Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Can or should I ask my significant other to stop talking and to not associate with his ex? If so, how?

204 Answers
Last Updated: 12/08/2021 at 5:33pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
September 8th, 2018 10:08pm
Could but depending on your relationship it might come off as clingy and nobody one-sided relationship you should go get help and see what they’re talking about if it’s flirting or an affair you should totally break up with him in immediately but if it’s just being friendly maybe you should let them be if you really feel like it’s more than just friends you should talk to your significant other immediately about this issue Hood but depending on your relationship it might come off as clingy and nobody one-sided relationship you should go get help and see what they’re talking about if it’s flirting or an affair you should totally break up with him in immediately but if it’s just being friendly maybe you should let them be if you really feel like it’s more than just friends you should talk to your significant other immediately about this issue it Could go Two different ways, Coming off as clingy or your significant other might understand and Respect your decisions. If he doesn’t listen to you then maybe you should go to relationship ship therapy for couples counseling possibly could work out for the good or bad
September 21st, 2018 1:20am
If you do not feel comfortable with your significant other keeping in touch with hi/her ex then you should ask that they sever contact. Because relationships are all about compromise. The best way to do it is by asking. Just be direct and ask that they stop talking to their ex. You can express your discomfort with the situation and let them know how much better you would feel if they did stop talking to their ex. This may seem difficult to do but it can and should be done if it would make you feel secure in that relationship.
September 26th, 2018 6:58am
In relationships, it is rarely appropriate to ask someone to do or not do something as significant as ceasing communication with their ex. It is ultimately a decision he must make himself. What you can do is express how his association with his ex makes YOU feel, how you feel it is detrimental to you. Your first step should be to ask: are you doing this for his or your benefit? Are your motivations unselfish or selfish? Asking such things as large as this rarely come with no strings. They are sacrifices and not to be taken lightly. I suggest you really examine your own intentions, and if they are pure, then start thing about sitting him down and having a productive conversation with him.
October 5th, 2018 6:17pm
If you feel as if you should, most definitely ask. Try to be as assertive as possible and if it makes you feel uncomfortable voice that. Make sure you tell them why exactly you are asking. You have every right to ask, just make sure you guys are alone and that the tone of your voice is very stern and clear. Try to make sure that they understand where you are coming from. It can be hard to ask a question where you are asking someone to cut off all ties with a person you really care about and you might feel like you don't have courage to, but trust me you do.
October 11th, 2018 4:20pm
If an interaction seems to make you feel uncomfortable between your partner and his friends or ex you should definitely communicate it to him. Make him/her understand that this is bothering you and list all the reasons why it does for example (I don't like it when she/he says this …. or does this....). If they do not respect your wishes, express that to him/her. Set boundaries for yourself, all in all, being in a relationship it's about being able to build trust within one another. If you cannot trust him, how can he trust you if you were in his shoes.
October 26th, 2018 5:34am
If you feel it’s hurting you go for it, he should respect your decision and should be willing to compromise for your relationship if he dearly wants it to work, but it also depends are they in good terms are they overly friendly there’s the possibility that they still have feelings for their ex and if its hurting you go for it if they don’t want to then there you go you have your answer dump him/her!! If they truly care they will here your wishes but don’t give them an ultimatum try go on politely cause it can show that you don’t trust them and that can hurt them
November 8th, 2018 5:10pm
Relationships have to be based on trust. Do you have a fear that he’ll cheat on you with his ex? Or leave you for his ex? If you truly trust him, you’ll be able to overcome those doubts and trust him. A lot of people can become friends with their exes after breaking up and that’s okay. As his significant other, you can’t really control who he associates with or who he talks to without becoming overly controlling and beginning to spiral towards an unhealthy relationship. If you’re really having doubts and concerns it can be helpful to have a one-on-one conversation with him so that both of your sides can be heard.
November 9th, 2018 1:09am
Yes it is 100% okay to tell your significant other to stop talking to their ex. Communication is key in a relation ship so ask them to talk. Start off with your observations then tell them your feeling towards the situation. Don't get angry with them they'll come off angry too. So make sure you stay calm while talking to them about your sentiment towards this situation. I hope that will help you how to approach your significant other on this situation. If it's okay can I ask for your feedback on this. And when youre done you can come back to talk about this.
November 10th, 2018 12:19am
You can ask your significant other, if it bothers you then you should. Because it may cause problems in the future between you two. And you can ask then by confronting them about it. Tell them honestly what bothers you and why it bothers you. That'd be the best way to ask them to stop talking to their ex.
December 5th, 2018 10:28am
So the other person is the one you love. Right? Love is a feeling of freedom and not boundation. If you love someone, let them be free of choices. Conversations are a way out always. Open up more. The way out is know the other person's problems. Know what makes the other person go out. Spend more time together. Let the other person choose the right one. Let the love flow inside out. The feelings are the only things which cannot be kept hidden for so long. Don't bind the other with choices. Rather make them feel the love you hold for the other. Things wills settle themselves.
January 31st, 2019 8:06am
Here's the thing about that - Your significant other is someone that you have a relationship with, but you do not own them. If you are uncomfortable with it, absolutely voice your feelings of insecurity to your partner if you so wish, but realize that you do not have the right or the power to tell them who to associate with or speak to. There's an very toxic mindset floating around, that people start to treat others like they are property to be managed - Which is not right, valid or fair. It's a fairly abusive pattern, to be honest with you. But if you feel so strongly, I would lead a conversation of "I statements" to address your concern with to your partner.
May 9th, 2019 2:24pm
I believe no one should be restricted to contact their ex, as ending a previous relationship does not mean removing them from your life. You can try communicate with your significant others about your worries. Let them know that it is a disturbing thoughts that you wish not to worry so they won't be agitated. Communicate with them how to work things out and how to alleviate the worry. First of all, both have to be comfortable on talking this uncomfortable topic. Set some guidelines before starting the conversation, because you deserve to be heard too. On the other hand, you should listen to your significant other.
June 9th, 2019 8:33pm
I think trust is really important when it comes to relationships. It is important you set boundaries and let him know how you feel when it comes to his actions. Forcing him to stop talking to someone because you feel uncomfortable may be slightly unreasonable on your part, but if he were to continue if you talked to him about this matter, you need to set it straight with him and not hide it. Like I said before, trust is important and you two need to be honest towards each other. Once the trust is broken, it will be hard to fix it. Just like how you can't fix a broken bowl back to it original form.
July 11th, 2019 3:06am
Perhaps it's more important to consider what about this might be important to you. Are there global issues relating to trust, or is this specific to a particular ex? Either way, an open dialogue with your partner is likely to be the most constructive means of addressing this. Ultimately, your partner is more likely to respond positively to a conversation around feelings and experiences, rather than being simply asked to stop interacting with an ex. At first, the conversation might be difficult and make one, or both, of you uneasy. However, this is one of those really important conversations to have, and will likely result in your relationship being strengthened.
August 9th, 2019 8:32am
I think it is more important to first address why them speaking with their ex is concerning or upsetting. How does this make you feel? By digging deeper into your feelings surrounding the circumstances you'll be better able to communicate them to your significant other. With that knowledge, I think the best action would be to approach your partner and open a discussion. Share with them that speaking with their ex makes you upset, and if their are other feelings that bubble up express them, as well (perhaps it makes you feel it is a breach of trust in the relationship, and it is okay to express that it may make you feel jealous, insecure, or unworthy in some way. I have felt the same in similar situations and wholeheartedly empathize). It's important to approach these situations calmly, to ask questions, and to help them understand how it makes you feel to allow them the space to respond and see your point-of-view. Afterwards, if you still feel the same way about them communicating with their ex, then let them know that continuing a communicative relationship still makes you uncomfortable. Again, I believe it is important to open these issues as a discussion to allow all parties an opportunity to feel listened to and be able to come to a mutual understanding.
August 17th, 2019 5:26am
No you should not. It may be a way in which your significant other is dealing with the break up at the beginning. Also they might have broke up on good terms and now are friends. If you start to tell them to stop taking to each other your significant other might feel like you do not care about what they need and are trying to control them. This in turn can lead to arguments and issues between the two of you. Which could lead to you breaking up with your significant other just because you are talking to your ex.
September 11th, 2019 5:26pm
Depends. Just make sure not to project your insecurities on to them.
October 5th, 2019 4:33pm
Can you ask your significant other to stop talking to their ex? Yes. Should you? Well.... Probably not unless the ex is slashing your tires or threatening to harm you. Just like you need freedom to pick and choose your friends based on the qualities you value, so does your significant other. Am I saying there is not a problem when your significant other talks to his ex? Nope. Not at all. If you are getting bothered by it, it is clearly impacting your feelings. And that is a problem no matter what. And that shouldn't be ignored. Is it possessiveness? Like mine mine mine. If so, what is the fear associated with this? Is this a matter of trust? Maybe your significant other has violated that trust or you feel is likely to violate your trust? Maybe you need to work together to reestablish that trust? Maybe you need to reevaluate being with that partner if the cannot operate in a way that honours the trust you extended? If none of those are the case, then you need to reflect inwards in yourself, and ask yourself what's making you feel insecure (as in, not feeling secure about the relationship)? Really looking at these questions will tell you a lot about the work and improvement that needs to be done. It will be something you need to work on for yourself, something you need to work on as a couple, or a bit of both. And really that is all you have the power to control. And while the ex might be the trigger of the feelings. They aren't the problem (unless they are slashing tires, or threatening harm. In which case yes ask your partner to stop seeing their ex and call the authorities promptly).
October 30th, 2019 2:03am
I think this is a very personal decision and everyone will have a different opinion on it. Personally, I do not like when my partner is still talking to an ex. It makes me feel like they aren't over that relationship. I think it's important to be open about how you feel if it's hurting you, but it's hard to ask someone to stop talking to a certain person. I don't think that can ever be taken well. I might ask you this instead - do you want to keep dating someone who does talk to their ex? Or would you prefer to find someone who isn't?
October 30th, 2019 2:19pm
If this is greatly affecting your mental health and your relationship it is understandable that you wouldn't want them to talk anymore. I think firstly you should think about why this is bothering you - is the ex giving you reasons to believe they may want to cause problems in your relationship? Is your s/o someone who would keep in touch with an ex if they are on good terms or is this unusual? I've had the same issue with my boyfriend and I think the best thing to do is tell them exactly how you feel. If you trust that they wouldn't do anything unfaithful to you, explain that it the case but you cannot control the anxiety and negative feelings it brings you, and this is an issue you both must tackle rather than you just trying to get over it.
December 18th, 2019 2:04pm
You can’t ask them or manipulate them or extort them into not talking with their ex. You can state that it makes you feel uncomfortable, and why, and also try to do some insight on why it makes you feel that way for real. For example, Hey I wanted to talk about something, I can’t ask you to stop seeing anyone I just want you to know whenever you see/talk with your ex I feel ____________________ because I think _________________. (And maybe something likely) I know it might be my insecurity and nothing bad might be happening I just wanted you to know how that makes me feel. But again, whoever you associate with Its your desicion and I respect that. That’s it don’t constantly repeat yourself, yes may be necessary to repeat it sometimes but not every day. Sometimes it’s hard to cut off someone even if you want to do if he’s trying just give him a bit of time. If he seems not to care about it then he’s not the one. Either you snap out of it or look for someone that thinks like you.
December 20th, 2019 8:32pm
Simply stated, "yes". "Honesty" is crucial to the the success of any relationship. It is common for exes to remain friends, and if that portends to be detrimental, then it should be addressed; it would be unfair to all three of you if the issue is left to simmer. While the answer and logic behind it are easy, having a conversation about this issue, however necessary, will vary by partner. This issue is such that you took the time to reach out to someone who will listen ... have you listened to yourself? Yes, it is an issue, but what is your understanding of it and what about it bothers you? Ask yourself why is it imperative that he stop talking to his ex (i.e., is there too much contact, however innocuous?). Also, is timing an issue? And will there be any repercussions? You are the only who knows all of the variables, so framing the issue appropriately so that you are comfortable and relaxed going into the conversation may keep the conversation focused and lay the foundation for a productive conversation. You owe it to yourself and to him to tell the truth, and holding back only harms your relationship. Present your concern tactfully showing why it is an issue that needs to be addressed; he has a voice, too, remember, so listening is just important on your end.
December 27th, 2019 7:33am
Being assertive is your best choice, being assertive means there is a balance in power in the conversation while also making it go as well as possible. you can do some of this by letting your Significant other know how you are feeling about them talking to their ex. for example, 'I feel angry that you are talking to your ex because I am concerned this will affect our relationship'. by saying this you are being honest (not brutally) and telling your partner how you feel. They are likely to have empathy and are more likely to understand. Good luck!!
December 28th, 2019 1:32am
If it is something that is bothering you, you should tell him. The key for relationships is communication. Sit down with him and calmly express to him how him talking or associating you to his ex makes you feel. He should be able to understand and to take action about it. Tell him how and why it affects your feelings so he can understand the situation. Do not keep this to yourself, as it is going to still keep bothering you and both partners need to be able to feel comfortable in a relationship. Good luck and take care!
December 28th, 2019 1:55am
I think that is a fair boundary to set/ask of someone. I know some people don't mind it, but I think if my boyfriend was always hanging around with his ex, I would feel pretty uncomfortable. However, it can be a tricky subject, because it can imply some amount of distrust from you. I would try to express to your significant other that even though you trust him, you don't feel very comfortable that he talks to/associates with his ex. It's important that you each respect each other! Also keep in mind that if his ex is part of his friend group, it might be hard for him to stop associating with that person without ditching all of his friends, so maybe compromise and ask that they not hangout together one on one or not text each other one on one.
January 8th, 2020 10:57am
It is normal to not want to be compared with another person and especially when it concerns love stuff. You can express this to your partner by making him understand what this makes you feel (Maybe angry or jealous or insecure in your relationship) also you can show him that if you used to do the same he won't appreciate this neither and will probably ask you no to do so. I think that sometimes people act without thinking and without imagining their selfs in your position to know if their actions will hurt or bother. But don't get angry or mad without trying to crearly express your emotion to your partner
January 23rd, 2020 1:37pm
I don't believe this is the smartest move. You can ask directly to stop talking or interacting with his ex, but: a) if there's something still going on under the ashes of their previous relationship, stopping him won't prevent him to think about her and b) if there's nothing going on anymore, there's no reason to put limitations to his genuinely friendship relation. Only you can know the answer by listening to him and talking with him about what makes you feel deeply uncomfortable. Also work as much as you can on your self esteem to be even more powerful in a good way.
January 29th, 2020 5:10am
I guess it depends to what extent they have contact / communication and if there are children they co-parent? If not, I think its pretty reasonable to ask for your partner to not disrespect you or your relationship by continuing to be in contact with his/her ex. If he/she wants a committed trusting relationship they should understand that this can be disrespectful and even hurtful and ultimately undermines trust (which is a MUST in a relationship). Again it really depends on each individual relationship but if there is no ties there (other than they are now exes ) then yes i think it wise to say it to your partner.
February 2nd, 2020 8:49am
It seems to me that the more important question here is "why?" Relationships are built on trust, and talking or hanging out with an ex is often seen as a breach of that trust. This is certainly so in committed and monogamous relationships. So the first question I would ask myself is, "Why does this bother me? Am I feeling a lack of trust? In my self? In my significant other?" Once I have an answer to that, I would bring that result to a conversation with them. This way it's presented not as a demand or even a request, but an opportunity to strengthen the relationship. By understanding why each of you is feeling and acting a certain way, you might find what you want to change, or you might find there is no need :)
February 7th, 2020 5:45pm
i feel that this is a very controversial topic! some feel that it is okay to keep in contact with exes whilst some feel that it is not okay to keep in contact. either ways, if you're uncomfortable with the idea of your SO talking and associating himself with his ex, i think it's important that you let him know and let him understand your point of view. both of you might not be very comfortable with it, but both of you should be able to develop a strategy plan that's workable for the both of you. being in a relationship requires both of you to work as a partner. all the best! (for me, i'll just let me boyfriend knows that i am okay with him talking to his ex, provided that he has to be absolutely transparent about it).