Send Your Replies to Ann Marie

Ann Marie,

That’s a tough one for me as I’m 58 . I’ve only lived alone for 3 years now for the first time and I love it. I never did well with relationships as my person-picker was very broken and I only know one thing. I needed to heal and deal with my own issues before attempting another relationship that’s intimate. I’ve thought much the last three years if it wouldn’t always be too complicated to be intimate again.

I’ve considered that if I want to stay at peace I may be best off staying single.

If I was to get serious the man would have to love me enough to study up on MPD and make a real effort to understand me. I would want to know them at least 6 months before getting serious and I would stay celibate until I married. He would have to be a good communicator and love God a lot to therefore be capable of loving me like I would want to be loved.

I’ve been married 5 times, had two annulments and married 3 times, plus had other serious relationships. I think it would have to be someone very special to give up the peace I have with God living alone with all abusers out of my life now.

I don’t think I would tell a new friend right away about your diagnosis. I'd let them get to know you first and see how special you are before bringing up MPD, as an instant judgment unusually comes with that. First let them see you are not crazy but brilliant and fascinating to know. A true survivor with courage. Also you have suffered enough and you decide who is worthy of knowing that about you.

I do tend to believe that staying out of intimate relationships has been best for my recovery thus far. I think at times it would be nice to be in a good relationship now that I’m further into my recovery. I’ve been in abuse most of my life, so it’s kind of hard for me to be hopeful. I have left that idea in God’s hands for now. Right now it’s myself, the Lord , my dog Stanley who is 15 and my cat Shiloh. I find myself very content and thinking now of writing my life story again.

I also know I have sexual issues as I don’t even have a sexual relationship with myself, much less what I would have to deal with in a marriage situation. I really like my life the way it is. Also I would have to get a majority rule with my “others” to proceed with anything serious with a man.

I wish you well in your efforts to be in an intimate relationship .

Judy H.


Ann Marie
Intimate relationships...even without DID... aren't they one of the most challenging areas for any two people? Throw in a few alters and you've got yourself quite the challenge! But as with many of the other types of difficulties relationships face, such challenges can be managed.

In 2005 I had a psycho-spiritual crisis that landed me in a psychiatric hospital. Since that time, I have been quite open about my history and, much to my surprise, when I do tell someone about my abuse, more often than not they reveal something similar about their own lives....a seventy-five year old woman, a sixty-year old man, a fifty-one year old man, a sixteen year old girl...all seemed quite relieved to have had someone "open the door" for them. Most of us have experienced some trauma in our lives and like Lynn, I usually say something early on- no details, just the general idea so I know if I can even relate to the person. With some people, I find that we both just open right up right from the start...this is usually when we share very similar histories and seem to sense the similarities between us.

I think Lynn has an excellent idea in suggesting that you work with your inner group through journaling and similar activities so as to determine how safe everyone feels about getting into a relationship. Under the right circumstances, there is a lot of healing to be gained through intimacy but it is important to keep "checking in" with your inner group all along the way to make sure that, with each step closer, everyone inside is still feeling safe.

I wish you all the best as you begin to explore this wonderful area of life!
Lynda Wisdo


Ann Marie,

I go with the idea that all relationships are hard by nature. I do not think it is harder for me because of my past. I do not know anyone else's past so I do not judge me or anyone else. Easy to say impossible to live... I can only come as close as I can.

I can tell early in the relationship if it just works for me. For me it is most about having the person know that I am in therapy and it takes a lot of my time, energy and effort. It is the most important thing in my life right now other than my relationships. People get confused when I am not all about work or getting things done. I am about therapy and healing which is hard work and a lot of things get done. I find it is good that they know that up front. Makes it easier to answer "So what did you do today?"

I do not turn my other relationships into therapy nor do I become a therapist in my relationships. That can happen quick.

What I tell them is that I experienced extreme abuse which was not limited to sexual abuse and was not my family. I am healing and it takes most of my effort. The reason I explain the the type of abuse is most people default to sexual abuse and abuse by the family. Keeps down the assumptions to tell up front that is not what I have to deal with.

Then with any relationship and just like everyone else I see what happens.

Journey on,



Dear Ann Marie,

I'm sure others will have some good ideas on this important but sensitive topic. There's more than one way to deal with building intimate relationships. My approach is to tell someone who interests me briefly (not in detail) that I have a trauma history early--well before I am "attached." That way, if someone has a problem with it, that person disappears--and I don't feel I've "lost" much. And yes, some people vanish.

But I can also say that there are many who have heard about and understand that there are long-term effects from child abuse. I've often found that those who are truly interested in me as a person are quite accepting of my past. However - I do NOT go into big long stories about it, unless that seems appropriate for some reason. (And for me, it almost never seems appropriate.) I figure that's the sort of thing to deal with in therapy. Maybe another way to look at it is to tell on a "need to know" basis.

I am fortunate in that I do not "act out" in relationships to any great degree. My system is very cooperative within itself, and unless I was involved with someone who is a definite threat, I can't imagine attacking a potential partner or lashing out in a way that would frighten someone off. I've never had a lot of trouble controlling my behavior, which is lucky when building relationships. My suggestion would be to do a lot of inside work, using journaling or other methods, to create a consensus within on the potential partner or how much "all of you" really wants a relationship, etc. If there is a troubled part who resists, focus on that in therapy, find out why, and come up with some satisfactory solutions that will help that part of yourself cooperate with the whole. It may not be an easy task, but a good relationship is very precious. It's worth trying.

Good luck,

Lynn W.