Haunted by Girlfriend’s Past

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for around 8 months now . She’s an amazing girl , and has everything I need from a life partner. But the trouble is , I recently came to know about her past , and that knowledge is killing me . Yes i admit , she’s still the same person that I used to love , and I still love her the same . But I can’t let go of her past . Almost all the time , I am haunted by her past sexual experiences and get such disturbing images in my mind .

Without any doubt , she loves me like crazy, and the thing that is killing me even more , is that I am unintentionally hurting her tremendously because of her past . She is very important to me , and I can’t afford to lose her .

And apart from her past , I am also finding it very difficult to forgive some mistakes she made after we became committed . The problem is together with her mistakes and her past , I’m finding it unbearable to live with her . And neither can I live without her .

I have read some previous posts in this forum, and MY SPECIFIC PROBLEM IS , I somehow need to feel equal to her in the matter of sexual encounters . I have analyzed myself somewhat , and this is my specific problem . PLEASE HELP ME . I don’t wanna lose the love of my life , and i can’t hurt her anymore. She is the only person whom I can call “my family” .

A: Unless you date someone who has been entirely sheltered until the minute you meet, she is going to have some kind of “past.” We all do things we maybe wish we hadn’t done when we were young. We all have had experiences that make us into who we are. Part of growing up is learning from our mistakes as well as from our successes. How do you think your girlfriend became so “amazing”?

My guess is that you haven’t been totally sheltered from the world either. Why should she be any different? Your experiences may have been different but different doesn’t make your past any better or worse than hers — just different.

Please ask yourself why it is so important to you to feel superior to this woman you say you love. If you can’t let it go, it’s only fair to her and to yourself to separate. However wonderful you may be, she can’t be expected to go through life feeling judged by you. However amazing she is, you can’t go through life doubting the person you love.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Oct 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Haunted by Girlfriend’s Past. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/10/11/haunted-by-girlfriends-past/