There’s another way your abuse could be impacting you and that’s in your enjoyment and desire for sex with your spouse. In addition to the ways sexual abuse damages our bodies, spirits and emotions, sexual abuse also damages our view of sex. When we’ve been used for others’ sexual pleasure the experience becomes associated with a negative view of sex.

One of the most confusing things for the sexual abuse victim is how their bodies responded during the abuse. How can something that feels scary, wrong and shameful also feel so good? Often a strategic pedophile grooms his victim by awakening their sexual desire, making them a more willing, pliable participant. Now something that God designed for a holy, precious union between a husband and a wife has been seared on the young person’s brain as something shameful, dirty, and painful.

Then they get married to the person of their dreams. They’re madly in love. They want to have sex with this person; except, when their sexual desire is aroused, the unexpected happens. The old familiar feelings of shame, disgust and the sense that this is wrong squelches their desire and causes them to shrink back from the loving touch of their spouse. Or if their abuse was violent causing fear and feelings of helplessness, those same emotions will arise during sexual intimacy, even though this is a safe person. You see, sexual abuse not only robs a child of their childhood, but also steals from their future. The result is an emotional and physical withdrawal on the part of the sexual abuse victim fracturing the marriage union at its foundation.

If this is you, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for all that’s been robbed from you–your yesterday and your today. There is hope for you. It no longer has to rob you of your future. You can choose today to break its hold on you, to heal from the pain and shame to love and live in freedom and wholeness.

I can hear some of you saying to yourself, “But I’ve done all the counseling…I’ve tried everything I can think of, and nothing has worked.” You may not like my answer, but I’m going to encourage you to not give up. Don’t give up. Healing is a journey, a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Along with the support of a professional counselor I encourage you to try the steps of healing offered – “How to Heal from Your Sexual Past”. I’ve seen God transform and heal the lives of hundreds of women as they’ve brought their hurts and pain to Him.

There is hope for healing. God can heal anyone. He can heal anything. He’s done it for me, and countless others. And He wants to do it for you.

Please, just don’t give up.

You don’t have to face this alone: Email a mentor

For further reading in this series:

Childhood Sexual Abuse: How the past affects the present
How do I know if I’ve been sexually abused?
Why do I feel this way?
How do I know if I need healing?
How can I heal from my sexual past?

Recommended Reading:

On The Threshold of Hope by: Diane Langberg
The Wounded Heart: Hope For Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by: Dan Allender
Barbara’s Books covers many issues including Sexual Abuse and much more.

Written by Barbara Wilson Psy.D.

Barbara Wilson Psy.D.

Dr. Barbara Wilson is an author, Doctor of Clinical Psychology and the founder of Freedom Bound Communications, an organization that brings healing and hope to those with a sexual past. She speaks internationally to youth and adults with her message of sexual bonding and healing. Released from a past of her own, Barbara combines neuroscience and Scripture, with her own story of healing to explain what sexual bonding is and how to move freely into your future in her books, The Invisible Bond: How to Break Free From Your Sexual Past and Kiss Me Again; Restoring Lost Intimacy In Marriage. Dr. Wilson’s study guide, Free, Finding Freedom and Healing from your Past, available in women’s, men’s and young women versions, is being used locally and nationally to walk men and women through an empirically-based, trauma-focused approach for healing from past abuse, sexual trauma and destructive relationships. You can view or purchase any of her books here. Barbara and her husband have been married over 30 years.