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To what degree should I ignore past behavior?

Posted By Anonymous on Jan 6, 2013 at 4:07PM

I'm in a new relationship with an amazing guy. We are very well matched and for the first time, I feel like this could be the person I spend the rest of my life with. However, I've also found out about some pretty huge red flags and I'm worried that if I overlook his past, I might be setting myself up for a terrible relationship. Just for background, I'm in my very early 20's and he's 4 years older than me.

I found out from him that when he was 18, he began a relationship with a girl that lasted about 2 years. She lived with him and his family, she got pregnant by him at least twice while they were together (one time ended with an abortion, the other was a miscarriage), and he proposed to her at one point. The relationshp ended because she cheated on him. I don't know any more details, but I wish he hadn't told me this. I can't get over the fact that he had this type of relationship with someone, even if it was years ago. It sounds like she was just a really troubled girl, but obviously my boyfriend had a role to play in this too. He claims he was young and stupid and regrets it, but the fact is that 4 years ago when this happened he was the age that I am now, and I would NEVER make decisions like that. When I think about the fact that he felt ready to commit to this girl (and presumably have a kid with her if she hadn't miscarried) it cheapens his feelings for me. 

I would love to have these things with him some day: living together, marriage, kids. But when I think about the fact that he's already pursued these with someone else, and especially in such a tumultuous way, it makes me so unsure of his feelings for me. The things that I value in him - his loving, caring nature, his natural inclination to care for others, his stability - are probably what put him in a positon where he wanted to commit to this girl in the first place. I guess I don't fully trust his judgment, but I'm not sure if that's valid considering that if I didn't know these things about his past, I would trust his judgment 100%. I'm struggling to reconcile who he was in the past with who he is now, because they seem like totally different people and I don't want to place too much or too little weight on these potential red flags. AHH! What do you guys think?