Help! The Ex Is Back!

With social media bringing everyone back together and a little bit closer than before, it's not uncommon to "run into" (rather: come across) an ex. I don't know how many exes I've found on Facebook, because Facebook seems to like to suggest that I friend people who've un-friended me and ex-boyfriends. It's like Facebook knows how to hit me where it hurts.

Alas, I digress.

So the ex is back in the picture. What now?

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Well, you're certainly not alone in facing what I (and many others, presumably) call "The Ex Factor." Most of us have dealt with the rekindling of some sort of friendship and/or relationship with an ex. The question is, HOW?

Presuming you're dating the person who is now in contact with his ex, speak up. If he has told you that there's been contact with an ex, he's trying to be honest with you. That's good! Honesty is a hell of a lot better than sneaking around. 

But then there's the (probably) inevitable (if you're me) worry of "is there something MORE going on between them?" And short of sneaking around, pretending to be Matlock, and spying on your partner, there are only a couple of things to be done.

First, have an honest conversation with your partner. Choose your words carefully when you speak, but let him know you're feeling threatened by the new-found contact with an old ex. Say something like, "I'm really glad you told me about talking to [ex's name], but for some reason I feel threatened by it. I know I'm being ridiculous, and of course you can have friends. I'm just letting you know how I feel."

From there, you should be able to continue to talk openly about your feelings, their friendship, and how you can work it out. Honesty is important -- it prevents hostility, resentment, and anger from building up. 

Decide how much this relationship between your partner and his ex is going to affect you personally. Ask yourself these questions: Will it eat you up? Will you obsess about it? Can you live with it? Can you trust that your partner is telling the truth about his friendship with his ex?

Be true to yourself when you answer those questions. Because if your relationship doesn't have a solid foundation built upon mutual trust, you probably should rethink it. 

It may be tempting, but don't try to offer an ultimatum ... as in, "If you don't stop contact with your ex, I'm dumping you." If you feel you have to resort to that tactic, you should probably think twice about staying together.

Any other advice for people whose partners are back in touch with an ex?

 

Image via dpstyles/Flickr

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