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DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 347
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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I am currently in a relationship with a girl i care

Customer Question

Hi..
I am currently in a relationship with a girl i care deeply about. When we first started dating i had a problem with her past, in the past year before she had been with quite a lot of guys and few of them were friends of mine. I stuck with her cause i didn't want that to matter as i liked her a lot, and we became boyfriend and girlfriend and all that. I know 8 months later found out that she slept with two other guys, one was my friend, not a close one but still a friend, and the other one was 3 days before we decided that we were together. The other one she went home with after a party and had sex with that night and in the morning, and i came over right after he left apparently. In the beginning she was also still snap chatting with guys and i confronted her and she said she was nervous of commitment and wanted to have a safety net. She doesn't do any of that any more, and I know she has never actually cheated on me, but still 8 months into our relationship, i have a hard time forgetting it and maybe truly believing she can stay faithful forever. The dilemma is that the last 4-5 months she has been the best girlfriend ever, and i even looked through her phone once (i know its wrong) and she hadn't talked to anyone guys. But I still can't get it out of my mind that I gambled on her and she still had sex with others while we were dating and actually lied about it, and she texted and snap chatted those same guys in the first couple months of our relationship as a safety net. I have this idea of a relationship that should be two people meeting each other and putting all they have on that person, and I did that, but she didn't. She kept so many cards in the backhand, and while its all perfect now and she is perfect, i can't get it out of my head that she never took a "gamble" on me, and actually did very disrespectful things to be while we were dating and in the beginning of our relationship. It is just really hard to know that you accepted her past and went all in on this girl despite friends had been with her and probably laughed behind your back, and she still hooked up with guys while we were dating and still kept safety nets the first couple of months. She is a perfect girlfriend now, so what do i do? How do I get past that I dropped every thing and got "shitted" on in the beginning? Or should I just move on even though she is perfect now? Hope you can help me:(
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm Dr. Jackie, an interpersonal communication researcher/professor and relationship counselor/expert. I want to try to help.
First, it's very evident you care a lot about this girl; otherwise, you wouldn't be on here trying to figure out how to work through the concerns you have. But I want to say right off that you do contradict some statements. You say she has "never actually cheated on [you]." However, you also say that "she had sex with others while we were dating and actually lied about it." You support her behavior by saying this was her "safety net." It sounds to me that you are trying to justify her behavior. What she did was wrong. And maybe in the past few months she HAS been faithful. But how do you know? I think your concerns that she may have sex with other guys again while you are together (if she hasn't in the past few months) have real merit. I am seeing huge red flags.
I have to wonder why she has sex with so many men. It's very risky...condoms can break or slip and STI's can be spread through oral sex--very few people wear dental dams as protection during oral sex. Did you ever have a discussion about it? My gut reaction is that she truly is addicted to sex. If this is the case, then I'd bet she has been with other men even in the past few months. If she is a true addict, she can't stop--without intervention/therapy. If she is not a sex addict, then she probably has a lot of insecurities/low self-esteem and has to reaffirm her self-worth by having a lot of men in her life constantly at the same time, one after another, etc. It's not healthy on several levels. Of course we already know about the risks of disease and infections. Second, there HAS to be self-esteem issues--are you prepared to deal with these? These issues will not just one day disappear. They are deep-rooted, probably from childhood; usually only a life-altering even (i.e. near death experience) or an intervention (i.e., therapy) can change her course of behavior and feelings of low self-esteem.
Third, I'm concerned about her ability to form emotional attachments. She may appear to be loving with you, but are YOU blinded by your feelings of love for her that you are confusing maybe her LUST feelings for you for love? Being with that many people is indicative of an inability to form strong emotional bonds with others. Maybe superficially she is warm and affectionate. But is it beneath the surface? Unless she is in the 1% minority, 99% of people who engage in a lot of promiscuity generally have a hard time forming deep, emotional bonds with others.
I hope this is a place to start. I know I didn't answer your questions EXACTLY, but I wanted to give you some things to think about...and perhaps think and respond to. I'm happy to talk with you via phone or Skype if that makes it easier. Or even text via Skype or phone. I'll send you that contact information.
Please let me know what you think. I am concerned for you. I think you seem to be a very nice young man. And this young woman may be "perfect." But I think we both know that she has some type of issues and does need help and needs to become emotionally healthy herself before she can be any good and contribute to a real, intimate relationship.
--Dr. Jackie
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I say "dating" i mean when we saw each other but hadn't agreed that we were in a relationship. So she slept with those guys while were dating, but not while we were in a relationship, but she still talked (mostly snapcaht) with those guys in the first couple of months of our actual relationship. When i say she hasn't actually cheated its because i am almost 100% sure she hasn't slept with anyone after we agreed that we were in a relationship.
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.
OK. Thanks for the clarity. And I want to help. Your defense of her again shows (even more strongly) your feelings for her.
Ethically I must keep from biases and try to answer each customer's/client's question(s) with as much neutrality as possible. And I mean it when I say that I am trying to do that here. I hope you do not feel that my initial response was a character assassination on her; it was not. I think if you can separate your feelings from your thought processes and really try to be as objective as possible. You have to know that what I have said carries merit--there is something wrong either with forming real, long-term emotional attachments to others or with sex addiction or something. The fact that the two of you were dating and she was still going from guy to guy--it's not healthy. And it's not something that any society would necessarily say was "normal" just because it's physical health risks not to mention emotional consequences can both be very devastating.
So aside from the correction that she did not have sex with other men AFTER you confirmed you were in a relationship, what do you think about the rest of my response? You did not address this at all. I want to help; please let me know.
Best,
--Dr. Jackie