I'm carrying relationship baggage...
You asked us:
How do I stop all the baggage I feel I’ve accumulated from my previous relationship following me into my new one?
Here’s what Amity has to say:
Well, you can’t pop it in the wheelie bin and pretend it never happened but you can learn from it and use your experiences to your advantage in your new relationship. Even bad experiences provide us with the opportunity to reflect, a little bit of….’I see what happened there and how it made me feel and behave, so going forward I’m going to……’
What might make it worse:
Refusing to acknowledge if your behaviour played any part in what went on in your last relationship. Being accountable can feel very empowering and be useful to your new relationship
Blaming what happened in your previous relationship for the things that are not going so well in the current one. Of course it’s normal for this to be a tempting thing to do! It can be a reason, but try not to use it as an excuse. You can do better. Be a grown up and see where you went wrong but also identify what was not your fault and don’t bring with you misplaced responsibility
Letting your previous relationship become a ghost in your new one. Your new partner is a whole new person, try not to assume they are going to behave in the way the old partner did.
What might make it better:
Talking, it’s always talking! Talk to your new partner about the things you fear are following you into your new relationship with them.
Own what you are worried about but also recognise what you have learnt that feels like it’s going to be helpful.
Your past becomes the pages of the book that tells your story. Don’t fret about those things you cannot change but take a lesson from them and don’t let the past sabotage the new story you have started.
Remember this is about progress not perfection. You are not trying to create something faultless but a realistic relationship that will not always make you deliriously happy but does make you feel safe, loved and appreciated.