My Partner Turned to Another

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
my parner's dad recently got very ill. i found out, through hearing a voice mail message, that my partner apparently contacted/reached-out to an ex for sympathy. The ex left a couple of phone messages, very caring & loving. At the end of one message, the ex said quite tenderly, "I love you" to my partner...

Is this wrong? Is it ok for my ex to reach out in time of pain to someone other than me? thanx! Advice
Wow, this is a tough one. On one hand, your partner is distraught. Maybe this ex was really fond of the dad and the three of them spent a lot of time together. I can see, if I was say with a new boyfriend, and then my mom got ill, that I might call my previous boyfriend I'd been with for 7 years and who knew her really well, and talk about it. The other boyfriend would have all that history and knowledge of my mom.

On the other hand, if I called my ex up, I would tell my current boyfriend! I wouldn't make it a big statement, It's not that I'm reporting my every move. But partners are supposed to be about sharing information and what goes on. I'd definitely mention that I'd talked to my ex because he was fond of her and knew her, and that it was sweet of my ex to offer support.

And DEFINITELY I wouldn't then persue my ex, or in any way indicate it was appropriate for my ex to persue me! That's inappropriate at any time in a relationship. Your focus should always be on your partner, and you should expect the same from your partner to you. If exs are in your lives, as they often are, they should be there as good friends - but NOT as intrusions. If an ex is actively calling and leaving messages of love, that's an intrusion.

I would definitely ask your partner about these talks with the ex. It's wrong for your partner to be persuing the ex, and if your partner is an "unwilling recipient" it's equally as wrong to lead this ex on. It needs to be made clear that you are the one in your partner's life now.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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