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Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
Greetings, Rafael. I'd appreciate your help.
Thank you for joining the chat.
If your girlfriend is clearly and directly telling you how hurtful and destructive it was for her an individual and for her relationship this type of sexual experience, then I do not see how pushing her to expose herself to it would benefit her personal nor your relationship stability - well-being.
When a person's core value and belief systems, morals and outlooks are incompatible with certain behaviors, to expose themselves to them could be traumatic, or very shocking, and lead to serious conflicting feelings, including mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Your message clearly shows you care and take this relationship as something very important to you, to the point of planning getting married, thus in consistency with that, it would not be a god idea at all to engage in any behavior, even less to push her to get involved in behaviors that incompatible to her values-morals and what she truly wants and expects from you and your relationship.
When she first told me about it, she was somewhat boasting about it as a cool, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and she also led me to believe that it was only she and the girl involved. When I found out recently that her ex was involved, that it is when I became obsessive about it, and can't get it out of my mind. I feel like if she did it for him, she should be willing to do it for me.
So given her past experience, I have trouble accepting that it is incompatible with her core value and belief system - she has done it already!
You need to be clear about your priorities and values here. if what you consider acceptable and healthy in relationships is to force your partner, as you stated before, to do what you want, even when she tells you that she does not want to do it, then it could be consistent for you to keep pushing, but for sure it would not be something that would allow a healthy, respectful and truly fulfilling relationship to develop.
How then do I make the obsessive thoughts go away? I have done things in my past that I am not proud of, but this action on her part seems so inconsistent with her present character that I have trouble reconciling these things in the same person.
many people who willingly engage in non exclusive relationships or sexual experiences involved other people, could many times experience conflicting feelings and serious issue because of the challenges at multiple levels such experiences present, then for a person who states not wanting to engage in such situations any longer, to be forced to agree, would not be a wise approach at all, unless you were OK with such behaviors and willing to afford the consequences. Many people do feel and truly believe that forcing partners is acceptable, justifying such behaviors because of past experiences, even those related to abuse and neglect.
The fact you identify this experience as an obsession shows the nature of this issue, you are aware of how conflicting, risky and even damaging it could be but you feel "obsessed' about it, and if you find it very challenging or overwhelming to cope with it, then I strongly suggest you to look for counseling support, specially because you truly seem to care about her and your relationship, not only in the present but its future.
No, I have no desire to force her into anything. This is a relationship I very much want to keep. But I can't stay with her and continue to deal with my obsessive thoughts about her past incident - they are literally driving me crazy and are constantly on my mind to the point of distraction. I told her last night that I loved her and respected her but that I just couldn't continue to be in the relationship because of this obsession. I said I felt like maybe the obsession would go away if she did it with me, and she reluctantly agreed. Maybe I should just break up with her so that I don't hurt her anymore?
I think that this circumstance has triggered this obsessive problem in you, and it should be addressed as such, a dysfunctional mental health problem, undermining your mood, mental health and relationship too.
You said "have basically forced her to agree to do one with me", right?
Well, I broke up with her, and was prepared to walk away. She contacted me this morning and said what would it take. I told her to do it with me, and she agreed. Is that forcing her?
To believe the "obsessive" disorder would go away acting out the compulsive behavior, pushing her to do what she does not want to do, would create a bigger issue for her, the relationship and for sure would not resolve the obsessive disorder you seem to have developed, and as I said before, it seems to have been triggered by her trusting you and telling what happened in this past episode.
First you said you forced her to agreed, and then that you told her you could not continue in the relationship unless she accepts to do it, so this is about pushing her against her will, obviously she cares about you and the relationship, and feeling pushed by your decision to end it if she does not do it, puts her in a very tough situation.
Healthy and truly fulfilling relationships are built on mutual respect, caring, understanding and support, besides of affection and accountability. Thus manipulating, pushing or any similar behavior could never help healthy relationships to evolve, but only dysfunctional ones.
Yeah, you are probably right. I have to go into a meeting. Thanks for the help.
If what you want and expect from this person and relationship is to evolve and grow into something truly healthy, meaningful and fulfilling, you would need to come to terms with the fact that you are presenting an anxiety-obsessive disorder, and that you would need to get professional psychological support to rehabilitate from it, once it has become this powerful and overwhelming affecting you and undermining your relationship. Pushing her to do it would not resolve the core issue here, but add extra serious problems.
You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust.