3 Ways to Get Past Your Partner's Troubling Past

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By Susie and Otto Collins

Alan just learned something about his fiance, Jennifer, that he just can't get out of his mind. While at a party together, Alan and Jennifer were talking with some of Jennifer's friends from college. One of these friends referred to Jennifer as their #1 "party girl" who went through guys about as fast as she did beer.

Alan knows that Jennifer was a partyer and he also is aware that she has had several boyfriends. What he didn't fully grasp was the extent of both of these things!

When Jennifer and Alan's relationship got serious, they each opened up and were completely honest with one another about their pasts...or so Alan thought. To him, it seems that Jennifer might have downplayed her past behavior, especially when it comes to her previous relationships and flings.

Now Alan can't help but worry that, one day, Jennifer will revert to her old ways and look for another, more exciting guy to be with.

You might have been surprised to learn something about your partner's past that is troubling or even shocking to you. Perhaps you discovered that he or she was previously engaged and this information was never shared with you.

Or, maybe your mate described events or relationships in one way and you find out that they were probably something completely different.

Especially when what you learn about your partner's past is different (even slightly) from what he or she told you, it could be even more worrisome.

Let's face it. It can be difficult enough to know that you aren't the first person your partner ever loved or had intimate relations with. It's even more of a challenge to find out that your partner's past is vastly different than what you had previously believed.

So, does the fact that your mate downplayed something about his or her past a clue that you should be suspicious?

Possibly or possibly not.

There are many reasons why a person might lie about the past. It may be that he or she is embarrassed or ashamed of what happened. It could be that the person truly doesn't consider the relationship or what happened to be all that important.

Or, it could be that the person is lying because the relationship or situation is still going on and truly is a threat to your relationship.

There may very well be a fear that you will not understand or be okay with the past. Your partner might be afraid that you will breakup with him or her because of the past.

You need to be honest with yourself. Is this new information that you've learned about your love something that you think you could possibly come to terms with? If it isn't, you might decide to end the relationship or at least take some time to think things through.

If you do want to stay and move past your partner's past, try these tips...

#1: Stay present.

Opening up to one another about each of your pasts might be an important trustbuilding practice in your relationship, but this doesn't mean that either of you needs to get stuck there.

Be sure that you bring yourself back to the present moment when you are thinking about or are with your partner. You will miss out on so much passion, connection and fun if you are busy fixating on how many people your partner dated or how serious (or not) these past relationships were.

#2: Watch your expectations.

We all have expectations whether or not we want to admit to them. Pay attention to the assumptions that you may be making about your partner. Do you find yourself anticipating a particular reaction from him or her in certain situations?

If so, stop. It is not going to help you create the kind of relationship that you want with your mate if you are regularly expecting him or her to disappoint or betray you. This will only breed more mistrust and disconnection.

Instead ask yourself, "Do I know this to be absolutely true?" when you start to think or say an expectation about your partner or relationship. Whether or not your answer to the question is a "Yes" or a "No," the process of questioning will help you be clearer and, usually, more accurate.

#3: Forgive.

Forgiveness is a very powerful act. It is something that is done not so much as a gracious act for another person, but for one's self.

When you forgive your partner for his or her past, you can free yourself up from the anxiety, fear or anger you might be carrying around about whatever happened.

When you forgive your partner for not telling you the whole truth about his or her past, you also allow yourself to come back to the present and deal with the reasons why instead of the lying itself.

Forgiveness cannot be forced so be patient with yourself. Invite yourself to forgive and pay attention to what happens next.


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Susie and Otto Collins has 1 articles online

Otto Collins teaches the secrets to lighting up their woman and offers men's relationship advice. To get Otto's free report: "The 10 Biggest Relationship & Passion-Killing Mistakes Men Make and What To Do About Them" you sign up for his FREE relationship advice newsletter for men at http://www.LightHerUp.com

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3 Ways to Get Past Your Partner's Troubling Past

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This article was published on 2010/12/01
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