to the original poster(s) how did you manage to meet any significant others, and/or spouse? How much did SA alter your social and interpersonal navigation?
I'm still a 45-year-old v_rgin who has never had a girlfriend.
When I was young I fled from at least 2 quite nice men that asked me out. I couldn't imagine having a close relationship.
Then I met my husband-to-be at my work. I wasn't scared to get into a "relationship" with him and I saw a way of living my life. So I did. Later, he turned out to have a serious personality disorder and became very abusive. I kind of accepted this as the price I had to pay to have a life. I know, it sounds crazy and I'm not proud of it. On the contrary, I feel deep shame. Shame I still feel every day.
I can see now I chose this man over the nice ones because he never wanted emotional intimacy.
I had kids. A big family in fact. I had a social life through my husband as he was a person who had to have people around all the time, loved drama.
When the kids reached adolescence his behaviour was getting crazily dangerous. I think he couldn't stand them becoming their own personalities.
I managed to leave, with the help of the police. Since then I have brought my kids up alone. In my heart I knew I owed them everything as I feel I had them for selfish reasons. So I can honestly say I have done a good job of bringing them up. They are all good people with good values. They all have good relationships. At least 2 have SA and I'm able to support them as I understand their problems.
So, there's my life. The good and the bad. I'm left with feelings of shame.
I'm afraid I haven't been able to help you. I wouldn't recommend anyone do what I did.
Now, I'm still living with the same SA. I live alone. Kids not very close. I have to go out and meet people. I'm retired so I do "activities". I join clubs based on shared activities - if my interest is strong enough I force myself into uncomfortable situations.I recognise I don't make friends, but I have social contact.
I try not to be sad.