How do I let go of this?

Tina S.

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years. In the past during our relationship, a couple of women from his past reached out to him. One was this woman (ex girlfriend) he fell in love with in school (but things didn’t work out because he moved to a different school) and the other was this woman he was talking to (potential girlfriend, woman whom he texted back and forth with small flirty content) while he and I were experiencing the beginning of our relationship.

Until 6 months into our relationship, he texted back and forth with the “potential girlfriend,” (another woman he knew from school) which I saw because I glanced toward his phone while he was typing these long ass replies. I found out that he did not mention me until we were 6 months into our relationship because he was proud to tell me he that mentioned me to her. When he handed me his phone and showed me what he told her, I thought what he said about me was sweet, but I sneakily took a minute to scroll up and I saw the length of time they had been texting. It was awhile, and they texted a lot. I saw a lot of “overly friendly” messages and small flirty talk (nothing too strong). Oh, not to mention, I went out of town with my mom during my birthday to visit family friends and when I scrolled and saw the time stamp during my birthday, they were texting and she was asking him to hang out. Luckily they didn’t.

2 years into our relationship, I found out he was chatting with his ex girlfriend on Facebook. He left his Facebook up and went to work, and I was feeling a little suspicious because he had been acting a little distant for a week or two. I scanned through the chat log and noticed he did not mention anything about having a girlfriend or even living with ME. He made it sound as though he lived by himself and mentioned no girlfriend. She was also asking to hang out, but I approached him and talked to him before he could respond back. Luckily she lives in a different area.

I know it’s wrong to snoop, but he left his computer out and handed me his phone. Since then, I haven’t done it. If I have any questions, I just straight up ask him now.

Those 2 *past* incidences really made a delay and an impact on the amount of trust I had been building toward him from the beginning of us until now. Trust is something that should be earned. I feel though I can only trust him to a certain extent, and that’s it. I want to be able to leave the past and move forward, but I keep getting scared because I don’t want to go through that again. In turn, these experiences made me feel timid in my relationship. I keep my guard up for the most part. But how can I leave the past behind and relax? We are almost at 5 years now. That is too long to continue to keep my guard up. Help!