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How can I stop him bringing up my ex'?

Tagged as: The ex-factor, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 January 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 12 January 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

My boyfriend constantly keeps on about my past. I'm 4 years older than him and had a long-term relationship with someone else before we met. He's only ever really had flings and more casual relationships before me.

We've been together 4 years but the past year or so he's constantly kept on about my past and it's driving me mad. If we're watching tv and there's a character with my ex's name he'll make a point of saying some silly comment or when he ran me a bath after work last week he said 'so do I run a better bath than *ex's name*' it's ridiculous and I've told him straight that it bugs me but it never stops.

we don't end up arguing or anything but I think that's because I've been so placid about it but I'm ready to snap!

View related questions: my ex

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (12 January 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntI wonder why after three years he has became so insecure? I think you need to talk to him calmly and see what is going on. Is there been anything that has changed in the last year that would make him feel vulnerable or not good enough? Do you ever bring him down? I am not blaming you hear I am just wondering why he is chatting about your ex. It sounds to me like he needs reassuring that he is a good boyfriend and the man that you want. Is he stressed or suffering from depression?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 January 2017):

Okay, everyone has jumped on boyfriend; now lets look at this from a different angle.

I sense a lot of insecurity here. He's feeling inadequate for some reason; but he's too stupid to communicate exactly what's going on in his head.

I suspect he does nice things for you, he tries hard to provoke some sort of positive reaction out of you to make him feel he makes you happy. You're probably nonchalant or just make no big deal of anything he does special. So he gets irritated and compares himself to your ex. You may have inadvertently made some positive reference to your ex, giving him a compliment; or he may have found some keep-sake from your ex around the house that made him jealous. Are you taking him for granted? Do you show him affection and enjoy intimacy with your BF?

Ask him why he keeps bringing-up your ex, and if he might be considering dating your ex? Things were fine until recently; so could it be possibly he ran into your ex who may have made some commentary to make him suspicious or jealous? Did your ex make a lot more money? Do you complain a lot and make a big deal of his mistakes? I don't expect honest answers for direct questions. These are rhetorical questions, and meant to get you thinking in retrospect and to introspect. Look at the relationship overall.

You may be too short with him, or showing little interest in him. Just used to having him available, and otherwise it's no big deal to you. Men aren't good at expressing our feelings.

You may have seen your ex at a party or crossed-paths. He might have noticed your reaction. Maybe you found out your ex has a new girlfriend or got married; and it affected your behavior. Boyfriends are highly sensitive to how their girlfriends react to their exes.

Are you secretly contacting your ex? Have you made contact with your ex within the past two years without sharing the fact with your boyfriend? Is he a friend on Facebook?

Only way to clear this up is to ask him why, and to let him know that if he can't quit with dialing-up your past relationship, he'll be ex #2!

Otherwise; assess your relationship. You may not be showing him enough love. That's as much a possibility as considering he's just being a jerk. He's in his early 20's, and still has a bunch to learn.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI agree, ASK what the F is going on with him. Why is your ex now somehow so interesting that he HAS to bring the ex into the picture so often. THAT you are SO over the ex and wouldn't be dating HIM (your BF) if you weren't OVER and DONE with the ex.

Don't try and pretend it isn't happening, grab the bull by the horns and get it out in the open.

No need to argue about it but tell him enough is enough.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (11 January 2017):

Aunty BimBim agony auntI agree with both Brown Wolf and N91, its very odd that he has started this after three years of not mentioning the ex, and yes, you need to ask him what it has started.

Reiterate once more that it really bugs you, and you are about to snap. Quite frankly I would find it very annoying, as Brown Wolf says, he needs to be told straight, and yes, I also agree that if it doesn't stop its enough cause to give him his marching orders.

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada + , writes (11 January 2017):

BrownWolf agony aunt

Tell him straight...

"Stop asking or bringing up my ex, or I will make YOU the next one....Then I will tell my new boyfriend what my last ex did, so that he will not make the same mistake."

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (11 January 2017):

N91 agony auntIf I were you I'd ask why the sudden start in bringing it up. Very odd behaviour if it's only recently started happening.

There must be a reason why he's doing it so might as well find out why.

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