told her the truth. And you were willing to walk away for that truth, which underlines it even further for her.

Give it a fair chance. But don’t linger too long out of guilt. Sometimes it takes a loss of something great to cause someone to want to heal.

Anyway, heavy stuff today.

But if you’re going through a similar situation with a girl, who you know is good at heart, but just can’t seem to get better…

You should consider working with me.

I’ll see if it’s possible to salvage the relationship, and guide you through the process. And if not, will prepare you for a bright future with another special lady.

Apply here: www.patstedman.com/application

– Pat