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Anxiety about My Partner’s Past

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I am 24 and my girlfriend is 22, together for around 6 months now. I love her more than anything and I am entirely happy that I am with her. She too feels the same and very often says that she loves me more than her life and in various moments in out lives together has shown it. She is really considerate and loving. We both are part time magicians and feel an amazing connection between us even on stage and I have to mention that even during the solo acts that we perform as a part of the shows we can even read what the other is gonna do next. So most of the times we end up not even practicing what we need to do. I say this to show the intimate connection that we both have to each other. Even though we both belong to different nationalities we are okay being together.

We are sexually active and are almost living together now. Lately what worries me is that she had a not so good past behind her. I didn’t have any relationships in the past. She was with a person whom I hate the most for reasons other than being with her. He belongs to a country which is entirely against mine which adds on to the intense hatred I have with this person. He used her for his needs and finally broke the promise he gave her and went off and married someone from his own place without even giving her a reason and not even telling her. Many of our friends saw them both together and I feel that when I am with her these people are laughing at me. Most of the people around me know they were together. (But we both will be leaving this town in another 2 years). When she was with me she was even scared once that this particular guy had infected her with some STD’s and even took a check up to prove she was okay. All this adds to my hatred to this person. This person leaving her left her so vulnerable that she ended up having some small relationships with others though not sexual. Nowadays the feelings of ‘what if she has done all this in the past’ is haunting me whenever we do anything together. Even sex.

I love her so much. Please help me. (From England)

Anxiety about My Partner’s Past

Answered by on -

A.

 It is wonderful to hear how beautiful your love is for each other. No pun intended, it sounds magical.

Being in a painful relationship is often the turning point. Once betrayed and abandoned they often have to rethink their life and choose a course of action that, at the very least, moves away from that relationship.

What sounds clear is that your girlfriend has not only moved away from the horrible situation she was in, but moved toward you. This is a high degree of resilience, which is directly responsible for the two of you getting together. If that other relationship hadn’t been so terrible she wouldn’t be with you. Her past pain was a direct motivator for her to be in your life. I understand why you would dislike him, but his miserable treatment is the primary reason she is with you. Your friends (and hers) are likely to be happy you both found each other.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Anxiety about My Partner’s Past

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Anxiety about My Partner’s Past. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/05/31/anxiety-about-my-partners-past/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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