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What to do about boyfriend who keeps contact with a past hook-up?

By Anonymous August 2, 2009 - 7:09pm
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What should I do? My boyfriend was seeing a girl for a short period of time about a month before he started to date me. They were in a sexual situation, although never had intercourse. It really bothers me that they still call each other even though we've been dating for 6 months. I've talked to him about it and told him and that it upsets me. He's understanding, and asked me if I wanted him to stop talking to her (yes that's what I would like to happen) but I said no because I don't want to be controlling him. He claims that he calls her because he doesn't have many friends in town and that he feels bad that she is alone.

I don't know how to solve the problem because I don't want to control him, yet I don't want to be constantly upset with and suspicious of him.

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You are right: you can not control him, but you did not speak your truth when you said "no, I don't want you to stop talking with her."

You are also right to feel, well, not-quite-right. He put you in a bad spot by making you be the "bad guy" and say that you want him to stop talking to her. He also did not speak his truth and just come out and say his true thoughts (that he is going to talk with her, regardless of your feelings). Instead, he put his behavior back on you...in a lose-lose situation.

Both of these scenarios are unfair, and you are right to feel uneasy and question what went wrong in that conversation.

Inherently, a man talking with an ex-girlfriend is not a warning sign. What is a warning sign is that he refuses to be honest with you about his talking with her (as mentioned above) and used a "passive" way to communicate with you, by putting you in a corner to tell him to stop. That created a lose-lose situation for you, and a win-win situation for him (win-win, because he either has an excuse to call her because you are "too controlling", or, he has an excuse to call her because you didn't tell him not to).

If it bothers you that he is talking with his ex from his most recent breakup, say so. You are not controlling. You are not telling him what to do and demanding that he change his behavior. You are sharing your feelings with him. Once. It may sound like this: "Yes, it bothers me that you still talk with your recent ex-girlfriend." End of discussion, no explanation needed. You have legitimate feelings, and they worthy of being shared.

What matters most is: what does your boyfriend do with this information?
No pressuring, controlling or demanding. He knows how you feel. You are not telling him what to do, as he wants you to do. You have shared your feelings and his actions will tell you the rest that you need to know.

August 2, 2009 - 7:30pm
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