• Sexual Relationships and Self Harm

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    Shadow Collector [sign in to see picture]
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    Hey guys x

    The title really says it all. I've been curious about this for ages now, but only just worked up the courage to ask.

    Could you be in a sexual/romantic relationship with a person who self harms, or has in the past?

    1423357110
    The_Cuboner [sign in to see picture]
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    I'm not sure. My initial response is no but obviously if I like the guy, I can't help it. I'm a Psychology student though and I've avoided starting something with someone who has depression for that reason. I feel it could get very messy, very quickly

    1423357299
    Lovebirds_x [sign in to see picture]
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    Yup, I have been and indeed my partners all have been as I used to self harm until a couple of years ago. It can be difficult due to the underlying emotional problems, but the actual self harming isn't a big factor as once you understand it you understand it, if you know what I mean (as opposed to other issues which may be ongoing and prove more difficult to deal with over time). You will of course find people who don't and don't want to try to understand it or accept it, to the point where a relationship will not happen, but it doesn't rule out ever having a sexual or romantic relationship with anyone :)

    Is there a specific reason why you're asking?

    1423357869
    SensualFire [sign in to see picture]
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    This is a tricky subject and one that needs to be approached with care. I am in a relationship with some one who has depression, anxiety and social anxiety. It can become so very stressful and upsetting, because there is an inability to `connect` on one or more level.

    As for some one who has self harmed, `emphasis` on the has aka in the past, then it means the individual has moved on which is very good, however if they are still self harming, there is a lot of underlying pain, hurt, trauma, and so many wounds, due to the lack of compassion, nurturing and love, given, or self recieved.

    Speaking from experience, I have to break away every so often from my partner, be it for a day or a afternoon, maybe even a weekend, because there is an inability or a refusal to let go of root issues that is `creating` the pain etc.

    I personally would say that people who are self harming, are capable of giving so much love and are very gentle, yet are prone to `reacting` and its those reactions, that can be painful to those around them.

    Tread carefully, and be capable of being patient and compassionate, and well things will be easier

    SF

    1423395069
    MissNoir [sign in to see picture]
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    I suffer very bad anxiety which concerned doctors last year & the year before. I've had 'thoughts' and used to self harm, not badly but to the point I started making small scars.

    Since being with my boyfriend, I feel better. It takes time but he wanted to understand what goes on, why it happens & what started it. He asked me to go to counselling, something that I rejected in the past and I've had my first session. It can work but it can be tough at times for both parties, I'm very grateful for what he puts up with sometimes, especially hysterical crying on the phone, he got me to stop hurting myself too and there's some things that cannot be mentioned.

    To answer your question, it can work as long as both dudes make it work & don't give up at the first sign of trouble/first hurdle.

    1423399075
    Grace1ess [sign in to see picture]
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    Have done in the past, would again.

    1423399818
    girlalive [sign in to see picture]
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    I would. I used to self-harm and I'm covered in scars. My husband has never cared. He tries to help me to not need to self-harm anymore, but even when I have slip-ups he still loves me and still wants me.

    If you really sit down and talk to the person who self-harms, usually you will find a kind and sensitive person, and there is nothing to be afraid of.

    1423406712
    fairehlights [sign in to see picture]
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    It's a hard one and it depends entirely on the people involved. Some people have so many emotional issues they can't sustain a relationship, some can still do so.

    I formerly self harmed, but it's still a very real thing and I lean towards relapse fairly often. Both my partner and I are fairly heavily mentally ill, but both recovering. We knew this before we were in a relationship, and we're equipped to deal with it.
    It's very very hard, don't get me wrong, but we work well together.

    I am very careful with what I let on to potential occasional or secondary partners though. I feel if they knew the extent to which I am ill, they wouldn't think I was capable of sustaining poly relationships.

    If you're entering into a relationship with someone who is mentally ill and/or self harms, and you have the slightest idea of ''fixing them'', do not do it. They need to get better of their own accord and whilst you could help support them, you cannot make them better entirely and they should not lean on you completely. It will not help either of you in the long term.

    If you have a white knight complex, don't do it.

    On a soley physical note, you just have to be careful to minimise infection and lasting damage. It depends on the nature of the harm, but as a couple you have to be very prepared for sex not to be like it has been in the past.

    Whilst mental illness doesn't define someone, it does- and will- become your entire life, at least for a while. You do have to be prepared for that.

    1423407708
    squeakysquirrel [sign in to see picture]
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    I've never been in a relationship with someone who self harms, however I used to be a self harmer and am in a relationship after almost 3 years clean of self harm. So if you want the other perspective this will be useful.

    The most important things about being in a relationship with someone who self harms (in my opinion) is trust, honesty, and empathy. Obviously it's horrifying to think of your loved one hurting themselves. However, self harm as I see it is not the diagnosis, but the symptom. People who self harm often suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses. Encourage them to get help from their family, doctor, psych - anyone. Try to foster a relationship in which they feel comfortable telling you when they're getting urges to self harm or they have self harmed. Don't tell them off for these behaviours and understand that it's an addiction. It's been a couple of years since I last cut and I'd be lying if I said I still didn't think about it sometimes.

    The reality is they're not going to stop self harming unless they really want to. Like any addiction, you can't make them recover, they have to choose to independantly. If you love them or find that your relationship with them is mutually beneficial, go ahead and try to be an honest communicator. If you find it to be a deal breaker and they keep saying they'll stop but they don't, break it off. But most importantly, look after yourself. If you find it too depressing to be around them or that it affects you too negatively, leave them and look after yourself. They will understand down the track.

    Hope this helps, good luck xxx

    1423412834
    Young and fun95 [sign in to see picture]
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    I self harmed for years, serious depression and anxiety, the first time OH saw me naked gays terrified of him judging me, he's never mentioned them. Yeah I've been difficult, I stopped self harming a little while before I met him so he's never had to deal with that but I've had days when I just haven't stopped crying, I get paranoid he's cheating and I'm incredibly dependant on him, if he goes out with his friends I can't go to bed until he comes in because I'm scared of being alone. But. I'm incredibly appreciative of everything he does for us, I constantly do all I can't to make him happy, I'd never be unfaithful and I'd do anything for him and us. All this is a result of my depression, the fact that he's the first person to ever love me, that I truly believe he deserves better, I'll work my entire life to be worthy.
    Yeah we require a lot of work, but when we come through the other side we're bloody worth it and we'll never forget our knight in shining armour

    1423413364
    Laveila [sign in to see picture]
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    I have importer syndrom, with self harming mental tendencies, which is also bad. I can however control it, most of the time, but there are days when I have to tell my partner, that I need to be alone for afternoon or day to sort the inner mess out.

    I think one of my previous relationships failed because the guy insisted he would be there for me and that we can do it together and I turned it against myself and him... I learnt from that mistake. I can prevent myself from going down the path, but sometimes it means I need bit of time alone. My current partner is very understanding and just leaves me alone, making it clear he is there for me when I am ready to talk about it. So far, after nearly a year, it seems to be working for both of us.

    So I guess it depends on how bad the self harming tendencies are, how both party can handle it. I can understand that some people may not be able to. Which I do bit understand

    1423426697
    Bubblevicious [sign in to see picture]
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    Yes, I would. I can think of worse things for a person to do and I'd certainly be able to empathise with them.

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