I'm Jealous of her Exs

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
I've been dating a girl for about 6 weeks and we have had an instant connect with each other, since the day we met. We live about an hour from each other so we both drive back an forth on week ends to see each other and usually meet for coffee during the week.

I feel very strong about her, and she says she hasn't felt this way in years, and possible never felt quite this way. Since the begining we both agreed nothing should be hidden about our selves or our past. She has been with three other guys and i'm having some problems. I'm not a materlistic person, i'm falling in love with her for who she is, and i tell her that, but yet it's eating away at me. I've told myself over and over that it's me she is with, and that i'm whats important to her.. But i keep getting images of her with other guys, I don't know how to deal with this, i don't want to push her away.

I'm not feeling that she is a slut or anything, from what i know shes been in serious relationships with all three of them although the last one she went one nite drunk "fooling around" and stayed with him for the sex after the relationship was over. Her mom has been dating for years and is very very open about sex, sex in her house is like kissing, i don't disrespect her for what she has done, i understand it and accept it.. i jsut don't know how to deal with it.

When i'm stuck on it, i'm not as loving to her and she keeps asking me wahts wrong, but i don't tell her becuase i think it will upset her if i'm stuck on her past, theres nothing that can be changed about it. But yet i still get bumbarded by images of her ex-lovers that i've never even met.

On a side note, her last "lover" was very permiscues, he slept with alot of girls, i don't think this helps my feelings, but i don't think it's the root of what bothers me. I've been considering going to some therapy sesions to help my feelings, do you think this is what i need? is there soemthing else that might help me? If therapy is a good option, should i ask my girl-friend to be a part of it?

Please respond, i'm afraid of hurting her when all i want is to feel at peace inside.

RomanceClass.com Advice
It sounds like perhaps you were brought up with the image of the ideal woman being a virgin in white, untouched by any other man until you come along to 'awaken her to the pleasures of the world'. This romantic image usually went along with the man in the scene being worldly, experienced and sure of himself. It's one of those burdens that both men and women have had to struggle with - because men feel like they're not good enough if they don't have a lot of sexual experience, and then feel like the woman is 'tainted' if she has as much as looked at another man before he came along.

You have to realize that every one of us, as a human being, has a past which help shaped what we are today. If you care for her now, it is BECAUSE of every one of her experiences - including those exs. Those exs helped make her what she is now, just as much as her schooling, and her parents, and her friends, and her other experiences. If you love what she is today, you love her BECAUSE of the influence those exs have had on her. In many ways, she might not be just right for you if she hadn't dated anyone before you were there. She might have had traits you would hate, she might not have liked you because she hadn't learned certain lessons from her previous relationships.

You really have to accept all of her, all of her past, all of what she is. This is the core of love - to fully accept all that a person is. You can't pick and choose what you like about them and what you will try to blot out.

It does sound like therapy might help you out, to stop seeing these exs as "bad" and to see them instead as "stepping stones to what she was to become". Any time you start seeing parts of a person's life as "bad" or "wrong" you taint the way you see them as a whole person. You need to change this perception, otherwise you'll taint the love you have for her and the relationship will have serious issues.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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