My Partner’s Ex Keeps Coming Up

My friend comes to me and says, “Here we go again,” he exerts frustratingly, “My girlfriend keeps talking about her ex.” If you’ve been in a serious long-term relationship, and are meeting someone who has also, you might find yourself proclaiming, “My partner’s ex keeps coming up.”

Even though fashion magazines and tabloids proclaim that talking about one’s ex is one of many red flags, more often than not, this is not as bad as it looks on the surface. It could be good therapy. Maybe your partner is just working out the details of that past relationship so that he or she can move on healthfully with you.

Your partner’s talking about his or her ex cannot just be either disregarded or seen as a threat to your new potential relationship. If you are prone to jealousy, then you might jump to the red flag conspiracy theory, otherwise it’s good to keep an open mind to see if you can assist your partner in unloading a little sensitive psychological baggage as you prepare for your potential journey together.

Sometimes all your partner needs to do is to release some of the pent-up psychological pressure from his or her past relationship. If this is the case, you can feel good about your partner trusting you with this sensitive data.

A sociopath, on the other hand, will use the talking-about-your-ex method of keeping you off-kilter and if you’re not joining-in the ex-bashing or ex-edification, then he or she might ask you about your ex to get you to participate. Then, later, when you express your concerns about him or her talking about their ex all the time, they’ll point out that you talk about your ex all the time, too. (In the mind of the sociopath, it doesn’t matter whether they asked you about it, or not. It’s just one of their clever tactics of pre-disarmament.)

Whether or not your partner has good or bad intentions, by all means, speak up and tell him or her how you feel about talking about his or her ex. Your partner is not a mind reader and might be assuming that you are as concerned about his or her resolving any issues from past relationships to have greater potential with you.

You will never know, unless you have this conversation. (Even then, there’s a 10 percent chance that it will be a clever manipulation, and there’s no way to know for certain, until later.)

It’s best to be open, and not made jealous or offended easily. Seek first to understand, then empathetically try to put yourself in his or her shoes. How would you feel?

Healthy relationships are all about being open and honest, give-and-take, and maintaining a healthy balance. If you’re jumping to emotional judgment, or looking for red flags in an effort to defend yourself, maybe it’s time for a little self-examination.

If your partner is pushing your buttons, that is to say, he or she is doing something that makes you upset or rubs you the wrong way, it is highly likely that its not your partner who is at fault. He or she is just awakening a weakness by way of activating a trigger which is activating an emotional wound from your past.

Instead of accusing your partner of something, be open and honest by telling him or her how this makes you feel, then, if you are wise, you look within and ask yourself, “Why?” There’s a good chance you will find something hiding deep inside you protesting too much because of a wound from the past.

In my friend’s case, he had been in a relationship with a woman who left him to return to her ex. This wound was activated when his new girlfriend talked about her ex. He was triggered, and thought, “Here we go again,” because it seemed similar to his past experience, which had not turned out the way he would have liked.

All relationships are different, and just because something is similar, does not mean it’s the same thing.

In the end, it’s up to you. You have to decide whether you can live in a relationship where your partner’s ex keeps coming up, whether it’s comparing you, complaining, or uplifting. Whether you can negotiate a compromise, or resolve the conflict between each other, or within yourself.

Whatever you decide is right for you.

Ready to Move on In Love?

How Do You Know If You’re Ready to Move on in Love?

When you activate a shared love with another person you create an emotional connection with that person which remains long after that lover has been separated from your active life. How do you know if you’re ready to move on in love?

You might be seeking for the answer to how do you know if you’re ready to move on in love because you know you’re going to be ever-connected to your former lover, and the connection is even more severe if you shared an intimate physical relationship.

Sex complicates the moving on of it all because as you are contemplating entertaining another lover, the lingering connection to your former lover(s) is at the very least awkward and confusing.

In a perfect world, the first time you fall in love, you would meet your one true love and live out your lives together, hand-in-hand, for the rest of your life happily ever after.

Also, in a perfect world, you would experience a long succession of tragic love interests which break your heart and allow you to experience how interacting with another person on a deep level could be enjoyable and one of the most catastrophic, painful chapters of your life.

Love is love, and there is really no wrong way to do it. Your love journey will be different than any other person. No two love journeys are alike, though they may share some similarities. So, any attempt to give anyone advice is fruitless.

I can make suggestions, and you must decide for yourself what is good for you to consider and what is not. In fact, that is all coaching is; reviewing a variety of options with you, letting you decide which options and actions are best for you, and supporting you in the creative process.

That said, these seem to be the best ideas to consider prior to moving on to another relationship in the best way.

It’s Over

Relationships are tricky business, and those lingering connections can confuse any attempt to connect with another person, so cutting the ties to your greatest ability will go a long way in leaving your heart open enough to embrace a new love.

Let your feelings be your guide about the healthiness of creating space by setting boundaries which protect your heart from either hurting or re-engaging the love trance all over again.

Being in the throes of love creates energetic, physiological, electromagnetic, and a barrage of chemical reactions in the brain and throughout your body, which cause you to fall in love all over again, if you are exposed to a former lover if you experience him or her with any of your five senses.

At least for a while (probably 90 days) do not allow yourself to be exposed to your ex- if possible because you need this time and space to heal, so you can be ready to move on in love.

Nostalgic Emotional Ties

If you want to be ready to move on in love, you have to let go of your former expectations, the hopes, and dreams you held deep within your heart about your former lover.

Ruminating about what could have been will only cause you emotional pain throughout the separation and have you longing for vying for another chance to right wrongs. You cannot change the past or make things right. What is done is done and so is this relationship.

There’s no need to focus your attention on all the things that went wrong or all the good times which were so enjoyable. These nostalgic efforts need to be avoided, at least for the 90-day period (or however long you need) for healing yourself.

You need to find ways to think or talk about your life with your ex- without significant emotional impact, positive or negative.

You know you are closing in on healthfully being ready to move on in love when you can think back on your love experience without passionate fantasizing or heavy emotional pain.

Residual Love

Understand that maintaining a residual love for your ex- is totally acceptable and healthy unless your relationship, even if you were with a toxic or abusive lover.

Residual love must be respectful of your protection if your self and your heart, as well as the memory of your former lover, without feeling emotional pain or resentment.

Let this residual love be tempered by realizing that things just are as they are, and the past is the past. You and your lover shared these moments, but the time has come for both of you to move on in love, going your separate ways.

You love and look after yourself, love your ex- and hope the best for him or her.

There is no blame, or judgment because we’re all doing the best we can with what we have.

Loving You

7 Phases of Love

The best thing you can do is to love yourself to the best of your ability.

Many have heard some variation of the question, “How can you love somebody else if you don’t love yourself, first?” We all know this, but most of us do not understand what it means to love one’s self.

When you love yourself, you treat yourself with all the love, respect, and acceptance that you would ever desire to receive from a lover.

This can be difficult as you’re getting ready to move on in love, and you might be a million miles away from having this kind of love for yourself at this time and space. Just do the best you can to love yourself more.

When you consider finding all the love you could ever desire from within, you don’t need someone else to make you feel loved.

Ready to Move on in Love

If you are at peace with the idea that it’s over and find the nostalgic emotional ties honorable and manageable, can maintain a healthy residual love and love yourself more than you did before, you are ready to move on in love.

Second Chances

You’ve loved, you’ve lost, the sacredness of your love disregarded, broken trust, betrayal and the lover that left you has returned.

When your ex- comes knockin' do you send him a-walkin'?
When your ex- comes knockin’ do you send him a-walkin’?
What do you do?

First off, you must wrap your head around the idea that if your former lover left you, he or she will likely do it again. Statistically, this is the bottom line.

If 9 out of 10 exiting exes tend to exit again, do you think yours is the 1 out of 10 who will return to stay?

Only if you believe he or she is “the one” (out of ten) then you need to saddle-up and get ready to give it another go, else-wise he or she gets the ole heave-ho.

Identify if you and/or your partner, are serial breakers. Some people actually attract the on again/off again relationship style and have an odd affection for all the drama that comes with it. If you and your partner are both okay with that, there is no need to read on.

There is a tendency to entertain the impossible romance for a variety of reasons, maybe you only remember the good times, being with someone familiar is better than starting over, after the breakup your self-esteem may have been sinking or you would rather be with someone than to be alone.

These are only some of the unhealthy reasons you might be compelled to allow someone into your life who is likely to disappoint, leave you and break your heart again.

There are also healthy reasons that you might consider reconciliation, like truly having an intimate and loving relationship (that goes both ways), maybe the breakup was due to circumstances beyond your control and were not directly connected to your romance and/or sharing children and working together for the common good, amongst others.

If you’re to have any hope of a successful reconciliation the one who left should be remorseful upon re-entry. He or she must be willing and able to recount their departure, explain why they left and genuinely regret their decision to leave. You should be able to “feel” their regret and they should cite some reasons that they believe that he or she would not walk out on you again.

To be certain that you have your wits about you, you should be able to have the answers to some basic questions before you reconcile:

Can you learn to trust him or her again?
Does he or she have a history of bailing out on previous relationships?
Did the break-up happen due to a lack of love in the relationship?
What does the returning ex-lover expect to gain from reconciliation?

Don’t second-guess yourself. Most jilted lovers will turn their attention inward, asking themselves, “What did I do wrong?” even escalating toward levels of self-abuse. Stop it. You didn’t bail on the relationship.

Don’t fall for the old, “What’s in the past is in the past. Let’s just forget it all and start over.”

As you move forward it may be wise to consider enlisting the aid of a therapist or relationship coach to help increase open communication, evaluating issues that may have contributed to the break-up and resolving those issues.

Both parties must review the past, determine what can be changed also be willing and able to make the changes necessary to increase the odds of maintaining and sustaining a long-term romantic relationship.

If you are unable to resolve your differences, there is the likelihood that there is another breakup looming in your future as you wait for the bomb to drop.

When someone returns, who has turned their back on you previously, it could be an opportunity for you to grow and expand in your own self-confidence and consciousness. A firm, “thanks, but no thanks,” may be an appropriate response validating your desire only to surround yourself with people and circumstances that support you, your highest and best life from this point forward.

Plus, there’s more to consider: Romantic Relationships Are More Than Two People