You’re in a relationship with someone you’re crazy about. It’s all going smoothly and you’re finally happy. And then, out of nowhere, your new boyfriend’s ex pops up and says she wants him back. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but this does happen. Don’t panic, though! This doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to lose your partner. Here are a few things you can do when your guy’s ex wants him back.
- Calmly discuss your concerns with your partner. The ex wanting your partner back can be really upsetting. Like all the other hurdles you’ll come across in your relationship, you should discuss it with him or her. Be careful not to accuse or guilt your SO. Just let them know the details and how you feel about them. Maybe you can come up with something that you’re both comfortable with, like limiting contact with his ex. It can be a bit trickier if your guy or girl wants to remain friends with the ex. In that case, he might need to make it clear to them that nothing can happen.
- Nurture your relationship. Sometimes, people might feel like confiding in their ex when their current relationship isn’t working out very well. If you’ve already got the added pressure of an interested ex, don’t add to it by ignoring any other relationship issues you might have. Put a little extra effort into nurturing the bond between you. Rather than focusing on his past relationship or what his ex is doing, focus on the relationship you currently have with him.
- Get advice from an objective person. It can help to get advice from an objective outsider. Along with talking to your partner, also bring the issue up with someone who will be honest with you and perhaps see the situation more clearly than you, like a good friend. They’ll have a better chance of confirming whether his ex really does want him back or if you’re overreacting.
- Resist the temptation to be petty. It’s definitely hurtful when your guy’s ex wants him back. But try to resist the temptation to be petty or aggressive. You might feel like telling him he can never see her again, but that could just make everything worse. Hostile behavior will end up making you look like the bad guy in the situation and might even lead your partner to resent you. Take the high road!
- Confront the ex. Depending on how well you know your guy’s ex, you could try confronting them. Again, resist the urge to be rude, threatening, or aggressive, even though you probably feel a lot of anger. You could explain that you know what’s going on and it’s not okay. Be polite but firm. Of course, if you don’t know the ex very well or if they’re an aggressive person, it’s better not to engage. Use your best judgment!
- Set some healthy boundaries. Banning your SO from seeing their ex is harsh if they’re friends. But maybe there are some other boundaries you can set together. For example, if his ex keeps making moves on him, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want them to talk for hours on the phone every night. It makes sense that you don’t want the ex to send your guy suggestive Snapchats. It’s okay to set healthy boundaries that your partner is happy with. If he’s not happy with them, it could lead to him going behind your back, which is likely to make things worse.
- Remember that you are a team. Always remember that you and your SO should be a team. You’re not the leader of the relationship who can dictate who he can and can’t see. And you’re not a pushover who has to sit down and shut up while he flirts with his ex. You’re a team of equals and an interested ex is a problem that you should be battling together. Whatever moves you make, ensure that you’re on the same page.
- Try not to compare yourself. It’s very easy to compare yourself to your guy’s ex. But try not to! Remember that he’s with you, not with them. You are unique, so it doesn’t matter if the ex seems more attractive or more successful or whatever. You have a lot to offer too, so don’t make yourself feel worse by selling yourself short. Also, remember that they broke up for a reason.
- Accept that you can’t control anybody else’s actions. Ultimately, you have to accept that you can’t control anybody else’s actions. You can’t physically stop an ex from making moves on your partner. And if he wants to reciprocate, you can’t stop him. What you can do is decide what you will and won’t put up with. And if anybody crosses that line you set, you have the power to walk away.