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This topic contains 12 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #279419

    Reggi
    Participant

    I’m currently in a relationship with my boyfriend. We have been together almost two years and we live together. I do think we are happy but, there is a big concern that I have: His ex girlfriend is a childhood friend of his as well as a friend of the family.  She comes around sometimes to visit.

    I have talked to him about this a few times, he says he is no longer interested in her. But I still get anxious. Her contact is in his phone, and I feel I can’t say anything because she’s a friend of the family and I don’t want to cause problems. And I don’t want him to start getting angry with me.

    I have lost sleep over this, I’ve lost my appetite, even had chest pains on a few occasions. I want to be with him, but knowing about her also makes me want to leave forever. I worry about them getting back together. I don’t know what to do. I feel selfish and lost. I have no one to turn to. What should I do? Am I the only person in this situation?

    Thank you.

    #279423

    Mark
    Participant

    Reggi,

    What are you afraid of?  That he will get back with her?  That she is “better” than you?  That he thinks of her rather than you?

    Have you had anxiety issues beyond this ex, i.e. have you been anxious about other things?  Are you generally an anxious person?  Are you normally insecure in other situations like with work?  etc.?

    Have you talked to him about what qualities that you have that makes you desired, wanted, and a good partner?

    Mark

    #279425

    Reggi
    Participant

    Thank you for replying. I am afraid of him getting back with her. Whenever I go to visit his parents, they talk about her a lot, “she’s going to school to be a nurse,” “she’s a good cook” it does make me feel like she is better than me.

    I have been anxious about other things, but not like this.

    I will admit to being a very anxious person and insecure. I often wonder if being in a relationship is good for me.

    #279431

    Mark
    Participant

    Reggi,

    One thing about close relationships it brings up our “stuff” which we need to work on.  In a way, this has nothing to do with his ex but more about your insecurities and anxiety.  This highlights what you need to work on for yourself.

    Have you done anything with your anxiety?  Therapy? Medication? Meditation? Exercise? Mindfulness?

    In addition, you can take your bf aside and ask him to ask his parents not to talk about his ex so much in your presence.  Since you have been with him for almost two years then I assume you can be vulnerable and honest with him about your insecurities.

    Mark

    #279433

    Reggi
    Participant

    Thanks again. I found that taking walks in nature is very helpful. Once winter is over, I’ll continue to do that. I think therapy is a good idea too.

    #279435

    Mark
    Participant

    Reggi,

    When you are dealing with your sleep or eating issues or chest pain, try deep breathing.  Feel into where it is in your body and breath into that place.  Don’t try to push your emotions away but sit with it and breath deep into it.  Continue doing so.

    I find sitting with uncomfortable feelings is extremely hard.  I do know it helps tremendously especially when I consciously breath deeply.

    Mark

    #279505

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reggi:

    Your worry is not without any basis in reality, they did have a relationship, intimate relationship and his parents approve of her, think highly of her and are vocal about it, which is unkind of them to do, by the way, to voice to a current girlfriend of their son how much they like the ex girlfriend.

    Why not have a conversation: you, your boyfriend and his ex girlfriend/ current friend?

    If your relationship with your boyfriend is to continue and his ex girlfriend is to continue to be his friend and his family’s friend, it is appropriate for you to talk to her and him, together (the three of you), about your concerns and listen to what they say, listen intently, pay attention.

    It will be difficult for you to suggest such a conversation, or a series of conversations, but I think it is necessary. And I don’t see a reasonable reason for the three of you to not talk, other than the discomfort about it, it being scary. What do you think?

    anita

    #279561

    Reggi
    Participant

    I think it is a good idea. I have met her once, she seemed like a nice girl, but I need her to understand that he is in a relationship with me now, I’m going to expect her to respect that. I know she has a boyfriend and I wonder if he feels the same as I do.

    I do feel selfish for not wanting him to have anything to do with her, I think an ex should be left in the past, even if she is a childhood friend. Is that wrong of me?

    I like his parents but, I would think his mom would be a little more conscientious about that subject. It all makes me think and feel that I just shouldn’t be there. “Well damn, since she’s the star around here and so perfect, why I am here”, is what goes through my head.

    But I don’t say anything because I don’t want to cause problems, I still want them to like me. I don’t say anything to my boyfriend about having her contact in his phone to keep from causing a big fight. He doesn’t even talk to her anyway, so why keep it?

    Even after all of this, I still feel like that bad guy because they grew up together, their mothers are best friend. Maybe I’m the one that needs to leave.

    #279563

    Mark
    Participant

    Reggi,

    There is no mention of your boyfriend cheating on you.  This is your anxiety and insecurity.

    You and your boyfriend are in this intimate relationship together for almost two years now.  If you two cannot talk about such things then your relationship is not very close, trusting and accepting.

    Our own thinking about the world and ourselves is our own worst enemy.

    Good that you are following anita’s advice in talking about your concerns with both your bf and his ex.  I caution you to use the “I” word.  Own your anxiety and insecurity with them.  What kind of reassurance can they provide you?  It’s good to know before you enter into this conversation.  Yes listen to them and come with behavior specific requests.

    Make sense?

    Mark

    #279579

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reggi:

    I would present the topic to your boyfriend, suggest to him to have a discussion between the three of you. If you feel too emotional and are afraid you won’t be able to express yourself clearly talking to him, a one page letter may be better. You can take your time writing it, seeing that it expresses how you feel and what you think honestly and clearly, and give it to him to read.

    In the initial conversation with him/ in the letter, don’t blame him for anything and don’t complain to him at this point about his parents’ behavior. Try to be as calm and fair, and listen to his response. If you feel  very emotional while he responds, not liking what he says, don’t react, instead take a break from the situation and return to it later when you are calm. You are welcome to post here during such a break if you want my input regarding his response.

    There is nothing wrong with how you feel. It doesn’t mean that he should end contact with her, maybe he should, maybe he shouldn’t, I don’t know. Better find out information during that initial conversation with him and additional conversations, to follow with some kind of a deeper communication with her, in the context of the three of you talking and take it from there.

    I hope to read from you soon. I will soon be away from the computer and back in about sixteen hours from now.

    anita

    #279605

    Reggi
    Participant

    Thank you very much

    #279613

    Mark
    Participant

    Reggi,

    I want to share my experience.  My last girlfriend had her husband cheat on her after 20 plus years of marriage.  She did not find out about the infidelity until after he died when she was going through his desk.  I told her upfront that I have women friends and I still plan to be friends with them despite her misgivings.  Ironically after we broke up, she has them as friends too.

    This is not quite the same situation for these women were not my romantic exes.  However, they were part of my life before my girlfriend and they continue to be after my ex and I broke up.

    Mark

    #279775

    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Reggi. I hope to read from you again.

    anita

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