A gal pal shared a concern about her boyfriend of two months. “He’s still has a very strong relationship with both his ex-wife and his last girlfriend. He’s been apart from his ex-girlfriend a year after a year-long relationship. And he’s been divorced from his ex-wife three years after a two-year marriage.
“His ex-girlfriend comes over to his place and bakes cookies for him and his friends, and cat sits in his home while he’s away. He insists that they are just friends now, but their closeness bothers me.”
“Do you trust him?” I ask.
“Then what’s the problem?”
“I’m uncomfortable since my last boyfriend insisted he was over his last girlfriend, then he left me to go back with her.”
Aha. She doesn’t trust that this new one won’t do what her ex-beau did to her. She’s projecting her insecurities onto her new man. She knows this is her issue and she doesn’t want to be one of those controlling, paranoid women who kills a good relationship because of her issues. But she can’t seem to shake this feeling of unrest.
“If he really cared about me, he’d honor my discomfort with his closeness to these past relationships and cut back on his contact with them,” she said.
“Or, you could work on your trust issues and be happy that he left these relationships with such good will that he’s able to maintain friendships. Many people leave relationships with bitterness and resentment on one or both sides. It says a lot about him that he’s able to maintain good relations with these former love interests.
“Can you believe him when he says he’s over them and has no desire to be with either of them again? If you aren’t able work through your trust issues, you’ll have a hard time with this in any relationship.”
One of my past beaus was so friendly with his ex-wife they exchanged dating stories and advice. I’ve maintained friendships with several of my former sweeties. My ex-husband was so cordial with his first wife she once came and stayed with us for a week, and she and I spent the day together shopping. So keeping a good relationship with an ex can be done. And I understand that it can sometimes evolve into a reconciliation.
Trust is basic to a relationship. If you don’t see any signs that he is lying yet you still don’t trust him, you’ll poison the bond. No one wants to be around someone who is questioning your word.
Have you been in a situation like this where your sweetie was still friendly with his ex? If so, how did you handle it if you had any concerns?
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