I am currently in my first ever relationship, as I have always struggled with confidence issues and meeting people has been difficult for as long as I can remember. My boyfriend and I have been together for about six months. I am in my early twenties and he is in his mid-thirties, so there is somewhat of an age gap. He is a great partner and is funny, intelligent, and we have lots of similar interests.
The only thing that makes our relationship difficult is the fact that I just can’t handle the fact that he has been married previously (he got divorced about six years ago) and has a young child who he gets to see a couple of times a week. I haven’t met the child yet, but I get really upset when the mother of my partner’s child’s calls or texts him. I understand that communication between the two is crucial as they share a child, but it is extremely hard for me to deal with and I usually end up an emotional mess.
I have talked about my feelings with my partner on several occasions, however, it often leads to arguments, claims that I am behaving irrationally, and me in tears. I would love to be able to accept my partner’s past and it really bothers me that I am potentially ruining what would otherwise be a fantastic relationship.
I am also worried that I have some kind of condition or disorder characterized by occasional bouts of emotional instability. I get upset really easily, often over trivial things, and I worry my partner will get fed up of me because of this.
Any advice on my issue would be greatly appreciated. (From the USA)
I have a high regard for your desire for self control and emotional regulation. I think that is a great way to move forward. You already know that your reaction does not fit the circumstance, which is a very good start. I would encourage you to get some individual counseling to begin working on your emotional regulation. My guess is that this will help your relationship tremendously.
Wishing you patience and peace,