Resources for Partners of Sexual Abuse Survivors

Posted On: November 19, 2018

1. A Layman’s Guide to Loving A Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

The sad statistics show that about one in four girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused (which includes molestation, assault and rape) by the time they’re 18 years old. Estimates suggest that 20-62% of the entire US population have been sexually abused. And that’s just sexual abuse. When you throw in all the other forms of abuse that children suffer, it’s easy to see how virtually all of us are dealing with some sort of abuse issues.

In my opinion, sexual abuse seems to be one of the most damaging types of abuse perpetrated against a child. It often involves not only sexual abuse but physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual abuse as well. A child’s innocence is stolen at the moment of the first
unwelcome touch. Their trust is violated and shattered, especially when it comes to their concepts of what it means to love and be loved because roughly 90% of childhood sexual abuse is perpetrated by a family member or a close, trusted family friend. While the incidence of female abusers is on the rise, statistics show that roughly 95% of abusers are heterosexual males.

At times, while reading this book, you may get the impression that being in a relationship with a survivor is not worth the effort. There seems to be so many issues to deal with and, especially for those who are just starting in a relationship, it may seem as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But survivors are very strong people. They have to be to have lived through what they lived through. And it is an amazing experience to watch the one you love blossom right before your eyes. It is a prvilege to share in that experience with her and as much a joy to watch him take those first “baby steps” as it is to watch your own child learn to walk. Loving a survivor is also a wonderful way to learn about your own strengths and to grow into a better person yourself.

Please keep in mind as you read this book that many of the examples given are extremes beacuse it’s so much easier to see the point when you use extreme cases. A word of warning to any survivor of sexual abuse/assault or abuse of any form who may read this book. Some events described herein may be triggering. Please be safe while reading

For more, click here.

2. Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child

“But what about me?”
“Is it possible to go one day without dealing with the survivor’s issues?”
“Will we ever make love again?”
“Will the survivor love me in the end?”
“How do I know if I should throw in the towel?”

Based on in-depth interviews and her workshops for partners across the country, Laura Davis offers practical advice and encouragement to all partners—girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, and lovers—trying to support the survivors in their lives while tending to their own needs along the way. She shows couples how to deepen compassion, improve communication, and develop an understanding of healing as a shared activity. Addressing partners’ most important questions, Allies in Healing covers:

  • The Basics—answers common questions about sexual abuse.
  • Allies in Healing—introduces key concepts of working and growing together.
  • My Needs and Feelings—teaches partners to recognize, value, and express their own needs.
  • Dealing with Crisis—includes strategies for handling suicidal feelings, regression, and hopelessness.
  • Intimacy and Communication—offers practical advice on dealing with distancing, control, trust, and fighting.
  • Sex—provides guidelines for coping with flashbacks, lack of desire, differences in sexual needs, and frustration.
  • Family lssues—suggests a range of ideas for interacting with the survivor’s family.
  • Partners’ Stories—explores the struggles, triumphs, and courage of eight partners.

For more, click here.

3. Change Your Life and Everyone In It: How To

From the bestselling author of Divorce Busting comes a powerful blueprint for creating immediate, dramatic, and lasting changes in every aspect of your life.

If you’re tired of being told why you have problems instead of what you can do about them, if you’re tired of examining your feelings and are ready for action, then Michele Weiner-Davis has good news for you. Whether you’re attempting to improve a difficult relationship, struggling to overcome depression, trying to establish a better relationship with your kids, or coping with a stressful work environment, Change Your Life and Everyone In It is filled with inspiring examples of people who have made real and enduring changes in their lives. Focusing on the simple actions that make change possible, Weiner-Davis offers a step-by-step, no nonsense program for discovering and implementing practical solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems.

For more, click here.





4. Ghosts in the Bedroom: A Guide for the Partners of Incest Survivors

LI>As the partner of an incest survivor, do you feel like a neglected victim even though your life has been drastically affected by the aftermath of sexual abuse?

Do you fee left out in the cold as you watch them go through recovery?

Do you feel isolated or rejected, and think that no one else will understand your problems?

Although the impact of incest or sexual abuse can destroy relationships and test long-standing commitments, the information in this book may be the key to holding your relationship together through the journey to recovery.

Ghosts in the Bedroom provides comfort and guidance for partners in the process of recovery. Graber draws from personal experience to show how partners can accept responsibility for their own issues, support the recovery of the incest or sexual abuse survivor and work toward solving relationship problems together.

For more, click here.



5. How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To

Until now, we have been taught that forgiveness is good for us and that good people forgive. Dr. Spring, a gifted therapist and the award-winning author of After the Affair, proposes a radical, life-affirming alternative that lets us overcome the corrosive effects of hate and get on with our lives—without forgiving. She also offers a powerful and unconventional model for genuine forgiveness—one that asks as much of the offender as it does of us.

This bold and healing book offers step-by-step, concrete instructions that help us make peace with others and with ourselves, while answering such crucial questions as these:

  • How do I forgive someone who is unremorseful or dead?
  • When is forgiveness cheap?
  • What is wrong with refusing to forgive?
  • How can the offender earn forgiveness?
  • How do we forgive ourselves for hurting another human being?

For more, click here.



6Outgrowing the Pain Together

Because love is not enough… a step-by-step plan for overcoming obstacles together. Childhood abuse has many forms, but the message is always the same: people who love you hurt you. If you are the spouse or partner of a survivor of an abusive childhood, you know what that means-a relationship that has you worried, angry, or frustrated. You may be wondering if the person you love will ever “get over” his or her past, and if you can ever have a “normal” relationship. You may even have thought about leaving out of frustration and despair. But there is real help. Therapist Eliana Gil understands the special problems you and your partner face. Based on her extensive clinical experience with adults abused as children, she has developed a unique, much-needed program specifically for couples. It provides guidance in:

  • Anger management
  • Safe and successful ways to express feelings
  • The dangerous trigger words: what are they; what they do
  • Touching or being touched: no more fear; no more guilt.
  • Good sex: Loving, fulfilling intimacy
  • Decision-making and power: equal partners at last
  • Ending the silence: communication that worked
  • Commitment: being able to count on tomorrow… and more.

For more, click here.

7. Survivors & Partners: Healing the Relationships of Sexual Abuse Survivors 

This book is written for couples (or individuals) who are facing healing the effects of the wounds of childhood sexual abuse on their relationships. It provides both the survivor and the partner an in-depth understanding of the factors affecting each of them and offers a clear guide to working through the necessary steps and issues for healing. A helpful guide for individuals, couples and for therapists facing theses issues.

Topics covered include: ACCEPTING THE JOURNEY How to Recognize the Victim, Understand the Survivor, And Become a Thriver. DISCOVERING AND IDENTIFYING THE ABUSE: Effects on the Couple THE STRUGGLE WITH DENIAL: Breaking through Denial RUNNING AWAY BEHAVIOR: The Quest for Safety COPING WITH ANGER GRIEF: Healing the Losses for each person HOW TO HANDLE SEX: The Dilemma of Intimacy WHO IS THE VICTIM? The Victimization of the Partner HINTS FOR COUPLES IN THE HEALING PROCESS Useful questionnaires to confirm an assessment of sexual abuse help understand some of the more confusing effects of the abuse.

For more, click here.



8. Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America’s Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies for Strengthening Your Relationship

In Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, marital psychologists John and Julie Gottman provide vital tools—scientifically based and empirically verified—that you can use to regain affection and romance lost through years of ineffective communication.

In 1994, Dr. John Gottman and his colleagues at the University of Washington made a startling announcement: Through scientific observation and mathematical analysis, they could predict—with more than 90 percent accuracy—whether a marriage would succeed or fail. The only thing they did not yet know was how to turn a failing marriage into a successful one, so Gottman teamed up with his clinical psychologist wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, to develop intervention methods. Now the Gottmans, together with the Love Lab research facility, have put these ideas into practice.

What emerged from the Gottmans’ collaboration and decades of research is a body of advice that’s based on two surprisingly simple truths: Happily married couples behave like good friends, and they handle their conflicts in gentle, positive ways. The authors offer an intimate look at ten couples who have learned to work through potentially destructive problems—extramarital affairs, workaholism, parenthood adjustments, serious illnesses, lack of intimacy—and examine what they’ve done to improve communication and get their marriages back on track.

Hundreds of thousands have seen their relationships improve thanks to the Gottmans’ work. Whether you want to make a strong relationship more fulfilling or rescue one that’s headed for disaster, Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage is essential reading.

For more, click here.

9. What About Me? A Guide for Men Helping Female Partners Deal with Childhood Sexual Abuse

This is a book for the silent sufferers – the millions of men worldwide who are helping female partners recover from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. What About Me? will help men understand the issues surrounding childhood sexual abuse and prepare them for the rocky journey through the healing process with a survivor. It will help them understand why women who are healing say and do certain things. It will also give them a better understanding of their own actions and feelings.

For more, click here.







10. When a Man You Love Was Abused: A Woman’s Guide to Helping Him Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation

The numbers of males abused in childhood are sometimes listed as low as 5 percent or as high as 33 percent. Though statistics are controversial, no one disputes the fact that childhood abuse is a continuing problem―or that such abuse can have devastating effects on future relationships. For all women who know and love a survivor of sexual assault, best-selling author Cecil Murphey has penned an honest and forthright book about surviving―and thriving―despite past abuses.

Both informative and highly practical, Murphey helps women understand the continuing problems that abuse survivors may encounter, including hurtful memories, issues of self worth, and the need to feel in control. With sensitivity and encouragement, Murphey then explains what women can do to help bring about healing and forgiveness. Written with the empathy that only a true survivor can convey, When a Man You Love Was Abused is a timely piece of advice and encouragement.

For more, click here.




11. Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism

In this groundbreaking book — the first popular book on narcissism in more than a decade — clinical social worker and psychotherapist Sandy Hotchkiss shows you how to cope with controlling, egotistical people who are incapable of the fundamental give-and-take that sustains healthy relationships. Exploring how individuals come to have this shortcoming, why you get drawn into their perilous orbit, and what you can do to break free, Hotchkiss describes the “Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism” and their origins. You will learn to recognize these hallmarks of unhealthy narcissism — Shamelessness, Magical Thinking, Arrogance, Envy, Entitlement, Exploitation, Bad Boundaries — and to understand the roles that parenting and culture play in their creation.

Whether the narcissist in question is a coworker, spouse, parent, or child, Why Is It Always About You? provides abundant practical advice for anyone struggling to break narcissism’s insidious spread to the next generation, and for anyone who encounters narcissists in everyday life.

For more, click here.


Let me know what you think of these resources.



About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than nine years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network.  She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

Eroscoaching Logo

Get sex tips straight in your mailbox!