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I don't believe that my circumstances are unusual or unique in any way. However, if anyone reading this post can relate to it and either comment on my experiences or offer suggestions in coping with some of these issues, it would be greatly appreciated!

As a bit of background... I've recently begun a new relationship - we're about 6 months in. A few months ago my girlfriend and I had the 'past sexual experience' conversation where she answered my questions as to her previous sexual partners - she was honest and frank with her remarks and willing to answer any questions that I had. I consider that it is a huge mistake to start prying into a partner's history - as there are no correct answers - but like many others, I have the type of personality where I need to inquire about these things. (Interestingly, she chose not to ask me questions about my past).

It hurt to hear the truth about her past. To describe the feeling, I felt like the wind was permanently knocked out of me or as if something was tearing me up inside. This feeling was not unique to this girlfriend - in previous relationships, I have felt the same way. And this feeling comes back to me from time to time when I am reminded of these past partners. I'd like to be able to cope with this better as I hate feeling the build up of anxiety and stress.

I've tried to organize my thoughts to better understand how to deal with these situations. These are as follows:

She was only in one lengthy serious relationship prior to meeting me - she has kept in touch with this ex (via fb) although this has dwindled as she has gotten closer to me. Obviously this was one sexual partner

She has had five other sexual partners with people that she was dating but not in serious relationships with. Over the course of our relationship a couple of these people have posted greetings on her fb wall or have texted her to meet up (she didn't meet up with them). It is clear to me that she kept in contact with some of these people after she dated them (and before she met me). Rightfully so - as some of these people are friends.

I have no jealousy or anxiety with respect to her long time boyfriend - I don't even mind if she talks with him occasionally (although I would like it if this eventually fades away).

I do have problems coping with the idea of the others. I am aware that I have double standards - I have slept with more people both while being in relationships and while single. Im also aware that I may be taking my own lack of self-confidence and redirecting this at her. For instance, I can't help but wonder: why she slept with these people before being in a relationship with them, why some of them were quite close together after her serious relationship and before meeting me, why there are no fb pictures with these people (only with her girlfriends), that me being her seventh sexual partner is more than I would like, etc.

I have so much trust for this girl and care about her deeply. She is honest and answers (sometimes to my detriment) any questions that I have - no matter how intimate or personal. I don't think her past is unusual. I know I have to suck it up and move on with her but Im having difficulty putting this uncomfortable feeling behind me.

Can you offer any strategies or suggestions to ground myself when these thoughts come up? Am I being unusually jealous?

Thanks in advance!

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