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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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HI I would like some advice on how to understand why I cannot

Customer Question

HI I would like some advice on how to understand why I cannot let things go and how to not dwell on the past, not worry about the future and how to move on.
I think I can be quite judgemental and opioniated and have a certain way of living that I expect my partner to live like. I really struggle to just be.
6 years ago I had a 3 year relationship where my partner was violent. I spent about 1 year after that being single and trying to break the control cycles from it.
Following that I spent a year with a new partner. On about 3 occasions I became volatile - I have never ever done that before. during that time I was going through a trauma and grief. I do not excuse it though. Over the period of the relationshp he did become sometimes physical, he had a lot of chiildhood trauma and sought regular counselling to try to overcome it. In the end he finished the relationship. There was lots of lying and loyalty problems from him but when he was really trying I never recognised it and almost expected he woudl repeat some behaviour so was critical instead of appreciating his hard work.
SInce we split up he sought more help and wrote to me explaining none of his actions were my fault and were related to a pain, hurt and frustration he had. He explained how sorry he was for certain reactions and wanted me to know he valued my suport and love. I think it agce him closure and helped him move on.
THe thing is since that e-mail I have become so confused and think about how much he has changed. he seems so peaceful now and when I talk to him he is clear that he no longer dwells on the past and tries to help me do the same. He is commited to moving on and has got on with things and seems to be peaceful and does not have the same struggles as he did have. I really admire his bravery for getting the help.
It has thrown me quite a lot because now I constantly question my own behaviour and what I could have done differently and whether I have lost the best thing that has happened to me. Its something I try so hard to control as its pointeless thinking all teh time what could have been but sometimes its all I think about.
I have actually met a man who is very consistent, kind and very loyal and honest - eventhough I am the same with him he doesnt seem to get so hurt and angry at me but now I have met someone who is all the things that you would want in a partner I still seem attracted to what I know was a destructive relationship.
I am unsure what part I have to play in all this and how to undertsand better why I feel the way I do or can be so destructive. I would liek to move on and not dwell on the past but I seem to keep myself in an emotional place. My ex-oartner is completely moved on and tries to help me do the same and does not play any games now so I dont understand why I cannot let it go because it doenst not feel like I am in a control cycle with him.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 4 years ago.

Dr Levang :

Hello,

Dr Levang :

From what you wrote, it appears that you have not let go of the "dream" you attached to this relationship....the dream of finding a perfect partner, of long-lasting love, of happiness, and so forth.

Dr Levang :

It would seem that you have not fully grieved the ending of the relationship and accepted that it is over. You write that you are in a new relationship and that this partner has many wonderful qualities...but...there is still the ghost of your past partner.

Dr Levang :

I encourage you to do the grieving you need to do to move beyond this past relationship. If you do not, you will stay stuck in the past and be unable to completely commit to this new partner or any partner.

Dr Levang :

Please let me know how you feel about the above response and then we can chat more.

Dr Levang :

Dr. Levang

Customer :

Thankyou for your response - do you think its ok to be with someone else whilst you are still gireiving an old partner and you are right it was a dream.

Dr Levang :

Hello,

Dr Levang :

It is very courageous of you to acknowledge your "truth" - that is, that you still had feelings for your former partner and had not completely let go of the relationship. Dreams are very powerful attachments! And, in your case, it held you in a kind of limbo.

Dr Levang :

As to being with someone whilst your are grieving...

Dr Levang :

To me, the issue is about the strength of that past attachment. When you are with your new partner are you "with" him or "with" your former partner? If you are primarily able to stay in the present then that's an indication that you've been moving on - and loosening that attachment. If, on the other hand, your mind is filled with the former partner, then there is considerable work you must do to loosen those bonds.

Dr Levang :

Many people form new partnerships to help them grieve a break-up. Often, these relationships do not last as this is not the healthiest for either person. From what you write, this is not what you did .... you had broken up some time ago and seemed to have formed an honest and caring relationship with your new partner.

Dr Levang :

Dr. Levang

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