Relationships can be complicated things. One of the most common problems is that of dealing with the ex. Everyone will feel differently about this, and want to deal with the situation in different ways. It also pays to remember that each situation is different. Below are just a few tips to help you out.
Before making any assumptions, talk to your partner about the situation. Get an idea of how his ex has dealt with the breakup, how he feels about the past relationship, and how he feels about your relationship. If he has no desire to keep in contact with his ex, then this is reassuring. If he still wants to keep in contact, then at least you are able to adequately assess the situation in order to find a suitable solution.
It is important that you both let each other know how you feel about the situation at hand. If you are uncomfortable with the situation, it’s important that he knows. Likewise, if you are comfortable with the level of contact that he has with his ex, let him know so he doesn’t feel like he is betraying you. It’s about keeping all lines of communication open.
There’s no point in pretended that the situation doesn’t exist. Acknowledge the fact that your boyfriend once had a relationship with this person. Everyone has baggage. You can’t expect that all ties will be severed instantly.
Agree to set some boundaries. Asking him to limit his contact with her is one solution. Another is to cut off contact completely. If the relationship is one-sided or even borders on harassment, then it may be worthwhile to look into more legal forms of restraint against the ex.
If your partner and his ex have maintained a friendship, then it may pay to get to know her. This may seem like a hard decision to make, but if they are still friends you may just have to be the ‘bigger person’. You don’t have to become BFFs, but social niceties are recommended. The whole ‘keep your enemies close’ thing also comes into play here!
You may fall into the trap of drawing comparisons between yourself and the ex. If you start feeling insecure about yourself, this may come across in your body language. Becoming emotionally closed off to your partner will not help the situation. Remember that at the end of the day, your partner has ‘chosen’ you.
The past is the past, and you should take this into account when dealing with his ex. Your relationship should be the main focus for both you and your partner. If you spend too much time worrying about his past relationship, you may just end up hurting your current one. Spend time building a solid relationship.
How do you deal with the ex? What’s your best advice?
Top Photo Credit: The Welsh Poppy
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