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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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My current boyfriend has guilt issues regarding his ex-wife.

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My current boyfriend has guilt issues regarding his ex-wife. he has only been divirced for 6 months and we have been dating for 3 months....He continues to talk about her and her abusive relationship and even though she treated him very badly he is still very guilt ridden.
Should I listen to his past or just tell him let drop it and move to new future and not feel hurt bc he is still like that...our relationship for most part is very calm and no drama like his past.

Welcome to Just Answer.

Can you tell me what he is guilty about? Are there children he's feeling guilty over? What form was the abuse in?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi Anna,

No there are no children. They were married for a little over one year and she also was abusive physically and mentally. He is a very handsome guy and she was an over weight and not attractive at all. So I never understood why he chose someone like her because I am the opposite of her. He told me once that he thought that over weight people will always be nice and could never hurt anyone so he was totally shocked when she turned out this way. She was very manipulative as well and never trusted him and accused him of cheating on her all the time. It got so bad that he hated coming home after work and just wanted not to be there. And she is the one that asked for the divorce, she used him money wise and also to get into the States.

He would shower her with gifts and she was never satisfied.

She even lied about her education and said she had a Phd. Coming to find out that she had gone to school for 10 years and did not even have an undergraduate.

And he even tried to be nice about her lie. I hate talking about her, when he wants to vent out but then feel guilty bc I need to be supportive. Also feel upset that why can't he forget about her and it should be easy since our relationship is so different. We don't really fight and have a lot in common. I love him and want to help him but also hate talking about her and his past....Sometimes even when we fight he tells me he hates the fights because it reminds him of her...

What to do????...

I'm getting the picture. You're being too "nice". It's one thing to understand a person's problems and struggles, but its quite another to be called to be the healer.   Your relationship has to be built on what YOU and HE have together, not what SHE and he had together.

It sounds like you're being held over a barrell with this - if you don't "listen and be supportive of his pain", then you're not really being very loving, are you? NOT TRUE. Listening to someone's pain over a past relationship is good...for a very small time, and then it needs to stop and be dealt with between other friends - not the new girlfriend. If you then say that he doesn't really have friends he can talk with about this, that is a problem in and of itself. You cannot meet all his needs, and maybe it's time for him to see a counselor.

With all that you say, it's so obvious what was going on in that relationship. If he can't see it for what it is, then he's got really poor interpersonal skills. "Overweight people are always nice?" That isn't a normal adult's childlike and magical.

Sometimes people who are afraid to share about themselves spend more time sharing about someone else...telling the other person's story instead of their own. Mature, healthy adults can talk about themselves so that they develop intimacy with others.

If you hate him talking about his past, kindly tell him that you've really reached your limit with talk of the ex, and want to enjoy your time together getting to know each other. You don't want to know more about her. If he doesn't respect that simple request, he's not respecting you. It's time for him to stop because it's important to you that he stop. Anyone who likes you would be able to do that for you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for your are 100% correct and I have decided I don't want to listen anymore. he was seeing a therapist and he stopped because he felt like he didn't need to see her anymore.

But I am not the new therapist, he can talk to his sisters and keep me out it. This relationship is about us and I didn't sign up to listen to his stories about his pyscho EX...

Great attitude! You don't want to have 3 in the bed. I've heard too many stories of women who nurse a man through the pain of his last relationship only to find out thats all he really wants to share of himself: his pain.

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