Jealous of His Exes
Q: My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half. Then I found out he still talks to his exes, quite a few times each month. They are 2-5 minute conversations but he never tells me about them. He swears there's nothing going on. I do believe that nothing sexual is going on but I'm totally against this anyway. Do I have a right to say that I don't want him talking to them anymore? How do I make him understand this? - Leann
Dr. Susan: Some singles would like to have it both ways: all the benefits of full commitment (i.e., marriage) and none of the responsibilities. But even if you were married, you would be wise to avoid telling your mate who he may talk to. It's possible those exes are just friends now, but it's also possible there's some remaining sexual tension that gives these short phone calls an added thrill for your boyfriend.
The question isn't whether you have the "right" to say what you'd prefer. You always have that right, and should avail yourself of it. Let him know these calls make you very uneasy. Do you have the right to demand he never speak to an ex again? Not unless you want him to feel that being in a relationship with you is akin to being imprisoned in a cage of rules. On the other hand, try suggesting that you and he and one or more of the exes get together for a sandwich and a chat. If he insists on not letting you meet his friends, then I'd have to wonder if they really are just friends. So remain alert to signs of deception, but drop the drill sergeant act.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.