April 18, 2011,
S.P. asks from Seattle, WA on March 31, 2009
Husband Is Friends W/ Ex-girlfriend
Hi Mamas – I really need your advice because this situation is making me crazy. My husband’s high school sweetheart moved into the area recently. She got in touch with him after 10 plus years. She’s “special” to the family - there’s pictures of her in family albums and my mother-in-law was very excited when she moved to the area. She’s apparently happily married with a boatload of kids, so I’m not worried that she’s after my husband.
However, I’m irritated that she’s having so much communication with my husband and in-laws. They email each other and instant message each other. My husband isn’t totally open about his interactions with her because he knows it irritates me. We had an argument when I saw an email he sent her before she moved to the area. It wasn’t really inappropriate, but referred to when they were dating which made me mad. He deletes messages from her so I won't see them and get upset.
I can’t ask my husband to cut off communication with her – they're friends and he doesn't have many. She’s in touch with my inlaws anyway, so she’s always in the background. I’ve never met her and have no desire to. She’s never asked to meet me, which I find odd, as she seems so interested in every other aspect of my husband’s life.
I want to snap out of this and be mature (not feel like a 13 year old!), but am not being very successful. Help!
M.P. answers from Portland on March 31, 2009
Geez S., you are making assumptions based on your feelings. You don't know that she hasn't asked to meet you. You only know that your husband has not told you if she's asked.
You don't want to meet her even tho she is a friend of your husband and in-laws?
You don't even know her or her family. Why haven't you asked to meet them? This relationship seems to be having a major impact on your life even tho you know very little about both the relationship and the people involved.
We always fear most that which we don't know.
You can make this a family relationship by arranging for both families to get together. After you get to know her and her family you will have information that will help you decide how involved you want to be. This knowledge may or may not change your feelings about your husband and in-laws friendship with the woman. IT will give you information on which to base your decision. Men understand facts better than emotions.
I understand why he deletes her messages. He doesn't want to upset you. He might be more open if mentioning his friend didn't upset you. Your unwillingness to be a part of the relationship is dangerous for your own relationship with your husband. He most likely finds your attitude and non-acceptance of even getting to know her as jealousy when you may have no reason to be jealous. He may not know how to deal with your jealousy and anger. This could result in him withdrawing from you as he's withdrawn the e-mail. Who wants to be around anger and jealousy? When you were a teen didn't you not tell your parents about things that you knew were OK because your parents would be unhappy about them? Adults do the same thing. Keeping information about this friend from you could indicate that this relationship with her is inappropriate. But at this point in time it more likely indicates that he doesn't want to upset you. With the need to withhold important information may cause you both to begin fighting over this friend. You won't know if the difficulty in this marriage is caused by his outside relationship or because of your refusal to be a part of that relationship.
GET TO KNOW HER AND HER FAMILY. Have both husbands, both wives, and all kids get together. Or start with part of each family. I do suggest that the first meeting be within a group setting. Then you can decide if it would be possible for the families to socialize together. You will have clues as to her family's dynamics. You'll be better able to judge if she is a threat to your marriage.
For one partner to have a relationship with their ex outside of their relationship with ther current partner is dangerous. It is also unfair for you to try to end that relationship without knowing what that relationship actually is. If you do try to end the relationship it would be understandable if your rancor drove him away from you also. You would be controlling his life instead of being a part of his life. The two of you need to make a decision about this together.
You love your husband and he loves you. He chose this woman as his friend. It's quite possible that you would also like her if you gave her a chance. You both enjoy his company. I suggest that the 3 of you have similarities which encourage friendship.
Whatever happens after the two families get to know each other may result in either family not wanting to socialize. If you continue to feel that their relationship is inappropriate you'll then have actual information with which to discuss the situation. You will be better able to deal with reality base on experience instead of just your feelings.
Marriage should be based on trust. Your post sounds like you don't trust your husband. You may be right to not trust him but you will not know that you're right if you don't find more information.
As a police officer I rode often with male partners. One's whose marriages were solid arranged for me to meet their wives early in our assignment together. A part of a successful marriage is being open about your activities, friendships, and feelings. YOu've cut off communication with your husband regarding his friendship. If you don't re-establish communication you'll not be able to actually know what is happening. And you will continue to be upset which will also undermine your marriage.
I have had several men friends that were just that; men and friends. It is possible for friendship to happen between the opposite sex. We hear more about the affairs. In reality there are more friendships than unfaithfulness.
There is a quote that has helped me be more positive in my life. "We usually get what we're expecting." This is because we give energy to what we focus on. We spend time expecting the worst instead of looking for the best. We build on either expectation. Negative begets negative. Positive begets positive.
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C.H. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
Holy Cow girlfriend this is an EX girlfriend who was a part of your husbands life BEFORE you. I am unable to understand how anyone can be upset by their spouse or significant other for having had relationships before them and doubly unable to understand why it's always perceived as such a threat when the EX is still a part of the spouse or significant others life.
First of all family is more than blood and it sounds to me as if your hubby's ex was a big part of his family. It also sounds to me like even though the relationship between your husband and this woman didn't work out that she's a big enough and a good enough person to still maintain a relationship with the family and for them to want to keep a relationship with her. Personally I think that speaks volumes about the excellent quality of character and maturity of your husband, his family and his ex has to be able to get past a failed relationship and build a new relationship.
You say you aren't worried about her wanting your husband. Well then what is it that upsets you so much about the relationship? He's with YOU, he obviously chooses to be with YOU, he is choosing YOU and that is really all that anyone can ever ask of their partner in life. The past is over and done with...it can't be changed...you can't undo the fact that your husband and this woman had a relationship and you have absolutely no right to ask your husband to cut a friend out of his life just because she was once more than a friend before you came along.
Trust me on this one. This is a fight you will never win. Being jealous doesn't make the person we are jealous of guilty of cheating or even of wanting to cheat. The more you try to get your husband to stop communicating with her the more he is going to ask himself if being with you is the best choice for him. Nobody likes to be accused of things they aren't doing. Also nobody likes being with someone who is so insecure that they believe that they should control who the other person has as friends. Continuing to be upset with this is the fastest way for what you are fearing might happen to happen. As far as his hiding his communications with her from you it's obvious that he is trying to spare your feelings. It's unfortunate that his choice was to 'sneak' behind your back to avoid upsetting you but it is YOU who has created the environment that he feels he needs to hide things from you. The less upset about this you appear to him the less he will fell he needs to hide from you. If it were me I'd much rather know that his relationship with his ex is out in the open for all to see than to find out he is going behind my back. This I'm afraid is ALL up to you and how you decide to feel about this and handle this from now on.
If I were you I'd act as if this EX was nothing more than a family friend and then I would treat her as such. When we change our perspective about things things ALWAYS change so why not make a conscious choice to view her differently than as an EX who is upsetting you by having a friendship with your husband. My husband speaks to his EX all the time...she married his oldest brother after they divorced...she is a part of the family. I have ALWAYS made a great effort not to see her as his ex-wife but to see her as my sister-in-law. She's not the nicest person on the planet so at times it's a bit difficult but I always knew if I was going to have a successful relationship with my husband I would have to figure out a way to accept her as a sister-in-law as well as someone who my husband communicates with on a regular basis (they have a child together). I don't mean to toot my own horn but I am very proud of the fact that I have NEVER given my husband the impression that his having a relationship with his ex is a problem for me whatsoever. Because of that there hasn't ever been a problem between he and I about it AND your relationship with your husband is the one you need to focus on the most. If you continue to be upset about this and tell him it will only drive a wedge between the two of you and you will have created the whole unpleasant situation...all by yourself.
Get a new outlook on this and you'll see what a difference it makes. Who knows...maybe this person is someone who you would benefit from having as a friend. Who knows...she one day could end up to be your best friend and someone you value in your life very much. But you'll never know if you continue to choose to be upset with this person being a part of your husbands life.
In closing I just want to share that I have figured out in life that it's not WHAT happens to us that matters but what really matters is how we choose to view it, react to it and to learn from it. Overcoming YOUR feelings about this apparently innocent relationship could be the crowning achievment in your entire life. I can guarantee you that if you learn to be okay with this your husband will love and respect you even more than he already does.
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M.B. answers from Seattle on March 31, 2009
I agree with Judy. This resurfaced interloper needs to accept all aspects of your husband's current life or none of it. You don't have to meet her, but your hubby should tell her about you and that you and your kids are the focus of his life now.
If this happened to me I'd be suspicious as h*ll as to the motives of those involved. Definitely say something to the in-laws about how uncomfortable the whole thing makes you feel.
3 moms found this helpful
J.W. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
You're not going to like this response, but get over it. He's married to you. He adores you and is so aware of your feelings. She was a girl friend. I'm still friends with all of my ex-boyfriends. I don't have that many, but I see them occasionally. One who I dated for a significantly long time, is the godfather of my first born. His parents and I exchange Christmas cards and letters and I wrote the liturgy for his little sister's wedding. His friends, all of them, made him the man, the husband he is today. Friendships, true friendships, are rare. They withstand the test of time. Invite her and family over for dinner, make them, all of them, friends. Get to know her and her husband. You may be surprised to find that you like her as much as your husband does. Granted you won't have the history, but she is a family friend. It frustrates me to no end that ex-girlfriends (or boyfriends) are expected to cut all ties to the collateral friends they make as the result of that relationship, especially when it was a mutual decision to not get married, to just be friends. If she hadn't dated your husband before would you be so jealous? If this was a woman who he became friends with at work would it bother you? Do you interact with male co-horts at work? Would you consider them workplace friends? Is your husband jealous of them? Probably not. This is a part of his past, key word here: past. Good times, great friend... not only for him but his parents as well. Another key word: wife. You're it, you got the prize. Enjoy his friends, they helped him become the guy you fell and are in love with, the father of your kids.
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K.K. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
Best way to reduce the conflict - become friends with her! She is obviously a wonderful person since your husband and his family want her in their lives, so why not make her part of yours? Awkward at first, but an opportunity for you.
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K.B. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
Trust is the bottom line here. If your husband is hiding his communications with the ex-girlfriend from you, regardless of whether the interactions themselves are inappropriate, he is breaking down the barrier of trust in your relationship and you have reason for concern. I would talk to him about the situation in those terms.
That said, I would definitely ask your husband to set up a time for your families to meet, despite your lack of desire to do so. Perhaps getting to know her will put things in perspective. I have a slightly different situation with my husband and his high school girlfriend. I met my husband at 19, and heard a lot about his ex at the time, as his relationship with her had been very intense and affected him greatly. It didn't make it easy for me that she was very good-looking, "popular" in school, and my future in-laws had a very fond place in their hearts for her as well. However, I'm not a jealous person by nature, and since I had a very strong bond of trust with my future husband from the get-go, and we had quickly become very close friends before becoming intimate (he pursued me; I initially wasn't interested), I put any insecure feelings aside and agreed to get to know her, and was really glad I did. Sometimes the unknown or imagined is far worse than the reality. At the time, she had been dating a childhood friend, whom she married soon after. My husband and I became friends with both of them, and socialized with them semi-regularly, and attended their wedding (along with my now-in-laws). Meeting her went a long way toward easing any insecure/jealous feelings I might have harbored. She's a nice enough person (although we seem to have very little in common), but honestly, she doesn't seem to be a very content person, as if she's continually searching for something she can't quite attain. She eventually divorced her ex-husband (she needed to "find herself"), and seemed to later strongly regret it. Then she had a lengthy relationship with a very wealthy entrepreneur that didn't work out (though he bought her an expensive home, hers to keep). And now she is remarried (we attended wedding number two). In between these relationships, and during periods of difficulty, she would start calling my husband and they would talk frequently (at least once a day for these spells). I told my husband that although I trusted him, I also worried about him, as she only seemed to be interested in maintaining their friendship during times she was unhappy or in distress, or didn't have a man in her life. It bothered my that she wanted him to be an emotional stand-in for whatever guy (or lack thereof) was in her life at the time. I don't think she has a lot of close friends. My husband is a very caring guy, and he's also one of those perhaps somewhat rare guys that will talk to a friend at length about their problems, just to lend an ear, or try to help find a solution. He is a very loyal friend, and a very supportive and caring listener. To make a long story short, he ended up agreeing with me in the end that she wasn't a very good friend (but I made sure to give him the space to draw his own conclusion after mentioning my own feelings), and at this point, when I even suggest sending a Christmas card to her and her husband now, or ask if he wants to visit them when we're in town (which he used to want to do) he doesn't seem particularly interested.
Anyway, long story, but I'd focus on the trust issue. Let your husband know you've always been a trusting person and want to believe you can trust him when it comes to her. But he's currently giving you reason to doubt that trust by keeping his communications with her a secret. That is a line he's crossing and it's not one that should be crossed in a healthy relationship. That's why you're feeling thirteen -- not because you're inherently immature, insecure or jealous. You don't want to issue ultimatums or back him into a corner, but you do need to make it clear that his secretiveness in inappropriate. Think about counseling if you're not making any headway without it. Just about any relationship can benefit from a few sessions with a good counselor.
As for the in-laws, I'd probably let that be, or have your husband talk to them about your feelings if he comes around in his thinking.
Good luck to you!
3 moms found this helpful
E.L. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
It sounds like you have a great opportunity to make a lifelong friend.
My husband's best friend from about age 4 is a female. He was in love with her in HS and a bit heartbroken when she married, but now all four of us are good friends. Whenever we're all together he calls her by my name (except last time it didn't happen.)
Invite them for bbq's, have her over for a Girls Night. Make the most of it. Your husband will love you for it.
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P.M. answers from Portland on March 31, 2009
Your reaction to your husband's friendship with his ex may or may not be reasonable, depending on how much you trust him.
If I were the ex-girlfriend, and I was informed that the wife became angry or upset when my name was raised, I would not wish to meet her. Why would I deliberately bring anxiety into her life, or have to experience her suspicion or dislike of me? I'll bet this woman may well be curious about you, and perhaps would welcome your friendship if it were available, but is too tactful to push the issue. It sounds like you have made your attitude toward her pretty clear.
For balance, you might want to consider a similar situation with a few details rearranged: I have a couple of ex-boyfriends whom I would be delighted to see again if they moved anywhere near me, because we were very close and I do still think of them as friends. I am quite sure my trusting husb would have no objection, and would in fact be curious about meeting them. And I feel the same about him with his ex-girlfriends. He chose me as his life partner, and his dedication has been clear and constant for 28 years.
Assuming you can and do trust your husband, could it be the ex-girlfriend's "specialness" to your in-laws that's really eating you? If it were me, I'd be really cautious about interfering with other people's friendships, especially your in-laws'. You could give everyone the idea that you are insecure, controlling, or worse.
Try to picture the positive effects of celebrating and supporting your husband's friendships. If you can pull this off with maturity and grace, you could really shine in his eyes. You could also win the admiration of your in-laws, and grow in your "specialness" to them.
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M.G. answers from Seattle on March 31, 2009
I agree with previous posters she needs to be friends with you and your husband. Your in-laws are their own people and unfortunately you can't do anything about their friendship with her. However the ex needs to be told by your husband that everything has to be out in the open and everyone is friends. I'm not saying you and the ex need to be best friends but if and when she wants to see your husband you should also be there. My husband had a thing very similar going on with his ex awhile back and once she found out she had to hang out with me too if she wanted to see him she didn't text/email him as much and to make things even better my husband realized how much it bothered me(finally)and actually has quit all contact with her. Tell your husband all of your feelings, he should respect how and why you feel the way you do and take you as his #1 consideration in this matter. You deserve not only to be heard but to be respected for the wife you are. Best of luck!
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M.L. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
My husband is also friends with one of his ex's and I'm actually more comfortable with it after meeting her and her husband at their high school reunion last summer. I initially had a similar response about their friendship and our basic happy place is that he talks to her as he'd like (which isn't super often), but keeps the chat history which I can access at any point if I want. I don't really care what they talk about and have never read their chats, but it is nice to know I can read it if I want. I guess if you're not worried about her interacting with your marriage, then maybe just appreciate the friendship he has as what it is. A friendship.
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C.B. answers from Yakima on April 01, 2009
Hi S., I have experienced this situation myself. Even though you have no desire to meet her. Meet her, you must... Ask your husband to introduce you. Fight fire with fire...so to speak. If your husband refuses to let you become friends with her... then that is the time to confront him with "why?" If he is trying to hide something, then that is a red flag. At least it was with me. Your friends should be friends with him and visa versa. Opposite sex friendships with married couples are OK, if both of you are friends with those people. That is what finally worked for me. I told my husband that if he continued to keep his old ladyfriend an exclusive friend and not let me into that friendship, then he had to end that. I told him how it made me feel and my need to be included. Don't hide your feelings and ask him not to hide his. Let him know you aren't worried about losing him, but feel left out of an obviously great friendship. Try it... see if it helps you feel better and him too. He will have to trust you with that old friend, and maybe to two "couples" can become great "couple friends". It happens all the time. C.
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J.C. answers from Seattle on March 31, 2009
S., you sound VERY reasonable --- I think it is time to tell your in-laws and your husband--
"""" I am uncomfortable with how much delight is being had by you--- over someone who pretends I don't exist. If '''Diane'' wants to include ''' John'''( I'm making up names here - in case you couldn't tell) AND HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN in the life of herself and her family--- great - but I'm not comfortable with what's going on - really not comfortable at all'''''
Your husband is not a single guy any more- he is married with children- and to re-create a friendship that seems to exclude you and his children is ------------ time for a counselor- sorry- that doesn't sound right to me at all.
You 4 --- wife, husband, and two little boys --- are a set - she needs to be freinds with all of you or none of you.
That's the way it looks to Old Mom
J. ( aka- Old Mom)
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R.M. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
I've read a few responses and am not sure what to say.
On one hand I feel that if this situation truly bothers you I would hope that your husband wouldn't want you to feel bad and would stop contacting this woman, on the other hand I personally love having strong ties to my past and if this woman doesn't pose an threat to your relationship aside from your being jealous of the reality that you and your husband have pasts that occurred before you were together maybe you should take another approach.
Perhaps you should ask to meet her because wouldn't it be great to discover the person your husband was in his formative years by a person who was right there and has a different perspective than his family and probably has some awesomely embarrassing or funny as heck stories about him? Perhaps she has asked to meet you but your husband has declined since you seem so uncomfortable with the level of contact he's already established.
Are you close with your in-laws? Could you be you jealous of that relationship too?
I don't mean to make you feel bad because obviously I'm not there and can not know the entire story, I'm simply making suggestions based on the fact that old acquaintances are very important to me and I would never dream of asking my husband to cut ties UNLESS there was a serious threat or very inappropriate behavior (think faithlessness). Just as I've never asked him to get rid of the poems he wrote for old girlfriends and other such memorabilia since I know he loves ME now, I have his heart and himself for the rest of our lives. I also have old letters written from past boyfriends and the reason I keep them is because it offers such a huge glimpse back at my youth not because I pine for lost love:)
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J.S. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
I have both sides of the coin to look at (or maybe more).
My husband and I have several friends that I had dated before we were a couple, they were invited to our wedding. My husband does things with them on occassion, and I am friends with some of their wives, one of the wives was jealous of me (but she really didn't like her husband spending time with any of our group.
Out side of that group of friends, I had a boyfriend that I was very serious about that I dated before my husband, I have remained friends with his parents, they came to my wedding, my daughter and I have gone to see them several times. My husband gets jealous when I see them, even though my ex is in another state and I have not spoken to him since right after we broke up.
Now the other side...
My husband has been very good friends with different females the whole time we were dating and now that we are married he still has them and new ones as friends. I have been jealous of some of them, but have gotten over it and became good friends with all of them. Maybe the difference is that he never actually 'dated' them, and that I was invited to join them for dinner, or bowling or whatever they were doing. There was always flirting, but that is the way my husband and I both are, so we understand eachother, and know who we are going home with. And the person that I was most jealous of was his sister.
oh - and here is another side....
My mom remained friends with one of my ex-boyfriends, they stayed in contact for a few years after we broke up, she kept a picture of us in her wallet, I finally talked her into taking it out after my husband and I had been married for 3 years. I had broken up with the guy for about 18 years and hardly ever think of him, even though we had talked about getting married back then. Mom just had really good memories of times we spent together, the 3 of us spent a weekend at the ocean and she just had a good connection with him, much like the one I have with the other ex's parents.
Some times it is just that we are jealous of the person that they spend time with and have strong connection with, we want and need that to be us!
Good luck with how ever you deal with it. I hope that you become friends and you find that there was nothing to be jealous of.
1 mom found this helpful
L.H. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
I think your husband's actions are completely inappropriate. The fact that he knows how you feel about this woman & continues to stay in touch with her anyways (and not just once every few months, but on a weekly basis) does not show much respect for your feelings & your marriage. Your husband's friendship with his ex should be an open book. I don't like the secrecy of their emails & instant messages. What is he sharing with her that he doesn't share with you? He is definitely heading down the wrong path. Most affairs don't start sexual, but as a friendship, when he begins to confide in her & they build a strong emotional connection. The fact that she is married & has kids will not prevent an affair. It happens all the time. Your intuition is correct to be on guard about your husband's ex. You are not immature, but protecting your family. I would put my foot down & ask your husband to stop communicating with his ex. Their communication makes you feel uncomfortable & that is a reason good enough. If he refuses, I would really evaluate your marriage. When men are in love, they move mountains for you if you know what I mean.
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A.R. answers from Yakima on April 01, 2009
When I met my husband, he worked with his on-again, off-again gf of over 3 years. She was invited to our wedding and I made a very special effort to get to know her, and allow her to see how my husband and I felt for each other. The fear of the unknown is horrible, and I don't wish that anxiety on anyone! She is now married to another friend of ours and we consider them good friends. I, too, have ex-boyfriends that I stay in contact with, but I am very open and honest about the communications, but if my husband was uncomfortable with it, I would cut the ties, our marriage is too important to me.
I would suggest a bbq, too, get to know her and let her see how great your relationship with your husband is!
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L.S. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
Snap out of what!!! That your husband is having an AFFAIR
No matter how you try to rationalize it and get people ( especially your insenstive selfish inlaws) to say it's ok- It is what it is! It doesn't have to be sex to be an affair or the fact that she has kids and a hubby- IT's been going on for centuries. You should get some supportive friends and maybe talk to a counselor. Sorry to be so harsh but it's really obvious from what you said- in my eyes- I guess most people think that this stuff is harmless- that is how affairs start. Sorry I disagree with the rest of the responses..If it bothers you, your husband should care more that you are upset than to having a friend doing instant messages with.
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W.C. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
There should be no secret friends in a marriage. And I think that is what is bothering you the most.
To lift the secrecy from their friendship. Make friends with her. I am speaking from personal experience when I say this. Invite her and her husband over for dinner. Tell you husband not to erase the emails. Make her a good friend. Let them hang out at your house when you are there. Go places with her. No secrets in a marriage.
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M.S. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
Your husband needs to understand that there are two options... being open, transparent, and honest, and sneaking around behind your back. He obviously is choosing to sneak around behind your back. Let him know that you don't WANT to have ill feelings toward her or about their friendship, but he leaves you no choice but to assume that he is hiding it all for a reason.
I personally would tell him that the only way I would be okay with the relationship is if he agrees to be transparent. That means telling you about interactions, emails, and texts. Introducing you whether you want to or not, you need to size her up and see what feeling you get from her. She very well may be a sleazy woman that wants to have an affair with your hubby. It also means not going out alone with her or any other inappropriate get-together that can be questioned. When he takes phone calls from her, it should be out in the open, not hiding in the bedroom to talk.
If he can't agree to those terms, then you should be worried. Maybe not about what is going on now, but about what may happen months from now.
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J.S. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
S. - I think all you can do is be totally honest with your husband. Lay it all out for him - that you feel like a vulnerable 13 year old again. Not that you don't trust him, but that you feel threatened (or whatever the truth is about your feelings). Let him tell you you're silly and there's nothing to worry about. But remind him that the best way to convince you is for him to prove it with his words and actions. Ask him to let you see the e-mails, ask to meet her - whatever you need.
I have the opposite situation - I'd love to get in communication with my long-time high school boyfriend again, only because I miss his friendship. I praise the Lord that I ended up happily married to my husband! But my old boyfriend was a really good friend to me. He's married now, too, but I always wonder if we were to move back home where he is whether or not there would be a possibility of us two couples being friends without any weirdness. (I doubt it, so have never e-mailed or become friends through Facebook, although I easily could.)
Honesty may be uncomfortable, but is still the best policy!
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A.E. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
I see that you have tons of responses. I think you should accept that your husband has a past. Of course, be open with him about how you feel and ask him to please, be open with you. Jealousy just gets in the way of your relationship with your husband. Accept that he has a past, he is human, and should be allowed to keep/reestablish a friendship with a friend. Humans have memories and attractions to people even if not married to them. Getting jealous will only hurt you. You might find that you really like her....she's probably a lot like you. Perhaps you should open your heart to her instead of guessing what MIGHT be going on. It doesn't sound easy, the situation, but to tell him he can't talk to her will be unrealistic to his humanity. Good luck.
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P.C. answers from Seattle on April 02, 2009
hi darlin' I have read some of the responses and I totally understand how you feel. Your husband IS hiding this from you because he is deleting emails,and, I think that is weird, but he is your partner and you need to lay it down for him. But above all you need to regain your self confidence and know that you are his wife now and he loves you. Insist to meet her, if anything it will erase your fears and dissolve your jealousy. Nothing can wreck a relationship more than jealousy so take the first step. Tell him how you feel and you will already feel a lot better and begin the mending process for your self confidence in your relationship. (P.S. old mom at the end here has great advice)
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M.K. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
i'd recommend you meet her, preferably with both your spouses. it takes a lot of the mystery out on all sides.
also, maybe she really is just a great person. since there doesn't appear to be anything fishy going on, it sounds like you have a (mostly) healthy marriage (he does need to be honest with you about communicating with her), you get along well with your inlaws, everyone seems to get along so well with her, so maybe you will too. and if you don't, i think it would be good to see her with her husband and having her see you with yours... it could be that subconsiouly you feel excluded from something your whole family shares and removing that might make her matter less.
and if you're lucky, maybe you'll find out she has gotten really unattractive ;-P
1 mom found this helpful
K.J. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
It is not ok with me to be friends with ex's. It is not allowed what so ever and I wouldn't feel bad about asking my hubby to cut ties, I have never had to but would in a heartbeat. Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
R.R. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
I would let your husband know how you feel. Do not say you make me feel this way when...... Just tell him I feel ................when you spend time (online or which way it is); It is still time with this other person. Also, you might ask him how he would feel should your old boyfriend move in next door and start calling and emailing you. This might help him to have a new perspective.
1 mom found this helpful
M.L. answers from Corvallis on April 01, 2009
Keep being your seductive and loving self and he will be happy at home. Give him no reason to perhaps prefer her!
R.S. answers from Eugene on April 08, 2009
Hey there, I did not read all of the other responses but I have a vast amount of real experience in this department. I will warn you that you may not like what I have to say. ;) It all comes down to trust. I get the feeling that you trust your hubby and that should be the end of your worries. I am very best friends with my ex husband and have been since we divorced 14 years ago. He comes to visit me several times a year and we talk nearly every day. I absolutely adore him and would not give him up for anything. My friendship with him is just exactly that...a friendship that adds to my life rather than takes away from my marriage. My husband trusts me completely and I hide nothing from him. He is also on good terms with his ex wife as am I. We do lots of holidays together and other functions. She has come to his families functions occasionally as well. In fact, I spent over an hour with her on the phone just chatting this morning. My recommendation is to welcome her with open arms, get to know her and think of her as an addition to your life. We can never have too many friends...even if they come from strange places.
J.S. answers from Bismarck on April 01, 2009
Believe me I know it is hard. Probably harder when you live in the same area rather than 6 hrs apart.
I have met my husbands ex-girlfriend. It wasn't necessary but I at least know who she is and what she looks like. And I really can't picture my husband with her now.
Be open with your husband about your feelings. I occasionally ask about her or don't shut down when he mentions her but don't ask for a full report on amount of contact, etc.
J.C. answers from Anchorage on April 01, 2009
If this woman makes you uncomfortable, talk to your husband. If he loves you he will try to work with you to find a solution you can both live with. However, there may be nothing you can do about your in-laws.
Best of luck
T.M. answers from Medford on April 01, 2009
Part of what would make me feel uncomfortable in this situation is the fact that your husband is acting kind of secrative about it even if nothing bad is going on - deleting emails so you don't see them, etc. I'm not suggesting you "snoop", and I can understand why you don't like it - how would your husband feel if the tables were turned?
In the past when I have felt the initial jealousy of my DH talking to other females I have usually found that once I got to know the people better I really had nothing to worry about. If she is in the area again why don't you suggest a play date at a local park (somewhere nutral) with husbands and kids. Then maybe you can judge the situation better. I have also found in the past that when DH is around other women it actually makes him appreciate me MORE - he is glad I don't do X, Y, Z like so and so.
Good luck, hope you guys can figure out a good solution.
J.L. answers from Corvallis on April 01, 2009
I have read some of the previous responses to your post. Well The few I read knew ahead of time tah their spouce was talking to thier ex.
I totally understand your hurt and betrayal. My fiance does talk to his ex from highschool. He started talking to her soon after we started dating. There was a period just recently where they were texting consantly and he would even text her when we were out together. He would spnd the whole time talking to her via text and I was being ignored. I finally spoke up and told him that it truely bothered me. Yea he got pissy but when he calmed down and thought about it he saw my point. I told him I didnt care if he talked to her as long as it wasnt all the time and didnt interfere with our time. The other thing is that he is to tell me what they are talking bout when and if I ask. You need to approach him on your feelings and possibly set some boundries if it is interfering with your relationship with him (and his family needs to be considerate of your feelings too). I know this isa touchy situation but there has to be honesty and open communication between you and your hubby. I agree that counceling may be a good idea.
E.V. answers from Salt Lake City on April 18, 2011
Call me immature but Iam going through the exact same thing
with my lovely inlaws, lucky enough for me I am blessed to
be married to my husband and he doesnt want anything to do
w/ the girl or so I think. Its just my in laws. I personally
think that the whole situation is weird & completly disresectful.
how far can a friendship really go with an ex girlfriend,
if that were the case
what was the point of breaking up,with the girl
if they're going to continue a
Friendship, not to mention if they dont have kids together,
whats keeping their ties to her, do they have mutural friends or something,...its not okay, its disrespectful, I done with my in laws
& I can go on but..im tired.....& im going to seek advice my damnself, and from, God.
K.O. answers from Portland on March 31, 2009
It sounds like they are the ones acting like children. You are not being at all unreasonable with your discomfort.
C.A. answers from San Francisco on April 01, 2009
Just reading your post tells me your gut is sending you a message. Listen to it! What I would do, which may ease some of your concern is invite the in-laws and her and her family over for a BBQ. The weather is getting nice, have a party. Then decide what you think is going on.
Best of luck,
A.M. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
Hello??? SUPER ODD! No one knows that she's happily married but her and her spouse (and in some cases not even then!). But the truth is, even if she isn't interested in persuing him romantically and it just makes her feel young again, she isn't respecting his relationship with you. It's rude and not cool at all. And let's face it. We all like to feel young and attractive and have everything ahead of us. But sometimes lines get blurred and I would be curious why your husband feels that hiding communications is going to help the situation. You're irritated. You know what? You have every right to be curious and irritated about it. He needs to snap out of it himself and pull his head out of his behind and realize that he's not a teenager anymore. If he's going to persue the friendship than he's going to have to be open and communicative about it until it doesn't bother you. Because, let's be honest...if you understood who the players were and what the heck it was all about and where you stood in the equation it would be no big deal. And if your husband can't see that, than maybe he should understand that he is giving you non-verbal permission to act the same way (whether you want to or not).
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Meet the chick and become her friend too without being fake.
From my own experience, when I moved home and became friends with my high school friends again I made sure I hung out with the wife because that was his life and where he was and it was important to me. You know what? I talk and hang out with her WAY more and I love it. They have a son just a few weeks older than my daughter.
It's not all you, S.. Don't put it all on your shoulders. You’re the wife. Now demand the respect that you deserve as his life partner (not to be confused with boss).
H.A. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
I don't know if this will help, and my situation isn't quite the same. My husband and his ex did not end in a good way. For many years him and his friends referred to her as the b****. We actually got together a short time after they broke up, and I knew him while they were dating. I didn't feel like I had much to worry about there.
Then my husband and his ex-girlfriend reconnected on MySpace. They started talking about the past and how they regretted how things ended between them. For awhile he kept it a secret from me which ticked me off. Also I don't think that he said he was married right off the bat which really ticked me off. He felt awkward since there is some other background on how him and I met that I won't go into. I found an email that she had sent him when I was checking something else for him. Not really a snooper till that point.
I have been very open with him that whether it makes me upset or not that I would like to be kept in the loop of their communication. She is married and has a child, but that doesn't stop you from worrying. I really just had to let him know that it isn't appropriate to have secrets from me. They haven't met in person since they reconnected online, and I think that has to do with me and his best friends giving him a hard time. He has understood my feelings, and tries to let me know when they talk. However I still find that there are times he forgets to tell me. He is very forgetful so I tend to believe him, but it always makes me a little uncomfortable when I question him about her. Mostly now I think they talk about our kids. They have a daughter that is not even a year older than our son.
I trust and love my husband, and know there is a reason that they didn't work out. You need to believe in that, and just try communicating your concerns as more your issue then his. How it makes you feel, etc... I just think you need to work with him to set boundaries that you both can live with.
Hope this helps.
A.H. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
I am living with a similar situation except that have the two extremes. i have my husbands ex wife to deal with and his first love from highschool. His ex wife is an evil horrible person. I am a pretty easy going kind of woman and I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. we have shared custody of their son so she is in our lives for the next 8 years no matter what. I tried to include her in things we did as a afmily so my stepson would not have sucha divided life. but after they were divorced for 4 years and we had been married for over a year she was still trying to jump in to my husbands bed. so that was my experience with his first ex wehn his highschool sweet heart came back into his life I wwas ready for a fight because I had dealt with his exwife. but honestly his highschool sweetheart is now my best friend. a lot more years have past between highschool and now and she may be a really cool person if you give her a chance. try to put the jealousy thing asside and be open minded. put yourself in his shoes. don't you have a best friend from a long time ago?? my mother in law is still favorable to my husband's highchool sweetheart and that is hard she has pics of her and him from school but no pics of him and I from our wedding. but she is cool and I love to gang up on my husband when he is feeling all high and mighty. it is great. good luck
J.R. answers from Seattle on April 01, 2009
Wow, I feel for you!
I would ask your husband "what good can come out of this"? Personally, I think it is completely inappropriate. I would be adamant with your husband and then softly say to his mother that you are not comfortable with this or rather not comfortable hearing about her and that you wish her well in this new transition (if you feel comfortable saying anything at all - maybe just let it go with his family).
My husband and I talked about this recently bc a very serious old boyfriend of mine has/had a brain tumor and he worked with my sister so they have a community of mutual friends. My sister updated me due to the tumor which I greatly appreciated but I haven't reached out to him bc I don't think its appropriate (although I'm sure my sister told him that I am praying for him, his wife and 2 kids). If he reached out to me (he's made several of my family members friends on facebook) I would respond and share that I care about him and his health but would limit it to that one conversation and not ongoing communication (he lives far from here and my family is spread out all over the place so there isn't any getting together between them). I feel this way, not at all because I would fall back in love with him, but out of respect for my husband and kids. I do not want him getting back in touch with his high school sweetheart (despite he's had several girlfriends in college/work life after her... she just seems too meaningful...) I'm not a jealous person by nature and am even grateful for all the girls he dated before me bc they kept him off the market until I had the chance to meet him.
Stand strong, your husband should care how you feel. Again, what good comes out of it?
M.T. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
You have lots of great perspectives below. I would add that I think you should meet her. Perhaps as weather is warming up here (eventually), you should have her and her family over for a bbq with the inlaws whom she is friendly with anyhow. Let your families interact, and get to know her a bit. I think that meeting her will make a world of difference for you all.
T.R. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
I am sorry you are going through this stress!!!! My husband has an ex girlfriend and she used to call him and ask him and our son to play dates with her and her son ( my son was only months old and her son was 3) He never did because I felt it was wrong and I flipped out.. It was a childish reaction but non the less he didn't go. She stopped calling/texting/facebooking when she got into a relationship and then when that ended she started up again... I know this because I could see it on her myspace.. all childish I KNOW... BUT I felt protective... and when I told him that she was only calling him because she didn't have a guy he stopped talking to her. Though I know she texts him now and again and he deletes the messages so that I don't see them and get mad. But I FULLY trust my husband... I think I get more mad because it feels like a disrespect on her part.. Why don't you invite me too? why would you JUST invite MY husband???? So I empathize with you! Hang in there darling and if you need a shoulder to vent on.. I AM HERE!!!
H.W. answers from Portland on April 01, 2009
Many couples deal with someone from an older relationship being present in their lives. If this person was around as the couple was coming together, it seems as though one could say "well, he knew she kept in touch with the ex-boyfriend before they got married".
Your case isn't quite so simple. From reading your post, I got the feeling that this person doesn't feel like a threat, necessarily, but that it is certainly intrusive and putting some strain on your relationship with your husband. Add to that the fact that she gets on famously with your in-laws, and it sounds like maybe there needs to be a reality check on being sensitive to the feelings of others.
While you mentioned that you want to 'snap out of it', I think that trying to adjust only your feelings and not addressing the fact that you are hurt that your family is doing something which is keeping you separate from their lives isn't going to be effective in the long term. Personally, I would be furious if my husband decided that his being in contact with anyone was more important than keeping our relationship open and honest.
I don't feel I am qualified to tell you what to do, exactly, other than to get yourself and your husband into a counselling situation, the sooner the better. If your husband won't go, go by yourself. This situation, and the feelings of resentment you may be experiencing due to this other person becoming so suddenly involved in your life, (even by proxy) is not your fault. You have the right to have feelings, whether or not they are convenient for others. Surely, had the tables been turned and the situation were reversed, it's unlikely everyone else would be as cool with you texting and calling an old boyfriend!
One more thing--it's perfectly okay if "being friends" with her seems beyond the pale. It's not your job to adjust yourself to the expectations of others, and to take it on yourself to win her over seems *highly dysfunctional*. Especially as you mentioned that she seems to have made no overtures in regard to getting to know you. Just another reality check there, too.
D.I. answers from Los Angeles on October 29, 2009
Wish I could help, but I'm going thru a similar situation as you. So far all I'm about to do is really pray about it.