Sexual assualt while dating

It is just as important for partners to talk through their emotional states as it is for victims, she says.

Tobias recommends checking with local associations of licensed psychologists and psychiatrists for referrals.

"I got upset, and he tried to talk to me about it, but I wouldn't talk about it," she says.

"I couldn't say what I wanted to, and he got frustrated." The impact of childhood sexual abuse on adult intimacy varies from person to person, but experts say Haney's relationship troubles are not uncommon.

Recently, Haney flew into a jealous rage when her boyfriend took a phone call from a woman friend in her presence.

Although outwardly viewing the relationship as a fling, her reaction to the phone call suggested otherwise.

Or, some survivors may use sex as a means of getting validation from men.

Some who have been sexually abused have problems staying faithful, says Linda Blick, MSW, LCSW-C, a New York City retired social worker who has counseled many sexual abuse survivors.

Those abused as children also may have difficulty trusting people, including relationship partners.

And the numbers behind this dilemma are substantial.

According to University of New Hampshire sociologist David Finkelhor, Ph D, an estimated 20% of women and up to 5% of men in the United States were abused sexually as children.

The history of abuse can also test the partner's limits of patience and understanding.

But researchers and mental health experts say there are steps couples can take to help overcome these difficulties and cultivate a healthy, meaningful relationship.

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Haney (not her real name), is currently in therapy to help overcome what she calls her "separation" of love and sex.

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