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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10584
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Me and my boyfriend have a perfect relationship. We are best

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Me and my boyfriend have a perfect relationship. We are best friends, i am 27 and he is 23 but he is allot more mature than many guys my age. Except he can't get over my past and by past i mean things that happened almost 10 years ago. We have been together for almost 3 years now. And he has been trying to get past it but we will go through bumps in the road when i feel as though he is almost going to leave me because of my past. Which he knows i regret everything about it. How can i help him get over my past? I love him so much

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Please give me a couple minutes to read your question carefully, so that I can better assist you

Customer:

Ok

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your boyfriend is having this issue, I can see why this would distress you

Dr. Z :

May I ask does your boyfriend have any issues with low self-confidence?

Customer:

Yes, a little bit. But since we have been dating, his confidence has become alot better. He thinks /knows that he's attractive

Dr. Z :

And may I ask what were his past relationships like?

Customer:

He dated someone for 3 years and another person for just a couple months. The 3 year relationship, she ended it and the couple months one, he ended it

Customer:

He says my past. 'grosses' him out and he loses respect for me. But tells me he still knows the person i am now, and he loves me but 'i still did it' and he can't get past that

Dr. Z :

I know this is personal, but may I ask for an example about these issues from your past that he cannot get over?

Customer:

The number of people I've been with. I've been with 6 and he's been with 4. I did something to a guy at the same time with my friend at the time when i was 18 which i totally regret. I also used to go to clubs allot which he finds 'slutty'

Customer:

I know this seems pathetic but i just want to save this relationship. He means the world to me.

Dr. Z :

I understand, and actually this is not uncommon from some guys have a history of some low self-confidence. Typically this is caused by anxiety and focusing too much on the negatives from the past. The best type of treatment for this would be called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as this is the most evidence based therapy to date to deal with this issue. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

Also CBT focuses on the present and not the past, in fact it encourages individuals to avoid thinking about the past at all costs. If you can convince him to go to couples therapy that specializes in CBT, this will help save your relationship

Dr. Z :

You cannot really convince him to change, he must be motivated to do so

Customer:

And how do i help him do this

Dr. Z :

Well does he feel bad, stressed, or anxious that he cannot get over your past?

Customer:

Is there any way that i can help him do this by myself and not therapy? Yes he feels bad and stressed about feeling the way he does

Dr. Z :

You do not need to go to therapy that is true. But you both must be motivated to use CBT techniques to help him get past this issue and he must want to do it. I can recommend books and techniques to use as well

Dr. Z :

But you personally cannot go in and convince him, he must convince himself through these techniques

Customer:

It actually makes me feel bad about myself and hurts my self esteem

Customer:

What are the techniques

Dr. Z :

And that is why the techniques will actually work for you too and can bring you two closer together. You are in a difficult situation where he needs some sort of treatment, but may be unwilling to go

Dr. Z :

Sure give me a couple minutes here to write them out for you and pull up the appropriate links

Customer:

I am interested in the books and techniques

Customer:

Ok

Dr. Z :

No problem I will give them all to you

Customer:

Thank you

Dr. Z :

So this link may help you, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help him keep track of any negative thoughts he has. He puts the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want him to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more objective and plausible). This will help him change his way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

Dr. Z :

In addition, these two worksheets are very good at helping lessen his symptoms. It can help you focus on the big picture and the objective/positive thoughts and outcomes.

Dr. Z :

Also individuals with similar symptoms may have a poor coping mechanism, so this worksheet will help him develop a better coping strategy to manage his symptoms better.

Dr. Z :

And I think these books can help too

Dr. Z :

And the key of this type of therapy, is something that you like, is the phrase the "The Here and Now" which means to only focus on what we can control which is the present, and not the past or future.

Dr. Z :

Hopefully helping him avoid focusing on these negative thoughts and seeing things more positively will help your relationship

Dr. Z :

Now I just gave you a lot of information, so please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have

Customer:

Thank you very much, is there any way to send these to my email?

Dr. Z :

I actually do not have access to your email, that is something the administrators keep private from the experts to protect your personal information, but when you finish rating me, this chat will be sent as a link to your email, if it has not already, so you can always use it for future reference. In addition, this chat will be saved in your JA account under My Questions so you can always go back to it when you need to

Customer:

Ok thank you very much for your time

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I wish you all the best with your boyfriend, and I hope it works out well for the both of you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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