I have been with my boyfriend for ten months,during this time, about seven months into the relationship, i had my drink spiked and was sexually assaulted.
It has been three months since, and i have been dealing with it better than him. The first few weeks i was a mess, but after going to the GUM clinic and being offered advice and counselling i felt much better and had a better understanding. The only issue i am facing at the moment, personally, is feeling incredibly anxious when i go out in the evening with my friends. I find it difficult to breathe, but i know this is because i associate nightclubs and drinking with what happened.

My main concern is my relationship with my boyfriend. Since this happened he has felt sick to his stomach and it has put a great strain on our relationship. Firstly, he blames himself as he was meant to be going out that night, and secondly when we become intimate he often remembers what happened , feels sick, and loses his erection. When this happends he feels even more down, and doesnt want to try again. We have spent three months trying to ignore the issue, and it wasnt until a few days ago that he told me it was too much and he couldnt carry on.

I wish to save our relationship as it means so much to us both, but i dont know how to help him at all. I love him dearly, and want him to not feel sick when we are becoming intimate. He can sustain an erection for a period of time until he thinks about the incident. I hope you can help and thank you for your time.

A: I’m so sorry that you have been through such an ordeal. You were wise to go for some counseling right away. It sounds like you are well on your way to putting the assualt behind you and getting on with your life. Yours is a healthy, mature response.

Your boyfriend’s reaction, though embarrassing for him and frustrating for both of you isn’t that unusual. He blames himself for not being there to protect you and may not feel deserving of intimacy. He may be afraid he will remind you of what happened and hurt you. He might find it difficult to be sexual with you, knowing that someone else was – even though there was certainly no intimacy or love involved in the assault. Whatever the reason, he hasn’t been able to come to terms with it and you baven’t been able to help him. Ignoring the issue hasn’t worked either.

Since the relationship means a lot to both of you, I encourage you to get some additional counseling, this time as a couple. As you have both discovered, an assault may be on one person but it also affects the people they love. A therapist will help the two of you learn new ways to provide each other with support and care so you can get through this together.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 May 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Boyfriend can’t sustain an erection since I was raped. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/14/boyfriend-cant-sustain-an-erection-since-i-was-raped/