I'm am a man of 36 and I struggle with trust issues. My partner, who is 34, sometimes likes to go out drinking with some of her friends. Because of my trust issues, it's starting to cause problems between us and we're now arguing more and more. We have a beautiful little boy, aged two and a lovely home, but I'm ruining it with all my jealousy. I married my previous partner when we were very young and she ended up running off and sleeping with my best friend. It took me a long time to finally love someone again and when I met my new partner, she made me feel like I could. She's a wonderful person and I love her dearly and I know she feels the same. The problem is, I feel I can't trust her when she goes out drinking and it's putting a massive strain on our relationship. Please help.
Let me start by saying, you are not alone. Anybody who's been in your situation would feel the exact same way. I can promise you, that a lot of other people, including myself, have had to deal with jealousy and trust issues. The problem that you seem to have, is that you are still not over the fact that your ex-partner cheated on you. Ask yourself this: has your new partner done anything to make you think she would do the same thing? From what you've written, it sounds like the answer would be no.
This means that all your emotional jealousy issues are still linked to your past relationship. It's now going to be down to you to try and focus on your future and break that link that has hold of you from your past. Take a second to think about the person you are today and how different you were in your marriage? If I were to ask you 'would you repeat your past choices?' what would you say? I'm hoping that from this you will see that what went on there, wouldn't happen now, as you're not that person and your new partner isn't either. With this in mind, what you're putting your new partner through, is a kind of punishment that you're really inflicting on yourself!
Do you know that most people who cheat on their partners, when asked to give a truthful honest answer as to why the top reason is: 'because they drove me to it'! Now I don't want you thinking I'm trying to blame you for what your first wife did, no. You were both young and naïve to think that to get married at such a young age, would ever work out. Your ex obviously didn't have any respect for you, as she chose to cheat on you with your best friend. What I'm trying to point out is, if you keep going down the path you're on at this moment, then you will eventually push your new partner away from you; she will slowly start to lose the love she has and not even see it happening herself. One day, and it may take ten years or it could take one, she will start to notice things around her differently and realise that she's not happy anymore and has not been happy for some time. You can stop this though. You have the chance to stop any of this from happening!
The first thing you need to do, is forgive your ex for what she did to you and then forget about her and her ever being in your life. The next thing you need to do is apologise to your partner. That's right! Apologise and explain that these issues you've had, are your issues and that it's nothing she's done to make you treat her this way. You then need to start doing things as a family, spend your evenings doing something together. This could be reading to your two-year-old boy, that I'm sure you both love; cooking dinner together; sitting down, and watching a TV series. Do anything that you can all enjoy together and create good happy memories.
Once this starts to happen, you will find that your partner will enjoy spending time at home with you and your son and won't want to waste it going out drinking with her friends. Don't think that she's not going to want to go out on the odd occasion and also want to have some time of her own, as everyone should do (it keeps a healthy mind). You should also try and make time to spend with some friends or find something that you enjoy doing for yourself; have you asked yourself what makes you happy?
Remember that it took you a long time to find someone to love again and that someone is the person you chose to be with now. She obviously means a great deal to you and is also the mother of your child. Understand that her going out and enjoying time with friends won't change the fact that she loves you! So be the loving partner that she will look forward to coming home and cuddling up to at the end of the night, not the person who is will cause issues and make her wish she stayed out. Relationships always have their highs and lows: without the lows, you will never know the highs. Good luck!