DEAR DEIDRE: MY husband won’t forgive me for my past, even though I’m a reformed character and would never dream of cheating on him.
I am 37 and he is a bit younger at 29. When we met four years ago he found it exciting that I had a lot more experience than him.
He has only had a couple of sexual partners, while I was a bit wild as a teenager and have been married briefly before.
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I wasn’t always faithful to my boyfriends in the past because I was immature and selfish, and with the wrong men.
My husband didn’t seem to mind knowing this — he even said it turned him on to hear about my sexy encounters with other guys.
But since we got married a year ago, that has all changed. He has become really jealous.
If we go out together, and I so much as glance at another man — or smile too broadly at the waiter — he accuses me of flirting.
If we walk down the street and a guy checks me out, he’ll get angry and say I must have asked for his attention.
It’s got to the stage where I walk everywhere with my head bowed, staring at the floor, just so nobody notices me and he can’t scream at me.
If I go out with my friends without him, he will constantly message me and ask who I’m with and what time I’ll be home.
I’ve told him I’m not interested in anyone but him and it’s true.
But he says: “Once a cheat, always a cheat”. He thinks it’s just a matter of time before I leave him for someone else.
I wish I’d never told him about my past. I’m not proud of myself, but he made me feel it was OK to talk about it.
How can I help him trust me and to let go of the past before it ruins our future?
DEIDRE SAYS: Worrying about the past, which neither of you can change, is only damaging your relationship.
You both need to put this behind you and focus on the present, and your future together.
It sounds like your husband is insecure and needs reassurance about why and how much you love him.
And if he truly loves you and wants to spend his life with you, he needs to get over his misplaced jealousy.
Remind him that we all come as a package, complete with our past experiences, and it’s your experiences that have made you the woman he fell in love with.
You didn’t choose to be with any of those other men – you chose him and you don’t want anyone else.
Jealousy can easily become controlling behaviour, so if he’s having trouble trusting you then some relationship counselling might be a very good idea. Contact Relate (relate.org.uk).
Also see my support packs, Looking After Your Relationship and Dealing With Jealousy.
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