by Jami and Marla*
Question from Megan: My boyfriend is good friends with his ex-girlfriend and sometimes I get this crazy feeling that the relationship is more than friends. How can I know what's really happening between them?
Great question Megan! Most guys will say, “It’s no big deal, we’re just friends.” And it’s true. What your question tells us is that your intuition, your gut feeling, is triggered. You have mentioned that there are some things in your past that may be contributing to your unease. It is important to clean those up so you can see your partner for who they are, not through the lens of the guys in your past. And this will help you have a better conversation with your guy.
First, find three feelings on our Feeling Wheel that you are experiencing when you think about this situation. Remember, your feelings are real and you have every right to have them. Journal through them. Find the people and situations that you could forgive in order to have a better conversation with your boyfriend about how he can meet your needs to feel secure in your relationship. And forgiving is not about letting your ex’s off the hook, nor does it give them free-reign to hurt you again. Forgiveness is about letting your heart free of them.
Now, what do you want from him? Assuming you want the relationship to grow in safety and trust, you will want to create a safe place where he can talk about his past relationship and what it means to him now. This is the best “affair proofing” you can do. So let him know the feelings you have had about this, where you are now and that you just want him to know and he does not need to take care of those feelings because you already have. If you can be clear about what you need, e.g. letting him know that you would appreciate him telling you when he talks to ex’s, as well as how he is feeling about those conversation, and secondly how he feels about your relationship (making sure to use feeling words without a lot of story).
If you are tempted to press him or to repeat these concerns again (often perceived as nagging) then repeat the above process for yourself and try to be clearer about what you need. Good luck and let us know how you do!
*Partnering Weekly with Boise’s Wild 101 to Answer All Your Burning Relationship Questions
Marla and Jami
Cofounders of JamiAndMarla.LOVE (fka Passion Provokers and Keller Coaching) Jami and Marla are proud to bring a new level of success to coupleships worldwide with their unique coaching, mentoring, and consulting process. Their blogs are not only informative for coupleships they are personal. For over 25 years they have been helping people create emotionally and physically intimate coupleships.
Ariel is a freelance blogger, web designer, and SEO consultant. She is 23 years young, married to her soulmate, and a proud “mother” to boxer Bruce and Yorkie Dexter. She focuses on writing content that is raw and relatable. (Info relevant at the time of writing, circa 2013-2015)