I'm Jealous about his Past
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I have been with my partner for over a year and we have lived together for 7 months. He is 10 years older than me, but I regard this as a positive thing because I feel ready to settle down and start a family and men I have dated of my own age have not been ready for this type of relationship.
My partner and I are very close, but I am finding it impossible to cope with my feelings of jealousy about his past. This is the first time I have lived with a partner and my feelings for him are more deep than I have ever felt for anyone before. But his experiences in previous relationships stir up so many hurtful emotions in me- I feel jealous, betrayed and sometimes angry. This is made worse by the fact that I know it is not his fault, and neither of us can change his past. I also like the fact that we are open with eachother and he has felt comfortable discussing his past with me like I have with him, and I dont want this to change.
But I seem unable to deal with the fact that he has lived with other women aside from me and been in long term relationships before (the longest being his fiance 3 years ago, whom he was with for 6 years). I feel a lump in my throat when I think about him having sex with any of his ex's, or sharing nice holidays with them, or just simply being in love with them. It is particularly hard because I feel like I am experiencing so many 'firsts' with him, but he has already shared those experiences in other relationships before I met him. I try not to think about these things because it hurts, but for some reason it is always on my mind.
I see images in my head of him and his ex's (even though I've never met them), and imagine what he had said to them, what the sex was like and the places they had been and things they had done together. I am starting to feel almost like the 'sloppy seconds'. My partner is very loving and gives me no reason to feel inadequate or jealous of his past women. But I just cannot handle the thought of the amount of partners he has had, and that his time being spent with me has already been shared by him with someone else. The strange thing is that I dont honestly believe he would ever go back to any of his past relationships, and I know he is very faithful- like I am to him.
I would love to grow old and grey with him, but hate thinking that I would look back on happy memories of my life which are consumed with my experiences with him, and yet the prime years of his life (aged 15-27) will have been spent with other women.
I have bought books about the subject and tried everything I can, including trying to talk it out with my partner, in order to overcome these feelings. But it is making me feel so down that I am worried this will push him away even more and stop me from being with the man who I really do love. It gets so bad that I sometimes feel like ending it with him myself, just so that I dont have to think about any of these things and feel hurt.
How can you say the prime years of his life are behind him??? I hardly think that! Just how are you defining "prime years"? The best years of your life are those in which you are with someone who truly makes you happy. That hopefully is YOU and therefore the prime years of your lives are these ones now that you are spending TOGETHER.
Any human being you meet is *always* going to have a past that you were not a part of. That's one of those realities of life. The fact that you are so jealous about his sort of underscores the insecurities you have. You feel more deeply about him than you have about any other guy - therefore there is a lot more to lose if you do not "measure up" to his previous relationships. You should be *happy* he had those previous relationships, because they all made him what he is today. Before he had all of those relationships, he was a far different person. He has been "tenderized" by them and what he is now is a direct result of them.
Jealousy is hugely harmful. You really need to work this out quickly. I have pages on handling jealousy -
But if you've already been reading books on it and can't get through it it sounds like you need some help. I would really, really sign yourself up for therapy. Just about any health care coverage will cover it for you. You need to get these issues worked out and handled. They are *only* going to get worse as you keep reinforcing to yourself that you cannot compete with these past memories he has - memories he obviously isn't very concerned with. To destroy a wonderful relationship because of jealous imaginary insecurities is one of the worst things I can imagine doing.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com
Visitor Submitted Responses
Our RomanceClass visitors have chimed in with thoughts on this question and answer. Click on a link below to read what their solutions are!
Be patient with your past
I wish it didn't bother me
Cherish his love
Get some help
Jealousy is horrible
Deal with jealousy
User Submitted Response from a 16-20 year old Female