Will you voluntarily and happily accept a rape survivor as your spouse?

Answer by Anonymous:

Dwarkanath Prabhu I would like to tell you something.
My girlfriend was raped when she was 12.
As you must know rape at that age can traumatize anyone! She was no different. During the initial stages of our relationship she was very moody, and very insecure. I always found it draining, I did not break it up because she was so very sweet!

Let me get to the point. During the early stages of our relationship I had no idea that her past had been so traumatic. I had an idea that it was, but I had never thought that she had been raped. Once she did try telling me about it but she ended us saying that someone had tried to touch her inappropriately but she broke down and just couldn't complete. She would tell me other stories of how boys had behaved with her and how they behave in general with girls. All of that used to shock me.

Then the day came when we had our first drink together. We were very drunk, she more then me. And she starts saying, "I have to tell you something, I have lied to you and you don't deserve me" This baffled me, and my brain went into overdrive "Did she cheat on me?" "Was she dying?" And then she blurts out, "I was raped" and then she broke down. This numbed me, it was that bone chilling numbness you feel at least once in your lifetime. Why did I feel so? Not because I was sad that I wasn't going to be able to have sex with a virgin, that thought never crossed my mind, but because of the sudden realization that the girl you love the most has lived the horrors of rape.

What she was thinking when she confessed to me.
She kept repeating that she is sorry that she couldn't save herself for me, and that I deserved better. I on the other hand kept reassuring her that I did not give a damn about her past. It took me more than an hour before I could convince her that I really did not. I also made her promise me that we will talk about this the next day.

The next day, we went out for a walk. And I slowly asked her if all that still haunts her.
She said yes.

I asked her does she feel guilty about it?
She said yes, and that at times she feels so sad that she starts slapping herself.

I turned to her and I said, the next time you feel guilty, just remember that I will be the one slapping you!

She smiled at me meekly and said "I love you"

Why am I telling you all this?
To point out that I had by that time realized that some of irrational behavior was because of the trauma she had suffered. And slowly I steered the conversation towards her erratic behavior and tried to make her understand that I was there for her. Initially she was hesitant and did not want me to help, but I persisted and she caved.

We never talked about it again.

But there is one thing which I have always kept in my mind. That no matter what happens I just have to get her to stop blaming herself. The first step towards that was not changing my behavior towards her at all. And I made sure I got irritated by her irrational behavior as I had always done. At the same time I had taken upon myself to build her self-esteem as that is something most victims lack.

Six months and numerous fights later, she has changed, she is much more considerate, she is much more accommodating, she is not insecure her academics have improved, she is more confident of herself and her body, and she is the love of my life!

Again, why am I telling you all this? You clearly stated that "If I have a happy relationship and I find out some day that my partner had been raped, I would not let that affect the relationship" then why did this bother me? Because though out your answer you have made an assumption that every rape victim is mentally unstable and that she can not lead a healthy sex life (trust me our sex life is pretty good! Better then most couples around here). This is where you are very wrong my friend. Was my girlfriend mentally unstable? No, she had low self-esteem. Why? Because people like you have made her think that she is in someways inadequate. Just because a sex hungry man took advantage of her she is not marriage material (which is reflected in your statement "I'm in for an arranged marriage and my parents find out about her being a rape victim, I would not marry her"

How do we change this? by not making her feel inadequate about herself.
Let me tell you, if I had known before hand that she had been a rape victim it would never have stopped me from going into a relationship with her. I believe it is very important for us to not judge people on what they have been through. You can very well say that it took me a lot of effort and energy to make her feel better about herself? Well, yes it did. Then why did I do this? Because that was the right thing to do. And because I wanted to. She was a very sweet girl and I thought it was just very wrong of her to be living with this burden on her. I did not do this out of pity, but out of love.

On the one hand I helped her get over her past, and on the other hand she helped me get over my present. I was a very whining kind of guy and after I learnt her secret I realized how strong she was and how she had moved on even after facing all the difficulties she did. All in all she has made me a better and a stronger man.

And now to answer the question

Will I marry her?

If everything goes well in the future, I see no reason not to. She is the sweetest most caring girl I have met. In her I see all the qualities which I want to see in the mother of my child.

Thank you.

EDIT- I see many who have mentioned the fact that because the girl has been through so much they will have to be more caring for her, well that is not really true. The girl herself wants you to ignore her past and behave as normally as possible, that includes fighting with her and at times not listening to what she says!

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