Jealousy in previous relationships

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2014
Jealousy in previous relationships
12
Fri, 03-28-2014 - 12:16pm

Hi all,

I am 31 years old.

I got married at 29 and got divorced about 6 months later. My ex wife was my first gf.

I had 2 more relationships after that, one lasted about 4 months, the other about 1 month.

In the last month or so I am in a relationship which I beleive is very good for me. My gf really cares about me, really wants it to work out. And we are both extremely attracted to each other.

When we started dating I told her that I neither want to hear about previous relationships she had, nor to tell about mine.

But this strategy doesn't seem to help. It bothers me to the extent that I'm not sure I can live with it.

I know that the way I see the things is wrong. It's just the way it works in our society. And I honestly believe that if I was a more sensible man it wouldn't bother me in the least, since she has no contact with any of the men she had been in relationship with, and she wasn't in any relationship for over 2 years (until we met).

But I just can't help it... If it was someone else's story I would definitely recommend him to keep it and to do his very best to make this relationship flourish. Problem is that it's my story... would like to hear your opinions very much.

thanks.

(by the way, I'm not a native english speaker so you may find some of my sentences phrased funny)

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Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 9:55am

As the other person mentioned, you just described yourself as a "player". Play a woman until you "get" her and then drop her and move on to the next one. I'm not exactly sure where this behavior comes from but I suspect your lack of experience with women in your earlier years, may have lead you to this. Before you were not getting girls, and now in later years you find you can get girls, and your mind is on a quest to prove to yourself over and over that you are capable of getting girls. I think the best way to quash this pattern is to meet a woman who is truly right for you. I believe this can cause a seismic shift in your thinking. Up until this point in your life you have not found this person. When you do i think it will dawn on you that she is a "keeper" and you will not seek to move on to a different woman. So maybe the best advice is give yourself time to find your true match.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Mon, 03-31-2014 - 3:20pm

Both of you are entitled to have had a life before you met.  Whether or not each of you wants to know or not know about previous partners, all that matters is that you agree on that and follow thru, right?  I didn't know much about my DH's romantic past and ten years married was when I found out some things I wish he'd just continued to keep to himself, I had no need to know but he blurted it out.  Still wish I didn't know!  Does it really matter to you?  Why?  As long as you know both of you are not passing along STDs to the other, all I can say is we all have a past and unless it's things you find so morally objectionable you can never get past it, let it go. 

 

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 03-31-2014 - 3:38am

 Hi  From where are you from?   In your home culture what is the expecttions that are taught to males?  Is youe GF American?  from what area of the country?  I ask these questions  hopefuly to understand where you  are  coming from with expectations.

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 03-29-2014 - 4:23pm

I agree that therapy would help you explore why you have these feelings.  When young people date casually I don't think that most of them are doing it with the idea of making someone fall in love with them and then discarding them--that is a very mean thing to do.  I guess popular culture would call that a "player."  Why do you feel the need to do this?  If you don't want to settle down, you could date different women to see "what is out there" and see what kind of woman you really want, but you do that in a respectful way, just getting to know them, being honest that you only want to date casually and not using them for sex.  You really have to figure out why you are jealous of a woman's past relationships because if you don't, you will never have a successful relationship yourself because at your age, you aren't going to start dating 16 yr old girls (I hope) so every woman you meet will have had previous BFs.  Most people don't give it much of a thought unless their partner is hung up on the ex.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sat, 03-29-2014 - 12:09pm

You have only known this girl for a month, and you have NO IDEA if she's right for you!  You are a very confused man, about what you want in life, about how to deal with relationships, and mostly, about understanding yourself.  You talk about relationships, but then you talk about "making them love me then getting rid of them" (my paraphrasing).  You are a very conflicted and confused man, and you need professional help if you ever expect to find peace of mind.  I still think you had a traumatic childhood, and because of that you have no idea how to have a "normal" relationship, or even a "normal" life.  Do you have any male friends?  I think not.  I think you really need to find a good therapist and work on all your conflicting emotions, if you ever want to find happiness within yourself.  You have to be happy yourself before you will ever find happiness in another person. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2014
Sat, 03-29-2014 - 4:56am
I always knew that most people dated different people throughout their lives, especially when they're younger. And I almost scorned this behavior. But once I met my first wife, which was at 25, It didn't affect me personally. And in a way I thought that I was acting in a better, cleverer way than the average person. It was when I got divorced that I had for the first time to really face this fact, this reality, that the girls you date had had their stories, their experiences. And it's completely different to know something as a fact than to have to deal with it on a personal level. And it kind of reversed the way I thought. Sort of "If you can't beat them, join them" thing. So it's hard for me to answer this "what suits you" question. I want to experience, I think. maybe even to make them girls fall in love with me (which I find myself very good at) and then to look for something new. It sounds terrible, I know. It may even look like I'm a bad person. But maybe I just want to make it up for myself? to have now the experiences many guys have in their early 20's... To access some random girl on the street or on the bus and make her mine while I know it won't last... maybe it's some twisted way of coping... maybe I'm some kind of a sadistic person in the emotional level... Any way I can't define what I'm after... If I will meet this mature, confident woman who is a perfect match for me I won't know it. Maybe I think my current gf is exactly this, and that's why it's so hard for me to make up my mind...
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2014
Sat, 03-29-2014 - 4:16am
I don't think time can solve it in my case. I knew my ex wife for about 3.5 years before we got married. She had one relationship before me. It only lasted a few short months and she was a virgin when we got married. Yet, it bothered me. I learned to live with it, but it was always there for me. Maybe the same thing can happen here... I'll just learn to accept it. But I know for sure that these thoughts will never vanish. About seeing her previous relationships as a positive thing for me - well there's a clash here between common sense and ego. And I'm afraid that my ego plays a bigger part in my decisions than rational thinking. I totally understand what you say about wanting something crazy and unrealistic. But understanding is one thing and feeling is a different thing. I know that it may sound weird. I know that it's not acceptable, not mature and above all not good for me. I think in cycles...
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 03-28-2014 - 11:51pm

Sorry, but I don't know your background, so I can only guess.  Insecurity often comes from growing up with parents that are abusive, either verbally or physically, or just neglectful.  That leaves a person feeling unworthy of love and affection, and that creates problems in relationships.  Why would you feel you should marry someone just because she's your first girlfriend?  And why did you then divorce her very quickly?  Or did she divorce you?  And if so, why?  Either way, you don't really even know someone well after only 6 months.  You are "in love" so you don't see faults, or bad habits. Most people have more than one relationship before they even know what they want, and certainly before they decide to get married. 

You say that this girl "wants you" for some reason?  And you think it's against HER interests?  And therefore you trust her?  That doesn't even make sense!  What about YOUR interests?  When you're dating someone, you're looking for what YOU want, not what she wants.  You say she wants you for some reason, meaning you have no idea WHY she's interested in you, but that doesn't really matter unless you're equally interested in her.  And it also indicates that you don't think anyone would want to be with you, and that's insecurity.  That's lack of confidence in your own value or worth.  Stop worrying about what her interests are, and start thinking about what you want in a partner.  You also shouldn't marry anyone unless you know them very well, for a long time, at least a year, and you feel that you're both compatible in what you want in life.  If you want 6 children, and your g/f wants only one, then you're not compatible.  If you want to live in a big city and she wants to live in the country, then you're not compatible.  If you want a neat clean home, and she is very sloppy, you're not compatible.  If you like to save money, and she spends money on foolishness, then you're not compatible. If you like to go to the gym every day, and she wants to watch TV and eat candy, then you aren't compatible.  These are just a few of the things you have to discuss and consider before you think about marriage.  People are on their best behavior in the first few months of a relationship....then as time goes by, you see the REAL person, and people don't change just because they get married.  Try to not worry about marriage, or what is in HER best interest, you have to find someone who suits YOU. 

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Fri, 03-28-2014 - 4:33pm

I think time can definitely help, as it does in so many areas of life. Experience is the best teacher. You have to learn to let it go. As was mentioned a professional could help if it really is bad enough.

Her experience is a positive. Each relationship she has had has made her better at relationships in the future. What your jealousy is saying is that it wants a virgin, a girl who has never dated before. Well that is just plain crazy and unrealistic. That is obviously not what you want. You want a confident mature woman who knows what she wants and knows she wants you, not someone who NEEDS you. You don't want a lapdog who will be clingy and hang on your pants legs. You would grow so tired and bored of that so very quickly.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 03-28-2014 - 3:03pm

If you trust your GF (girlfriend) and don't believe she will cheat on you, then why are you so concerned about her having previous boyfriends?  If the woman is around your age she would obviously have had previous boyfriends.  Is it jealousy that you think she might like the previous guy more than you?  that she might compare them to you?  If she liked the other guys so much, she would have stayed with them, right?

I know that if I dated a guy who got divorced 6 months after he got married, I would want to find out the reasons--was it that she cheated, did you not know each other long enough before you got married, or what?  If you do not explore why you got divorced, maybe you will repeat the same mistake.  Now I don't know if you phrased this wrong, I think there are some people who meet the right person and they do get married to their first girlfriend.  I know people who met as teenagers, got married and are still happily married in their 50's--that is more unusual.  The more usual thing is that people have to date several people before they find the right person to marry.  So did you really believe that your exwife was right for you or did you just think that finally you found someone nice and since you were getting older, maybe your family was even putting pressure on you to get married?

I do think that you have to explore why you believe that people shouldn't talk about their previous partners.  I don't think that people need to give every detail, especially of someone they only dated briefly, but I would certainly want to know about serious relationships.  Did you even tell the new girlfriend that you are divorced?  You can't really get to know someone very well and determine if they are the right partner for you if you are both trying to hide important information.

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