I am upset by my husband’s contact with his ex-partners

Thank you in advance for your time and dedication to this web site. I have found it extremely useful. My husband and I have been married almost 3 years. I didn’t learn about the close relationship he maintains with his ex-girlfriend (ex fiance x 2) until after we were married. I was initially told they communicate every few months, only to learn it is about 2 times a week (via phone, email and text messages). He has shared with her very intimate details of our life together.

My biggest issue is that they continue to refer to one another with their pet names, they exchange gifts, cards and I don’t always know the details. He has other former girlfriends that contact him. All of whom I didn’t really know he was staying in touch with until I went out of town and discovered thru phone records of this behavior.

He is a loving husband, dedicated to being a great provider, but I am very uncomfortable with his staying so close to past lovers. I have told him that I was uncomfortable with this, but was told not to worry. The ex girlfriend who is the biggest worry explained to me that when I married my husband, I got her too.

Any suggestions as to how I can best manage my discomfort and increase my trust?

Response:

You married a very loving and dedicated husband. If your husband is warm, generous, and cares for other people, it would probably be strange for him to cut former partners out of his life completely. For some individuals, once they love someone, they can’t imagine turning their back on that person, even after the romantic relationship is over. This aspect of his behavior, his warmth, commitment and generosity are probably the same traits that drew you to him.

Perhaps the real issue stems from the fact that your husband concealed the truth about the amount of contact he has with former partners. Your husband most likely concealed this from you because he knew it would upset you.

Now that you understand the extent that your husband remains in contact with his exs, how do you resolve your feelings about this predicament?

To begin with, it helps to understand where your feelings are coming from? Do you suspect that your husband is cheating on you? It doesn’t seem like it from your question. Does his contact with his former girlfriends make you feel insecure? And/or do you think his behavior is just not appropriate? Simply put, do you think that when a relationship is over, you should not be warm and pleasant about someone you formerly loved? If you think your husband should change his behavior, this is probably not going to end very well. Asking someone to give up his or her autonomy usually does not work in the long run. People should be free to have conversations, which are warm and good-natured, with others, including former lovers. The more you try to control someone’s behavior; you are likely to end up with less control as time goes on.

If this issue is about how your husband’s behavior makes you feel insecure – uncomfortable and fearful, than that is the issue that should be addressed.

The best way to have these conversations is to tell your husband how you are feeling (see talk about problems). Do not try to influence or control his behavior, rather have him try to understand your perspective. Also, convey to him how you feel about being kept in the dark about this issue. The more you can share your feelings about this situation, and have your husband understand where you are coming from, the more likely you are to arrive at a solution that works best for both of you. Perhaps he can maintain his contact with others, but not hide it from you.

Solutions that are mutually arrived by taking both partner’s perspectives into account, demonstrate real love and commitment.

You may also want to read the following article: Why does my partner talk to an ex?

 his ex-girlfriend

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