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How do I let go of these obsessive thoughts about his past?

Tagged as: Health, The ex-factor<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (4 December 2017) 4 Answers - (Newest, 5 December 2017)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I have met my boyfriend last year and Im so happy with him. The only thing that bothers me is that I keep digging up the past - one day I woke up and wondered, did he really was with me and only me from day one of us knowing each other?

This started consuming me and my time of the day, Im obsessed with this thought and simply cannot calm my mind. I know I couldnt expect exclusivity after first meeting him on a date, but now after all this time I feel like I would be feeling betrayed if I wasnt only one in the picture a year ago? I feel overhelmed with this thought so much and it has impact on my relationship as well. I keep asking my boyfriend whether he had anyone else and he says no (he also isnt a type who would have many girls) and we came so far he becomes irritated when Im asking the same question over and over again because he already answered hundred times...he says he is sad i dont believe him. And i know even though he did have any other girl back then - we still havent been exclusive because we only went on a date! But again Im still like jealous about what might happened and me not knowing from our first date and when we became official...How can I calm my mind and stop asking him the same question, like I wouldnt trust him, but I trust him with my life because he is the best that ever happened to me. He is loyal, we are together every day, he is brilliant..the only thing that ruins my happiness everyday is a thought "what if" he had sex with someone after meeting me on a date and after me being sexual with him? This bothers me like crazy..what ifs..How can I let go this thoughts that dont serve me and nobody? What can I say to myself to calm my mind and being reasonable that we havent been in a relationship in that time and if something happened - it would be not cheating, because we wasnt having a relationship..because now we have a great one and I dont want to mess it up. Help me please...

View related questions: jealous

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 December 2017):

He has already answered your question that he was not seeing anybody else. So I am not sure why you are still having doubts? It sounds like he isn't the type to have been dating multiple women at once.

I think though, this is a good lesson that for you and your emotions, it isn't a good idea to be sexual before you have both decided on exclusivity. This avoids problems like you are facing down the road. This is why many people will not sleep together on the first few dates.

I realize obviously too late now for this situation. But if you are ever in the dating world again, remember this.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 December 2017):

I used to have the same problem you're describing and what I learned is that it's not really about the other person, it's about yourself. Maybe you grew up with parents or caregivers who were more concerned with themselves than you, or maybe you witnessed betrayal of others when you were young and worry it might happen to you, or maybe you grew up trying to get the attention of your father and never feeling like you could get it, or maybe your father wasn't around and subconsciously you interpreted that as him not caring about you, etc.

Whatever the reason, what you're experiencing is your own fears and insecurities which actually have nothing to do with your boyfriend's behaviour or possible behaviour. And I agree with the others who have answered...this is something you have to make yourself aware of and get control of, or else you will lose the relationship.

Honeypie has a tough-love suggestion that actually makes a lot of sense.

The way I worked through this problem when I had it was that when I felt those feelings or irrational thoughts starting to creep in, I literally would laugh at myself and tell myself that the rational adult I am would not let the irrational child in me control my feelings. Give it a try.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (5 December 2017):

Honeypie agony auntIt's really easy... ASK yourself EVERY time you have those thoughts... do I want to date this guy or not?

If you do - let the thought go.

If you keep this up you will lose this guy. Because everyone has limits and you keep pushing it.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (5 December 2017):

Fatherly Advice agony auntThat is a basket full of problems. Lets take them apart a bit.

Jealousy (retroactive jealousy)

What ifs

Trust

These problems are related but it is easier to tackle them one at a time.

Retroactive jealousy is jealousy over things that happened before the relationship started, or in your case before it became official. You keep telling yourself that you are wrong for being jealous of things that might have happened early in your unofficial relationship. This is true you should not be jealous, but it isn't helping because you are jealous. Some people are able to overcome this retroactive jealousy when they realize that they have won. No matter what happened before during or after your relationship. He choose to be exclusive with you. Of everything possible to him, you were the best! Try to think about that.

What ifs . Your mind is running around like a hamster on a wheel telling you a bunch of made up stories about what could have happened. The word for made up stories is lies. Yes, you are lying to yourself about what he did. And you are letting those lies affect your real relationship. You need to take yourself firmly by the hand and tell yourself that those made up stores are not true. You have no proof that they are true, and (leading into the next topic) you have already asked and been answered about them. Don't run your relationship based on lies.

Trust. All human relationships are relationships of trust. You trust your grocer to sell you good food at fair prices. He trusts you not to shoplift. well in a romantic relationship Trust is way way Bigger. You are sharing your inner most thoughts and feelings, your very bodies, your futures. When there is no trust, there is NO relationship. When there is weak trust, there is weak relationship. When you repeatedly interrogate your Boyfriend about these things, it makes him sad. What is making him sad is that your distrust is putting distance between you. He wants closeness. You have listed good reasons for trusting him. What are your reasons not to trust him? could it be the lies you are telling yourself?

Here is the straight dope. If you are unable to put aside your jealousy and doubts, and start giving him the trust that he has earned, you will lose this relationship.

Here is what trust is made up of. Trust is built like a brick wall out of promises made and kept. Every promise made and kept is a brick. what has he promised you? What promises has he kept? Am I right, has he earned some trust?

FA

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