Being in a relationship with someone who you believe is still in love with their ex is a difficult situation. On the one hand, you’re happy together and he seems to really like being with you. On the other hand, you just have a gut feeling that there’s a part of him still holding a candle for her. Short of breaking up with him, what can you do about it? Here are a few suggestions.
Find out if you’re right or just assuming.
It’s important to understand where you stand. Does he actually love his ex or are you just making an assumption? Not everything you believe is actually true. The only way to know for sure is to ask him. If he loves and respects you then he’ll tell you the truth. From there, you can decide what the next step is for your relationship.
Access the situation before making any decisions.
Everyone’s situations are different. If he was in a serious long-term relationship with someone he planned to marry, then the breakup was probably devastating. It could take him a long time to fully recover from it. Or, it could be that part of him will always love her in some way but he’s not in love with her. Of course, no one wants to feel like they’re second best. Speak to him calmly about how you feel before making a decision about your relationship.
Ask him questions about his ex.
If this is a new relationship for you, then maybe there are things he hasn’t yet told you about his ex or past relationship. Do you know if it ended mutually? Does he feel like he made the right decision to move on? These are the questions that you’ll need to ask to figure out if there is any future for you. If he has regrets and wishes his past relationship hadn’t ended, then you have a clear answer. What’s he doing with you?
Consider whether he just needs more time.
Once you’ve discussed the situation and you know where you stand, it’s time to work out whether you want to give it more time. It’s one thing if he broke up with his ex over a year ago, but if he only recently got out of a relationship then it’s still very fresh in his mind. He might just need a little bit more time to feel like he has completely moved on. If you aren’t happy to wait for him then that’s understandable. Just make your feelings clear so there aren’t any doubts or misconceptions. Frankly, if he needs more time to fully move on from his ex, he probably shouldn’t have started dating again in the first place.
Don’t let jealousy control your actions.
It’s normal to feel some jealousy, especially if you’ve just found out your partner is still in love with his ex, but letting these jealous feelings control you will only make the situation worse. Comparing yourself to his ex or making snarky comments about her will just lead to further problems and arguments in your relationship. You’re better than that.
Find out whether this love he has for her is real.
Many times when we leave a bad relationship, we’re drawn to the happy memories. The ones that made us fall in love with that person in the beginning stick around so that we often romanticize things and make them out to be better than they really were. But you can’t forget the reasons why the relationship didn’t work out. He could be experiencing this phase post-breakup where he forgets all the terrible things that drove him and his ex apart. This phase will often wear off and he will realize that his past relationship is over and he doesn’t love his ex anymore. If it doesn’t, there’s a problem.
Think about whether your insecurities are getting in the way.
While it’s common to have insecurities and experience some level of jealousy from time to time, it becomes a serious issue if you let it escalate. If your partner has made it clear that he really loves you and wants a future with you then you should accept that as being the truth unless shown otherwise. If he’s being upfront and honest with you by telling you how he feels about his ex, then try to be reasonable and see it from his point of view. There’s no reason why you should be comparing yourself to the ex. He wants to be with you, not her.
Ask yourself if this could be a problem for your relationship.
If he’s constantly mentioning his ex or checking up on her, this will naturally cause problems for you. It’s hard to see the person you have feelings for clearly having feelings for someone else. Understandably, this could signal the end for your relationship, regardless of how long you’ve been dating.
Accept that you can’t change the way someone feels.
If you can’t handle the idea of your current partner still loving his ex and you don’t want to give it time, then that only leaves one option. You shouldn’t be with someone who’s causing you a lot of stress, worry, and sadness all of the time. It’s better to accept that you can’t change his feelings but you can decide what you do next. Moving on might be the best thing for both of you.
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