I’ve been with my boyfriend for over six months. During that six months he told me he stopped all communications with his ex, who he was together with for five years. (They were broken up for over a year before we got together and still remained in contact.) I had a problem with him speaking to her because she would get jealous and send threats to me. So he told me they would stop talking.
In our fourth month of our relationship they reconnected. I found out and it crushed me because I was already in so deep with my boyfriend emotionally. I vowed to never see him again, but he begged that I stay because he promised never to speak to her again and delete her from his social media. This month after our 6th month anniversary I found photos that she sent to him at the beginning of August which he never told me about. He also said she sent pictures, but he didn’t speak to her. Is it bad that I feel like I might be getting myself set up? I love this man unconditionally and I am afraid in the process I may get hurt.
Dear Concerned Girlfriend,
Not to state the obvious, but of course you may get hurt. There’s always a risk when you get deeply involved with another person. We’re not saying it’s easy, but the risk of getting hurt shouldn’t prevent you from exploring this relationship to its fullest, even if ends at some point. But we’re not saying it’s going to end. In fact, it sounds to us, as if your guy really cares for you and wants things to work out.
Understand that as much as you don’t like it, the fact is, he was with this other woman for a long time. They share a lot of history together. It’s understandable that they might still talk from time to time. Of course, there should be clear boundaries to their communication. And from what you describe, his ex is crossing those boundaries. That said, it doesn’t sound as if your boyfriend has crossed any boundaries. (Has he?) Sure, he received pictures from his ex, but he says he didn’t communicate with her. (We do think he should have told you about it, instead of you finding out. He was wrong not to.) BUT…. he can’t completely control what she does. He can delete her off all his social media, but if she’s that intent on communicating with him, she’ll find a way regardless.
So what this comes down to is simple: Do you trust your boyfriend? We know you love him, but do you trust him? Because it certainly doesn’t seem that you do. You need to do some soul searching here, because what you’re discovering is that love isn’t really enough. Without trust, love slowly morphs into something else. Something not so pretty.
A question for you, and something you should think about: Is your jealousy specific to this particular man, or this particular relationship, or is this something that happens to you when you’re in a relationship? We’re not trying to reverse things on you. Because you do have legitimate concerns. But if you truly trust your boyfriend, that leads us to believe that something is stirring within you. And so we’re wondering if this is a recurring pattern for you? (We have to ask. It’s important to consider all aspects of a situation, even if they are not so apparent.)
After you’ve done some thinking on your own, we think you need to have a sit down with your boyfriend and lay it all on the table. Talk about, how you feel, how he feels, where do you see this going, where does he see this going, what’s really going on with his ex, does he still have feelings for her. (If he does, that’s often normal. They will fade in time as he gets more involved with you. But if he’s pining away for her, that’s another story. And not good.)
Honestly, if you truly trust him, then you might be surprised what happens if you say something like: I trust you unconditionally. And I love you and want to be with you. And while I don’t like you communicating with your ex, I understand that you had a connection with her for a long time and that you might want to communicate with her occasionally. I was wrong to ask you to stop, so I’ll let you decide if you want to still do that. I just ask that you tell me when you do, and that you’re willing to share openly about those communications.
That said, if you decide you don’t totally trust your boyfriend, now a bigger issue needs to be addressed. Because you see, this isn’t about his ex. Because if your relationship is that solid, her being in the picture won’t even matter, and after time, she will likely fade out of the picture completely.
Hopefully, this will give you some things to think about.
ps. Please let your friends know about us. Thanks!