When your partner can’t get over your past

Feel like you’re being interrogated? It’s time to ask what’s behind all the questions.

The question
   
I’ve been dating a woman for two years. I like her very much and she’s a lot of fun. The problem is she frequently brings up my past. I’m 33 years old and she’s 30. I’ve dated lots of women before her and she’s unaccepting of the fact that I’ve had sex before I met her. What do I do?

Since your girlfriend takes issue with you having a dating history maybe she needs to find a virgin. It would be difficult for her to find a 33-year-old who hasn’t had sex. I assume she herself has no history? If she has, then this is the height of hypocrisy. She’s either hugely naive or projecting some of her own issues onto you. Unless you’ve participated in unlawful or dangerous sexual acts that potentially impact her today, it’s none of her business.

You should be commended for being so open and honest about your history. This transparency speaks to your commitment to her. By divulging sexual history, you assume a level of trust that shouldn’t be thrown back in your face. She has violated this trust. She needs to get over your past and focus on the present and future. If you’re loving, supportive, respectful and have a healthy sex life, then there’s no need for her to harp on your sexual history. Ask her what she hopes to gain by bringing up your past girlfriends. My guess is that this is more about her insecurity than your experience.

If this has been going on for two years, it probably isn’t going to change. You cannot change a belief system that seems unwavering. You can decide, though, how much you want to be exposed to it. It seems clear that you care about her. However, one of the fundamentals of a healthy relationship is missing: unconditional acceptance. Express to her this unmet need and your desire for full acceptance of who you are now, not whom you dated in the past. If she can’t be accepting, then you must move on.  


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