Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Ex-girlfriend's stained glass stains current relationship
SGC: I have a stained glass crescent over my fireplace. It's on loan from a former girlfriend, is quite beautiful, and has been there for three years.
My new girlfriend of a little over a year is bothered that it's from a former girlfriend. I've explained that I don't hold a flame for the old girlfriend or think of her when I look at the crescent, but just plain like it and want to keep it there.
New girlfriend has put her foot down and won't come to my house until I replace it with something else. I think she's being ridiculous but of course don't want to hurt her feelings.
If it helps, I'm 37 and she's 25, and she's generally reasonable about most (other) things. Any advice?
Carolyn: Sorry, I'm not buying that she's "generally reasonable." This is the work of a seriously immature person, so, however you choose to deal with it, do so knowing it's no aberration. It's foreshadowing.
Which of course you already know, because you chose to say she's reasonable about "most" other things — meaning she does immature things but you want to believe your 25-year-old isn't too young for you.
SGC Again: I hear what you're saying, but given that this is a relationship in which we're both happy and looking toward the future, how would you advise that I speak with her about this?
Sure, I could take the crescent down, but I like it and so would be caving to unreasonableness, which is a slippery slope. We've been able to reach a compromise on other disagreements, but have discussed this one ad nauseam without resolving it.
Part of her digging in seems to be based on her friends having told her she's right. Can you provide any talking points?
Carolyn: "I have lived 37 years of life, gone to several different schools, lived many different places, done many different jobs, befriended many people, dated some of them and loved a few of them. Anything you and I have now has to be based on your accepting all of these things about me. If you can't trust me to love you without expunging every trace of past girlfriends, then you don't trust me, period, and that's the end of that. The stained glass stays. I hope you do, too."
Edit as needed to suit your voice.
Anonymous: Re: The Crescent: My ex is a fairly well-known artist who gave me a ton of artwork (too cheap to buy me anything, ha ha) including a great portrait of me.
When I still was dealing with the loss, I had to keep that thing in the closet with the face to the wall. When I was able to hang it again, and discuss it without a bunch of charged emotions, I knew I was really done with that time in my life.
SGC is so clearly not into his former flame . . . but ya know, when you've got someone who says "my friends all think I'm right" and who lets her fears walk all over the truth as spoken by a person she is professing to trust, well, you have someone who doesn't trust you.
Carolyn: I checked with my friends, and they all agree.