I’ll be the first to admit that I am a fairly insecure person, and I’m prone to jealousy in a relationship. I understand this, I’m not proud of it, and I do my best to suppress and get over it. But yesterday my girlfriend (who is on a short vacation in Oregon) mentioned to me that she’ll will be visiting an ex-boyfriend (her “first love,” no less) while she is there. Of course, she phrased the statement “Don’t be upset, but I’m going to see Ray tomorrow.” And now I’m a little bit upset.
As usual, I’m not expressing these feelings to her, but I don’t think I’m out of line for being irritated either. I know that I have nothing to worry about; this is a purely platonic meeting and my girlfriend is happy with me. Still, I don’t understand what the point of meeting with this guy is, especially when she knows it will get under my skin.
Personally, were I in her position, I don’t think I would go out of my way to see an ex, specifically because I know that it would bother my current significant other. Sometimes I wonder about how my ex-girlfriends are doing, but not enough that I want to see them and catch up or reminisce about old times. I just hope that my ex-girlfriends are well and that’s enough for me.
So what do you guys think? Is my girlfriend being insensitive on some level for going to see this guy? Or am I obsessing about nothing?
Trust is an essential part on any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Even if someone betrays that trust, it’s not a reason to be cynical about other relationships. Excess jealousy often leads to abuse and/or the undoing of an otherwise good relationship. If the subject comes up again I suggest you admit to a twinge of jealousy, but assure her that she has your trust. You will be rewarded.
It’s the usual answer to these questions to say “Well, you have to trust him/her, if you don’t trust them what’s the point, yadda yadda yadda.”
I don’t buy it. Your exes are supposed to be ex. It’s not appropriate to put your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband in the position of being uncomfortable because you want to see a former lover in another state. It gives, shall we say, the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Being in a marriage or romantic relationship does not give either party the right to control the behavior of the other.
There should exist a balance of consideration and trust. If this balance continually fails it indicates a lack of respect and/or maturity on the part of one or both people. There are appropriate times to give into, and express, emotions and there are other times when emotions must be controlled by logic.
As I said, trust is an essential part of a relationship and w/o it you’re just deluding yourself. You cannot force someone to love you or respect you, you can only create an atmosphere where that’s likely to happen.
You can be foolish about trusting someone who doesn’t deserve it, but then you’re ignoring logic and allowing emotional desire to rule.
That’s an interesting point but quite unrelated to the topic at hand. We’re not discussing “controlling” anyone’s behaviour, and the OP did not ask, “Should my grilfriend do only what I allow her to do?”
There were things I liked about my ex that I still like today, so we are still friendly. I didn’t want him for the long term, so we broke up. Other exes ended on bad notes so I don’t see them anymore. It’s nice to have a life-long friend.
If someone got all upset about me talking to an ex, I’d take that as a warning sign.
I love my BF, but I’ve been alive a long long time and my life didn’t begin the day we met. And, realistically, the odds are against my life ending on the day we part. I’ve known my BF a long time, but I’ve known my friends longer.
I think every lover has the urge to want to erase their loved one’s past- but it can’t be done. All we can do is learn to accept our SO’s past as a part of the beautiful person they are and that we love. Your lover has a right to her friends. Friendship is an expression of the soul. It’s not something that can be doled out and taken away at will according to the whims of the beau of the moment. All you can do with this line of thought is alienate your girlfriend. Let it go and learn to enjoy the feeling of unconditional acceptance and unconditional love of who your girlfriend is as a person.
I wasn’t addressing the OP, I was addressing you. Your post implies an unbending, black and white position on your part. That amounts to a controlling attitude.
“Your exes are supposed to be ex. It’s not appropriate to put your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband in the position of being uncomfortable because you want to see a former lover in another state.”
You are making a definitive statement, there’s no room for consideration, compromise or trust.
You have to determine what her objective is with him.
If there’s something in her that’s not really over him, which I would have a sneaking suspicion of being true (especially if she refers to him as her “first love”), then the temptation of lusty happenings will be high.
On the flip side, I can understand a certain interest in the overall well being of an ex, as this tends to happen any time we form a close relationship with someone, and then part ways. I would be rather curious to meet a certain ex as well. But I know if I did meet with her, I’d also want to bone her. Therein lies the problem.
Basically, by expressing a willingness to meet with him, she is at least giving him an opportunity with her. He may or may not take it. But she is offering.
That being said, what I would do, without being accusatory or judgemental in any way, is push her to come forth with exactly what she wants and expects to gain from meeting with him. She may very well be avoidant to this line of questioning. But if you detect even a hint of guilt or hesitation, I would recommend keeping a firm push until you pull it out to the surface, as this is most likely a result of her inner knowledge that she is, in fact, offering him another chance with her. Again, it’s very important you do not make accusations. You just have to flesh the guilt out, at which point she may very well change her mind on her own.
And if there truly is none there: then congratulations, her motives are pure and you can rest easy.
By the way, if you do actually follow my advice a disclaimer:
This type of thing requires loads of tact. I accept no responsibility if you mess it up. The main thing is to remember, even if you have a suspicion that may be well founded, that you do not know for sure if she is guilty or not, and are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt until you do know for sure, because a false accusation can be fatal.
I know we’re just talking about a visit here. It will be much easier to tell if she has done anything she feels guilty about after the fact. But sometimes a little detective work beforehand can avert a catastrophe.
That’s why I recommend fleshing out the guilt beforehand. At this point, it’s doubtful she will cancel her plans to see him, but if you bring it to the surface before she meets with him, she will be much less likely to act.
The reason I would be unhappy just letting things be is because that guilt that she would be living with afterwards, you are going to be living with too. She’ll take it out on you in all kinds of inexplicable ways, and you won’t even understand why. Guaranteed. (this happens to be the elusive secret to women everyone has been wondering about, by the way. Not that they all cheat, but that they have guilt, and guilt = pain)
My (male) SO is still in contact with his ex-girlfriend; in fact, I’ve met her once (and I knew she was an ex beforehand), and every few months or so they talk on the phone. I admit to feeling somewhat uncomfortable about it, but when it comes down to it I believe my guy that nothing will ever possibly happen there. I think my issue is that if I see my ex again ever it will be too soon due to the circumstances of our breakup, so though their situation was very different I have a hard time imagining why he’d want to see or talk to her ever again! She’s actually nice enough…but the evil part of me is gleeful because I’m prettier than she is.
I have no reason not to trust him, it just weirds me out a bit. If I had reason to be suspicious I’d be outta here. It’s simple, really.
If this relationship continues, one day you’ll be pleading with her to not throw a hissy fit because your best friend since 5th grade, Gut, is coming over again to watch the playoffs. You know, the one who belches the alphabet, pinches her ass, and tells crude jokes.
If you don’t want to give up Gut, don’t make an issue out of the ex.
Keep in mind, however, that some friends make really good negotiating pawns (“For the sake of our relationship, I’m willing to give up Gut, if you give up the ex.”), so if you don’t have a Gut, you should acquire one pronto.
Seriously, am I the only guy here besides RickJay and SHAKES who’s like WTF? Yeah trust is a two way street. So why the hell is she testing yours with her female Kobyashi Maru test? If you protest it will be “you don’t trust me!!” and she’ll be driven into the arms of her ex. If you let her see her ex she’ll be down there blowing him anyway.
That’s freakin bullshit. Part of trust is you don’t create situations that cause the other person to question that trust.