Jealous of His Ex
Q: My boyfriend still goes out to eat with his ex and their two boys. He says there is nothing going on between them, and I believe it. Why? Because I'm around his kids a lot and I'm sure they would say something to me. I also have met the ex and she tries to talk to me. My question is how do I deal with this? Is there anyone else in this situation? It is just really weird for me. I like the guy and he is great with my boys also. But I just need to know how to put away the jealousy and realize he doesn't want her in any romantic way. No matter what I see or he says, I still feel a little jealous. -- Jen, 34
Dr. Susan: You're not alone in this, I'm certain. Time is what usually fixes the situation. Some exes continue to socialize for the sake of the kids, occasionally, while some don't have any interest in doing so. I suppose your boyfriend isn't angry with his ex, which is nice. It doesn't mean he wants her back. Naturally you feel jealous: they have a long connection and will forever be connected due to their shared children. You say the ex tries to talk to you. It might be the best thing for you to talk with her and see how non-threatening she is. Don't be hard on yourself if you feel a little jealous. If you and your boyfriend eventually commit to one another, you'll feel more secure. And if he respects your emotions and doesn't belittle them, that will tell you something about his compassion and empathy.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.