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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tarra Bates-Duford

Unresolved Relationship Issues

Starting a new relationship or building upon a current relationship can be both exciting and exhilarating. However, when one party or both parties have unresolved issues from a previous relationship it can negatively impact their current and future relationships. Often when a relationship ends, there is an assumption that all ill feelings, feelings of love and connectedness has ended with the former relationship, sadly this is not always true. Feelings both positive and negative do not fade away unless you make a concerted effort to work through as well as process them. Negative relationship experiences can interfere with or limit one’s ability to trust in a relationship, treat one’s new partner fairly and distinctly from previous partner, be optimistic about the future of the new relationship, or experience true happiness.

Unresolved issues from a previous relationship can negatively impact your emotional ability to accept what occurred in that relationship as well as successfully move on within your current relationship. Specifically, when a partner is harboring resentment from a previous relationship that consisted of infidelity, he or she may be very distrustful of their current partner. Suspicious behavior that began as a result of previous behavior can carry over to a new relationship if unchecked. This behavior can continue even if one’s current partner has not given any reason, cause for concern, or doubt. Those that have wronged someone during their previous relationship are just as likely to experience problems establishing and building trust within their current relationship. In this particular situation unresolved feeling can occur when those that wronged another in a relationship fail to acknowledge their role in harming the person or failing to apologize for negative behaviors. If you know you have hurt or wronged someone, but neglected to apologize, unresolved feelings of guilt could make you feel unworthy of true happiness. Apologizing to those that you have hurt or wronged in the past or finding ways to forgive oneself can help you move forward in a new relationship.

Here are some signs that suggest you have unresolved issues from a past relationship

1. Talking about the ex-partner too much- This can include finding any excuse to talk about your ex or redirecting the course of your conversation to include discussions about your ex.

2. Refusing to discuss your former relationship or partner at all even when asked- Often failing to discuss a previous relationship at all suggests a lack of closure, or lingering feelings for one’s ex.

3. Saving article and or mementos from a previous relationship- Although it is natural to hold on to things from happier times and prior relationships, once feelings pertaining to that time or past relationship have been resolved, then it is expected those items be discarded or placed in an area that simply serves as a marker for that time, i.e., not to be visited and revisited over and over again.

4. Friend stalking- Frequent inquiries about your ex via their friends or mutual friends suggest lingering feeling and a lack of closure. Frequent inquiries suggest a need to still feel a part of your ex’s life, a desire to maintain a sense of connectedness with your former partner.

5. Uttering the name of an ex at the worst possible time- Often when someone has unresolved feelings about an ex it is more likely to be expressed when he/she becomes inebriated or during intimacy. Spontaneous utterance such as this occurs when the mind becomes uninhibited in response to the following, drugs, alcohol, or orgasm making it more likely for an ex’s name to be uttered unintentionally.

6. Trouble becoming excited or sustaining sexual excitement- This can occur because one partner may be holding on to lingering feelings for a former partner or feeling as if they are betraying the former partner by being with someone new. Lingering feelings for an ex can prevent a someone from truly and fully surrendering to a new partner.

7. Not feeling comfortable or valued with the relationship- Sometimes when something is wrong in a relationship, you just know. Often when there are feelings you are not viewed as an essential part of your partner’s life, chances are you are not.

Daniel & Courtney

Daniel and Courtney have been in a relationship for more than one year. They met at a friend’s party and discovered they had a lot in common. Prior to meeting Daniel, Courtney was in a 3year relationship with her former boyfriend. Courtney’s previous relationship ended because her former boyfriend accepted a new job in another state. For career purposes Courtney was unable and unwilling to relocate her life to maintain the relationship, therefore it ended. Courtney enjoys spending time with Daniel, however, as time progresses she finds herself thinking about her ex more and more. Both guys are great guys but she cannot stop thinking about her ex. She is now no longer able to physically respond to Daniel, he suspects she is cheating. Should Daniel & Courtney talk about what is happening in their relationship? Should Courtney tell Daniel about her lingering feelings for her ex? Should Courtney have a conversation with her ex?

#Unresolvedissues #relationships #Dating

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