Patty Spivot received a new life with DC Comics‘ New 52. Part of the gimmickry with the New 52 was to add a bit of “will they or won’t they?” to their titles by separating old romantic couples in the DC universe and replacing them with others. This is one of the easiest tricks of the gimmick, as there is a certain amount of tension as previous couples are kept close but still necessarily separate. Thus Lois Lane was replaced with Wonder Woman and Iris West was replaced with Patty Spivot. Previously she had been an assistant in Barry Allen’s crime lab and had played a relatively small role in his history, with fewer than 100 appearances in comics compared to nearly 600 for Iris, but of all of a sudden she was one of the two main leading female characters in this title.
The last story arc before the Convergence company wide crossover dealt with the replacement of the present day Flash with a future version of the character. The present day Flash was thrown into an alternate dimension influenced by the Speed Force, and the Future Flash was brought to the present day. This other Flash was much more brutal, eager to fix the errors of his past with a utilitarian outlook, reasoning that killing or maiming one in the present was better than if hundreds or thousands died in the future. Patty and Iris eventually become aware of his actions and confront him over it. When the present day Flash returns from the alternate dimension he is able to put most of the harm back to normal before settling back into regular life.
Except that his regular life is thrown off when Patty reveals that she cannot be with him anymore because he reminds her of the murderer. This is an over reaction based on the character that had been established, one that had been deeply in love with Barry, and it seems as though it was thrown in so that there was an easy avenue to wrap up loose ends before the hiatus. While this is an over reaction, there is an under reaction which is not really explored at all in any of the issue, and probably because it was mostly overlooked.
As was previously mentioned, the Future Flash, though still Barry, acted and behaved very differently, and was in effect a completely different person. Although intimacy is not explored in the mainstream comics as much, as two adults in an adult relationship it is reasonable to think that they would have had sexual relations with each other at some point, especially as they share the same bed. Although there is obviously no precedent in real world law for time travel, this would easily fall under the overall umbrella of sexual assault or sexual violence. If a person posed as another in order to have sex with anyone, then that would be considered rape. That it is two different versions of the same person is not really relevant, and in reality Patty would be aware of this violation more so than Barry might be, especially upon his return.
Thus the over reaction to Barry as having the face of a murderer makes little sense, but having the same face as a person that raped her would be much harder to live with.