How to trust again after a boyfriend attacked you

Pennelope0214 asks: The guy I wrote you about finally made a move. We’ve talked about it, and he sometimes says it was spur-of-the-moment and sometimes says it wasn’t; and I find myself saying the same to him about my responding to it. But here’s the problem: I have been through an incident where my ex tried murdering me. He cut my throat and yet somehow I survived. So I am too scared to take that risk again. I have real feelings for this guy but it makes me sick to even think about getting into a relationship. This guy keeps on comforting me, asking me to come back as soon as possible. But how am I supposed to confront to him about the same? It’s going to break him. Even yesterday, on a call he said he would like to kiss me again and would give me that authority. I somehow managed to hang up. I don’t know what to do.

Hi Pennelope0214 –



What a horrible horrible experience! I am so sorry! You dropped it into your question so casually, too, like one of my friends saying “I had a human once who sometimes forgot to feed me, or get me my shots.” No, you’re talking about attempted murder – and an attempt that came awfully close to success! Of COURSE you’re afraid and cautious. How could you not be?!


Well, my friend, there’s only one solution here. You simply have to tell him. I’d say to do it on the phone so you can feel safe and distant, and he can feel free to react without you seeing him (If he’s as caring as my Handsome, he might well throw up there on the spot, as he’s probably getting quite smitten with that lovely – and so hurt – throat of yours).


Now this is going to bring up an odd issue. Lots of times I get letters from people who’ve been cheated on, or hit, and have trouble believing their new romance won’t do the same thing to them. But this is a very different case. Hardly anyone does what that other man did to you, Ever. So this guy’s job isn’t going to be so much to convince you he’s not a throat-cutter, as to work extremely hard to avoid doing anything that will trigger that awful memory in you.


I do understand that the subject is so awful you hate to talk about it, but the only way this relationship can possibly work is for him to know what happened. You don’t have to tell him any more details than you want, but once he knows this most important fact (the bit you’ve told me), he should be able to adjust every bit of the way he acts toward you accordingly.


If you haven’t already, I’d also urge you to go to a therapist to talk about your experience. Someone well-trained in trauma work, who can help you to move forward in your life from this nightmare. And maybe you can even bring this man in to meet with you and the therapist, to discuss ways to make your life – and lives – better.


Now if there’s anyone in your life who’s telling you that you need to just forget about what happened, or move on as if it never did – they’re simply mistaken. You’ll never not have the memory of this brutality.

But you can have someone devoted to protecting you from it. Not just from other murderous thugs, but from the terror you have suffered ever since.


And if all is as it appears – this could be that guy.


Give him a chance.




All my love,


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