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My boyfriend pushed my boundaries

When I lived abroad last year, I was with someone who had been a Christian before but wasn't anymore. I'm a Christian, and he knew where my boundaries were, but he was always, always, always trying to stretch them. I mean, I should have realized that it wasn't going to end well, but I was in love and thought it would be fine as long as I could say no.
And it went well for a long time, but then Christmas Eve came, and I was sad (30 hours by plane away from my family at Christmas) and there was a pool party with free alcohol, and I drank a little too much. We ended up kissing as usual and he said he wanted me to come to his room (we lived in the same place) so we could "make out by ourselves", but when I got there he took off his swimming trunks and I remember being really confused because I hadn't agreed to it, but then he said it was because it was wet and that made sense to me, so I stayed.
But he undressed me and I said no, but not a strict "no", more of a vulnerable "please don't", because he knew I didn't want to (sorry if this is a bit too descriptive). But the point is that I didn't want to, and he insisted (I was wearing panties, but nothing else), and I remember just lying there and doing nothing until I started crying, and he saw it and asked why, and I said I had to go.
And now I can't put it down, even though it's almost a year ago. I don't know what to think about it, because on the one hand we were together, and he shared a lot of personal things with me, and we were great friends, but then this happened, and I don't know how to deal with it. It was my fault, because everyone told me that he couldn't be trusted, and he always pushed my boundaries, so I should have realized that it wasn't going to end well, but I don't know how to put it behind me and how to stop thinking about it.
So, I was wondering if you guys had any thoughts? Don't know if this is even the right site for that kind of thing, but worth a try.

Regards Girl aged 20

Hello dear.

Thank you for contacting us.

It is painful to read that you have experienced something you would have preferred to avoid and that you are struggling with now in retrospect. Unfortunately, it happens all too often that girls are pressured into sexual acts and that they are too vague in the way they say no. And especially when you're drunk, you lose the ability to be as clear and precise about your boundaries as you would otherwise have been.

However, when you say "no", even if it is a cautious no, it should be respected. Subjecting someone to unwanted sexual touching is considered sexual assault and is a criminal offense in Norway. This is regardless of whether alcohol is involved or not. Now, this happened abroad a year ago, so there is probably not much you can do in terms of reporting the case. But regardless, this is an unpleasant experience that you need to talk about and process. There are places with people who are well trained to talk about such experiences: Resource Center against Rape on: 22 44 40 50 or Church SOS on: 81533300. Both are free counseling services that are bound by confidentiality.

Since you are a Christian, it may also be necessary and beneficial for you to talk to a counselor. Together with an experienced Christian, you can lay your burden on Jesus and gain the faith to accept God's full, boundless grace that He gives to all who come to Him. When you ask Him for forgiveness for what you know is troubling your conscience, He will cleanse you completely from all unrighteousness and restore purity to your life. And in Jesus' name, you can sever all ties with the person you now feel pain towards. It is also important that you forgive yourself and give yourself a fresh start. When you can see yourself as forgiven and pure, you can gain the power to set new boundaries so that it doesn't happen again (John 8:11).

In addition to forgiving yourself, you also need to forgive the person who caused you pain, pushed you and overstepped your boundaries. Forgiveness is not saying it was okay and allowing others to take advantage of you. Nor does it mean that you forget about it and pretend it didn't happen. And it doesn't mean that you now gain trust in the person who did it. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a conscious choice to put the incident behind you, to choose not to take revenge or to let anger and bitterness take over. By forgiving, you choose to put the incident behind you and look forward and not let it take control and focus on your life.

You can of course do this alone and pray to God alone, but when you go through this process with a counselor/experienced Christian, it will feel more concrete and real, and it can be easier to live in it and believe in it than if you do it alone.

In retrospect, it is also important to think about what you could have done differently and plan to prevent it from happening again. You have a good perspective on what happened, and it is important that you make an action plan so that being in love, alcohol, or your choice of environment/friends/boyfriend do not put you in such a bad situation again. Because even though it is not acceptable to attempt to force sex upon someone who says "no", you have now learned that not everyone respects that. That's why you need to protect yourself, so it doesn't happen again.

So don't lose heart. With God's help, you can put this behind you and move on with your life. And in short, the "recipe" for that is:

1: to talk about and process the thoughts and experiences you have about your choices and the event itself.
2: to forgive the person who disrespected your boundaries and pushed you into something you didn't want.
3: to forgive yourself for your choices.
4: to accept and believe in God's full forgiveness and restoration.
5: make a concrete plan to ensure that nothing similar will happen again.

We also recommend you to read:

The invisible reality of sex
I’ve had sex, what can I say to people
Regret having sex
God's grace is greater than anything else

Kind regards, BoyandGirl.info

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