Coping with Past Relationships of a Girl Friend

coping with past relationship of a girl friend

Are you having trouble coping with past relationships of a girl friend? Then read on for some advice from our dating coach.

Trouble Coping with Past Relationships of a Girl Friend

Reader Question

Hi, I've had a live in girlfriend for almost five years. In the beginning, she had a lot of skeletons, which came out in a slew of lies. We worked through all of them until the truths came out. Everything has been good until this past weekend. She was online and out of nowhere, she did a search for a past boyfriend and two male friends from her past. I was so hurt and angry. I provide everything for us and this made me feel so betrayed. When I confronted her she said, "She was curious to see if they were still around her hometown area," which is three hours away. "Curious"… a cheap cop-out to the truth? What should I do? How do I handle such a betrayed feeling? I was in an eighties hair metal band and was with a lot of partners (too many), but I have no interest in anyone from my past or anyone in my future. What makes her want to find out if "they're still around?"-- Contributed by: W.E.B.

Expert Reply

Dear W.E.B.,

Every year about this time when kids graduate from high school, I find myself reminiscing about the people I went to school with. The same thing happens when I get on the Internet and a pop-up for finding people I graduated high school comes up. Mind you, I don't keep in contact with anyone from high school, I just wonder how life turned out for some of them. There is a possibility that your girlfriend of five years is likewise curious about her old relationships and people from her past. This natural curiosity is not a betrayal or a cheap cop-out; rather it is a walk down memory lane. The fact that you feel betrayed by this natural curiosity says a lot about your lack of trust and faith with this relationship.

In the beginning of your relationship, you state that your girlfriend was not forthcoming about her past and "the truth came out in a slew of lies", but that was five years ago. She could have done the search without telling you, but she didn't do that. She was honest and told you about her interest. So what is going on for you that you believe she has ulterior motives for wanting to search out her past relationships? Why is it that after having built an honest relationship for the last four plus years, you suddenly doubt her word? Could it be you fear that your girlfriend is not happy with you and you worry that her sudden interest will lead her to find an old flame and perhaps develop a new relationship and leave you?

If the relationship between you and your girlfriend has become routine, boring or predictable, I could understand why you might be worried by her curiosity, but this would not explain or justify why you're so angry and distrusting. To understand your anger, you will need to look inward and identify your fears. Having fears of losing someone you love, means that you don't feel safe in the relationship. This could be your issue or the result of something your girlfriend has done to contribute to the lack of trust. Given that she told you of her interest, I am thinking this is more your issue than hers. However, your behavior, if not handled appropriately, could get an outcome you may be trying to avoid. That's because no one wants to be accused of something they are not guilty of.

Either way, to understand what is driving your fear, you and your girlfriend need to sit down and talk about your concerns as well as you trying to understand her curiosity. You might start by explaining your fears and seeing if she can understand your feelings. Then the two of you could talk about her interest in finding out about her past boyfriend and two male friends. This would require you to listen without judgment. If you don't think you can explain or even understand your own feelings and emotions let alone understand your girlfriend's, then I would suggest talking with a professional counselor.

~~Lori

Girlfriend Wants Ex

Reader Question

What do I do? I have been dating this girl for ten months now. She is still hung up on her ex-boyfriend whom she dated for something like three years. She didn't even really break up with him when she and I started to date. But then we fell in love. She is still insecure but she knows that I can treat her in better ways than he ever could. I want her to realize that he can't do that, and if she goes to see him, like she wants to, she will end up just getting more confused. How can she be rid of him, and get closer to me? HELP PLEASE!-- Contributed by: A-Rock

Expert Reply

Dear A Rock,

I am sure you feel like your girlfriend's desire to go see her old boyfriend has placed you and your feelings between a rock and a hard place. If you don't agree to her going, you risk having her wonder what she is missing and resenting you. Moreover, if you do agree to her going, you risk her ending your relationship and restarting a relationship with her ex. I can understand both your fear of the unknown and your heartfelt desire to do the right thing.

The answer to your question, "How can she be rid of him, and get closer to me," is not without pain. Your girlfriend started a new relationship before ending an old one. As a result, she suppressed her feelings of her ex and was not free to give herself to you wholly and completely. Over time, the feelings that she suppressed continued to bubble, kind of like a pressure cooker, until she could no longer deny or figure out, which feelings she had for you and which ones she has or had for her ex. Now she is requesting time to sort it all out.

As much as you fear the unknown, if she doesn't go on this journey, she will continue to withhold love for you. It's OK to let your girlfriend know how you feel, even if those feeling include anger, fear and love. Feelings are a way of expressing what is going on inside of us. Expressing those feelings lets your girlfriend know that you too are struggling and her behavior has consequences for all involved. In the end, it is better to know that she 'chooses' to be with you because you are the better man, versus she chooses you because she fears losing you.

~~Lori

Coping with Past Relationships of a Girl Friend