Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply.
5outof6, thank you for being supportive of my feelings. I agree with most of what you’ve said. The problem here is that my extreme emotional response is becoming a love buster for him, so we needed to invoke the policy of joint agreement. He will do his best to respect and accommodate my feelings, but I have also agreed to work on getting healthier emotionally. I think this agreement is respectful of us both.
Catperson, I appreciate your advice, and I will try to find a good counselor.
3natalie3, Thank you for your thoughtful and fair reply. I have never questioned him about his past relationship. Frankly I would rather not know many of the things he has told me and wish he would just stop dumping that information on me. He is also not questioning me about my relationships, but I would not dump information on him. I feel that it is not courteous of your current lover to blab on about past intimacies, probably because of my own sensitivity. I have been tempted to start throwing my past experiences in his face as retaliation, but thankfully have not sunk that low yet.
I made myself sick by not stating my feelings. I held in my feelings because I knew they were “over the top” as catperson has said. I was making an effort to control myself, not to control him. But as 5outof6 said, you can’t wish those overwhelming feelings away, you only make them worse by repressing them.
LovingAnyway, what a great screen name you have! I was married and divorced before I met my fiancé. My son from that marriage was a preschooler back then; he is a senior in college now. I am 52 years old. I have dated and got serious with a couple of men in between. My current fiancé is truly the only man I’ve ever felt such a strong connection to, and he says it is the same for him.
I know that the communication with exgf has ceased because he told he it has, and I have never known him to be deceitful. He has offered me free rein to check his phone and email but I don’t feel it is necessary.
After I posted here I went to the bookstore and picked up “If this is Love, Why do I Feel So Insecure?” by Carl G Hindy , J Conrad Schwarz, and Archie Brodsky. I can’t say I would recommend the book wholeheartedly. It is written in a scholarly style, more like a textbook for a psych class than a handbook for self help. I did find it helpful enough though. They offer a step approach that does not conflict with Harley’s principles:
1. Identify and articulate feelings precisely
2. Discover the roots of both partners reactions in the past
3. Engage the partner’s capacity to empathize
4. Negotiate agreements
5. Explore the function served by persistent disagreements
6. Last resorts: separate, accommodate, or seek professional help.
I did try this and we both found it helpful. Steps 2 and 5 would be even more helpful if my bf would examine his own reactions and explore what function it serves him to keep me off balance in the relationship. I feel as though I am taking responsibility for my negative contributions, but I truly think he has a part in it too. I think he has some insecurity too, and compensates by keeping me insecure.
I think that will come though. I believe he is working as hard as I am at this.