Dating someone with baggage is nearly unavoidable and sometimes, it seems like those boxes just keep arriving at the door of your relationship. Isn’t it just such a buzz kill to end up with the partner of your dreams and realize that the dude’s got baggage? And instead of enjoying your relationship, you find yourself working to fix the issues that you did not create, like their trust issues, family drama, divorce, debts, baby mama or father drama and the list goes on. Dealing with a partner’s baggages can be quite difficult, but there are some good ways to make them feel lighter.
1. Stop trying to fix their issues
I cannot emphasize this point enough. You need to stop trying to fix your partner’s issues or you would only burn yourself out. While you can encourage or advise them on how to deal with these issues, you cannot fix them. You are not responsible for putting away the baggages that they brought along to the relationship; they are responsible for those baggages. I have seen so many people make the mistake of cutting off all their friends from the opposite sex, fighting with their partner’s exes or even working non stop to pay off their partner’s past debts, just to help them fix their issues. You need to refrain from trying to fix those issues and let them fix their issues.
2. Discuss their issues with them
This seems like an obvious course of action, but it really isn’t. So many times, we tend to avoid having the necessary tough conversations for the fear of messing things up. Hoping the problem would eventually go away would not make it go away. You need to have a mature conversation about their issues, how it is affecting the relationship and what needs to change. Make sure that you do not start an argument with them over this, as that could cause more problems. Talk to them about these issues and don’t wait for them to solve themselves out.
3. Discourage negative behavior
Everyone has been through a messed up situation in life that has changed them in a way. While your partner may have been through some pretty messed up situations, it does not give them the right to treat you badly and you should not tolerate this either. You need to understand that your action (or lack of it) speaks for itself. Just because their ex cheated on them does not give them the right to cheat on you. Just because their ex talked down to them does not give them the right to talk down on you. Tolerating this behavior from them only makes them believe that it is okay to act that way.
4. If the baggage is too heavy, drop it
We are only human and there is only so much we can deal with mentally, emotionally and even physically. If you cannot (or just don’t want to) deal with their issues anymore, then don’t. Sometimes you just need to put yourself first and that is totally fine, as long as you are not mean about it. Again, have a mature conversation with them about this and if possible, leave things on good terms.