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August 17, 2020 at 7:47 am #364936BethParticipant
I was very interested to see your post, as I’m in my early fifties too and going through something very similar. After all this time of no-good relationships, finally finding a gentle, kind, considerate guy who is utterly devoted to me, and one where we both have learned from our past mistakes. I too though am feeling the same way about his past flames, and I do have to be around them quite often. It always makes me sick to my stomach. I swing wildly between wanting to know more, and knowing I’d be much happier being completely ignorant of this. Luckily he doesn’t want to tell me much in the way of details. Here are some thoughts I’ve had today on this, that I hope are going to get me closer to dealing with this, while a) not dismissing my thoughts and feelings, and b) not hurting this lovely, gentle guy.
What if – just what if – this is actually a pretty big deal, but you are handling it remarkably well? It might be that you’re not actually a problematic person on this but are having a very normal reaction (for whatever deep-rooted reason that you can’t possibly sort out with a counselor immediately), and are handling it admirably, alone, without professional help?
On the subject of the gut-sinking thoughts and realizations that these perfect and unattainable other former flames do exist locally, that you/I keep having to bump into, these fearful thoughts arise and hijack me just when I thought I’d made the peace about them. Just when I thought I’d weighed up all the pros and cons, and decided “Hey, don’t take your fears and insecurities out on this lovely, considerate, kind and obviously very devoted guy”, that these ugly thoughts arise again. The fear of that happening is the biggest thing, here, for me. THAT’S what I’m currently trying to figure out how to get a handle on. I can only control myself and my reactions, after all.
Like you, I’ve had a good career, stable life outside of less than great relationships, and raised two kids I’m so proud of. So being constantly sideswiped by these thoughts either out of the blue by myself, or by having to see one of these women, keeps me off balance and steals my energy. I want this problem to be gone, and for these thoughts not to rob me of my mental energy any more. I’m thinking perhaps just being gentle with myself whenever these thoughts arise is a good start. Maybe some of this is helpful? All the best!