So your partner claims to be just friends with a previous lover…
Fact is, it’s only natural to continue to have feelings for your ex even after the break up. But what happens when your partner remains good friends with their ex? Is it possible for them to be ‘just’ friends or will they be prone to ‘slippage’?
Is this really possible? Should you trust them?
We feel that love is not finite and that it’s very possible to love many different people for different reasons. We love our children, our parents, our friends, and our pets. We love them all dearly, but in slightly different ways.
So, yes. We do think it’s possible for your partner to remain friends with their ex girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as there are no secrets about the relationship. Your partner should be completely open and honest with you about their feelings and where they stand.
How can you address the jealousy monster?
Even with full disclosure, there’s bound to be some jealousy from either their previous partner or from you. In today’s society, many treat their partners like they own them, telling them who they can talk to, where they can go, and when… The best way to combat the jealousy monster in this situation is open and honest communication and lots and lots of reassurance.
What if you suspect that there’s more than friendship going on?
So you’ve been completely flexible and trusting, but you have this nagging feeling that there’s more to this friendship than meets the eye?
If you believe that your partner is playing the friend card to hide an affair, you should trust your instincts. Trust but verify. If your partner is hiding things or seeing an ex behind your back, that’s a problem.
Try talking to them in a non-confrontational manner. They may just be afraid of your reaction. But if talking doesn’t work, it’s time to realize that they may be more than friends. At that point, you’ll have to make some hard decisions about your relationship.
Here’s a question from Olivia who’s in this exact situation.
Dear Dan and Jennifer,
I have been with my boyfriend about 2 years. We both are deeply in love. He is kind of guy who knows how to love women and make her happy. He is also very kind, friendly and loyal.
The problem is he had a relationship with his ex for about 7 years, where they lived together. Now she moved in other country, but she often asks him for help. He always does it for her. At the beginning I never cared, because the way he behaves shows me that he is really in love with me.
But recently I found out that he sends his ex her favorite magazine via E-Mail weekly. He scans the article and sends it to her. Now I am really doubting if he really get over his ex… And I don’t know if it is appropriate to ask him again if he didn’t get over her 100%, to which I guess he would say definitely no. I really need your opinion! I only worried that he is too nice to say no to women.
– Olivia (Germany)