Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hi there! I am hoping to be of some assistance to you here... I am sorry that you are struggling with this situation. It sounds as if your gut intuition is trying to send you a message, and that you are stuck between enjoying the relationship in the here & now, and in considerations for your future... is that about right?
Yes. I think that is a big part of the issue. As much as I enjoy relationship, and am falling in love with her...if I look out 10 years it does not compute. She has pretty much been with older men most of the time...and at one point she was on "sugar daddy.com"...and had been in relationships with older guys that took care of her financially.
Sure... so she was looking for some security... and you were feeling a boost to your self-esteem with her attention and the excitement, etc...
Yes...she tells me that she loves me, and I think she does...but, I think about how many others has she said this too...and how can I determine? I know that I am falling in love with her. I found last night that she watches some port...and it is about young girls with older men. Is porn a fantasy for her...and is she thinking about other men when she witches??? she says no...she just enjoys it.
I have not been in to porn before...but I have to admit it was sexually stimulating. I am a little concerned about going down that path.
What is your intuition saying to you? You don't trust that she is being 100% honest with you? As for porn of that nature, it is tough to say why she enjoys it... do you have any concerns about her past, or do you think that she is just exploring this path with honest intentions?
I am getting concerned about this having a bad ending for me at some point...but I really enjoy my time now. I think she is being honest about love...based on her past, I am treating her better then she has ever ben treated. Her past involves sexually relations with quite a few men. One of those relationships they both watched a lot of porn. she says it was because that was what he wanted to do...and he was helping her financially. She was raped by her grandfather when she was 10 for about 3 years, and her dad refused to believe it. Her dad left her and her sister when she was about 14.
I have asked her to go to therapy, and she agreed, but she still has not gone. She was in therapy for about 4 years...age 14-18. Her self esteem becomes and issue, as very often she feels she is never good enough, and not deserving of good things.
That was my guess, in terms of why she is still "playing it out" in her relationship choice of older men. Many times, it is a case of wanting to replay a circumstance over and over in life to somehow "fix" it, or it is a matter of it being all she really knows. You are in a tough spot... and you have a choice to make. You can choose to live in the here and now, knowing full well that your partner isn't quite "complete" in her healing over her abuse, but enjoy the relationship for what it is. The other choice is to slowly work it to an end due to your own fears over it's true stability and your own emotional health. You cannot change anyone but yourself, and I can see your confusion about the future of the relationship... however, it is really a choice between taking a risk now to enjoy what is happening in this moment in time... or ending it and then wondering what could have been. It isn't an easy choice; but with time, the answer will become clearer... and I get the feeling that may be starting to happen for you now, which is why you asked the question...
Not sure I understand the reference to "playing it out"...or "being all that she really knows."
When someone experiences something traumatic, such as sexual abuse by a relative, they sometimes unconsciously repeat similiar circumstances in life, over and over... in an effort to somehow see it through to a "better" ending. For instance, in seeking out older men, she is unconsciously still working through the abuse by an older man. You are treating her well, making her feel secure... which is a "better" ending than the guilt or other negative feelings that the abuse produced in her. Make any more sense?
Yes. It is difficult to talk to her about past...she gets upset, and says that she has healed herself over past, but I'm not sure that is correct. I think your response is correct about my options...are there possible issues with the porn?? Even though it is sexually stimulating, there is no love involved in any of it....and it concerns me, that it could be more about her past, and how she wants, or sees herself being treated>
There could be a connection there for her in that in being abused as she was, she was "used"... and these films show a lack of affection, and just a sense of physically "using" others.... again, because she is only 20, there is only a seven year gap between the abuse and now, so there is still plenty of healing to be done. Therapy done with a teenager is much different than with someone at the age of consent. She would really benefit from doing some work on her self esteem... she has many years ahead of her in which she may eventually find that she wants more than just security, which seems to be her main focus right now.
But as for you, you are the one with the life experience that is speaking to you... and you have to do what you feel is the right choice for you right now. It is your life to live, and if you feel you may have regrets over ending it, you don't have to decide that right now. You can just keep staying in the moment, and taking it one step at a time.
Is there anything I can do to help with the self esteem?..even when I compliment her (which I do constantly), she comes back and says she doesn't see herself in that same light. Especially about her body...which she is very critical of...she says she is working constantly about liking herself more, but it is really difficult for her.
Heidi, you have been extremely helpful, and I would like to continue to chat from time to time if I can. I think a lot of this is about me always trying to rescue people, and we can save that for another time...but I would like to discuss this relationship as it plays out.
How do we go about that?
Self-esteem is tricky when someone has been through what she has. It comes from within, and your support and encouragement will be helpful to her... but she has to feel secure enough with herself before she will be able to fully believe your words. It is a process, and will require time, effort and care for her to work it through. As for you and the "rescue" concept, it could very well be true... and we can explore that whenever you'd like. I am happy to be of service! Anytime you'd like a question directed specifically to me, just type "Attention Heidi" at the start of the question, and the moderator will direct it to me... and I will answer as quickly as I am able! I can tell that you are truly a caring person... you will make the right choice!
Oh, and thank you for using the site! I wish you all the very best... until next time!!
Thanks Heidi, enjoy the rest of your day.
I appreciate your advice.
Attachments are only available to registered users.