The trauma of sexual abuse lingers for years, and you may find that things that happened a long time ago now interfere with your marriage. While you know that your spouse is always your greatest supporter, dealing with the emotional aftermath of the trauma has a big impact upon your ability to open yourself up to the vulnerability associated with intimacy in your marriage. Fortunately, you can overcome the abuse that you suffered in the past and build a strong foundation for your marriage by using these three strategies to get the most out of counseling.
1. Choose a Counselor With Similar Values
As a faithful Christian, you know that personal views regarding sexual intimacy vary significantly from one person to another. For this reason, choosing a Christian marriage counselor instantly gives you the reassurance that you need to accept their guidance. Knowing that everyone in the room is on the same page allows you to speak openly about your past while learning how to lean on your faith as you work on healing.
2. Establish a Safe and Open Atmosphere
Honesty is one of the fundamental foundations of a strong marriage, yet you may have held back information about your past out of guilt, shame or the fear of being unaccepted. Now, you no longer have to be bound by those emotions, and establishing a space where you can speak openly and honestly with your spouse is the first step toward ending the silence.
If necessary, consider meeting with your marriage counselor alone for the first couple of sessions. This allows you to share a bit of your background and get used to talking about your past and current issues with intimacy with another person. Once you bring your spouse to the sessions, you'll be more ready to talk about your intimacy challenges together.
3. Continue to Work Together At Home
During your counseling sessions, you learn essential skills such as how to communicate better. Your counselor may also give you exercises to do at home to help you build a greater sense of trust and acceptance. For instance, you may be asked to schedule a certain amount of time each day to connect with your partner or to plan an overnight trip that involves just the two of you. Be sure to continue to practice the things that you learn in the sessions at home so that you can establish a stronger level of intimacy.
Although you may have thought you'd moved on, it's common for the scars from the past to rear their ugly head once you get married. By working together with a professional counselor, you can discover a new beginning in your marriage that lays the groundwork for greater love and intimacy.
Hey everyone, my name is Lori Grffin. When my son was born, I was completely unprepared for the difficulties of raising a sensory deprived child. The stress of trying to parent a difficult child definitely takes its toll. Eventually, I had a nervous breakdown and ended up enrolling in individual counseling sessions. The counseling appointments helped me work through the emotions generated while coping with fits and meltdowns from my son. I emerged from each session better prepared to provide my son with the support he needed. I also learned how to pay attention to how I was feeling during the process. I created this site because I want to share the benefits parents receive from going to counseling sessions. Thank you.