Should I Let My Boyfriend Be Friends With His Ex?

Should I Let My Boyfriend Be Friends With His Ex?

I want to know where you stand on the whole “staying friends with your ex” thing. Recently I moved to the country/ town where my boyfriend lives, after a few months of long-distance relationship with visits intermittent. Things had been great between us. Of course it’s early days. We’ve both been loving, attentive, kind and considerate. Two things happened when I got here, however, which have me thinking. I don’t know if they’re related.

First, when I arrived I was very ill with a horrible cold. My boyfriend was also sick (with food poisoning) but he avoided me physically. No hugging, kissing… He explained it was because he didn’t want to get sick again in the last few days before his work ended before vacation. I was hurt but understood. I had thought he’d lost interest but took what he said and accepted it. Second, a few days ago while he was on skype with his dad, a text-message came to him on the phone. Yes, I made the mistake of looking at it! We hadn’t been private about these things in the past at all. The text was from his ex-girlfriend arranging to meet him for lunch on Friday. I made the additional mistake of scrolling back and then realised they’d been talking while I was making him dinner. He had gone outside to speak privately, and I had a hunch it was something untoward.

Well, I wrote a note saying “I’m sorry I invaded your privacy. When the text came I thought it might have been important. Your ex-girlfriend wasn’t to meet you for lunch on Friday.” I was very tired and just went up to bed. He came up soon after and we talked. He defended being friends with her (they dated for about two years) saying she helped him during a very difficult time in his life and so on. I told him I didn’t think it was appropriate. Also, I pointed out his tendency to keep his relations with her private. Once in the past, he had received a text from her and he turned over the phone so I wouldn’t notice. I made no comment at that time…

I think it is unacceptable for him to be meeting her, texting and talking with her when he is four months into a new relationship. What do you think? He said he’s not attracted to her and so on, but I just don’t like the idea of him hanging out with her, what if he invites her over for dinner, etc? By the way, I do trust my boyfriend, but I find it almost an insult to me, or to our relationship, that he would still be in touch with her. Please answer my question, I’d love to know what you think. Thanks, Emily

Dear Emily,

Yeah, you probably asked the wrong guy.

I think you are particularly sensitive to your own needs and feelings and somewhat clueless about the needs and feelings of your boyfriend. So let’s get this straight:

Your boyfriend has only lost interest if he shows no affection when you’re both healthy, not when you’re both sick.

While it may not feel good to have your boyfriend keep his distance when you had a horrible cold, you have to admit, it’s pretty practical, isn’t it? My wife travels for a living and I can recall at least two times when she wouldn’t kiss her sick husband because it might jeopardize her health before a trip. How selfish would it be for my need for affection to outweigh my wife’s need to stay healthy? How insecure would I have to be to think that my wife’s act of self-preservation was somehow an insult to me?

This is paranoid thinking and it serves you no practical purpose. Your boyfriend has only lost interest in you if he shows no affection when you’re both healthy, not when you’re both sick. Cut him some slack, will ya?

Next, you “made the mistake of looking at his text message,” and then “you made the mistake of scrolling back and reading the conversation” and then you made the mistake of bringing this whole thing up with him and then you made the mistake of thinking that it’s inappropriate for ex’s to be friends… I could go on, but this is enough of a run-on sentence already.

Jealousy is a useless emotion, Emily. The only thing that jealousy indicates is how insecure you are. It says nothing about your boyfriend.

If you have a man that’s untrustworthy, then he shouldn’t be your boyfriend. If he’s your boyfriend, then you have no choice but to trust him completely.

If you don’t trust him because you’re insecure about his friendship with his ex, you’re only going to accomplish the following:

1) You’ll make him feel like crap because his own girlfriend doesn’t trust him.
2) You’ll make him feel trapped because he’s dating someone who reads his text messages.
3) You’ll make him feel that he can’t be honest with you about his friendship with his ex – because he CAN’T.
4) You’ll make him feel that he can find a woman who DOES trust him.
5) You’ll make him feel that he can’t be himself around you, which is the highest compliment a man can give to a woman.

Trust is the foundation of any relationship, Emily, and if you don’t have it, you don’t really have anything.

Good men and women stay in touch with their exes because their exes are kind people with whom they share a lot of history. What you forget when you’re jealous of the ex is that there’s a REASON they broke up. And if he’s with you now, shut the hell up and trust that there’s a reason he’s with you, too.

You’ll be surprised at how well men respond to being trusted.

There’s no reason for a man to destroy all evidence of his past just because he’s dating you. I have photos, love letters, and emails from women in my past. I even wrote to my ex on Facebook today. She’s had us over for dinner multiple times. Not to mention that my wife has her first wedding album in a drawer in our home. What? I should make her burn it because I’M insecure that she left him 6 years ago?

If you’re insulted that your boyfriend is in touch with his ex, that’s your prerogative, but you’re pretty much ensuring the destruction of your own relationship.

Because any man who cuts off his friendships because of an insecure ex will get what he deserves – an irrationally jealous girlfriend who will never trust him no matter what.

Be a class act and invite her over for dinner.

You’ll be surprised at how well men respond to being trusted.

P.S. A woman’s fear of being hurt is one of the main reasons why men disappear. Click here to learn more:

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Comments:

  1. 121
    Candice

    Hahahaha Sam I think you need to see a shrink

  2. 122
    Goldie

    I don’t get this theory that I’ve been hearing a lot (and just now from Sam), that, after a few years into the relationship, when “the novelty wears off”, your spouse will totally stray, unless you keep him or her chained in the basement and never allow anyone of the opposite sex near them. As someone who was in a relationship for 22 years, I’m here to tell you, “the novelty wearing off” is not why relationships break up and people cheat. If anything, it’s an insanely jealous spouse that will make people leave their marriage.
     
     

  3. 123
    lawyerette

    Evan (or another guy), can you shed light on what Reneen said at 111? I feel like I keep seeing this with my guy friends. They decide to commit, but it’s like they get cold feet and start contacting women from their past to see what’s up. As far as I know, most don’t go through with actually cheating on their fiancees, but it’s like an itch they have to scratch or something.  And I’ve been hit up by guys from my past, out of the blue, and then I find out that they proposed a month or two later. I’m turning 30 this month and I keep seeing this happen with friends, so it’s something there. I’m interested in knowing if this actually harmless (altho side-eye inducing) or a more troubling sign.

  4. 124
    Ellen

    Lawyerette #33: I think it’s only immaturity ’cause older men just don’t do that that I’m aware of.

    I tell my young friends/daughter not to date a man til he’s 30 and certainly not to marry til then.

  5. 125
    Dani

    Ahh the chicken and the egg debate! I can see both sides of the argument. However, I think this ‘jealousy’ is a natural instinct which evolved to protect us. People these days are often told to stifle their instincts on the basis of ‘not enough solid evidence’ this fails in medicine as well as love. Perhaps I’m jaded by my own personal experience, a month ago I went through a break up – he cheated on me when he went to university only a month before he left did he annouce to his friends he was going to marry me (they str all shocked by the way things panned out) . When he went – I started seeing these ‘red flags’ he called me crazy, paranoid you name it. No he was having an affair with a girl he lived in his building. She is now his new girlfriend. So was my ‘insecurity’ unfounded? You can say that my ‘jealousy’ drove him into her arms, but I think that’s bullshit. He CHOSE to cheat. He was in control of his actions. If he was unhappy with an aspect of the relationship, he should have spoken to me. He didn’t comminucate verbally with me anything was wrong, it was a sign of his immaturity. I was  secure in our relationship until his actions put doubts in my minds. Until I saw  a photo of them kissing, he didn’t admit the affair – most men aren’t that stupid to get caught red handed but she’s a very vindictive person…but that’s another story.
     boundaries do need to be established and when these boundaries get blurred with no or bad comminication, that’s when doubt sets in. Having an ex as a friend is something that is natural for a partner to be hesistant about, if Emily’s boyfriend had been upfront and honest, then she would have felt reassured somewhat, if he was scared of the way she would react, then it’s HIS problem – if he hides something it’s because a. there is something wrong with it or b, he has a problem with commincating; hiding something because the confrontation may be difficult is immature (and there will be something in a relationship at one point or another that a couple have different views on). Before this situation
    I was very secure, my other ex was really good friends with his ex – I had no problem with that, I had no problem with this ex going out – except for the worry of his liver. I became insecure, when I got given ‘warning flags’ and sure sometimes, if a couple comminicates they are just a warning, but I think more than not they suggest the relationship is  going to go tits up.
    I also think being friends with the opposite sex (ex or not) successfully takes a certain amount of maturity, one or both people will probabaly be attracted to eachother at some point, but that’s ok, it doesn’t mean it needs to be acted on.

  6. 126
    Nora

    Well I am in a simular situation.  I am in a new relationship, he has told me up front that him and his ex are friends.  I thought that was wonderful.  I told him that I had no intention of getting of the way of the friendship and I admired it.  But the ex plays on his feelings and says it hurts her that he is moving on, although she left him and she has a signifigant other in her life.  Now he is hiding me from the ex.  And I feel the tables have turned and he is putting all the importance on her and less on my feelings.  I trust him 100%, but how do I get him to change the priority.  I shouldnt have to compete with the history.  We should be in the present building our lives. 

  7. 127
    Faithful

    When someone becomes an ex, why would anyone want to remain friends with them, especially if a new partner is present.  An ex hurts emotionally, why would you want to be reminded of that by seeing them.  Cut it off and be loyal to the new partner.  There was a reason they became an ex.  For the new partner, trust is important so why should they deal with being insecure and wondering what is going on. I think being in contact with an ex is also hoping to reconcile somewhere down the road or maybe having a fling with them.  If you think being a friend with an ex is important, your not over them yet so don’t involve anyone new until your over them, and that goes for both sides of the fence.  Cut it off and start on a clean slate and only involve the ex if you have children together and it is a responsibility to be cival to one another.  There is no need for texting, phoning or getting together for lunch with an ex unless you are single.  Once you involve another partner, show them you are faithful to them.  I don’t think being a jealous person comes into play, it is merely protecting yourself from being hurt by someone who doesn’t know what they want in life or who they want.

  8. 128
    DMC

    I think Evan makes some very good points and some very bad ones.

    The Good:
    - girl is being needy and selfish
    - girl was wrong to look through his phone.

    The Bad:
    - the trust comment is way off the mark.  Trust IS earned to a degree.  Also, you do not know for a fact that he isn’t hooking up with his ex. This does not excuse the gf’s snooping, but his being sneaky is a potential red flag.
    - I do not agree with your assessment of ex’s being friends, at least as a blanke statement.  I think it can be unhealthy just as often as it’s benign.  Also just b/c some couple are ok with it (like you say your wife and you are) doesn’t mean it’s for others.  Something that important should probably be more of a match, then one person having to suck it up.

  9. 129
    Joe

    There’s also the fact that some people hide things because they don’t want to deal with the grief they know they’ll get from an insecure SO, even if their dealings with their ex are entirely above-board.

  10. 130
    Donna

    Yeah well he lied and hid the fact he was talking to his ex…that’s the problem…not if anyone was sick…if anyone should be friends with the man on the moon..HE lied because he felt what he was doing was inappropriate…being a man and telling someone he cared about them but wanting something ELSE as well.  Time to fess up..he does not care about the relationship be has currently and if it’s the beginning stages and he cares that little about if she finds out and dumps him…She should dump him NOW…before he gets any more of a chance to break her heart!!!

  11. 131
    spike

    Oh good God. I happened upon this site when trying to figure out whether my boyfriend of 2.5 years could be considered ‘cheating’ because he’s been texting and chatting at length (behind my back) to his ex. Now, apparently, he’s meeting up with her in secret, and this some 2 months after she’s told him she still loves him.
    Having had an unfaithful husband in the past, I’ve said to my BF that I just require honesty and openness. I have said I don’t care if he’s friends with this particular ex as long as it’s above board. Him texting on the quiet and arranging to meet her is not honest, nor is it open (and yes, I’ve read his texts, because a text came thru from this woman a couple of weeks ago, his phone was on the table right by me, I could see the text was from her, but when he came back in the room he said it was his nephew who’d text – so he lied. I therefore feel quite justified to have a quick look at his text conversations once in a while so I’m not being made a mug of).
    I couldn’t believe the self-justifying drivel this Evan has advised this girl.
    Meeting your ex, lying about phone calls, sneaking away for private calls, arranging to meet on the quiet IS CHEATING, no matter how you like to dress it up saying that she should trust him – he’s abused that trust and deserves to be dumped, unceremoniously.

  12. 132
    Carrie

    My motto is: if you are not comfortable doing something in front of your significant other, you shouldn’t be doing it!

    First off, I’ve never remained friends with and ex, mostly so I can get closure and move on with my life. Since Facebook I have reconnected with some old boyfriends from years ago. I have met up with one ex BF for happy hour, accompanied by another mutual friend. I would feel extremely uncomfortable seeing this guy on my own. He is married with 3 boys. 

    My most recent ex freaked out when I told him I did not want to maintain a friendship. Again, I needed time and distance to heal. He disrespected my wishes and still attempted to call and text. I’ve never had a guy do this before, it really confused me. For the most part I tried to ignore him, although I did respond a few times. What made this particular break up more painful is that he IMMEDIATELY started seeing an ex from six years prior. In fact, I am pretty certain that they had contact and even spent time together the last month that we were still a couple. 

    Fast forward three months…
    After some advice from a psychotherapist, I responded when my ex contacted me. Her thought was that the relationship wasn’t over and to try and engage him to talk openly with me. He began to contact me more often, nearly daily. A few weeks of this and one night he began to send me suggestive text messages. He came over one afternoon to collect his things. He asked me if I wanted to talk. He also asked if I was hungry. We went to lunch and caught up. When we got back to my house I tried to engage him in a conversation about our relationship. He had little to say, but he had plenty on his mind! He made several advances towards me, and I managed to stop him from going further. All the while his new girlfriend had no clue what had been going on.

    There is yet another “ex GF” part to our relationship, but I’ll spare you all the details. Let’s just say he wasn’t as forthcoming about the details of that friendship as he should have been and in light of his behavior with me as an “ex”, odds are that he likely crossed some boundaries. 

    I think it is okay to reach out to an old ex on occasion. But if it is an “active” friendship and you are in a relationship with someone else your in muddy water. Communication is key in this type of a situation. If your ex is that important to you, tell the person your dating, BEFORE it becomes an issue. 

    Personally, I would never let a “friendship” with an ex negatively impact my primary relationship. Your primary relationship should be a priority! Invest that time and energy into your partner. 

     

  13. 133
    Carrie

    Faithful #137 is right on.

  14. 134
    Tam

    Emily,
    I think your feelings are valid. I disagree that it is just a matter of trust. Somewhat, especially the secrecy, but I think it is a matter of human nature and protecting what can very easily go wrong unexpectedly. In many religious organizations, primarily Christian based… It is advised that married couples do not have emotional relationships or connections with the opposite sex other than their spouse. There is a reason. Most people do not ever think that they would cheat. It usually comes up unexpectedly.
    Many marriages have a standard agreement that even in business, that the husband or wife do not have a business lunch or meeting alone with the opposite sex. Bring another person or have it at the office among others.
    Recently at my own church, I heard a woman talk who brought up free agency and ‘freedom’. She mentioned that many adults like to say, ‘I am an adult and I don’t need to have rules like a child’. I think if that were true, then the rate of divorce among other things wouldn’t be so high. She also mentioned that we wouldn’t look at a child with no one watching or disciplining them– eating garbage, running around naked, pooping in the street– and say ‘that lucky kid’. No.
    Rules and boundaries that keep us in line and help us make decisions that bring happiness and joy… That is freedom. Do you look at someone who has smoked their whole life and now must carry oxygen everywhere and their life is limited by disease and see freedom? I don’t. I see free agency, I see a poor choice. I don’t see freedom.
    Now, at what point do you say that these relationships are not appropriate? That I think is individual to each person. I think four months dating and relocating for this person means quite a commitment and good reason to have such boundaries. For me, I have a child, and if I am going to allow someone into my child’s life and talk about marriage, I expect these relationships with ex’s or just good friends to start winding down and to be quite limited in contact.
    I think a man should be happy to make his girlfriend feel confident in the commitment between them and vice versa. If it is not that serious yet, I don’t think you would have relocated.
    Yes, I think you must trust your boyfriend (if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be with him) and I think we must all be honest that we are human, things happen that we don’t expect and having an emotional tie to another person just isn’t a great start into a serious relationship or marriage.
    Good luck Emily.

  15. 135
    Mer

    so if anyone here thinks its okay to go behind someones back  and hide the fact that you are talking to an ex… you would be okay if the gal or guy you were seeing was hiding this from you?  get a grip folks.  Its the real world.  If you are hiding something.. you feel there is something to hide.  He should have told her from the beginning if there was nothing to hide.  obviously he wants the new g/friend, but wants some secret to keep from her so he feels manley

  16. 136
    Nene

    You all, including Evan, make it sound so  simple. Probably because when you are friends with your ex, you don’t hide it from your partner, why? Because you don’t have anything to hide. The girl just told you that her boyfriend is hiding his relationship with his ex. If you don’t have anything to hide, then your ex — as a friend (a normal friend like some of you have noted, should not be hidden). 

    My boyfriend makes it a point to introduce me to his friends (male and female), he even encourages me  to pick up when they call his phone and he’s not there. I do the same for him. Male and female, I don’t leave the room when my ex calls, I don’t see anything wrong with calling my ex if I have to tell him something when my boyfriend is there. Why? Because I have nothing to hide. I leave my phone with my bf and sometimes show him convos between my ex and I, why? Because I’m not hiding anything. While he on the other hand, makes it a point to hide things about his ex. He lies about calling them, I even found out that he didn’t tell at least two that he had a gf. I wasn’t even angry, just baffled. LIke WTF. What does that mean? I ask him, if they are just friends like your other friends, then why don’t you treat them like your other friends–at least when it comes to me? Why not take their calls (mind you he has never taken their calls in front of me — so there’s no precedence he can base my reaction on). Some people just act suspicious and as a human, you can’t help but be suspicious. This is my first time dating a guy who made me suspicious. I am sooo open about my relationships with my guy friends (even my ex’s) because I don’t see a problem with maintaining that relationship. But when someone starts hiding relationships with people….I see that as a huge problem.

    And yes, I’ve talked to my bf about it, he said, he just can’t help it. He’s just that way, and he’s going to change. But I’ll tell you one thing, it’s very annoying dealing with someone who turns innocent actions into suspicious actions. I’m not even mad, I’m just disappointed because to me it’s very dishonest and it shows he has the tendency of being cunning and could very well hide things without me knowing. And it was about 7 months into the relationship before I realized what he was doing…up until then, he made it look like he didn’t even talk to his ex’s. 

    My point, cut the girl a break. If her boyfriend was open about his relationship with the ex, and even introduced them (that’s what you do when in a relationship–a committed one — then there’d probably be no issues). Especially if she’s just a friend. 

  17. 137
    Jen

    I’m trying to figure out how to integrate all of this advice into my relationship- I have the problem with my boyfriend talking to an ex, with a few big differences:  We were dating him at the same time when the whole thing started.  She constantly complained to him about spending time with me (and others that were involved)  At one point she told him that she was the only one who could be trusted so he shouldn’t use condoms with her.  She hates me, but I’m the one he chose.  We have been together 5 years.  He proposed last year and I accepted.  He was working out of state and only came home for 2 days out of 16.  One night, he called and asked if the ex and her daughter could go to a movie with us.  I told him that it was NOT ok with me as we had very little time to spend together before he had to go back to work.  He made plans to see the movie anyway and told me that it was ok because I was “invited.”  I didn’t go and he called off our engagement.  He agreed to go to counseling and get his “committment” issues figured out and I moved back in. 
    Recently, I was trying to figure out how to save some money on our phone bill by lowering our minutes and saw her number in his phone list- he still talks and texts her!!!  He claims that she is just a friend and it shouldn’t hurt my feelings, but he ended our engagement because she was more important to him- how am I supposed to be ok with that?  BTW- she tried to run me over in a bar parking lot once… But he didn’t see it, so he says he can’t hold that against her!

  18. 138
    katz

    I respect your article but as a women with self respect and integrity I disagree with your article. having communication with your ex means hoping to reconcile in the near future. my boyfriend has lots of his exes in his facebook and keeps constant communication with them. It bothers me cause I dont feel he is giving me my place but believe me we talked over it I wont force him to cut communication with them hell no but everybody has limits. He knows he crosses the line the relationship is over and I am way too much of a good woman to let that bother me. If you are the type of person that you feel insulted because your bf communicates with his exes go for it trust your instinct is human nature and at least that shows you have very good moral principles and you know what is self respect and dignity. You might say ohhh I am insecure, but guess this is my point I trust him but always where there was fire there will always be ashes. I think a women should learn to respect herself and has dignity. If you keep constant communication with your exes bottom line you still are looking for something or the guy is just a loser that cant get over it because there is a reason why they broke up and were so hurt before but they have so much of a low self esteem that they can’t detached themselves from their exes its sad because that means they need to manup and stop being hypocritical. GUYS with exes BOTTOM LINE stop being a loser shake it up get some self esteem if you want to pick up the same trash you did before go for it but learn to give your women their place, respect and dignity they deserve.
    FOR THE LADIES: we have an ultra developed seventh sense so trust your feelings instincts, if your bf wants to keep communicating with their exes is ok but there are boundaries talking ok, but meeting up and hiding text messages i will say HASTA LA VISTA BABY! xoxo
     

  19. 139
    Katie

    When someone is in love, and sees a future with somebody (which presumably poor Emily does here hence her moving), that person (man or woman) wants to feel like they are the only man/woman that their partner needs- because naturally in the long term this is how things pan out right?  Is love not about finding the one?  Finding that person that wholly fulfills you?  Not to mean that you dont have or want friends (some of whom may well be exes), but this ‘ex’ clearly seems to be quite close to Emily’s boyfriend which suggests perhaps he is not in the place she is in terms of commitment.  If perhaps he was in that place he would give off the right signals to this ex so she would stop contacting him so much.  Of course it is fine to be friends with exes.  As a lot of you say and I agree, it would be worse if your partner cannot see that ex, but quite frankly I think it is a matter of how much a part of your partner’s life their ex (or even friend in any event) is a part of their life. it only makes matters worse when it is someone they have had previous sexual relations or relationships with.  I think it really depends on what you are looking for in a relationship.  People who are ready to commit wholeheartedly and want to spend their life with someone dont have an ex or any other friend of the opposite sex so close to them emotionally… Perhaps Emily should think about what they both want from their relationship.

     

  20. 140
    Katie

    Also you said this at 55 EVAN:

     ‘Seriously, get out of your own head and into his. In trusting relationships, Selena, all of this is irrelevant. So my wife is having lunch with her ex. So she’s having drinks with a male colleague. Who cares? She’s married to ME! The ONLY reason I should care is if I’M insecure or don’t trust her. I do trust her, so I don’t give a crap about who she sees when I’m not around. THIS is how you have a healthy relationship.’

    I think you are completely right here despite what I have written above… however, if you felt an incling that your wife had an emotional attachment to any of these men, or you felt perhaps on the lunches or drinks she was getting something from them she didn’t get from you…  How do you think that would make you feel?

    I think looking at the facts is easily done and making a judgement is also easy.  But it all depends on boundaries and people’s attitude and approach towards these things.  Ultimately everyone wants to feel respected as the significant other, and if anything starts suggesting they are not valued and respected in this role, the paranoia, the questioning and the insecurity arises.  
    Its all about how your partner makes you feel as their lover/bestfriend/partner.  
    Good on you and your wife if you manage to maintain keeping eachother maintained and secure, but please do not go making rash judgements on other people’s relationships.  This boyfriend of Emily’s clearly has not made her feel secure.  Instead of defending him why dont you tell her he isn’t good enough.  I agree with Sam at this point, if you think that this boyfriend of Emily’s is behaving in an acceptable way then you do have a very strange outlook on relationships.

    Katie 

  21. 141
    Wendy

    What about when you try to be friends with the ex and right after you get engaged. She starts wearing a big diamond ring on her ring finger that he gave her during their relationship. What about when she almost cries because you accidently break the necklace that he wears 24/7 that she gave him during the relationship.  I think its possible for someone to be friends with their ex but to talk to them everyday in addition to the above, I think there’s reason for concern.  Also, when your man won’t say one bad thing about her but has many to say about you.  Call me crazy but I don’t think it’s okay to be friends with your ex in this situation.  It ultimately destroyed our relationship.

  22. 142
    Carmen

    Hmmmmm I’m thinking I agree with Sam…..if he feels the need to hide it then something is not right…..I had a ex-boyfriend ask me to be friends on fb (I didn’t even remember him but my husband did). I told my husband first and asked him what he thought….he didn’t care. Come to find out the only reason he asked to be my friend was because he had a page he wanted more people to like, had no interest in know about me and my wonderful life….he got deleted real fast. I think if your honest with your spouse and they are okay with it then go for it, but if the most important person in your life feels uncomfortable with it, it’s not wort it, My husband is the best thing that has ever happened to me why would I want to hurt him or make him feel insure in anyway…….don’t be so self absorbed think about your loved one……

  23. 143
    Amanda

    Evan, I can’t thank you enough.

    I have been struggling with this issue for years. Im only 28. I had a relationship in my early 20′s and it nearly destroyed my life because of jealousy and distrust. It took me another 5 years to find someone I actually could see my life with. However, old habits die hard and I found I was bringing the wrong beliefs into a great and brand new realtionship.

    As soon as I read what you wrote, I knew you were right. Its just so hard to change your mind when you’ve been thinking a certain way for so long. 

    I will re-read what you wrote until its imprinted in my mind. I know I have a good guy, and I want us both to be happy. I know now its up to me to change my mind to have a healthy, trusting and truley loving relationship. It may be hard at first…. but I know it will be worth the while.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.          

  24. 144
    amy

    Wow. The very question sounds crazy to me in several respects:
     
    “Should I let my boyfriend –” What? Wait, who made you boss over anyone but yourself?
     
    “Be Friends With” — ??? You want to control who someone else is friends with?
     
    “His Ex” — Oh, for real. He’s a man, not a possession. If he and his ex want to get back together, they will. If he’s with you, it’s because he wants to be with you.
     
    Shrinky types call a partner’s attempts to control who you’re friends with abuse, and rightly so. If a man’s so jealous, possessive, and insecure that he can’t handle the fact that some of my best friends are exes, and that some of those friendships go back almost 30 years, forget it. And if he’s going to read my mail? Omg, there’s the door. Are any of my exes and I going to get back together? No. Not even if they divorced or, God forbid, something happened to their wives. But I value those friendships. I wouldn’t give them up for a new man, and the creepy factor in the jealousy, intrusiveness, and possessiveness is off the charts anyway.

  25. 145
    Kathrynrocks

    Leave him, now, find someone who will always put you first and not do anything deliberately to make you unhappy (like having lunchdates with ex’s)

    You gotta kiss a few frogs before you meet your Prince and he sounds like a frog, but there are lots of Princes out there. 

  26. 146
    Mr. Honest

    All you men are ling cheats. I am a guy and staying friends with my ex-girl friends has always lead to problems. Here’s why. Once the tap has been made it is far to easy to have sex if either party is in need of some loving they are missing in the current relationship. I know, as I have done it many times. There is yet to be a past partner that I have slept with once that I could not sleep with again. I’m not proud of it either. Why I stopped is because the table turns the other way too. All these women that hold on to past boyfriends (which are men like me) are in the same boat. If they or their ex want a little loving guess what they are going to do it.
    The reason they are an ex is because they are nuts or way to difficult to live with. However, the reason we were together amongst other things is because sex was good. Sex never changes only the emotion that surrounds it. So the only element that is removed from a separation is living together. Once you are not living together the emotional stuff can be repaired and eventually sex sounds good again. Sex is kind of set to the side because people are raised to believe that it should be shared only with lovers. However, that has changed and more and more people are just doing it because they need the release. So, Does this mean all guys would cheat with their ex girl friends and ex wives. Of course they would. If there is an interest to hold on to a ex partner for any reason then the door to sex is not completely gone either. Once you have recovered from the breakup the emotions are free to build back up and what was once sexy about the other sex is now sexy again. Women are the same so guys don’t you think for a minute that you women is not capable of doing the same thing to you. I know this first hand as well. Not happy about it but its true. The flip side of this coin is you are a home potential home wreak if you keep the relationship with a past ex. See there is always some girl or guy that has learned that this does not work the hard way and their spouse is trying to convince them that it is okay to keep a past relationship. Be the bigger person and break it off so they can stand a better chance at a good life together. I have had to do this several times and I don’t regret it one bit. Yes, that means Social media communications. If you can not sacrifice the disconnect from a past relationship then you really are not in love with the person you are in a relationship with. If this is you left your girlfriend or boyfriend go so they can find someone that does love them the way they would like to be loved.

    When you break up you need to breakup. There are millions of people on the planet. Find a new friend.

  27. 147
    Mr. Honest

    Sorry, about the last post. I use voice recognition software and I did not proof read it before posting.

  28. 148
    Joe

    Dude, just because YOU’RE a dog, that doesn’t mean all guys are dogs.

  29. 149
    Katie

    Mr. Honest… very true! Go you for being honest!!!
    perhaps not EVERYone would actually follow through and have sex with their exes, but the point you make clear is, the sexual attraction is there and thats that. Nobody wants to be in a relationship where their loved one is flitting off every now and then to see another man/woman he/she once had sexual passions with, and indeed will always have sexual and physical comfortability with as a result. Its just plain weird. I have had to do it too. I don’t intrude on past lovers lives because I know their spouse would be uncomfortable with it. Its just the right thing to do.
    Pick one person. And stick to that person. respect the one you love! (if you love them!).

  30. 150
    smariel

    Evan – I gotta ask, at what point should a guy mention he is friends with his ex / meeting up with her? You completely skip over this point. I ask this as someone who was 100% trusting and got completely burned. I am friends with men, ex boyfriends, etc. I was completely open with my boyfriend about this and would just say “oh, hey, I’m meeting up with so & so tonight.” No big deal, right? One day my bf and I were walking on the street and ran into his ex, she casually brought up the out of town wedding they were flying to together (I couldn’t make it because of a work commitment). He had never mentioned a thing. I later found out he’d been sleeping with this woman for the first six months of what I thought was a committed relationship. And had been secretly meeting her for drinks, dinner, etc the entire time we were together. Are you really saying I’m the one with the problem? I somehow prevented him from telling me the truth?

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