Am I just a notch?
My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and I’ve struggled on and off with his past. Not because he has one but partly because of what it is and partly because I don’t have one.
He has had multiple ex girlfriends, a lot in my opinion, considering his last was very long term and he’s just turned 30.
I’ve also just found out that he’s had one night stands.
I don’t want to be upset by this, I accept that he has a past and I love him but it just sometimes hits me really hard that he’s been with so many other women and the only man I’ve ever known is him.
I absolutely hate feeling this way and know it’s not fair on either of us. I need help.
Has anyone been in a similar situation?
That is a really tough situation, and I really commend the fact you are so open to saying "I need help". That is so brave!
Personally, in the past, I have struggled with being an overthinker when it comes to my partner's exes or actions he has taken. I, like you, have it come in waves of doubt! But I think the main thing that helped me was identifying who he was to me, who I was to him, and having open and honest conversations to work out the main "truths" in our relationship. What I mean by this is establishing a few things that I can come back to when it's hard, such as:
- He loves me as I am.
- I love him as he is.
- There were times before me, and that does not discredit who I am or where I stand as a girlfriend.
- My worth as a girlfriend is not based on his past actions, but his present ones.
Another thing I would offer as food for thought is considering whether this is something you think you can overcome. It is okay to consider whether this relationship is truly creating your best self. Is something bothering you about the way he talks about these events? Does it negatively reflect on your relationship? Is this something that you really don't think will change? I have had a relationship where I felt like the other person's past was effecting our present relationship, and for us, moving on was the best option.
Your thoughts either way are valid. Some things are worth fighting for, and other times, maybe fighting for some realization is also worth it. I'm here to say that both situations panned out for the better in my case.
Thinking of you Ahjlees, let me know if I can offer anything else to you!
Thank you SO much for responding and thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for saying my feelings are valid. I really needed to hear that.
I hate feeling this way and I know it’s not fair to either of us.
It’s just really hard for me sometimes because I’ve never had a boyfriend before so I don’t know how to be a girlfriend and more than that, before him, my only even remotely sexual experiences were against my will. One of which involved the only other man to ever have feelings for me. Not that I returned them.
I also struggle because he doesn’t have to deal with these feelings too.
We don’t often talk about his exes so I don’t know all that much and only just recently found out his most recent exes name. I still don’t know when they broke up, though I do know how and why. They were together for 5 years and he helped to raise her son.
I also struggle because he’s brought issues with his exes into our relationship. On one occasion while out for the night with some friends of ours, I was physically accosted by someone and was incredibly upset about it, he seemed to get annoyed at that and then when I mimicked what happened to me with him, he pushed me away. I ended up walking back to our hotel with our friends because he walked off.
We both ended up apologising and he explained why he reacted the way he did and said we could put it behind us but those feelings resurface every now and again and I don’t know how to make them stop.
It also doesn’t help that our relationship is long distance. I’m struggling with that too.
I love him as he is and I know he loves me too and I do want to fight for us, I’m just so very tired.
Your words helped more than I can say. Thank you.
So great to hear from you again. What a lovely thing to say! I'm glad I could be of any assistance to you at all 🙂
To have your past sexual experiences be against your will must have been so, scary. And wow, is that tough. Can I just say, that you are more than what you have faced, and I totally understand struggling to re-associate affection with love, and not fear at times? I am so, so sorry you had to go through that, no one should ever have to. I have similar stories in my past, so I can definitely affirm that you are not alone.
Wow, that night when you walked back to the hotel must have been horrible! I can see why those feelings would bubble to the surface every now and again. And that is completely normal, no matter how healthy a relationship is. While we shouldn't keep count/score, we are only human. You shouldn't feel guilty for having those thoughts occasionally, but maybe next time you feel that, try and match that with who you know he is and how he has treated you since. It can help break the cycle if we meet negative thoughts (which are completely fine to feel) with positive ones to kind of 'balance' them out. However, if these thoughts are consistent/persistent all the time, maybe another conversation may be worth it, in an attempt at finding closure on the matter.
And Ahjlees, that distance would be tough, especially now. Something my partner and I have been doing recently to keep things light and fresh is doing video chat walks together, where we video chat and walk around our respective areas. It really helps in making sure that we aren't going too deep all the time. Sometimes when the big issues are on your mind, the whole relationship can feel really taxing.
I'm in your corner!