Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Losing confidence in myself because of partners past(12 Posts)
I’m in an almost year long relationship with someone I love to bits. It’s gone slowly in terms of meeting each other’s children and lockdown has slowed it further. He’s always treated me well and makes it clear how much he loves me but I keep finding myself comparing myself with his exes. He has had quite a lot of short term (few weeks) flings including a threesome relationship with women a good ten years younger than me. It’s ridiculous because he’s with me and seems to want a long term future but I keep worrying that I’m not enough for him somehow and I’m not sure how to get my confidence back. Having seen some of his exes on social media (they briefly chat from time to time on posts), a few are very good looking with amazing figures and I keep making comparisons.
Any advice on how to stop this would be a lifesaver as I hate the fact I do it. I just feel as if I’ve lost all of my confidence.
including a threesome relationship
They had a threesome or they were polygamous?
OP have you felt like this about previous partners?
He had a mini threesome relationship for a couple of weeks just because he could. I’ve occasionally felt like this but more so because this is the first serious relationship I’ve had that appears to have a future since I divorced.
If you are a person who has a jealous streak, might it be better to look for someone who has a less colourful past?
My exdh made my life miserable by being jealous of people I dated etc before I even met him... he succeeded in creating misery for our whole family because there was really nothing to be done about it, he was just wired to be suspicious and insecure and would have been better off with a virgin i think.
You don't have to date someone whose past makes you this uncomfortable - i mean, he can't change it, and he must be quite an open sort of person if he's revealed all this to you - so he'd have to just stop telling you things that to him would be normal to share. Not sure you're really compatible if that's combined with you tending towards jealousy?
Or you could get therapy and try to complete rewire yourself and your responses. I think that's overkill, personally.
He had a mini threesome relationship for a couple of weeks just because he could.
I'd not be massively comfortable being in a relationship with someone who'd had a threesome (as in a one off/isolated sexual experience) at all; but a "threesome relationship" for a week. Weird.
Would put me right off to be honest.
I usually find that at least one if the same sex partners in a threesome (especially not a one off sexual encounter) are being fucked - a d not in a good way. There's usually something unhealthy going on and anyone with decency/empathy/sensitivity usually recognises that.
Polygamy even temporary/short term turns me off, weird me out, however you want to put it, as well.
I wouldn't be hanging around to see if such a person had got that kind of behaviour out if the system or not. They'd have s different set of .. norms/boundaries than me and I wouldn't feel comfortable in a relationship with them.
I'm not surprised you feel uncomfortable.
As to the separate issue of ex's youth/age (someone's always going to have exes and there'll always be a possibility one or more night be younger than or more conventionally attractive than you) .. they're not together, there's a reason for that.
Feeling like you want a serious relationship, talking in love etc is a weird alchemy of looks, personality, connection, vibe, compatibility, needs/wants, openness to commiting at that time. There is no perfectly simple formula that says "maximum looks & maximum youth = person I fall for and want to be with" - at least not for anyone but the most shallow of people who don't form long term relationships. If it was all so wonderful and perfect, how come they're not together.
The other thing is that a minimal level of contact with exes is ok - anything more than that is uncomfortable and you wonder if they're all keeping each other on the back burner or prone to cheating/overlapping or at the very least it's an ego boost etc. It's not clear how much contact they have.
In any case the "colourful past" as another poster diplomatically put it would be enough for me to say "enjoyed it but not for me now I know this".
*Sorry that was supposed to be looks/age (not youth/age).
@Floatinginthesky the issue is you rather than your partner. I read somewhere the comparison is the thief of joy. You need to nip it in the bud when those feelings take over, easier said than done. My ex was gorgeous plus his ex looked amazing for her age so I was always envious. Then my FWB had hundreds of women, threesomes, the lot, and although we saw each other exclusively, I was anxious about my sexual prowess! It was all me and my anxieties and I think there comes a time where you just have to believe you are worth it. Fake it till you make it.
Based on what you write, @Floatinginthesky, I am not sure this man is right for you.
However, there seem to be wider issues that relate to lack of confidence and self-esteem. Can you learn to feel good, or at least `good enough` about yourself? Meaning that you feel anchored in yourself, without looking to others for validation.
These books will help:
- The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Barden
- Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood
Go for counselling, or do it online. Your self-esteem is low.
Read the books mentioned.
If you overcame your feelings of not being good enough it would change the dynamic in your relationship. How would he react to a new confident you. Would it work.
Please login first.