Seeing Me Brings Up Bad Memories for Her
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
I have to say that this has been a very difficult summer for me. I was dating a women in April who I thought I would marry. We were on a trip in Mexico and fell madly in love with eachother. I arrived a few days earlier than her so had to leave early as well.
A couple of days after I left she was a victim of date rape. She told me about this two days after she got home. I did not blame her or get mad at her but almost immediatly after she told me this I could feel her pulling away. She really tried to work through this with me but was unable to. We had sort of been keeping in touch for a few months but each time we talked it was just painful because there was such a lack of communication that it made me feel very week and out of control.
She actually told me a few weeks ago that she knew that she could no longer be with me because it would be a reminder of what happened to her in Mexico. I know that she really loves me and also know that if you truely love someone you need to set them free and I am doing that. Unfortunately I still hope she comes back to me once she realizes that I am actually gone.
I know that you can't answer a question like that but I am really trying to let this go. I know that it is a good thing because this week I really feel like it is over and I am filled with emotion. I pray for her every day since I know that she is in a great deal of pain but unfortunatly she could not open up to me. This has been the hardest thing I have been through but on a positive side it has been an experience that I feel will turn my life around. I guess I just wish that I could share it with her.
It's hard for me to tell by the way you phrased your letter if you guys had been dating *before* the trip to Mexico or if you guys met in Mexico and it was sort of a "vacation romance". If it was a vacation romance, then the feelings you had for each other might have been very powerful - but they were also mostly based on the romance of the situation. That happens *all* the time on cruise ships and at resorts, the head over heels feeling that can last for a long time afterwards even though it's not really based on reality. It's like a serious crush, that time will heal. The memories can last a lifetime though.
But let's assume that it was more serious than that, that you guys were actually dating, had built a relationship up over time and the trip to Mexico was more a culmination of a strong friendship. If that's the case, then what happened to her afterwards was something that made an impression on *her* - but should not affect you *relationship* you had with her.
Yes, when she thinks of you she thinks of Mexico. But Mexico was only one part of the relationship you two have, and it was not all of it. Lots of painful things happen in life, and date rape is just one of them. Children die, pets die, family members die. If you just ignored everybody related with an incident like that, you would have nobody left! One of the most important lessons to learn in life is a way to understand feelings about an *event* without then transferring those feelings to *everyone near the event*.
In fact, she has to learn to really accept what happened. It doesn't happen immediately of course, but if she tries to "hide" it, then those strong feelings will resurface any time the thought of Mexico or you or burritos or whatever comes along. But if she *accepts it* and makes it part of what has made her into a strong woman, then seeing you won't bother her at all, because you are YOU and the Mexico incident was a part of her past.
I would really insist she go to a therapist, and offer to go along too as you are wrapped up in this in her brain. At least she should talk with you regularly while she works through it. She needs to really accept what happened - and accept that you are a valuable part of her life. Again, this isn't important for just this one incident - it's valuable for *any* situation she faces in the future. To throw away a serious, long term relationship because something bad happened in a location you were in is extreme.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com