My Husband Loves To Hear About My Past Lovers: Should Couples Talk About Past Relationships

My Husband Loves To Hear About My Past Lovers: Should Couples Talk About Past Relationships

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My husband loves to hear about my past lovers ? Should couples talk about past relationships.

What little boy doesn?t enjoy a challenging treasure hunt? It piques his interest. It calls forth his investigative skills. His tenacity. His cleverness. ?They just think they can hide the treasure from me, but I?ll prove that I am too smart for them and I?ll find that treasure, by golly.?

Few little boys ever truly grow up. The treasures may change. A car. A business deal. A woman. But they still enjoy the treasure hunt, the pursuit of that which is hidden and possibly unattainable unless they can prove how clever they are.

You are the treasure. Make that happy man go on a treasure hunt for the details of you, your history, your pain and pleasure, your dreams. Make him work for it, and make him feel clever when he unearths another clue.

Here are a couple of tips: If, upon discovering something that you have allowed him to find, he crows too loudly in a way that makes you feel put down, if it seems like he thinks he is smarter than you and becomes disrespectful, do not put up with it. We want to enjoy a mutually satisfying relationship, not cater to an unhealthy sense of male superiority. Also, he may try to demand all the sordid little details of past relationships. That does not mean you?re required to give them to him. You are in charge of your story, not him. You get to decide how much to share and when to share it, not him.

Never give the poor man too many clues or little treasures too quickly. He doesn?t want it to be easy. He wants to be successful but he wants to have to work for that success. Don?t cheat him out of the treasure hunt. And never allow the treasure hunt to come to an end. There should never come a time in your relationship where he knows everything about you. Otherwise, the game is up and he might go find another opportunity to go on a treasure hunt.

To be specific, then, when disclosing facts about your past, parse out the information discretely. Gloss over any abuse-that only gives him tacit permission to do the same or worse to you. And always remember that you?re the treasure and he?s on a treasure hunt. It is essential that he not get everything up front, and it?s perfectly okay if he gets muddy during the course of the hunt.

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If you put your ear up against the bedroom door of so many couples today, this is what you might hear:

?Our relationship used to be so much fun. We used to laugh all the time.??I know. Now everything seems so serious. We hardly spend any time together anymore, and when we do, we?re either fighting or schlepping the kids somewhere.?

You don?t have to resort to mass eavesdropping to know that so many couples end up in some variation of this highly unpleasant, stuck state. Their relationship, once a sanctuary to life?s burdens, is now a source of distress. These relationships weren?t doomed from the start. In fact, a high percentage of them started off strong. The partners intently listened to one another, demonstrated affection and compassion, affirmed each other?s world view, and were friends as well as lovers. So what happened?

There are many reasons why strong relationships can become anemic. Let?s look at one common reason. And take heart, this one is relatively easy to fix.

How the negatives can quickly outweigh the positives in your relationship

Your mind is constantly making associations and connections. Feelings get linked with certain events and people. Have you ever eaten something rancid? Since that unfortunate, memorable mouthful, you?ve probably cringed every time you thought about the food. Your strong reaction and the spoiled food became linked in your mind. Think about different people in your life for a moment. Doesn?t each person stir up different feelings? A caring friend makes you feel understood and secure while uncle Ted?s trademark genital jokes across the Thanksgiving table make you wish you lived on a different continent.

How does this apply to your relationship?

Let?s look at Frank and Fran ? the ?every? couple:

In the beginning, Frank and Fran enjoyed romantic dinners, sleeping in late on the weekends, walking their dogs, sharing hopes and dreams, making each other laugh, and supporting one another during stressful times. The positives outnumbered the negatives by a wide margin, causing each to develop positive associations for the other.

Let?s look at Frank and Fran seven years later:

They come home from work exhausted. One of them typically picks up dinner, which is mindlessly consumed as they stare at the plasma screen. Fran hates when, as soon as the food is gone, Frank zips through four hundred channels searching for something he wants to see. To occupy herself, Fran reads a magazine. When they occur, brief discussions about work seem like a formality. Weekends are for paying bills (always a tense event), yard care, food shopping and trips to the dry cleaner. The most fun they have occurs separately: Frank builds birdhouses and Fran plays on a softball league. The positive associations each had for the other have fallen away and new, negative associations are developing.

What is the balance of your relationship?

Many relationships and marriages travel this course. The danger exists because couples do not protect their marriage from the stresses that can consume all relationships. Of course you can?t hide from the stressful realities of life ? life happens. But you can take steps to create pockets of time together that will keep the positives alive and well while you both tackle life?s mundane aspects. Balance is the key.

When the scale tips toward the negative (when most of the time spent with your partner involves mainly stressful and mundane activities), sooner or later you will associate your partner with the feelings these activities evoke. Since we avoid people and circumstances that are unpleasant, you may begin pulling away from your partner?without even realizing it.

Make a plan with your partner to nurture the pleasurable, shared activities that already exist and become creative in adding new and exciting ways to enjoy each other?s company. These activities do not have to be expensive, unrealistic or time-consuming. Start small, and keep it simple. Don?t get discouraged if you don?t see immediate results and if at first it feels like you?re throwing all these great intentions down a deep well. The positive to negative scale takes time to re-adjust. The balance you seek was once there in your relationship and you can discover it all over again.

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