I’ve been dating a wonderful woman, but from the beginning she’s frequently talked about her past relationships.
We all have a past. I get that. But I prefer to go forward and build our own future, including new and old friends whom we meet together.
I’ve been previously married and have grown children. I never talk to my ex now, only my children. This woman had never been married. Her exes are past boyfriends and they keep in contact.
Recently, when we were going away for one night, she contacted an ex to stay at her house to look after her cat. He has no car and she was going to pick him up. She asked whether I was okay with this. I said I wasn’t comfortable with it.
It led to our discussing her contact with ex-boyfriends. She said that I was controlling her friendships that were before my time with her. Consequently, we broke up.
I don't mind any friendships, male or female, but when a person has had a sexual relationship with someone, to me it changes everything. The fact that her exes are still in and out of her life goes beyond my boundaries and comfort zone.
I wouldn’t show this behaviour to her out of respect. I find no point in contact with ex-girlfriends because the relationship is over. I don't think it’s healthy for a relationship to have ex-sexual partners around. Am I wrong?
The Ex Factor
It isn’t a matter of whether you’re wrong since you feel strongly about this issue. But it makes her wrong for you and you wrong for her.
Many “never-marrieds” have enjoyed single life precisely because they kept their friendships with people with whom they once had a relationship.
They’d gotten close, heard each other’s stories, maybe met their family and best friends. When there were reasons to part, they didn’t end that part of the connection.
In your case, previously married with children, friends were separate from your intimate life and sexual relationship at home. Had you stayed close to a former lover, your spouse might’ve felt you were cheating.
Meanwhile, your recent girlfriend was not cheating but her exes are too close for your comfort. Move on, or accept the situation and trust her.
FEEDBACK Regarding the father who wanted to write a memoir to “set the record straight” about the difficult past relationship with his ex-wife affecting his now-adult son (March 23):
Reader – “What about hearing his son out? Coming from a broken home as all I ever knew growing up, it was hard to blend it all together. My mom was bitter, vocal, jealous and manipulative. She married my dad because he worked a lot, then divorced him for the same reason.
“She had nothing good to say about him though he always tried to help. Anything she wanted from him, his answer was always “yes.”
“Maybe she poisoned my mind when I was a kid, but I’m an adult now and so is this man’s son. He’s 40, and has apparently made up things in his mind.
“Maybe he’s hostile to the stepmom for valid reasons the dad hasn’t considered.
“The father should not write a letter or memoir about it. He should talk to his son and also listen to him.
“Having been raised for years by his mother he knows her best. Eventually our children are full-grown and deserve an equal seat at the conversation table.
My husband’s been working from home for a large company this past year. He has meetings at the head office once a month. He first found it a bother, but recently started to enjoy meeting his colleagues (under strict Covid precautions).
At Easter, he received a gift package of specialty chocolates from his female manager, with this message which bothered me: “Happy Easter, Big Guy.” He says it only meant that he was doing well in his job. I find it tasteless and suggestive. Your opinion?
It’s definitely tasteless for the occasion, though it may be a private office-related joke. But if your husband can’t explain the actual origin of the reference, then it’s a line that falls flat or has a meaning which he needs to indicate to this woman is inappropriate.
Tell him you’re proud of his success but office alignments can be misinterpreted by the boss…. or the too-friendly female manager.
Tip of the day:
In relationships, being right or wrong isn’t as significant as being wrong for each other.