My Husband And His Ex Are Still Good Friends, What Do I Do?

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Dear Duchess,

My husband and I have been together for a couple years, married for a few months. We’re happy and great together, but I’ve been having a recurring issue with one of his exes. He’s a loyal friend and extremely respectful of the women he’s dated, and he’s friends with all his exes. I’m not jealous by nature, and I was happy that he had no history of bad breakups, infidelity, or any on-again-off-again relationships that would have made friendships with his exes impossible. His breakups have always been amicable and permanent.

However….his most recent serious ex has been an issue [for] me since I first met her a few months into our relationship. They dated for several years, broke up a couple of years before he and I met (they both dated casually during that time). They moved a couple of times during their relationship, so they have a wide base of mutual friends. By all accounts, she’s a smart, funny, feminist, independent person, and I was looking forward to meeting her initially. However, I am now at the point where I cannot stand her. Whenever I’m around her, she ignores or interrupts me and talks almost entirely to my husband. She always somehow manages to bring up obscure shared memories, mutual friends, inside jokes, and any number of topics I just can’t engage in. After I pointed this out after our first meeting, he’s tried to mitigate it by asking me direct questions or redirecting towards me when we’re all conversing but she somehow derails it every time. She seems generally uninterested in me as a person and focused (though I think subconsciously) on reiterating how strong their bond is.

They talk frequently online (mostly about totally non-personal topics such as politics), which isn’t an issue by itself since he talks online with a lot of people (as do I), many of them close female friends whom I have no problem with. The issue is that I feel like 1) she doesn’t respect me or my place in his life 2) I find their extensive shared history a lot to deal with. She’s never made any kind of comment about how she wishes they were still together or anything negative about me at all. BUT I feel like she acts like [they’re] still in a relationship. She calls him in minor emergencies like getting locked out or asks him to lunches during the day (when I can’t join). Also, her parents “love” him and still keep in touch with emails and cards. When we got married, she somehow ended up planning most of his bachelor party (a low key dinner and games night) because his best man lived out of town, though I know he didn’t ask her.

Recently, she’s been confiding in him that she has major commitment issues, some health problems, childhood trauma, etc. She’s asked for his advice on getting back into dating. As I said, she’s never crossed a major line but her presence in my life bothers me quite a lot. Early on, my husband talked about how he thought we’d get along because we seemed to have a lot in common, which was pretty weird. I see what he means as we do have some similar traits and interests, but not in a way that can allow us to be friends. I’m at the point now where I just don’t want to hear about her anymore, which I feel like makes it seem like a bigger deal than it is. Recently, he’s offered to stop talking to her altogether. I don’t want to make him end a friendship for my sake when, once again, she hasn’t REALLY done anything wrong. I’d honestly love to be friendly with his exes, as that seems very feminist and sensible, but frankly, I just don’t like her and I think she’s manipulative and insensitive. I’m positive she has no idea how much her behavior bothers me, which makes me feel petty and insecure.

I think I’m sending my husband a lot of mixed messages of “No, this is fine I can deal with this because I’m a confident adult” and “This is literally the most intolerable thing I’ve ever dealt with and it’s all your fault.” He’s willing to talk to me about it as much as I need and, as I said, he’s offered to cut off contact, though this seems a little unfair to him and, I suspect, will become an issue in their group of friends. Either way, I could use some outside perspective.

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19 comments

Julie February 2, 2016 - 9:12 pm

Hello, I totally understand wat you’re going through. You’re trying to be strong but in this kind of situation, you’re insecure! Don’t blame yourself coz even the most beautiful and confident person would be insecure if put in that situation.
I think playing cool with it is logical but very hurtful. That man is your husband, I believe you can share anything however peety it is.
Go ahead and tell him, it’s just natural, he doesn’t have to cut off communication with her but he will deal with it in his way to keep you safe and happy
Actually, if he loves you, instead of asking for your opinion, he would already be trying to be make the situation safe for u

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