My SO has retroactive jealousy and I've had to disclose most of my sexual past. There are some things he doesn't know, should I still tell him? His RJ seems to get better and I don't want to undo it.
Last Updated: 03/26/2021 at 12:56am
Stacey Kiger, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
My belief is that therapy is not about giving advice, but joining you on your journey
Top Rated Answers
Having to admit to your previous intimate encounters to your current love interest, due to their retroactive jealousy, sounds like a awkward situation for you to be in. Anyone in this kind of position would find it unpleasant and unnecessary to confirm such information to someone they care about, since it occurred in the past and (ideally) shouldn't impact a current connection. Circumstances like this may make you feel like living in a dilemma, which has made you torn between two extremes. On the one hand, you want the relationship to continue to flow smoothly and not step into a minefield and trigger any bad reactions, since he's improved. On the other hand, it sounds like you feel like there's a "need" to mention other details which you haven't disclosed, due to sensing possible guilt for not being entirely honest. Although you're together and relationships require communication, honesty, and understanding from both partners, it's important to bare in mind that you are still individual human beings. Consequently, this situation should also allow you to self-reflect and ask yourself questions, such as: 1. How does it make you feel, when you're inquired about your past sexual partners? 2. What is the usual reaction to your response? 3. When disclosing these experiences, are they done because you want to do so, or because you believe you have to? 4. Regardless if you do decide to tell him more information or not, what is it that you'd like him to understand? Bottom line? Whether you decide to tell him further information, or not, is entirely up to you. When doing/saying something, ensuring you're 100% comfortable in doing so—and not due to it being a "personal obligation" or "proof of loyalty"—is a must. Hope this clarifies things for you.
It's hard to know why someone has a jealous nature, but it may be helpful to discuss that openly. If your significant other has felt betrayed by someone in the past, it may fuel his jealousy now. If you have both had a past history of intimate relationships, putting that out there, and expressing your feelings about how you view your prior history, may help to re-set expectations. If he brings up additional questions, consider asking him why it is important that he knows these details. How will this knowledge help your relationship grow and strengthen? Only then you will know if sharing additional information will help or harm the relationship.
RJ means retroactive jealousy in this case. Your past is your own and you don't have to talk about what you don't want to. It's normal for people to have a past, so you don't need to be ashamed. If you are having relationship difficulties, feel free to reach out to a listener on this forum. It's good to do things with your BF that can build a common story between you. If jealousy gets between you too often, you can re-evaluate the relationship. I hope this is helpful. Best of luck. You can also ask your BF to think about what standards he holds himself to.
Related Questions: My SO has retroactive jealousy and I've had to disclose most of my sexual past. There are some things he doesn't know, should I still tell him? His RJ seems to get better and I don't want to undo it.
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