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Question
Posted by: Kev | 2010/08/25

Can''t get over girlfriend''s past

Hi. It turns out that my girlfriend has a rather sexually promiscuous past, having been with many men (well more than I''d care to know about anyway). A lot of these men are still a part of her life, which bothers me no-end. On top of this she used to date her boss, who she still works for and spends a lot of time with. I have no doubt that she''s faithful to me now, but this situation is making me extremely angry and hostile towards her. I''m struggling to come to terms with this, and having to socialise with some of these men that she''s been with is going to see me fly off the handles very soon. I know I''m supposed to be " mature"  about this kind of thing, but constantly being reminded of them is proving to be too much. The fact that she''s facebook friends with a lot of them and still interacts with them and is unprepared to cut them out of her life, even if to make me happy, isn''t helping. Do you have any advice that could put me at ease and help me accept this as ''the way it is'', as after all, she can''t change her past, but it just makes me so very angry and uncomfortable! I love her very much and would like nothing more to spend the rest of my life with her, but this is proving to be a rather large obstacle to overcome. Am I wrong to feel the way I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Presumably even if these other men are still around, she had ceased having a sexual or emotional relationship with them, despite their accessability, even before she met you.
Dating the boss is never a good idea, whether or not one is currrently dating someone else.
So I understand your feeling that she has been fairly consistently sexually active with more than one man, and, as in the case of the affair with the boss, without being greatly concerned about potential problems caused by such relationships.
As you recognize, there's neither fairness nor sense or utility in getting angry with her about her past - you weren't part of that, and it happened and is over with. What is legitimaely your concern is the present, and the only aspects of the past it would be fair for you to be concerned about would be where CURRENT behaviour reflects the past, where the past realistically predicts the present and future.
Has she genuinely changed ? Is the nature of her relationship with you actually different to her, than the previous relationships ?
Yes, she can't change her past - what happened is over and unhangeable. But she can change her present and future, and does sound reluctant to do so. There is no overwhelming need for her to maintain Facebook and other close relaionships with the men in her past - that makes them curent relationships, even if not necessarily sexual, rather than merely past relationships.
I hear that you feel you love her very much and want to spend your life with her - but I don't hear how she feels. Does she really express similar feelings of love towards you ? Does she truly want to spend her life with you from now on ?
What troubles me most is that it sounds as though she is uninterested in compromising at all, or in giving up the essentially trivial Facebook friendships or such current behaviours, to help you to feel better. That suggests an element of selfishness, of being uncaring about how you feel, valuing her minor fun activities more than your happiness and comfort.
I suggest you consider asking her to join you in some sessions of couples counselling, to see if this an be sorted ou, an whether she is capable of understanding how you ( very reasonably ) feel. IF she is unwilling to do that, then think carefully about continuing a relationship with someone who is maybe less loveable than you are assuming, and much less interested in your happiness than she is in her own.


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6
Our users say:
Posted by: cvb | 2010/08/27

rather end ties with her because every fight will cause you to throw it in her face, you have no right to blame her for her past because you are in her future, the friends thing with the exes you need to discuss with her if you want to be with her, that is a no no in any relationship, she is very selfish and the fact that she made you cut ties says alot, it is easy all or nothing, she cant have both.

Reply to cvb
Posted by: Kev | 2010/08/26

Thank you for affirming that my negative feelings are legitimate. She has changed, and I''m positive that she loves me immensely, but the fact that she''s unwilling to sever these ties is definitely weighing on me. Something that I didn''t mention however is that I was forced to severe all ties with girls whom I''d had relationships with. This I did willingly. The fact that she won''t reciprocate is a problem, maintaining that they''re now just close friends and isn''t prepared to cut them out of her life. I will talk to her  see if she''s prepared to do something ''to make me happy'' in an effort to improve our relationship. If not, well, guess I''ll have a decision to make. Thank you.

Reply to Kev
Posted by: Kristen | 2010/08/26

Hi Kev, is this how you would like to live the rest of your life - with constant questioning in the back of your head. It isn''t the way anybody should live their life. If my husband was uncomfortable around anybody I knew be it friend or the people I work with I wont subject him to having spend time or even socialise with them - actually there are a few family members he is uncomfortable around and we keep our distance. I think if she cared about the way you feel she should cut ties with ex boyfriends, about the boss though I''m not sure but I can tell you if it were me I''d be extremely unhappy with the situation.

Reply to Kristen
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/08/26

Presumably even if these other men are still around, she had ceased having a sexual or emotional relationship with them, despite their accessability, even before she met you.
Dating the boss is never a good idea, whether or not one is currrently dating someone else.
So I understand your feeling that she has been fairly consistently sexually active with more than one man, and, as in the case of the affair with the boss, without being greatly concerned about potential problems caused by such relationships.
As you recognize, there's neither fairness nor sense or utility in getting angry with her about her past - you weren't part of that, and it happened and is over with. What is legitimaely your concern is the present, and the only aspects of the past it would be fair for you to be concerned about would be where CURRENT behaviour reflects the past, where the past realistically predicts the present and future.
Has she genuinely changed ? Is the nature of her relationship with you actually different to her, than the previous relationships ?
Yes, she can't change her past - what happened is over and unhangeable. But she can change her present and future, and does sound reluctant to do so. There is no overwhelming need for her to maintain Facebook and other close relaionships with the men in her past - that makes them curent relationships, even if not necessarily sexual, rather than merely past relationships.
I hear that you feel you love her very much and want to spend your life with her - but I don't hear how she feels. Does she really express similar feelings of love towards you ? Does she truly want to spend her life with you from now on ?
What troubles me most is that it sounds as though she is uninterested in compromising at all, or in giving up the essentially trivial Facebook friendships or such current behaviours, to help you to feel better. That suggests an element of selfishness, of being uncaring about how you feel, valuing her minor fun activities more than your happiness and comfort.
I suggest you consider asking her to join you in some sessions of couples counselling, to see if this an be sorted ou, an whether she is capable of understanding how you ( very reasonably ) feel. IF she is unwilling to do that, then think carefully about continuing a relationship with someone who is maybe less loveable than you are assuming, and much less interested in your happiness than she is in her own.


Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Sam | 2010/08/25

Did you not know this when you met her? Sounds like you need to communicate.

Reply to Sam
Posted by: anon | 2010/08/25

u aren''t wrong - but if it''s an issue now, always will be!
she can''t change her past, and her current situation, so if you can''t get over it, it is probably best to go your separate ways.

Reply to anon

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