I am a 63-year-old woman and have been in a relationship with a great guy for the past year. We get along extremely well — so well that he moved in with me about six months ago. We’re planning to retire to Arizona together at the end of this year. We’re both financially independent, and I am very happy to be with him.
Our only stumbling block has been my concerns about his previous relationship with a younger woman. He broke up with her about two weeks prior to the day we met. He lived with her for about two years before that, and I believe he got along very well with her. He tells me that they broke up because of her unruly kids, but I believe he is still not completely over her.
I recently found a stack of photos of the two of them and her kids looking very happy. I know these pictures were taken before he and I got together. I stated that I was uncomfortable with him holding onto those photos. He said he also has photos of his two ex-wives and I should not be concerned because he is very happy now with me. But he eventually said that I could shred those photos, and I did. I know he is a sentimental guy, but this is making me very uncomfortable. Jenny, should I be concerned about his feelings for her?
— Chloe in Illinois
I’m so happy you reached out!
First of all, it’s wonderful that you found someone you care about — but I am concerned that your fears might be interfering with your happiness. Why are you sabotaging it? Shredding his pictures was a selfish and insecure thing to do. Every experience that this man has had in his life has helped shaped him into who he is. They’ve molded him into the person that you are currently in love with. Maybe these prior relationships taught him how to love the right way, and now he has met you to perfect it.
Who would really want to be with a person that has led a miserable life, anyway? A few weeks ago, I blogged about how I taught Evan to stay in the present moment because it is a gift. That’s why it is called “the present.” Your ego is the one who is worrying about the past and about what is going to happen in the future. You must be very careful, because by thinking about these things, you are giving your ego power — you will manifest your own worst fears. Instead, try being grateful for having found a man who knows how to love. Also, have confidence in the knowledge that he finds you just as attractive and desirable as a younger woman.
You can shred his photos, but you can’t shred his memories, so don’t even try. Stay in the now, and love yourself so you are able to love him AND his past.