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Worried about my boyfriend and his ex, what can we do about the problem?

Tagged as: The ex-factor<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 June 2014) 4 Answers - (Newest, 1 July 2014)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I'm sure you guys get these kind of questions a lot, but I'm currently going through this.

Basically, when my boyfriend and I first got together a year and a half ago, he was still pretty hurt about his ex cheating on him and the break up they had. He was still communicating with her often but did back off a lot when he and I became a couple.

Occasionally/off and on throughout our relationship my boyfriend and that ex have talked and have caught up with each other and it's always kind of worried me because he knows this kind of situation concerns me.

Him and I never really had a good talk about him and his ex, but I do know he really loved her a lot and they had an amazing relationship (until she cheated)

Just a few days ago, she messaged him (it's been quite a while since they last talked) and my boyfriends face literally lit up when he saw the message, he usually seems really happy and excited while talking to her. He doesn't always tell me when he talks to her by the way, which I guess that's because he thinks I'll get upset with him.

Other than this problem, we really do have a great relationship and I don't have any problems or concerns with anything else. But I do believe even just this 1 problem could eventually ruin our relationship because it's starting to affect our relationship already.

It just makes me feel worried and paranoid when I find out they have been talking.

I'm wondering if this means I'm starting not to trust my boyfriend? Or is it normal to feel this way?

What can my boyfriend and I do about this problem?

View related questions: his ex

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A male reader, methuselah United Kingdom +, writes (1 July 2014):


The worry for me here is when you say 'his face lit up.' and also that this is the 'only' problem you have. This is not good for you. It seems he wants her and just doesn't know if he can do the 'forgiving' thing.

I feel you should be very careful here because you may just become 2nd place all the time. I wouldn't want to be second at all. Also, I don't think this is gonna change any time soon. He is going through the mind games with her and the cheating. Thanks.

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A male reader, RevMick United Kingdom +, writes (1 July 2014):

RevMick agony auntHi,

I think your boyfriend was going through the stages of a breakup when you got together and you hoped to replace this person in his life.

Yet, you didn't give him time to grieve and so he will still have feelings for this person. You always have feelings, even if that's just friendship or longing or hatred.

Your concerns are because you didn't give him time to get closure over his ex. You can't force someone not to have feelings, and you will just have to deal with these insecurities and have a relationship with him in the here and now.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2014):

You immediately started a relationship with a guy still going through his emotions and recovery after a breakup. I know you've read posts like yours on DC, time and time again.

You'll get no different answers than the rest. If you tried to be his girlfriend before he was over her, you will go through the emotional-distress he is having for her with him. You'll be an observer watching and witnessing him going through the post-breakup emotions, he should be facing alone. Until he gets over her. Bunk on being friends! It's too soon for that. It was even too soon for another relationship.

You could have moved-on, when you realized there was continued communication with his ex. Openly, and even worse; behind your back. You're rightfully paranoid; because he is maintaining a simultaneous relationship with her. His face shouldn't light up with her messages. Not when he's with you.

Frankly, the way you describe it, he is in-touch with her too much. For a guy who is now in a new committed-relationship. He jumped into a new relationship thinking he'd get over the pain faster. Now you're writing us, when you should have waited.

You can't undo the feelings you're witnessing; no matter what you say or do. So you'll get no magical-cure advice along those lines.

If you want a commitment from this guy, you better set some boundaries. You have to let him know what you can and cannot accept; if you're going to commit, and be his new girlfriend.

You shouldn't be competing with his EX-girlfriend.

He should not be taking calls and messages when he's with you, especially not from her. He should not be having private conversations with an ex, he only recently broke-up with. How does he expect to detach from her? He should be no contact until he heals completely? It sounds like she's working to get him back.

What do you care how much he loved her. She cheated and it's supposed to be over. It's about you now. Or is it?

He can't have his cake and eat it too. Her on the one-side, and you on the other. Chatting away with her like you're just a buddy. She's intruding on your time.

You have to firmly express your concerns that they are maintaining too much contact, and it's beginning to upset you. You have to also let him know that you don't contact men behind his back, and he wouldn't like it if you did.

Have you considered that you may be the girl on the rebound? Is that the reason you wrote DC?

Time for that talk. It may do little good; because he is still in the throws of post-breakup emotion. They are talking; because she is trying to get him to forgive her and he is conflicted about it. He looks forward to hearing from her. You feel you're on the rebound.

Set some boundaries and don't desperately cling to a guy if he's showing too much emotion for somebody else. Have some dignity. Be prepared to dump him and walkaway.

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A female reader, auntieJ United Kingdom +, writes (1 July 2014):

auntieJ agony auntYeah it's perfectly normal to feel they way you do,so don't worry on that part.

Although it is clear to me that your boyfriend may not be 100% over his ex.

In my honest opinion I think that if you enter into a (new) serious relationship with someone you should cut off resent ex if it was a serious/long term relationship because it's just not healthy hanging on to people if they truly want this newest relationship to work.

Why have someone who cheated on you & cause you so much hurt still in your life,unless you're looking for some sort of closure or to get back together?

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