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How Do I Get Over My Boyfriend’s Sexual Past?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a young woman in Italy: I usually never ask for help online but this matter is really bothering me and I can’t seem to get over it. I have been with my current boyfriend for almost a year now, but his past sexual life makes me feel sick, not because I find it disgusting, but because it boosts my insecurities.

Me and my boyfriend were friends for three years before getting together. I know that before meeting me he had a very active sexual life, the problem is even while we were friends he used to tell me about his experiences and most of them where with mutual friends. Some of them I am still in touch with.
I can’t get over the fact that so many people I know have seen my boyfriend naked, and touched him and all that stuff.

I have body dysmorphic disorder and I am really insecure because he is just my second sexual partner.

Now he is saying that I changed his life and he can’t even remember his past intercourses because I give him more pleasure than he ever had, he says he loves me and loved me even when we were friends, but he was lost so he went out with many girls.

I honestly don’t know what to believe anymore and I am going crazy.
Thank you in advance for your help.

How Do I Get Over My Boyfriend’s Sexual Past?

Answered by on -

A.

Your boyfriend is doing what he can to reassure you. He loves you and your body, even though you don’t. He hasn’t done anything to make you question whether he is telling the truth. His former partners know he chose you over all of them. Rather than celebrate that, you focus on his history as a negative. It makes sense to me that you feel so “crazy”. This is such a hard way to live.

As you suggested, your problem is one of self-esteem and insecurities coupled with a mental health disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Without knowing more, I can only guess that this is a major contributing factor to how you are feeling.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is characterized by irrational focus on perceived personal physical flaws or defects. Contributing causes for BDD are low self-esteem, perfectionism and competition with others. Often people with BDD are preoccupied with their perceived physical defects and constantly compare themselves unfavorably with others who they believe are physically more attractive. That sounds like you, doesn’t it?

The good news is that BDD does respond to a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication. Although there is no medication that “cures” BDD, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors  (SSRIs) have been found to be helpful in many cases.  CBT will help you challenge the negative thoughts you have about your body and stop making negative comparisons with others. You will learn new ways to manage your impulses and to cope with negative thoughts and feelings.

If you are not currently in the care of a therapist, I urge you to make an appointment — now.  If you have to wait for an appointment, you can make a good start by working your way through one of the CBT and Body Dysmorphic workbooks that is available from booksellers.

You are only in your 20s. Treatment now will prevent years of feeling  inferior and distressed. I do think that without treatment, you risk losing the love of your life.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

How Do I Get Over My Boyfriend’s Sexual Past?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). How Do I Get Over My Boyfriend’s Sexual Past?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/04/22/how-do-i-get-over-my-boyfriends-sexual-past/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 21 Apr 2020 (Originally: 22 Apr 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 21 Apr 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.