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Vanessa,LMHC
Vanessa,LMHC, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 30
Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor
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Currently I'm in a rekindled relationship with my old

Customer Question

Hello,
Currently I'm in a rekindled relationship with my old highschool girlfriend. We dated through highschool into college for a little over 4 years. Then she broke up with me. Well a few years went by and we started hanging out again and eventually decided to start dating again. We are now a little over a year into this relationship. All in all I really like this girl. We get along very well. She cares for me and everything I care for. She makes me happy, she betters me and my life. I love this girl. We are going on 23 years of age, and when I asked her why she left me after highschool she finally told me the truth that it was because she wanted to get married and I was not showing any signs of that ever happening. Well here we are again and she is now openly and frequently talking about us getting married. And well I thought I was going to marry her someday back in our highschool relationship, and I still like the idea. Except I'm still not fully ready or sure of myself. I've always been a guy who takes a lot of time and consideration into every big decision I make so I can make the most educated and best decision I can with the knowledge I have at that moment. Well I'm struggling to figure out why I can't decide if I'm ready. I am very indecisive about unimportant little things like what to eat, but big things that I have to live with for a long time I'm usually very good at deciding. I've been thinking hard and I believe the issue is I still get upset when I think about her past history during our break up. I dated one girl during our break but it went no where. I lacked any confidence after my highschool sweetheart dumped me to make a new relationship work. In the mean time, my girlfriend dated a guy for almost a year and slept with 3 more guys after. And well her sexual history is really eating me alive. And I know it's not her fault, I know it's something in my mind that won't let this go. I know it's wrong for me to think of her badly for her past, it's unfair and I have no right to be doing so. But All I know is that this is going to keep me from ever moving forward in our current relationship. I want to get past it but I keep getting upset with her past. When she makes comments like "no one else has better not have seen you (me) naked" jokingly of course. But it upset me a lot because I have only slept with her, we lost our virginity together, and yet she slept with four other guys. She has given me a very hard time before about talking to any females. I'm a super nice guy, and go out of my way to make people happy or to help them, and girls like that about me. Well I'm also oblivious to what people are truely meaning when they say something or do something. To make a long story short, I've basically been accused of cheating on my girlfriend in the past because I was nice to a girl in the way I talked to her. Never came in physical contact with any of them. Was just overly kind. So it upsets me and frustrates me when she says things about how no other girl should've seen me naked, and it also upsets me because it makes me rethink her past. Partly because I knew the guy she dated, and 2/3 other guys she slept with. One was from our highschool, the other two I met while we were dating in highschool at her after school program. She always claims she is honest with me, but I have second guesses about what she says. She's a talented liar when she needs to or wants to be. And I'm very guliable. But outside of this, she is an amazing person and we get along so well and are very happy together. I just need to find a way to get past this issue. Otherwise this wonderful relationship will never progress and will be ruined. Please help me.
Thank you,
S
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Vanessa,LMHC replied 1 year ago.

Hello there. Thank you for seeking help. It definitely sounds like your girlfriend's past sexual activity is blocking your peace of mind. Her comments don't seem to be helping since they touch upon a sensitive issue. Rest assured, you are already taking steps not to let this issue ruin your relationship. Just by being aware of the need not to allow it to do so and by also reaching out for help, you are showing that you are in control of the situation and are willing to do the needed work to manage your feelings so that they don't consume you and prevent you and your girlfriend from having a fulfilling relationship. You said you love her so I would suspect that you would be willing to accept her regardless of her past. Remember that you two were not together at the time and that you have no control over her actions. It does not sound like her sexual history was excessive, although in your mind it may feel that way. She was not out to hurt you with her choices, although it does appear to be resulting in emotional distress. Ideally, if you two could talk it out in a non-threatening manner and agree to set some ground rules that would be helpful. Unfortunately, such situations can result in conflict because someone's actions have caused someone else to have an emotional reaction and, when discussing such an issue, it is too easy to use blame statements and cause the person to become defensive. If you do discuss the issue, try to remember to only express how you feel rather than focusing on her. Keeping out the word "you" can be helpful. Such an approach is using "I" statements to express your feelings in a non-blaming way to allow you to get the feelings out rather than bottling them up but to also facilitate communication rather than impede or block it. What is the issue really about? Are you hurt? Angry? If hurt is the main issue, you could say "I am hurt that I was not able to be the only partner." If fear or insecurity are the issue, then you could say "I am afraid that I will not compare/measure up." or "I am afraid that I will not be sexually satisfying." Those are all just examples, of course, and are not meant to indicate that I know exactly what you are feeling. It's just a different way to express your feelings openly in order to avoid conflict. Another suggestion would be to set some ground rules in the relationship. For this issue, a ground rule of either not bringing up past sexual history or not bringing up other people having seen each of you naked might be a good idea since it seems to be the central issue that is causing distress. This is with the understanding, of course, that you are making an active choice to put your energy into making the relationship work (both of you, that is) rather than allowing it to be weakened by negative energy from thoughts. You mentioned lying is something she is good at. Honesty would need to be central to the relationship. You both would need agree to and engage in openness and honesty for the relationship to thrive. Confidence sounds like it may be a factor regarding this issue. Don't allow her past actions to make you feel inferior/less than/not good enough. You are what she wants because she is with you. You seem to have good insight and a caring attitude and inner resources that will allow you to overcome this issue. Make yourself focus a mental list of positive qualities that you bring to the relationship to help with the confidence issue and don't allow yourself to focus on what you see as ways you fall short or don't compare. I wish you all the best in your relationship! Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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