Loving a woman who’s been through an abusive relationship is a roller coaster, with lots of ups and downs, more than in any of your other relationships; but she is worth it!
The relationship might have been full of emotional, physical, or mental abuse, and she might never tell you all the gory details, but loving a woman who’s been through abuse is… a lot.
She will flinch at your touch.
It doesn’t matter what your intentions are, it doesn’t matter how gentle you are, she will flinch.
After months or maybe years of abuse, you can’t expect her to believe that your touch can be anything less than painful.
He never touched her out of love, so you will have to teach her that affection and intimacy are how you express love.
You will have to teach her time and time again that love pours from your fingertips when you touch her.
She is frightened and it doesn’t matter how long it has been since she escaped her previous relationship, her trauma is in wounds invisible to the naked eye, but always visible when you look a bit closer.
She will forget to take care of herself.
In a relationship where she had been taught that her everything was not good enough, she forgot how to take care of herself.
She always looks beautiful but she will either look put together or like a train wreck. You have to learn to love her either way.
This woman you have fallen in love with has been taught that she simply can’t be good enough, however hard she tries. So she must have stopped trying.
She will forget to take care of herself and sometimes it will be obvious, like not sleeping or not being able to shower at times.
From time to time, you will only be able to see it in the way she smiles sadly or in the way she eats too little or too much.
She might start crying for no reason.
It doesn’t matter how hard she might try to forget everything that happened to her, the flashbacks will occur at the most random times.
She will cry because a song came up that triggered her trauma or she might even be laughing one minute and having a full-blown panic attack the next.
A woman who has gone through abuse and has been in love with an abuser is a woman whose demons will never leave her alone.
You have to learn how to work with her through these times. You will have to learn how to be there for her.
Learn how to calm her down and make her feel safe.
She needs you now, she needs you to know that you won’t leave her or lash out at her just because she is fragile.
She is starved of affection.
I hope no one ever has to go through the same things she did, but can you just imagine… Being touched only by him to initiate sex and during it.
Never been shown affection, never been told I love you without it having a dark undertone.
Affection is what relationships are built out of, but she has never known true affection so you will have a hard time showing her what you mean when you tell her that you love her and appreciate her.
You will have to show her that your affection doesn’t come from selfishness, but selflessness. She has never known it like that.
She doesn’t have healthy boundaries.
If she hasn’t seen a therapist or sought any other type of help, then how can she know what boundaries are or how to set them?
That monster of a man just took everything she had to give him, without ever considering them.
She won’t be able to verbalize what is and isn’t OK in your relationship.
She won’t be able to be that open with you about what she likes and what she wants from you. Because she simply forgot how to do that.
When you ask her what she wants, give her time and show her that it’s OK for her to express her opinions on things.
You will need patience, but once she opens up about everything that goes on in her mind, you will find someone worthy of all that effort.
She has issues with her body image.
Never forget to worship her body just the way it deserves; lovingly, caringly. She has been taught that her body is anything but beautiful.
Always too much. Too much this. Too much that.
Show her that you love her body regardless and that she is perfect just the way she is.
Respect the fact that she might not want you to see her fully until later on in the relationship, once she trusts you enough.
She won’t trust you in the beginning.
She will always think that you might turn out the way he was. Don’t take it as an insult and know that it’s not your fault! You are not wasting your time!
You have to show her that you will never be like him and that you will not deceive her.
That monster who abused her and turned her into what she is today never made her believe that the suspicions she had were true.
He would cheat on her, lie to her, make her believe that she was the crazy one and that what he was giving her was true love.
Your job now is to show her that trust is earned and that she has no reason to worry.
Don’t lash out at her when she sees certain behaviors that she might think are bad or manipulative, and instead show her that your words and actions are ones made purely out of love.
She will need you more than you need her.
Don’t think of her as a weak person. She went through hell and came out broken into pieces but still strong and standing.
She will need you to understand her and be there for her at her lowest points.
You will have to be the one to show her how to love again and how to trust another person again.
She can build herself up, but she will need you to not stand on the sidelines when she needs your help.
Yes, you will have to help her find love again but once you do that, you will find a woman who is nothing but a personification of unconditional love.
You will have her by your side as a strong partner and you will get everything you give her and more.
You will have a woman able to love you genuinely and fully.
She will show you how much a woman who’s gone through abuse can love, because you made her remember how.
You helped her restore herself and you helped her remind herself of who she was before.
She is trying for you.
The easiest option for her was to throw all her ideals about love under the bus and never try to love again.
The easiest option was to stop believing in love, to fall victim once more to the monster’s powers and believe that she isn’t worthy of love.
But she is trying for you. She is trying to love again. She is trying to let herself be loved again.
You two are working on this together and she knows how hard you’re trying for her, for the two of you.
Because of that, in her, you will have the partner of a lifetime.
She never stopped believing in love and you showed her how to let herself try again.
You are the reason why she’s trying to love again, trust again and let herself be held again.
She is worth it.
At times, you might want to give up on her. You might want to throw in the towel and try to find someone who’ll be easier to love.
Both you and I know that’s not possible. You love her already.
You love all the times she makes you laugh so hard, just for you to stop so you can admire her smile.
Loving her is hard at times, but whenever you see her put down her walls, you fall deeper and deeper.
Never show her signs that you might love her less because of her past!
When you see her trust you, you know that you can’t easily just let that go.
That’s why all those times you thought about leaving, you laughed at yourself because her highs and lows are more valuable to you than anything else.
She is the only one for you and you can see it in the way she tells you stories and listens to yours.
You know that she is the one for you when she hugs you and kisses you without a second thought.
She is the only one for you and you see that every time you look at her.
There is no one else for you because this woman standing next to you right now doesn’t flinch anymore when you reach for her hand.