Is his ex a real issue or am I over reacting?
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
Hi, I have been with my current boyfriend for almost a year now. He is an amazing guy and has never done anything for me to question his loyalty. However, I was in a relationship a couple of years ago with a guy who cheated on me with his ex. Ever since I have had difficulty trusting anyone.
A few days ago I came across a birthday card on my boyfriends desk addressed to him and was signed Love, (a females name). My mind immediately began racing. I had never heard him mention someone by this name and by the postmark on the envelope I could tell that they live in the same city. (Him and I live 2 hours apart and only see each other on weekends). I began to panic and I looked in a drawer where he keeps his personal belongings. (I know this was wrong but I couldn't stop myself.) Inside I found a letter from her that was written in the first month that him and I were together. The letter started off with her saying that she just got home and "her hair smelled like him" and continued on to tell him how much she loved him, but knew that she had been bringing him down lately and that she felt she was "making the right decision." She also said that she knew she could love again. It seemed to be a good-bye letter if that's what you would want to call it I guess.
I confronted my boyfriend about it and confessed to snooping. He understandably got very angry and explained that they became friends a couple of years ago, dated for a while and then he broke up with her because she was in love with him, but he didn't feel the same way for her. He also said that they remained friends because she's a very sweet girl and that her mom has a terminal illness “is slowly and painfully dieing” and he felt he needed to be there for her. I asked him why "her hair smelled like him" and he explained that they ran into each other on campus and she was upset and wanted to talk. While talking she was crying over her mother and also asking him to take her back. He says he hugged her for a while to comfort her but told her that they could only be friends. She then made the decision to no longer talk to him because it hurt so much. My boyfriend told me that they haven't talked since that day. He reassured me that I have nothing to worry about.
However, the next day I looked at his cell phone call history list and found her name a couple of times. It appeared as though they had talked. I confronted him about it and he said that she had called him a couple of times and he tried calling her back but got her voicemail. Thus, I guess they never actually talked but there have been calls made. I also remember a time in the past that a girl by the same name called his phone and he mumbled that "it was probably about work" and didn't answer. I didn't think anything of it at the time. He also hasn't told her that he's seeing someone else. In addition, I researched the illness her mother has, and I found that it is not terminal and that most people recover from it (which is not what he told me).
He says that he hasn't told me about any of this because I wouldn't understand. (which I somewhat agree with, because after my past relationship I've had jealousy and trust issues). At the same time though, I wonder if this is innocent. His actions have never insinuated that he's cheated on me (he spends most of his free time with me and almost always answers his phone in the evenings). Do you think there is something suspicious going on or am I just way to jealous, insecure etc.??? Is it normal that he's still friends with his ex?? I know she still wants him back and I'm scared that maybe one day he'll decide that he does love her and take her back, and then once again I'll be left for the ex-girlfriend, just like in my past relationship. I've been so scared to let my "gaurd" down and trust him and let myself fall for him. We're getting to the point now though that if I don't start trusting him, it's going to end up tearing us apart. Is it safe for me to assume this is innocent and to trust him?? Sorry this is so long. Thank you very much. I would greatly appreciate any advice or comments you have to offer.
You can't have a good relationship without trust.
Make this a high priority for long, honest and caring conversations with him. Let him tell you again what he feels for his ex, if anything. If you feel trusting after the conversations then put your love on the line and really trust him.
If you still have doubts then talk with him more until you feel trust. If you never feel trust then the relationship will probably not last.
Good luck! George
-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com