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11 Jul 2011

Teen sexual abuse a reason to treat men badly?
Dear Prof
I just want to know whether it is normal for a woman who has been sexually abused in her teens (twice) to treat men (including husband) badly later in adult life. By treatment I mean " intentionally"  hurting partners through things like emotional abuse, cheating, undermining them, not being capable of loving any man, etc. Thanks.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

It is understandable ( but not justifiable ) if anyone who has had previous bad experiences such as early sexual abuse, to be suspicious of people in any way similar to their abuser and it is quite common for experiences of early sexual abuse, especially if there has been no proper counselling to help the person work through this and get over it well, to develop complicated and uncomfortable sexual and emotional relationships, which is why we would recommend such counselling.
Sadly, it is recognized that some of those, male or female, who have been abused, may in turn become abusers, but this is not excusable. To intentionally hurt others is not excusable or something to be overlooked, whatever has happened to us earlier in life.
It sounds as though the person you are describing really needs proper psychotherapy from a trained psychologist, to help her give up these bad habits within her relationships, for the sake of herself and of course that of her partner(s).
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