How do you cope with these unwanted intrusions on your romantic life?
I think the most important thing to remember is patience. Regardless of whether this is your first relationship or your thirtieth there will be issues of trust; in yourself, your partner and you both as a couple. A part of that patience is learning to forgive yourself for being affected by your past. If you are constantly chiding yourself for not being perfect, for not being the partner you feel your partner deserves, it is much more difficult to accept yourself.
|Carefree beach frolic|
The emotions we feel in the aftermath are natural feelings. It is okay to feel scared with your partner because you are emotionally remembering a terrifying time in your life. There are some days where my partner has to only touch my arm and I internally freak out. I used to hate myself for being so "damaged", but I wasn't damaged at all; just hurting.
Another thing to remember is that your partner has chosen to be with you. It isn't an obligation or a burden unto them that they cannot escape, they actually want to be with you. Take pause on that for a moment. Yes, someone wants to be with you because you are you. They didn't get with you to "fix" you or because they imagined a different you - they fell in love with you. That is difficult for us to accept as survivors but rape doesn't make us unlovable.