How To Deal With Her Ex
You did not enter the relationship without a past and neither did she. It?s important to face this fact when she goes from being a mere squeeze to your girlfriend. Whether she was previously married or in a serious relationship, there may be an ex lurking in the background that you might have to deal.
How you handle this depends largely on how she relates to him. If her and her ex are still in touch and meet regularly as friends, you will probably not like it. But it is best to keep feelings of jealousy and resentment to yourself. Unless she?s done something to make you suspicious?such as staying out all night with him or lying about seeing him?you have no reason not to trust her.
You should enter the next level of your relationship with eyes wide open. If the ex is in the picture, always be kind and friendly towards him. You probably won?t want to go out with them as if you were all drinking buddies. However, you should do your best to at least be civil and courteous. If you and her ex genuinely get on, there is nothing wrong in cultivating a friendship of a kind that your’re comfortable with.
A much more tricky and precarious situation arises when an ex pops in and out of your lives. The ex who is emotionally needy or materially insecure is the most difficult to deal with. If your girl is naturally kind and sweet, he will play on that. But you know what he?s really after and have to act to counter it.
The worst thing you can do is lose your temper. You must keep calm. Otherwise, you may make her feel even sorrier for him than she already is. Appeal to her reason. Make her see, in a gentle but vivid manner, the ways in which he is using her. Combine that with a plea for maintaining boundaries. Make it clear to her that the two of you have a relationship and that her ex has no more right to incommode you or her than your other friends or family has. Make it about the relationship rather than about either one of you individually.
You must keep in mind that if her ex is in the picture she is privately comparing him to you. Your aim should always be to keep the higher ground. You want to always come off as looking like the bigger and better man. In her heart she knows this. It?s up to you to affirm it.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.