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

194 Answers
Last Updated: 05/20/2021 at 4:44pm
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
haphapz
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).
Stayhappy30
February 21st, 2020 10:20am
Well, first of all, you shouldn't impose your thoughts on the other person. However, transparency in the relationship is extremely critical. Hence, your other half should know how you feel about it. Choose your words and the time to communicate this to him or her. Don't make it compulsive. Be prepared for a disagreement and always remember that trust is the essence of any relationship, hence knowing about his or her thoughts is equally important. In my opinion, possessiveness is normal in any relationship (sometimes healthy too). This shall become much better as you mature in your relationship. Hope you have a great relationship full of trust and love.
bellarina74
February 22nd, 2020 7:31pm
I don’t believe anyone has the right to demand another person stop communicating with another person, particularly the opposite gender. It is acceptable however to communicate your concerns or problem associated with their communication and then the problem can be addressed by all involved. At times, this could be an uncomfortable conversation but it is better to be said as soon as possible so not to cause unwanted anxiety. Anxiety can lead to animosity toward the other person and they may not even be aware there is a problem. By expressing your feelings straight away this anxiety can be avoided.
spectacularTruth8568
February 26th, 2020 5:58pm
It is always better to give each other personal space. But without knowing both ends or the story giving an advice could turn out wrong. We are here to help you make the right choice. I'm sure if he loves you truly he wouldn't cheat on you. One must never shove ones own interests onto the others face. It would do more harm than good. But you can express that you dislike him speaking to his ex. If he still do continue don't force him. And if he do continue it doesn't mean that he doesn't love you either.
Anonymous
March 1st, 2020 11:34am
If the person you are in a relationship with does anything that makes you uncomfortable, bring it up as soon as possible. Present it as a problem you can solve together, and don’t cast blame. It can also help to have a discussion on honesty, where you both hopefully agree that it’s better to confront the issues rather than hide them. This leads directly to talking to their ex. Emphasis that you don’t want them to start doing it behind your back because they don’t want to upset you. It is also worth thinking and talking about how your partner would react if your roles were reversed.
MissLuthien
March 8th, 2020 7:49am
I don't believe that anyone should be stopped talking to anyone, do you maybe feel that you don't trust your other half? I guess it entirely depends on the context of their conversations- some people just stay friends with some exes, and thats okay. I don't think it is okay, however, if their conversations are crossing a line, perhaps being too intimate, I can certainly see how that would make you want them stop talking to them. If your partner is frank and honest with you, hopefully that should be completely fine, otherwise, you need to talk to them about the way they are conducting their behaviour. We should always trust who we are with.
Anonymous
March 25th, 2020 4:24pm
If your significant other talking to his ex makes you uncomfortable, you should talk to him about it! I suggest approaching him in a calm manner and simply tell him about how this makes you feel. Expressing your emotions and thoughts with him will help him to understand your position. I was in your shoes once and after talking to my significant other, he understood how I felt and have stopped talking to his ex since. It understandable why you feel uncomfortable about him talking to his ex and you have a right to feel that way! The most important thing right now is to just let him know and work things out from there.
Anonymous
March 27th, 2020 6:07am
Having ex's around should only be under specific circumstances, for example, children or reasons that require them to keep in contact. Apart from that, no ex's should still be around, especially once a new relationship is beginning with another person. To bring up the conversation, I recommend talking to him or her about the ex in a calm manner. If you present the issue angrily or annoyed, he or she might get defensive, defeating the purpose of your intentions. Ask and explain how it makes you feel if that person is selfish enough to not think about how you feel with what you are doing. That would explain a lot of that individual. and maybe reconsider.
Anonymous
March 28th, 2020 9:00pm
I understand feeling uncomfortable with your significant other talking to their ex still, Instead of approaching the issue as though it needs to end right away, try to approach it in a way that expresses how it makes you feel. For example: Hey I know you are you talking to your ex but it is really bothering me and you are now with me it makes me feel insecure, and I would appreciate it if you didn't talk to them as much. In this situation you want to express your feelings, instead of wanting control. This way your significant other can feel impower too
BeesOnFlowers
April 22nd, 2020 9:52pm
It's easy to forget that people live their lives in first-person and are consciously aware of the happenings around them. When someone reaches out to an ex-partner, it may not be with the intention you think. In their own minds, it could just be to achieve a greater purpose of making friends again. It can take a lot out of a person when they choose to leave a person, and sometimes it takes more time to heal from the aftermath of no-longer being in close contact with that person. Communication is very healthy for every relationship, which includes ones that are no longer romantic. It's healthy to interact with people as long as the interaction does not hinder the involved people's view of themselves, people around them, and current partners. You should be supportive of the act of maintaining healthy relationships, but be careful not to cover up any emotions for the sake of your current partner.
Mine23
July 3rd, 2020 5:47am
First of all, I think it is better to ask yourself "How does this situation of your significant other talking to his ex make you feel?" "What makes you feel that way?" "Are those feelings under your control that you could learn or do something about them to lessen them?" I understand that most of us wouldn't feel comfortable to know that our significant other still holds some connection with his/her ex while being with us in the present. It is important to choose the appropriate approach to talk about this. After you come up with the answers from above questions, you could maybe try to focus on communicating how this makes you feel to him. Remember that he has full right to decide what he wants to do about this, it is not our right to tell others what to do because that could lead to resentment from your significant other in the long term. I think once you communicate using "I-statement" and focus on telling how you feel without judging his behaviour, he might be more willing to understand you, situation, consequences and decide later what he can do or at least explain to you further to lessen your discomfort.
helpfulpanda2468
July 24th, 2020 6:04pm
Some people don't have a problem with their significant other talking to their ex and others do. It is entirely up to how you feel. If you personally are unhappy and upset that your significant other is talking to their ex, you should talk to them and let them know. You should call them or meet with them in person. I feel like texting does not really get the whole point across. Your significant other should stop talking to their ex out of respect for you and your feelings. I wish you the best and I hope everything goes well.
Anonymous
July 31st, 2020 2:24pm
Hopefully you and your significant other were both honest about your exes and such. As partners, we have to look out for this behavior (asking to stop talking to people/not associating with people) just because that can be one of the signs of a toxic relationship. That isn't to say you can't tell your significant other how them talking to their ex makes you feel. And you can ask them for reassurance, because it seems to be bringing out an insecurity from you (it isn't bad to note this). Even if you request this though, you cannot control if your partner stops talking to them or not. That is their choice to continue doing that, and you can choose what to do from there.
Anonymous
August 2nd, 2020 2:02am
Hi! I am sorry to hear that you having some trouble with your sig-o. I would say its not unreasonable for you to have a discussion with your sig-o. But, I would consider thinking a little deeper as to why your sig-o talking or associating with his ex makes you feel this way. You should definitely look a little inward and ask why his talking to his ex bothers you. But also I think its reasonable to open a dialogue with him and tell him why you are feeling this way. Do you think that he will be unfaithful? Is that the root of your anxiety? I would definitely urge you to talk through your problems with your sig-o. With this I would likely look inward and think why this is bothering to me so much. And I am more than willing to chat more if this proves not to be fully helpful.
Stacey101G
August 5th, 2020 6:45pm
If you suspect that there is something going on talk to them but don’t tell them not to talk or see them again. This create an impression of control in the relationship. If there is something between the partner and the ex then it’s your choice on how you proceed. But always be aware of the jealousy deep down if you do continue the relationship and take sometime before you make the decision to think things through. Don’t get angry if something is going on. If anything you should be thankful you found out when you did. I hope this helps!!
Anonymous
August 15th, 2020 3:45pm
You are perfectly justified in having a conversation with your significant other regarding his ex. Communication is very important in a relationship, so communicating your discomfort in his relationship/connection to his ex is valid. With this being said, trust is also very important in a relationship, and I would urge you to implore what exactly is causing you to doubt his loyalty or lose trust in his faithfulness. If I were to broach the conversation with a significant other, I would begin by stating how his or her actions are making me feel with explanations as to why I am feeling this way, and then discuss a multitude of compromises/methods to ameliorate the situation. This would typically be better-received than simply asking for your significant other to stop talking to/associating with an ex right off the bat.
Anonymous
August 16th, 2020 7:34am
Say that it makes you feel uncomfortable and as if they are still thinking about their ex (which they shouldn't be if they are with you already). Nobody should have to deal with that. They either need to stop thinking about their ex and associate their ex for you, or they need to get of your life. Simple. You deserve better. Remember that, okay? Please connect to more listeners for some tips and advice. I'm sure if you would like them to help you, they would be kind enough too. Or you can search it up on the web.
Tyedyedbutterfly65
August 19th, 2020 11:43am
To have a relationship it needs to have trust , communication and respect , loving one another means not bringing baggage from the past into the relationship. You can ask that they please understand your feelings and how this affects you and that you love them but it hurts when they are doing this . If they feel that they are in the right and it is still okay then you would need to decide if this person is the right one for you or stay around and continue to deal with this. This could mean nothing that they are talking to an ex , many can have communication due to children together or just being friends so it comes down to what they are talking about with the ex or if they are spending time with the ex and how much time. Remember your feelings do matter and you do need to be heard and honest with them and see how things go by opening the line of communication. Trust is Huge in a relationship and it does take both of you to make this work .
lilacbutterfly22
September 17th, 2020 7:38pm
The best thing I would recommend here is to let your significant other know how him talking to his ex makes you feel. I would use "I" statements to for this, such as something to the affect of, "When you talk to your ex (being specific in what it is that he is doing) it makes me feel ___ (being specific in what it is that you are feeling and experiencing)". This helps to take the focus off of things coming across as blaming or accusing or anything, and making it more of an open honest conversation. You've got this, my friend.
Anonymous
October 28th, 2020 11:55am
I am a firm believer in trusting your partner until they give you reason not to. Telling them who to talk or associate with showcases a lack of trust and self confidence, which is harmful for you both and your relationship in general. If your partners ex is someone who rubs you the wrong way and/or has given you reason to not be trusted, then I would suggest to communicate with your partner. Let them know how them communicating with their ex makes you feel. Try not to give them ultimatums. Just express your feeling and allow them to make the decision.
SBRNSWCULA
November 5th, 2020 6:14am
Yes you can ask your ex to stop talking to his ex if that makes you feel uncomfortable. We all have different boundaries in relationship and its crucial for both parties to respect each others feelings. It doesn't have to be a negative thing. Communication is very healthy. If you feel that him seeing his ex is a deal breaker, he can make his choice and if he chooses to not respect your feelings maybe you might not even want to be in that relationship anymore and can probably find someone who is better suited for you. I hope you the best :)
Fradiga
November 11th, 2020 12:27am
Keeping in touch with exes is more common than you think. If two people have been together for a long time (maybe even have children together), it is perfectly normal to keep a social relationship especially if they agreed to disagree for one thing and to keep each other roped in for another. The folks who are able to do this usually have a good level of self-confidence and general kindness. Of course you "can" ask for a complete breakup with an ex (or exes) from your new partner, but it might back-fire, particularly if you do not have specific reasons for asking. Your best bet should be wait-and-see.
bubblegumPuppy68
November 19th, 2020 6:02pm
You have every right to ask your significant other to limit their interaction with the other person, just out of respect for you. I would not ask them to cut all ties with that person yet because there has been a relationship established between the two over a course of time, which has created a source of bonding. To ask them to completely cut them off might promote resistance create a problem in your relationship. One thing you might try would be to ask your partner when they associate. with this other person that they do it with you as to create a sense of inner peace for you. Explain to them how you feel honestly. I feel that if they truly care they will give you that respect.
specialMelody96
November 21st, 2020 2:58pm
Communication is always the most important thing. If you clearly lay out what your exact boundaries are and why they're important to you the conversation should go a lot smoother. I would say, be prepared to hear him out too - if he is able to explain why the friendship is important to him, perhaps you could come to some compromise. My partner is currently still on friendly terms with an ex-girlfriend, but since we've communicated about I now feel much more secure. It can depend on your personal boundaries and the trust on your relationship, but either way it's just always important to be honest.
444healer
November 26th, 2020 7:51pm
When in a relationship, communication is key. Being honest with your partner is essential for both of you to be happy. If you want your partner to stop associating with his ex, try to tell him how you feel. Does it make you uncomfortable? Do you trust him? Try to let him know without sounding like a parent. Don't tell him what to do, instead, try to figure out his point of view. For example, why does he still associate with his ex? I hope I was able to help you today, and that you and your partner will work things out.
DarkPiT23
November 27th, 2020 2:47pm
It's usually fine for a partner to be friends with their ex, but it is easy to cross that line. So if anything makes you feel uncomfortable, be sure to speak up. Let your partner know about any relationship dynamics that make you uneasy, and work together to fix them Don't Let Any Emotion Involved. Ask Him Calmly. Look Up For More Information. . Don't Be Guilty Over That. Believe In What He Says. Come To An Agreement. Talk About How You Feel About It. Pay Attention To His Behavior. like The relationship is long over, but he still talks to her. ... He hasn't removed her pictures from Social Media. ... He brings up her name in conversations. ... You've caught him stalking her online. ... He sometimes calls you by her name. ... You don't feel like you are in a new relationship. ... He still has her stuff.
Birdie72
November 28th, 2020 10:40am
I don't feel comfortable telling you that you "can" or "should" do something, I will tell you about my personal experience with this. I was in a relationship that saw my partner demand this of me. I was troubled by his asking/insisting for two really specific reasons: 1. I felt that I was being controlled 2. I felt that I was not trusted Regardless of my partner's reasons for trying to set this limit on me and our relationship, it began to create a very strong resentment in me towards him. What I perceived to be his own lack of self-confidence eroded our relationship and built barriers in our communication. Our mutual trust and respect for each other dissolved and eventually we divorced.
dillon1993
December 19th, 2020 9:50pm
I think it’s okay to let them know how you feel about it in a claim way. I also think it’s important to make sure you don’t act as if you are telling her or him what they can and can not do. Sometimes they might not just know that they are upsetting you. It’s just difficult to understand why someone does something. I try to Be relaxed and explain that I really don’t like it but don’t think you should make them feel as if they are wrong for something they don’t even know is upsetting you.
Wildflower257
December 27th, 2020 3:45pm
Because toxic relationships are hard to break. I don't know the details of your relationship, so I can't pinpoint the exact reason, but there can be a number of reasons why people keep going back to a toxic relationship. If you're in a codependent relationship, that could be one of the reasons. Also, the familiarity that comes with the person or the relationship keeps people going back. Or if they are in love with the toxic person and attached to them and habituated to that toxic behaviour, and that makes it hard to break it off. Some people also end up staying because of the fear of being alone and not being able to find another partner again. Whichever of these it is, I hope you can find it in you to disengage and leave (if it is very toxic for you) because being in a toxic relationship can be extremely draining and damaging and ruin your life and mental health and peace. It will be a hard thing to do at first, but ultimately very liberating and an act of self love.
AWordyHopeFiend
January 8th, 2021 9:27pm
Double Edge Sword there: A. On one hand, he wants you to trust him. B. He may be/feel irritated/annoyed/offended/accused. C. Combination of (and not limited to) A & B. If it were I, I would attempt to compromise, ask a few questions, get a feel for the past relationship, and make an educated guess on the nature of the continued relationship. If your partner says they would rather not talk about it. Thats may indicate: Guilt, Shame, Longing (they miss them dearly though the other has denied/denies their claim of them.) though if something seems to be up 8/10 of the time? : Trust your gut.