How do I address my girlfriend emailing her ex-boyfriend

My girlfriend of 2 years communicates with an ex-boyfriend from college. I saw several emails and they were communicating before we met and I think he helped her through divorce... The communications from her have waned as our relationship has strengthened and I don’t believe that she would act on anything such as meeting him, but he continues to write emails that she responds to and he always ends up making sexual comments and she also respond to them.

She is very open with me (otherwise) and I once opened the door for her to tell me (an old girlfriend emailed me) but she chose not to talk about him...

The only thing that really bothers me is that she has kept this secret... making me wonder why? Is there a good way for me to create a situation where she can talk to me about it? We talk about marriage and this is the only thing that gnaws at me, but not sure I can just let it go and move forward?


It is best to address this issue before you move forward. Issues that couples actively overlook while dating have a tendency to cause problems down the road. If you are feeling uncertain about your girlfriend’s relationship with her ex-boyfriend, now is the time to have that conversation.

From your question, it seems that you may be monitoring her emails. It does not sound like your girlfriend disclosed how she communicates with her ex, but you know the details.

If you are monitoring your girlfriend’s emails without her awareness, then you are in a bind (see ethical to spy on a partner).

If you have monitored your girlfriend behind her back, you have violated her trust. It will be impossible for you to discuss what is upsetting you without doing damage to your relationship.

In the long run, telling the truth about what you did and disclosing how you feel about it is probably your wisest option.

Your girlfriend will be very upset with you and may even consider ending your relationship. If you decide to confess, be ready for her reaction (see how to tell the truth) and have a plan ready for reestablishing trust (see rebuilding trust).

Complicated issues like this come up in every romantic relationship. What separates a successful couple from an unsuccessful one is their ability to communicate effectively when the going gets rough.

 emails | her ex-boyfriend | snooping

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