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. 181
    Nathan

    I don’t think either of them are innocent here. The boyfriend seems to be actively hiding this relationship with the ex for whatever reason, and Emily seems to have a pattern of snooping. Their relationship is doomed if they don’t spend some time to come to an agreement about how to handle this situation.

    I disagree with the idea that trust should be unconditional and assumed from the beginning of a relationship. They’ve been together 4 months. That’s next to nothing. They’re still learning about each other, still getting a basic sense of each others’ actual character and values. How conflict is handled. Etc.

    Even if you say you trust each other completely after 4 months together, it’s a trust coming either from a naive place, or from a general personalty trait of trusting others. Being a trusting person is a positive, and definitely makes for better relationships over the long haul. However, until your relationship has been tested, and you’ve gone through some difficulties together and made it to the other side in a stronger place than beforehand, that trust itself isn’t really that meaningful, nor will it be enough to overcome the natural feelings of doubt, confusion, mistrust, and even jealously that can arise when you don’t know each other very well. Especially if the initial chemistry high has started to wear off.

    While I would agree that it’s best to come from a place of general trust from the beginning, the reality is also that the deep trust that sustains long term relationships is earned. Earned together over time. It’s not about proving, but about growing trust together through the good times and difficult. So, this is an opportunity to either develop some deeper trust, or move in the opposite direction.

    One thing I wonder about is how long ago this ex and the boyfriend dated. Is this his last girlfriend? Did the romantic relationship end recently, or has it been awhile? Perhaps Emily chose a man who wasn’t finished with his past business yet. I have friendships with a couple of exes, but in both cases, there was a significant period of time of little or no contact in between. A cooling off period to let go of any lingering issues, and be able to move on to someone new. If this guy essentially jumped from the ex to Emily with little time in between, then her suspicions might be warranted. Although if this is the case, I’d say she made a mistake getting involved with him in the first place, and should probably cut her loses.

    In the end, this is exactly the kind of situation that can be turned into an opportunity to deepen trust between each other. To move past the idealized projections we all have in the beginning. Which is really what any early trust is coming from. And why it’s pretty fragile. Even when both partners are generally trusting people.

  2. 182
    Lefty

    I don’t think either of them are innocent here. The boyfriend seems to be actively hiding this relationship with the ex for whatever reason, and Emily seems to have a pattern of snooping. Their relationship is doomed if they don’t spend some time to come to an agreement about how to handle this situation.

    I disagree with the idea that trust should be unconditional and assumed from the beginning of a relationship. They’ve been together 4 months. That’s next to nothing. They’re still learning about each other, still getting a basic sense of each others’ actual character and values. How conflict is handled. Etc.

    Even if you say you trust each other completely after 4 months together, it’s a trust coming either from a naive place, or from a general personalty trait of trusting others. Being a trusting person is a positive, and definitely makes for better relationships over the long haul. However, until your relationship has been tested, and you’ve gone through some difficulties together and made it to the other side in a stronger place than beforehand, that trust itself isn’t really that meaningful, nor will it be enough to overcome the natural feelings of doubt, confusion, mistrust, and even jealously that can arise when you don’t know each other very well. Especially if the initial chemistry high has started to wear off.

    While I would agree that it’s best to come from a place of general trust from the beginning, the reality is also that the deep trust that sustains long term relationships is earned. Earned together over time. It’s not about proving, but about growing trust together through the good times and difficult. So, this is an opportunity to either develop some deeper trust, or move in the opposite direction.

    One thing I wonder about is how long ago this ex and the boyfriend dated. Is this his last girlfriend? Did the romantic relationship end recently, or has it been awhile? Perhaps Emily chose a man who wasn’t finished with his past business yet. I have friendships with a couple of exes, but in both cases, there was a significant period of time of little or no contact in between. A cooling off period to let go of any lingering issues, and be able to move on to someone new. If this guy essentially jumped from the ex to Emily with little time in between, then her suspicions might be warranted. Although if this is the case, I’d say she made a mistake getting involved with him in the first place, and should probably cut her loses.

    In the end, this is exactly the kind of situation that can be turned into an opportunity to deepen trust between each other. To move past the idealized projections we all have in the beginning. Which is really what any early trust is coming from. And why it’s pretty fragile. Even when both partners are generally trusting people.

  3. 183
    Just a thought

    What I don’t get is why would he turn the phone over if there’s nothing happening between he and the other woman-his ex. What he was supposed to do was inform you of the relationship between he and and his ex and then tell her that it is only a friendship and nothing more.  What was between them is the past. He should let you know from the get go and maybe you would not be insecure if he was not hiding it from you and had approached you with it first.
    In my relationship, for example, if I have male friends and if my boyfriend has female friends we will not hide that from each other. And whatever transpires between me and my male friends and he and his female friends, we inform each other for personal views, opinions or advice according to the circumstance or situation. There is nothing wrong with that.

  4. 184
    Asha

    The last man I was involved with I trusted implicitly. He told me about contact with his ex-girlfriend, including some rather heated exchanges between the two. She played games. I warned him that she wanted him back and would do just about anything to get him back. But I still trusted him and trusted that he loved me as much as I loved him. About two months after the start of the game playing she did with him, he told me that he needed some distance to “sort shit out”. I was hurt, but I did some searching online and found that many guys will exhibit this sort of behavior when they are trying to deal with stress in their lives. I knew he had a lot going on in his life including financial issues with his ex-wife, (a different woman than the ex-girlfriend), problems with his step-daughter and pressures at work. I supported him and let him know that I would be there for him when he got through his personal storm. I told him I’d waited a lifetime for him and I could wait for as long as it took. I gave him his space.
    What I didn’t know then but know now is that he had decided to get back together with his ex-girlfriend. She (the ex-girlfriend) had demanded he cut off contact with me, which was why he made up the story of needing to sort things out. Instead of being honest and telling me what was going on, he lied. He had never been dishonest with me until that point. About a month after he distanced himself from me, on New Year’s Day of last year no less, he told me he was getting back together with her. I was decimated. They ended up moving in together less than a month after that. She told me they had signed a lease the previous month. I know she lies so I didn’t know if it was true or not. That point is moot though because he chose her and not me. At the time he ended things he told me he loved me and that I was the most loving and supportive woman he had ever known. Clearly I wasn’t enough for him.  Instead he chose to go back to his crazy ex. (His words previous to their getting back together, not mine.) 
    I wouldn’t stop a man from wanting a relationship with his ex in the future, but it just might stop me from wanting a relationship with him. I trusted this man entirely and doing so ended in the biggest emotional pain I have ever experienced in my life.  I honestly believed he and I would be together forever. It’s been just over a year and I still don’t see myself with anyone else. Who knows what the future will bring. I try not to dwell on it. But I wanted to say that trusting a man isn’t enough. 

  5. 185
    grace

    When you feel insecure there must be a reason for that and for jealousy. In my case, my boyfriend broke up with his ex because of the distance he had to move to new place with his family. Then he met me. And i was perfectly  fine with him regularly contacting his ex girlfriends. One of them was in love with him and she wasn’t over him yet and the other one he wasn’t over her but he was dating me. I trusted him completely as a girlfriend must trust her man. I never knew they invited him to meet on vacation and he would have gone if he wasn’t working until the day he forgot his facebook page open and I read them texts. He was guilty in the beginning and then told me I’m right but when I thought he would stop doing this, he didn’t. I don’t think dirty talking with your ex is healthy when you’re in a relationship, and if I didn’t search his messages I would never know that and I would trust someone who is taking me for granted and cheats behind my back. I’m about to split with him now, unless there is a good reason he keeps doing this. Sometimes we try way too hard than what some people deserve. Some people just want to be in a ”relationship” for one reason we all know and play with your feelings.

  6. 186
    Sarah

    I think social media makes it especially hard for us to just forget about/lose touch with people from our past. If your bf’s ex is within the same social networks as him, it kind of makes it hard for him to completely cut ties with her. If they have tons of mutual friends, he is bound to run into her with some frequency and see her appearing on his social media all the time. Because of this, it makes it hard to be on bad/non-speaking terms, or even just no terms at all. It kind of forces us all to be cordial and even friendly with our exes. In some ways this is good, in some ways its really difficult. In the digital space, can get tricky determining where to draw the line on what’s an OK interaction and what’s too involved. I don’t know one person who hasn’t had the digital world cause some sort of drama on their relationship.

  7. 187
    Linda

    no matter what, no one deserves to be lied to, cheated on, snuck around on, betrayed, etc.  it doesn’t matter if you are suspicious and insecure or not.  we’re all adults here, and we deserve to be treated with respect and honesty.  there is no excuse for anything less!

  8. 188
    Carol

    Ya, well you obviously have never had an untrustworthy man in your life that you finally figured out was cheating on you.  There are signs.  And hiding it – taking it outside, sneaking messages to you ex – those are all signs.  If there is nothing to hide, you don’t hide it.  You are completely upfront with your girlfriend.  And if it becomes uncomfortable and gets in the way of the relationship, you have a decision to make.  Who is more important – your ex or the person you are in a relationship with?  Its completely selfish to think your girlfriend/wife should put up with you hanging out and communicating with your ex girlfriend.  It also shows a lack of empathy.  And while it might sound nice that you can be friends with your ex girlfriend and be in a relationship, why should your girlfriend put up with that?  You broke up with your ex girlfriend for a reason.  And you are with your current girlfriend/wife for a reason.  Who is more important to you?  And if it isn’t your girlfriend/wife, then the problem is with you.  If it interferes in your relationship in any way, shape or form, it isn’t about you its about both of you.  Its about your relationship.  Its about making the one you love comfortable.  Sometimes you have to choose.  Not because the girlfriend might be insecure, but because things happen between men and women and a smart girlfriend knows that.  And to overly trust makes her an idiot.  Make the decision of who you want in your life and choose.  And if you choose the ex, you are an idiot because it didn’t work out with her for a reason
     
     

  9. 189
    Anon

    I disagree.  If it is hurting the relationship, and it is a concern. End it.  This is not to be a one-person issue. It involves the couple. If he started off hiding her from you when he shouldn’t be turning away or going outside for a regular conversation in front of you, then that is normal to be concerned about.  Being secretive about that is not cool in a relationship.  The fact that it is so minor and he feels the need to hide it means that you need to both communicate and end with a compromise. 

  10. 190
    Nikki

    I came across the site, not to say the least that i spent a few hours reading different opinions about relationships, ex partners/friends and definitions about “trust”. Whether we like it or not, as individuals we have boundaries when in a relationship and the moment our partners cross those boundaries, the trust is lost. My relationship of over a year ended a few weeks ago. The guy i was with came out of a 4 year relationship and when we started dating, he was honest upfront and told me that they remained good friends, and that he will continue to look after his 11 year old daughter, whom he adores. I completely understood the situation and in fact, i really appreciated the fact that he would continue to look after the little one. I trusted him, fully. We both work and live in a city far from our homes.  8 months into the relationship, and he tells me that he needs to go home to see his parents but that he will be staying with his ex, at her home, for two weeks! Despite the pain, i thought, who am i to tell a 42 year old what he should, and should not be doing? I told him that i am not happy but that if he wished to, i would not stop him. He pushed my boundaries to the limit, but i did not feel he crossed them. He appreciated my approach to the whole situation (of course, what men wouldn’t?!) He came back after two weeks, things were going well between us, until i found out a few months later that he had planned to take his ex and her daughter on holiday for Xmas and New Year! Not only that, but he had planned everything while he was staying with her for two weeks. I was broken, completely. I told him that i could not possibly accept it and how hurt i was, and i left. This time it was really hard for me to understand, this time he crossed my boundaries. Oh, and i forgot to mention that he never told his ex that he was with me. After i left him, we kept in touch (mistake)! We talked about it and he said that the reason he is taking them on holiday was because of the little one, and that this will be the last time.  We tried to work things out but i was falling apart. To cut the story short, he went with them and we were keeping in touch (again, a mistake!). I was sad, unhappy and in the end, while he was on holiday he sent me an email saying that we should remain friends, or so he wished! There is so much more i wish to say, but i will end this post by saying that i have learned that is is very hard to determine where to draw a line between being nice and standing up for what you believe! Trust?! Well, what else can i say….

  11. 191
    metoo

    She not insecure………    He being disrepectful

  12. 192
    Joanna Lobl

    Emily, I completely understand your point.  I also understand the other side too.  I’ll let you all in on my private life.  I’m a late 20s woman, I’ve dated many men and found it very valuable in learning how to be with someone through the trials of struggle and problem solving.  After yet another amicable break-up, I found this one young man (only 3 years apart, lol).  He was fresh out of the box (and I mean ‘fresh out of the box’)–young, naive, inexperienced, but full of love for me.  Soon I found in him something that I never experienced with anyone in my past and that scared me given, though I had been looking for love, I never thought it would come to me in the precise form of this young man.  My ex’s took notice and, me not having a policy in severing ties with any ex, sought their thoughts.  I had residual feelings for one of the ex’s and I let it overshadow what I was afraid to admit to want from my current boyfriend–love….I hurt my love.  My love, tender-hearted young man, came back at me with a full heart and said he believed my past was holding me back.  After an agonizing couple of weeks, after realizing that my ex’s just wanted to keep me for themselves than to truly want me to be happy, I voided my policy, and severed ties with them.  I was even more grateful that my young love waited for me.  We made love for the first time together (first time for him), and moved on.  I told him I would never be manipulated by anyone outside ourselves again.  Throughout our long journey together, a few ex’s who had been good friends to me and truly wanted me to be happy made contact with me–some of which I had more than a few casual dates with but focused on the times we had when we were just friends and innocent.  Finally my young love proposed, and set plans to be married!  My ex’s were glad and excited, but the one thing I haven’t shared with you yet was that my young love did not know I had been talking to them.  I figured sooner or later he would have to know and so I did–it didn’t bother him so much that I told him, but that he thought I severed all ties with all ex’s.  I did not think it was fair because these ex’s were close friends who wanted he and I to be happy.  My love acknowledged them and said he wished he had met them prior, and understood the value they had to me, but believed that part of my past should be over and that they had no room in our relationship given his pain from the near break-up we experienced and that my friends should respect the relationship between he and I and back off.  After a traumatizing argument between us, we took a break.  I went to go be with my girlfriends while he his his own thing.  When we met up the next day, he told me he couldn’t go through that again and could not look past that other men who I brought with me had their mark instilled in me.  The next part kills me to this day, he reluctantly asked me for the ring, and vanished forever from my life.
    So one can attest that I ruined my relationship/marriage with my latest ex because I let trouble in, others can attest that my last ex wasn’t strong enough, weak, insecure, jealous, whatever.  I’ll tell you what the impact was, my family for one was furious at how I could let a young man like him so great and precious (he really was precious), my ex’s/good friends were mixed–some felt they would have understood if we had amicably severed everything while others felt he wasn’t worth it causing me to ultimately let go of some, I’m now emotionally scarred, and I keep replaying the whole thing over and over again.
    If you want to hold on to your love, then you have to TALK TO THEM.  Tell them what bothers you, work with them, give them assurance that you’re the only one for them and they the only one for you, demonstrate that you are not divided between them and someone else.  Emily, communicate how your boyfriend’s behavior is making you sad and that his past with his girl is respected but if there’s any bit of sadness he has is lacking something that he can’t get from you, explore it together.  You can’t help him if he isn’t going to talk to you or open up.  My love told me, I listened, but regrettably didn’t offer to help him.

  13. 193
    Oh okay

    Emily has described a different situation to the one you have responded to. I was shocked to find out when my partner at the time was chatting to his ex. He called her his best mate and stated I had nothing to worry about cos it would never work. This friendship with his ex continued throughout our relationship, I would leave the room when she would skype to give him privacy, I never looked at texts, emails or questioned the content of their convos. We got Engaged and 3 months later he told me he didn’t feel the same way for me and he did for her, used our wedding money to bring her more local and I was left with a broken heart, 2 children to resettle and whole new future to get used to. I did everything you are telling Emily to do Evan and I was betrayed. I am not a big fan of snooping but I would have preferred to have snooped and found out what was going on than to waste my years with my now ex. I am all for having a snoop as long as if what you find is hot with deceit then you grab your shit, you hold your head high and you leave the jurk faced mother fucker! Not talking it out, not confronting, no second chances! Just run for those loyalty hills and stay true to yourself. They will never change.

  14. 194
    denise

    Ok 2 additional questions to the initial question.  What if he hid all his messages with his ex gf’s? I think if people hide something it’s for a reason.  I believe in being friends with ex’s, if things ended on decent terms and you do the mature thing you should be able to still talk and text with them.  But, I have always been honest with my bf that I am still in contact with any ex’s and allow him to read them and tell him about any run ins or conversations. I think that just eliminates any doubt.. Part of being in a relationship is also building trust as sometimes even the most confident of people question at times. 
    2nd question – what if he isn’t friends with his ex but she keeps messaging him.  It was a bitter break up, it seems she never got over it and she still messages him frequently.. Sometimes she will act like they were meant for someone else. 

  15. 195
    Mis

    I partially agree and partially disagree with the response to the question. Not getting attention while you are sick, that I agree with and can understand. Don’t take it personally and just concentrate on getting healthy. As far as the friends with an ex, I don’t agree. If your boyfriend is secretly hiding his communication with his ex-girlfriend whom he was serious with, I would be asking myself and wondering, why all the secrecy. If you want your partner to trust you, then don’t go into a relationship hiding who you really are and who you associate with (whether it be be ex-girlfriends or previous FWB). I can completely understand and empathize with you and how you feel somewhat betrayed and lied to. If the shoe were on the other foot, how do you think he would feel? Would he feel as though you have been hiding things? Would he feel as though you have been sneaking behind his back? Would he question it? I am sure all answers would point to yes. Rule of thumb, if the trust is lacking this early on in the relationship, it probably won’t get better as time goes on, IMO. Good luck to you!

  16. 196
    amy

    Its so ridiculous! Your ex is your ex.  You have a new relationship, that’s it. There is nothing about insecurity or jealously it just not being completely insane. Lunch, dinner, texts, chat? lol I could make some valid points and elaborate but I think that is just insulting my intelligence. Your bf is  incredibly insulting and inappropriate .  I have a bf who had the audacity to ask me if it was ok. I didn’t make a big deal and just said no. Glad he got the point and if doesn’t agree then we aren’t meant to be. what kind of crap are these comments about being the ex but with out friendship. I could careless. Ill find someone who wont do this crap!!! Self respect ladies.

  17. 197
    Linda

    Couldn’t agree more with Evan about how men respond well to being trusted. And in many ways, you create what you build, and if you show a man that you trust him I’d bet he’ll do everything in his power to make sure he lives up to that.  HOWEVER, I do think the way in which her boyfriend handled his ex was inappropriate and dishonest. If there’s nothing to hide and no shame, open the text in front of your gf, talk in the same room instead of leaving to another one, and invite the ex over for a dinner. Be open about not. It’s called transparency. This dude is sketchy, sorry to disagree with Evan on this point, but there are good and bad ways of handling exes, and this guy went about it the wrong way.

  18. 198
    no hurt feelings

    mr. evans,
    some exes are not yer over to each other. your wife must have probably told first about her exes before you found it alone by yourself. and the same thing with you to her as well. thats why you both trust each other.

  19. 199
    Faith

    I don’t understand why everyone is saying that the female should ACCEPT her boyfriends hidden relationship with his ex, or move on. Why can’t it be that her boyfriend ACCEPTS that his girl is insulted and uncomfortable with ONE person whom he communicates with? She doesn’t seem to be jealous as she has only stated one individual that strikes a nerve in her, and it’s an ex, which is completely reasonable. Once you break things of with an ex your relationship should end there. This doesn’t mean you can’t be cordial and that you have to end things on bad terms. However, as far as constantly staying in touch, hanging out, doing things for each other.. these are things that should just be left behind along with the relationship. It’s not fair for anyone involved, including the ex-love birds.
     
    For the being sick and distant inquiry, that seems a little childish, although in a new relationship it doesn’t seem too strange. You don’t REALLY know the other person you’re with, you’re getting to know them. Learning that he takes extra precautions to protect his health is something that you don’t know about someone right off the bat. In this particular situation, it seems to have also been something that she was concerned with until she discovered the reason, and then like she said, accepted and moved onward. 
     
     

  20. 200
    Holy Cheese and BS

    This poor woman! Her question of should she let.. and then prepare for attack. Cause no one needs permission in whom they can or can’t be friends.
    What I took from her question is that there are things happening that she feels uncomfortable about. Whether real or imagined is NOT the point. The point is Emily is uncomfortable with her bf’s behaviours in regard to his ex.
    Another point is Emily believes ex’s should not be friends which is evidently different from her bf’s beliefs on friendship with the ex.
    Can you be just friends with your ex? Who the hell knows really. Why are we all pretending like we have all things relationships figured out.
    One thing we do know is they have clashing beliefs on the topic. That in itself could cause issues because Emily might never understand or feel comfortable in a relationship with someone who doesn’t share the same beliefs. Sure that’s a choice she has to make. However I don’t think she needs to be berated or told to “shut up” which is disrespectful IMO. She asked a question she didn’t disrespect you Evan. Anyway the truth is we don’t know as much as we think we know. We don’t know Emily. We don’t know her bf. the details are vague. We know Emily doesn’t feel great and she shared that with her bf. he can choose to be understanding about where she’s coming from.
    My ex ended his relationship when I came bsck into his life he realized he wasn’t over me. I didn’t have those intentions but hey. I would say focus your energy on the now and you don’t need to erase your past to let go of it. What’s do special about having this ex as a friend, that’s the question. He’s obviously getting something from the relationship if he’s willing to invest his time.
    That in itself is significant. People are tricky Evan. You may not even know your wife’s real thoughts about the relationship with your ex. Who knows!
    You can never really know what is happening with the other person which is why secrets just ass more complications. Jealousy is a perfectly valid emotion like all other emotions. It gets a bad wrap but there’s nothing wrong with it. Just because we don’t understand other peoples emotions or reasoning for things doesn’t make them crazy or their emotions “useless”. Not even jealousy. Evan you sound a bit emotionally immature to me. I found your response very defensive rather than helpful. I’m curious of the outcome for Emily.
    It’s great we are all so readily involved in her life!
    Writing this from my phone wasn’t an easy task so good luck to you Emily! Hopefully you and your bf can work it out. Listen to your guy and communicate in a way you both can hear each other. Don’t listen to any of us. People who think they’re all knowing know very little!

  21. 201
    Maxine

    A normal behavior for a man that has moved on from his ex and vice versa, is that you put your priorities in hand and put your current partner at the top, besides family.  A serious, honest man will never have to seek another woman’s attention nor try to help him/her fix her current mess when they couldn’t do that themselves in the past. Is it necessary to keep in touch with an ex? NO. More so, help fix their problem? NO , not your business…unless you want to be. It takes a real man to step away and say ” Hey, I’m with an awesome woman now. Figure it out yourself, just like what I did. Your an adult.” Keeping in touch with an ex is similar to not burning that bridge of a possible romance, back up, spare tire thing. It is not fair with the other person who’s fully committed to you.
    It’s either you keep the friendship with the ex, or risk losing your relationship. It’s not insecurity, it’s total respect. It’s morals and principles, not jealousy. Awkward? Bc it’s a questionable action.

    relationship mess? NO , not your business…unless you want to be. It takes a real man to step away and say ” hey, I’m with an awesome woman now. Figure it out yourself. Your an adult, just like what I did.”

    1. 201.1
      JJ

      I just posted a comment before reading yours. You share the same opinion as me! You stated it way better. It is not about insecurity, it is about respect. 

  22. 202
    JJ

     There really isn’t a reason to be friends with an ex. Some things go to far to ever go back to being just friends. Whenever my boyfriend said h felt uncomfortable, I took that to heart and I did something about it. I would never go and meet an ex by myself. I can see maybe going out as a group WITH your current partner, but going out alone is just a situation heading for disaster. So to answer your questions, I would have no problem stop talking to an ex because my boyfriend is my priority, my ex lost that when we broke up. And it also depends on hte situation. My ex went back to his cheating ex gf and lied to me about it for over a year. And when he got out of it he told me how bad he felt about himself because she would always tear him down. (keep in mind she also purposely went after him once she saw we were together too.. side note). And yet he says they are still friends and I was supposed to be ok with that? I don’t think anyone should trust that! I think emily has the right to be upset, as would her boyfriend if the situation is reversed.  It’s not about insecurity, it’s about respecting your current relationship. 

  23. 203
    alexis

    Oh yeah, because every situation like that ends up perfectly well. As the author, you have to realize, you’re not 100% accurate when there are those who come across 100% trustworthy and STILL surprise you! You seriously only know in hindsight whether it’s a complete mistake or not. Meeting up for dinner one on one is a bit much…

  24. 204
    DD

    Does it make a difference if they had sex until days before he met me? That’s what I’m currently struggling with. He told me he was friends with the ex, which I was fine with, some people want that. I don’t understand why you would want to stay close with the ex, but I accept that people have different needs and wants. Then I asked him if they had ever hooked up after breaking up (more than a year ago), he said yes, and it had been going on until he started seeing me. While my head says that I’m the one he wants to be with, and he would never do anything to hurt me on purpose, my stomach is far less understanding. Also, I don’t sleep with friends, so I don’t even think she qualifies for that label. I told him it made me very uncomfortable to know that he was hanging out with a woman he only started being platonic with when I got into the picture. He had also mentioned earlier that he thought she still had feelings for him. I do not understand why she would want to be friends with him when she has unreturned feelings for a man with a new girl. We’ve talked and shared our thoughts, and in the end I told him that I will work on my own issues, because I don’t want to take anything away from him, but I’m still not comfortable with the thought. But that’s my issues, and rationally, since I trust him, it shouldn’t be a problem when I’ve worked through them. I do feel it is a bit disrespectful of both of them. I know he won’t see her if I ask, but I’m torn about what I can live with and get over.

  25. 205
    Jim Roberts

    Personally Think that M.Katz/ Evan’s response is too defensive. Seems there’s issues in hiw own relation with his wife that he’s transferred to his response to you. If a guy’s secretive and hiding something as signif as meeting an ex, he is not serious about resoecting you ir your relationship with him. Thats an early warning sign… Ffw: if he cant openly divulge ingo to you, he us not iver the ex. So see him as a transition b/fr until you find a real & honest guy Woukd be my advice. Not fair that he wants his cake & to eat it – both ways.

    1. 205.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      No issues with my wife, dude, and you’re completely projecting. But I’ll let your comment through since everyone’s opinion is valid.

  26. 206
    Christina

    This is happening to me…..and believe me,its a tough issue when they share a child. Ok, at first I thought no big deal. When she called he answered and didnt hide it. I thought he and I would discuss whatever problem or concerns the ex had about their child,but Then the conversation had nothing to do with their child. I tried to let him know how I felt,but then didnt understand MY VIEW on all this. I believe that an ex is not someone to talk to for hours. Discuss the children,but if it doesnt have anything to do with them then the conversation should be over. Because one hr turns into another tomorrow,then old feelings can come back. Im just saying….CAN happen. The ex should realize that it could cause a problem and give them respect as a couple.And he should already know NOT to disrespect his new girlfriend that way. Because when I ran into my ex at the grocery store one day my boyfriend wanted to know every word exchanged. So leave the exs in the past! Move forward,because it didnt work the first time.you would be waisting youre and her time time. My boyfriend hates to change is ways of thinking,but 

  27. 207
    Tabs

    Yes, I appreciate the previous guy’s comment and there is common sense there. My situation is similar  but my husband’s ex was around for 25 years. She was distant and unavailable. She was hurtful and the result was my hubby with 2 meltdowns..(a number of years ago…) This person seemed to dangle him in a line and flick him around. After a long spell of non contact, he formed another relationship but this person began to call their home, once at 2 am. This subsequently ruined my hubby’s relationship with his new woman, and similar happened for many years With others. I met him 18 months ago (we’ re in our 60′s!!), and we happily married 2013. He was upfront about this long term relationship, and was happy to say he had come through it and happy was happy to move on. During our early days together we bumped into this ex, and it was awful! He just looked up at her tearfully (very tall person..) and they would smile sadly at eachother.  This upset me, I tried to be Ms Cool Dude and take it on the chin..(.after all, 25 years is a fucking long time to drag ones ass around  the ‘black cat in a dark cellar’. ) Over time I made peace with myself and stopped bitching.  Months later, he says he loves her and misses her. I suggested he go see her. Long story=short, he has decided to see her in a while, after a stint at work is over. “Bloody cheers!” I thought to myself. Like waiting for a bomb to drop.     I feel cold inside. We are basically a great couple and have been very happy, with great friends and family with Lots of fun and sharing. I adore his kids and we all get on really well. I support him when he is overwhelmed at work, and don’t bother him when he needs a bit of space,,(, I like space too! ), but this ‘waiting for the meet up’ has turned me cold inside. I want to go home ( I moved to France to be with him, we’re both English), but I am calm and being a good dude. Just a very heartbroken and scared, unhappy one. He prepped me about this person from the start. I was optimistic and made a big life change to marry & move on.  Now all I want is to leave and allow him to seek happiness with the person he loves. But my heart is dying.   I must let him go with love. He’ll be 70 in 3 years…eventually  neglected and lonely very likely, but I honestly think he loves the chase.    I’m so unhappy, and wish I had been more sensible than to marry a guy who  is in love with the unattainable. 

  28. 208
    Jessica

    I think it really depends on how platonic the relationship with the ex.  Some women and men are able to be absolute friends but at times there might be a hidden agenda. Sometimes there is some “unfinished business” that needs to be taken care of-whatever that is.

    Often times, I feel some things are a little inappropriate and I do feel thats where honesty and distance comes in.  If a man is in a relationship with a woman but has daily contact with his ex, sees his ex more than his girlfriend, and goes to her instead of his girlfriend when he needs to talk about things…there is a likelihood that there is a problem. There has to be a priority to put your girlfriend first.

    No one wants to feel neglected and whether the rooted issues of women and men are deep seated with insecurity. There is truth in the matter that some ex’s do have hidden agendas and at times women/men have to be firm with boundaries with their significant other.

    Jealously is an ugly emotion and I currently have a boyfriend who is friends with his ex’s but there were some ex’s who spoke ill of me and that was a no for my boyfriend.  My boyfriend makes it a point to be honest about his interactions with his exgirlfriends and maintains a healthy distance with them. He does not communicate with them daily and does not seem this consistently.

    His conversations with his girlfriends are his business but he is honest when he will see them and ALWAYS makes sure that its in a public setting (one of his girlfriends wanted to have a late movie night and he felt that was inappropriate).  

    If you and your significant other are on the same page with boundaries and respect , this can work but from this post it seems that he allowed what he viewed in his past as a reason to not tell her.  She was wrong for reading the text but it would of been worse if she found out.

    He needed to be upfront in the beginning instead of allowing his past to dictate his present and potential future. Whereas she should have given him the benefit of the doubt. Considering this is the beginning of the relationship, there are too many seeds of doubt and it appears to be a poor match.

    She seems like a better fit with a man who wants nothing to do with his past and he would be a better fit with someone that’s laid back.  

  29. 209
    Christina

    If he’s being secretive already he clearly isn’t trustworthy. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, flips a phone over and goes outside to talk if they don’t have feelings. If it’s a friend, act like a friend. Dump this guy because he’s emotionally involved… this is not just a friend!

  30. 210
    Christina

    I can’t believe how many people are saying this is a self esteem issue. So many people settle for relationships, can’t have the one they want, or love multiple people… especially later in life if they’ve been married already. I believe when you REALLY want someone, you hide nothing and other women fall by the wayside. Ever heard he’s just not that into you?

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