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I shouldn't be anxious

Hey RO
So I've been with my girlfriend for about 1 1/2 years and everything has been really great. She's perfect in every single way and I love her an insane amount and I can't think of any other place I would rather be than with her
However, I get this horrible feeling that I guess is a mixture of depression and anxiety when I hear about people she's been with or things she's done. We've both had exes in the past but, being teenagers, we've both kind of hooked up with other people before as well or done stupid things
And it gets me really down when I hear about them, even in a passing comment by a friend or a slip of the tongue. I just hate to think of her in that way and even though it's in the past, I just really don't want to hear it.
I don't know whether it would be better to get closure and ask what she has done or just leave it and remain not knowing in case I freak out
I only think about this when I'm in a bad state of mind in the first place and it can really eat at me, but if I did know, I feel like I might get worse
She's an amazing person and I love her with all my heart and I trust her as well and I know all of that stuff was a long time ago and she isn't like that anymore
I feel like a complete a**hole getting down and being judgemental about stuff that she has done in the past and cannot change as well as the fact that I've done stuff like that too
Should I get closure or just remain in the dark?

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

Hey @drhalloween - you describe the feeling you get as a mixture of depression and anxiety, but could it actually be jealousy? Jealousy is such a difficult emotion to manage, nobody likes to get that mental image of the person they love being with other people. But it's something we all have to face at some point, it's pretty rare to find a partner who has zero romantic history! Does you girlfriend know you struggle with hearing about her past relationships?

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Re: I shouldn't be anxious

It probably is jealousy yeah. She does know that I am struggling with it and she does sincerly apologise if it accidentely comes up. It's less about past relationships and more about stuff done at parties though. I just don't want to picture her as someone who kinda hooks up with people

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

I'd also like to clarify that I have nothing against or look down on those who do that kind of stuff, it's just not something that I've always been comfortable with

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

@drhalloween

My personal advice would be not to ask about it. I think that the more you think about it, dwell on it etc, the harder it is going to be for you. If you increase your investment into thinking about this by asking and trying to find out what has happened it may just further reinforce these thoughts in your mind. (when you study material for exams, you recall it more easily, similarly, the more you think about this issue, the more its going to naturally come to your awareness) --of course, much easier said then done.

 

ultimately you have to make the choice that you feel is going to be best for you. You'v already hinted that you might freak out which to me suggests to me it may make your feelings more intense.

 

In term of your relationship however, your girlfriend may value you for respecting her privacy if you dont ask also.

 

Is there a path you feel you are more gravitating towards?

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

I had a bit more of a think about your situation and I realised that I was being a bit black and white.

 

Looking at it from different perspectives sortof illuminates that there isnt perhaps 'one correct answer'.

 

For instance, My personal advice is not to emotionally invest in something that will make you feel anxious. Going from a more eastern sortof buddist perspective may suggest that suffering is caused by attachment and craving (perhaps the craving to know what happened) and a classic Australian answer would be to go talk to her about it and definately not to bottle it up.

 

I think all perspectives have something to offer, for example, perhaps you could work towards not emotionally investing in this which causes you anxiety, but it may still be useful to chat to her about it lightly, as often just acknowledging the problem with someone and having them respond to you even if nothing is resolved can put you mind at rest.

 

Best of luck with how you chose to approach this Smiley Happy

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

@TroyI am really torn about it
I did mention about me being torn between wanting to know and remaining ignorant to her and she said that "All that you should know is that it was a long time ago and that I love you" so I think she'd prefer not to tell me so I won't push her to tell me
I have really bad trust issues and while I do trust her but at the same time, in the wrong state of mind, I can get really anxious. Her being private can get me worried that she's lied to me about something she's said and but is protecting me and it all just spirals down until I just try to isolate myself for a bit

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

Hey @drhalloween,  I think it's great that you've brought it up with your girlfriend even if you haven't had quite the response that you wanted. Working up the courage to tell someone you're worried or stressed out about something is pretty hard and it can be really scary waiting to see how they'll react to something you've said.

 

I think @ElleBelle has definitely hit the nail on the head when she said as we get older it is harder and harder to find someone with zero romantic/hook-up history. You even mentioned having a history of your own. While some people are proud about their history and happy to discuss it, there are others that find it embarrassing or even painful or distressing to remember or talk about. I can definitely attest to this - there are at least two key moments in my relationship / hook up history that I wish I could just forget about entirely. Although my partner of four years and I are super open about our past relationships and experiences, I've never brought up those two moments because they make me super uncomfortable and distressed to even think about.

 

While I think talking to your girlfriend again is definitely worth another shot, respecting each others personal boundaries is a really important part of relationships.  If your girlfriend is still unwilling to talk about her past experiences in depths then it may mean that you will have to accept this for now. If this is something you want to do then it might help you to read this factsheet about building stronger coping skills which might help you tackle some of the negative-thinking that you're struggling with. You might also find it helpful to see your local doctor to get some advice on ways to manage your feelings of anxiety and depression.

 

Remember, that looking after your emotional well-being and happiness should be your number one priority. While this can be extra hard when you're in a relationship because you want to make the other person happy as well, you have to make yourself happy as well. I hope you're able to find yourself in a good place! Wishing you all the best!

 

p.s Being jealous or curious or worried definitely doesn't make you an "a**hole" like you said, it's definitely something a lot of us have struggled with (myself included). Unfortunately I think it's an unavoidable part of growing up ):

 

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

Thanks @KitKat!
I think it might just something that I'll just have to fight through

Re: I shouldn't be anxious

@drhalloweenits definately a tough one considering its not something that you can just 'forget' about.

 

Perhaps your the kind of person that is not comfortable with a girlfriend having a that kind of past. But you may be making it worse then it already is.

 

If its going to eat you up inside, maybe its better to chat about it then to secretly bottle it up and have it come out indirectly.

 

You dont have to get details, but just having her discuss the matter for a bit with you might get it out of your system. See what feels right Smiley Happy