Boyfriend's Skeletons And Friends' Opinions


My boyfriend of 5 years and I have a wonderful relationship with one exception…his past is sneaking into our present. We met because we worked together, and he had been with company for 3 years, therefore had a lot of friends and people who knew him and his lifestyle. He used to party a lot and has been with a lot of women. I am desperately trying to live in the now, but often our mutual friends from this place of work will make comments, such as "his reputation precedes him" or "who would have guessed he would be with one person for so long"…He is frustrated as he believes what these people think is worse than it really was. I don’t want this baggage to ruin our lives together, but I have a hard time when I hear it as well. HELP!

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

Very few adults come into a relationship without "baggage" from the past. Of course, your boy friend had women, partied and had a lot of "fun." That was then and this is now. You have been in a serious relationship together for five years and that is very meaningful.

Many people, when they are young, live the types of lives that your boy friend did. Most of us "get it out of our system," meaning that we outgrow that life and want to settle down into a well rooted and serious type of life.

You and he need to protect your selves from those with "wagging tongues." Unfortunately, there are always people who want to stir up trouble by engaging in rumor-mongering and coming between couples. Some people do these things out of jealousy, others out of just trying to stir trouble, others do not want their old friends to settle down with an intimate other.

Do you know the monkey trick: "See no evil, Hear no evil and Say no evil." You and your man need to turn deaf ears to all of this stuff and go on with your lives. If it would help, find jobs elsewhere or even move to another part of the country and start all over again. That is difficult but some people do it.

Bottom line: Ignore all of it. The opinions of so-called friends should count for nothing in the context of an intimate relationship

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists