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Learning to Accept Your Partner’s Past So It Doesn’t Affect Your Present and Future

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I am having a very difficult time accepting my fiance’s past relationships. His past is not a past as he has two ex-wives and a kid from each of those marriages (although he questions if he is the real father and was not really in their lives at all until recently) therefore, his past is really part of our present and our future. Between constant child support payments, conversations with the ex’s, his family’s connection with those ex-wives (since they still talk) I feel like we are never going to be able to move on with OUR lives and focus on starting our own family. I am tired of having to deal with all these ex’s and kids when all i want him to do is have him cut them out of his life completely or not talk to them and only talk with the kids. However, I know this is unfair. This has all DESTROYED us financially and is now putting stress on our own relationship. We also recently found out that his 16 year old daughter is having a baby so now there’s not just kids but grand-kids! This is all new to me as I was not brought up this way at all and am having trouble not being judgmental. What can I do to learn to accept his past and know that it will always be a part of our lives because I do love him and want to be with him. (From the USA)

Learning to Accept Your Partner’s Past So It Doesn’t Affect Your Present and Future

Answered by on -

A.

 I can appreciate how difficult it is to feel the chains of your partner’s past. I recommend first and foremost to consult a family therapist who specializes in blended families. Therapists trained in this modality often had very good experience in helping to untangle the difficulties of past marriages, relationships and children. It will also help to have someone guide you as you develop your relationship together. A general strategy for coping can be put in place, and then you will have a professional to discuss the issues with as you grow together.

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

Learning to Accept Your Partner’s Past So It Doesn’t Affect Your Present and Future

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). Learning to Accept Your Partner’s Past So It Doesn’t Affect Your Present and Future. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/08/19/learning-to-accept-your-partners-past-so-it-doesnt-affect-your-present-and-future/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.