Sara in Stratford writes:
My boyfriend and his ex-wife have been divorced for three years now. She cheated on him and left him an emotional wreck. We have been together a year and I thought things were good, until I realized that they were still in close contact. They talk every other day or so about their intimate lives and it makes me uncomfortable. I think he is still in love with her, but he says no. What do I do? I feel like I will never have all of him if he is still giving himself to his ex.
You are in a tough situation that has no quick fix. You need to spend some time thinking about how badly you want this relationship. If you decide that you want it enough, you and your boyfriend can work through this. If you believe that you are second best and will never have all of him, or have the relationship you want with him, then save yourself some heartache and walk away.
You said it yourself. His marriage and divorce left him an emotional wreck. Coldly put, your man is essentially damaged goods who is still reliant on his ex-wife. This doesn’t mean that he loves you any less, but his actions definitely raise your red flags and feelings of insecurity.
As unhealthy as his relationship and his life with his ex was, it still is part of his life. Those experiences helped to form the man that you fell in love with. You have the same relationship with him now that you had before you found out that he was still in close communication with his ex. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that he no longer has feelings for her, but I can tell you that he knows and accepts that his marriage is over. He is really having a difficult time letting go of his past, and feels the need to maintain a friendship with this woman.
Your man has some pretty heavy emotional baggage, and couples counseling would be a great way to help him deal with that as well as his relationship with you. I don’t think he understands how his interactions with his ex makes you feel. That is a problem. But it is not just his problem. You have some security issues of your own that need to be dealt with, but it seems like you are ready to address them.
He loves you, but he is not going to go cold-turkey chatting it up with the ex. He doesn’t see her as being an interference in your relationship. Because he isn’t being physically unfaithful to you with her, he sees his relationship with his ex as acceptable. He just isn’t at that place where he can let go of her completely, and doesn’t see the damage that it causes you.
The two of you need to improve your communication skills and understanding of each other. While having her disappear may be the solution you desire, that’s not going to happen. However, you guys can meet each other half way. It is a difficult road you are on with him, and progress is likely to be slow. You need to decide if he, and your relationship with him, is worth it.