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My new boyfriend has become obsessed about my past

Tagged as: Sex, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (13 September 2018) 9 Answers - (Newest, 17 September 2018)
A female Australia age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Hi there

I ended my marriage a year ago due to domestic violence. I was married for 10 years and have 2 children out of this marriage. I'm in a long term relationship with this wonderful man - very caring, sympathetic, logical and strong minded person. We share a wonderful relationship - respect, similar values of life, similar goals and interests, truly deep feelings, compassion and great chemistry.

With my purest of intentions I shared my rather spattered past. 19 years ago, in university I was in a physical relationship for 1.5years; this wasn't a casual fling but there was long term intentions that didn't work out. During this time I fell pregnant had to have a D and C to clear it. I moved on considering this person was not pursuing it further. There was no bad showdown just a understanding and I left this place.

I moved on and while doing my masters I was briefly engaged to a longtime friend. He called it off and dumped me. We did not have a physical relationship. A year later, on my parents pressure I was married in an arranged alliance.

I informed my partner of all this and this has created a rift because he belives I have been very promiscuous and am not telling him the truth. He insists on details of my encounters which I sometimes find it difficult to even remember as 19 years is a long time. He revisits my sexual past in his imagination to the point of adding details that had not happened.

I have tried telling him that I have not held back information but details make me feel very unhinged especially more so because I love him so much.

We share a beautiful bond and I'm really in love with him. Please help me repair our relationship and help him and also let him know how much I care.

View related questions: engaged, sexual past, university, violent

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (17 September 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntYou only left your marriage a year ago so I am unsure how this can be described as a long term relationship. Also you left an abusive marriage (well done in finding the strength to do so). But what is worrying me now is he is showing signs off abuse now but you don't seem to recognize this. The way you described him is not how he is behaving. He looks at you like damaged goods and he adds bits on to lower your self esteem in to making you feel worthless. Honestly your past is none off his business, you choose to share it with him but now he is using it against you. A man who loves you for the person you are would never do that. The best thing for you and off course your innocent children in this is to leave this man and try and be on your own for a while. You need to recognize the signs in a relationship that are controlling and abusive and he will only get worse if you allow him to. Your past is not super horrific or you where not a prostitute so do not allow him to taint your life. You deserve better.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (15 September 2018):

Ciar agony auntI had to rush out for a bit and wasn't finished..

While I have little sympathy for the man, my advice was not meant to be entirely heartless.

His actions are a manifestation of narcissism. By reassuring him of your love, you are actually encouraging that narcissism. You're reinforcing his notion of being the wronged party who must be placated, despite the cost to you,and encouraging him to focus on himself.

As I said earlier, men and women like him may suffer from low self esteem but that is not the same as being insecure. These people are TOTALLY secure in the belief that by the time they're ready to reveal this side of themselves, that you are invested enough not to up and leave.

There is a lot of freedom in being the 'victim'. 'Victims' can say and do as they please with little to no accountability, at least not with the person they claim has wronged them. So what happens when they are no longer the 'victim'? They're held to the same standard as everyone else.

This is a battle you are not meant to win. He will never be satisfied by your reassurances and your innocence because that won't give him what he ultimately wants-to receive without the expectation to give in return.

My advice is to cut him loose.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (14 September 2018):

Ciar agony auntYou've been dating this man for less than a year so this is NOT a long term relationship. And like the others, I'm doubtful it will become one. Not a happy one anyway.

You seemed to be off to a good start until you re-packaged yourself as damaged goods and handed him your 'used vehicle information package' as if you were some commodity.

And you've compounded that error by trying to convince him of your love for him. This is a HUGE mistake.

We get all sorts of posts from men and women on both sides of the retroactive jealousy coin and something they ALL have in common is the belief that the abusive behaviour is the result of insecurity. Low self esteem is not the same as insecurity. Your boyfriend didn't show this abusive side because he's afraid you'll leave him, but because he is absolutely certain you won't.

Stop reassuring him. The more comfortable he gets, the safer he will feel and the more outlandish his treatment of you will become.

No more sympathy for his feelings. There is no disease on Earth that causes its sufferers to abuse or exploit others. He's not sick, he's not a victim. He's an asshole. Let him feel like one.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 September 2018):

Sorry but if you ended a ten year marriage a year ago the new man is not a long term relationship, unless he was around before your marriage ended?

If you have to 'convince' someone you love them then THEY have issues. He has retroactive jealousy, along with his insecurity and if he loves you he HAS to address his own issues. If he can't hold his hands up and admit he has a problem his questions and torment will only get worse.

I think you rushed into a new relationship too quickly, especially one that was long term and abusive, I'm sorry but I think he got you at a vulnerable point where you are not strong enough to know yourself.

It's your life but I see red flags big time with this and this may surprise you I am guilty of doing what your boyfriend does and I suffer from retroactive jealousy and working on overcoming it. If he cannot see HE has the problem and works on overcoming it, you are not at peace with him and it's NOT your doing

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (14 September 2018):

N91 agony auntDoesn’t sound like you’re with the man you’re describing.

If he was that caring and sympathetic then why is he not accepting of your past? This doesn’t sound like something he’s going to get over anytime soon and it seems like he’s being very persistent in doubting you.

I’d say this relationship looks like it’s run it’s course. He doesn’t believe you so what is there if there’s no trust?

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (14 September 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntSweetheart, you need to take off your rose coloured spectacles and see this man for what he truly is, not what you WISH/HOPE/NEED him to be.

You have basically gone from one abusive relationship into another. He may not physically abuse you (yet), but this is psychological & verbal abuse. Step back and see him for what he is: possessive, jealous, suspicious and completely lacking in sympathy or empathy. Believe me when I tell you, YOU cannot fix him. He is what he is. Is this how you want to spend the NEXT 10 years of your life?

Personally I think you deserve better. I hope you do too.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 September 2018):

Do you really Love this man! C'mon, he's playing with your head. This isn't physical violence, instead you have yourself a man who is emotionally beating you up about your past. I'll bet you, his past is about as cagey as the next man? I think he's getting bored so is making up stuff to do.. Another man that want to play games and wants you to be the loser. Still good luck with all that "Love"!

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (14 September 2018):

He is none of the things you listed. Strong caring sympathetic and logical men do not act this way. He is in fact a weak petty jealous bully.

His behavior is abusive. You need to take the blinders off and see this man for what he is and where your relationship is heading.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 September 2018):

Apparently the bond is not as beautiful as you're perceiving it to be. Telling him how much you care doesn't settle his concerns; and you may be over-rating his character.

You have to suggest to him that you feel he has been pressuring you too much over very personal matters that you've come this far to overcome and forget. Many incidents are painful to recall; and asking you to revisit the past is too much.

If he understands this and backs-off, fine. He either respects your privacy, or he doesn't. All that he is demanding to know is none of his business. You've hit a brick-wall; if he has changed his opinion of what kind of person you are.

You don't always gain trust by over-sharing.

Especially disclosing details of your past sex-life. That should be off-limits; unless you're HIV+, or have herpes, then your partners need to know.

The fact is, there is no getting around a person who spends a lot of time obsessing over your background. It means he is judging you in a bad way; and simply does not trust you.

Now you're going to have to reassess and reevaluate this person you seem to believe is such a great guy. Apparently you are beginning to see his true colors. Now comeback down to earth!

Set your boundaries, and reinforce them.

Stop repeating yourself. If he can't let go of your past, you will have to let him go. I don't care how in-love you are; he has to be on the same page! He has to trust you, and show you respect. You didn't help the situation by telling him you're holding back details; because he will only keep pressing you for them.

I guess you need to rollback your loving-feelings a bit; because it sounds like this guy is more of a police investigator than a boyfriend. You've got children, and they don't need to watch you unravel over a man driving you over the edge. That's not love!

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