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Her Past Tortures Me

Jim wrote:

Hello. Can you please help me with a problem I'm having with my relationship, its going to make us split up for good unless I can find a solution to it.

My current girlfriend (nearly two years now) used to go out with my best friend for a short while, a few months before I started going out with her.

She really used to like him, and I can remember when I used to see them together, which sticks in my mind and tortures me day and night.

Although they didn't have intercourse they did do other things, which I was not aware of until a few months into the relationship, and when I confronted her about this, she denied it, until I told her I knew, she then said she was denying it because she was embarassed.

I know that I should have thought about these things before I started seeing my girlfriend, but when you first start seeing someone your feelings aren't as strong, and things don't matter as much until stronger feelings develop.

I am getting really depressed because of this and its starting to effect my everyday life, I cant stop thinking about it, please can you give me some advice?

My girlfriend says it was just a childish thing at the time and it didn't mean anything, as she was just fifteen at the time. She said she only did these things as she felt forced too. And the reason she liked him was just a stupid childish 'thing' that didnt mean anything'.

Shes really upset now that I've told her I can't go out with her anymore because of this, and says she can't live without me and that I am the only person she's ever loved, and that she'd rather be dead than be without me.

I know that whats happened is in the past, but it is hard when the past involves a good friend, who I still see every day at work.

If he's ever there when me and my girlfriend are together I can't help wondering if they are thinking of when they used to be together, I know it sounds paranoid and insecure, but thats just the way I feel.

As you can see I am really confused at the moment and I would appreciate any advice you could e-mail back to me as soon as possible.

Dear Jim

You did right to tell you can no longer see her ... you'll never be able to trust her, so though it might hurt her now, she's much better off without you.

The fact you told her, not for her benefit, but because of your jealousy is a little worrying, isn't it?

Point is, what she did - or did not - before you were going out is absolutely, totally, completely none of your business. And you know it.

You've lost her through jealousy (oh, yes you have) - imagine as you grow older, you'll meet women who've had several boyfriends. Do you propose to torture them too?

What could the poor girl do? She cannot undo the past, and How Dare You make her apologise for it. And How Dare You discuss her behaviour with others?

If you ever want to keep a girlfriend - and earn their respect (there's a little more to a relationship than sex, but I digress), then you need to face this green eyed monster and defeat it.

Jealousy is not your fault - but enjoying it, and not dealing with it, is your fault.

Start with this thought ... You do not own your girlfriend, let alone her past ... she is lending you some of her present. And, if you prove worthy, a chunk of her future.

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