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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?

204 Answers
Last Updated: 12/03/2021 at 2:27pm
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
January 10th, 2021 2:08pm
A relationship is two person, (You and him) which they must manage together, for the human being is highly irritable sometimes as a couple to take conversations regarding their ex-partners, however I would consider that they talk about the subject if there is trust between the two, remember that talking to the truth sometimes allows a relationship to flow better , only you know him and you can know the most suitable way to get to him without offending or handling incoherent discussions between the two, remember that you are important to the universe you are unique so take care and worth mainly, a strong embrace from Venezuela. Sincerely, Anthony.
January 29th, 2021 7:06am
This is entirely up to you to decide. The main question you have to ask yourself is, is how is the ex effecting your relationship? Are they constantly talking, are they doing more than talking? Is your significant other being suspicious? Even if they're not doing anything weird, it's still understandable to be worried. Every person has a different relationship with their ex, how it effects a relationship, etc. At the end of the day if you want your significant other to stop talking with his ex, then that should be something that he is willing to do to better the relationship. I think it mostly comes down to a respect thing.
February 6th, 2021 1:43am
You most certainly can if your partner has an ex that is still in their life and it makes you uncomfortable. Yes, they can be friends with their ex but ask yourself what it is that makes you uncomfortable about their continued association. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as illness or they are in some sort of trouble then it might be that they get in touch and in some cases that can be reasonable. But If you feel they are constantly flashing up on your partners phone, just for a chat or whatever, ask them why they think it's ok that they do this. And be clear about why you feel uncomfortable. If your partners ex is breaching the boundaries of your relationship then they are disrespecting you and your partner is also, in allowing this. Don't feel shy about a situation which would make most people unhappy and be clear with your partner about how this makes you feel. But it's also worth reminding yourself that just because you feel uncomfortable in this situation that doesn't automatically make you a crazy jealous person. If you can respect someone else's relationship then your should be respected in return.
February 19th, 2021 10:47pm
I think you should ask your significant other to stop talking to their ex if they are in a serious relationship with you. You could start off by asking them why they do it. Then, you could move into talking about how it bothers you and how that makes you feel. If they really care about you they will understand that it makes you feel a certain type of way and then maybe the both of you can together find a solution to this issue that way it doesn't continue to affect your relationship with them or make you feel bad.
February 20th, 2021 2:00am
It is your complete right to ask him to stop talking to his ex. However, equally, it’s his right to say no. If his ex is making you feel like he is untrustworthy and/or they are interfering with your relationship , it’s perfectly logical to ask this of him. However, if you don’t trust your significant other to stay loyal, why are you together? Relationships don’t work without trust, and it doesn’t sound like there’s very much between you two. You two should sit down and have a serious conversation. Express yourself and explain to him that you aren’t comfortable with him associating with his ex. I wish you the best of luck
February 21st, 2021 12:32am
I think the best way to approach the situation would be to have a conversation in which you could both talk about each other feelings. If your relationship is recent, he might still be greaving which is totally normal. It can take some time for him to get over his past relationship. Also, you should feel free to make him aware that you are not comfortable with him talking about his ex. It is very understandable that you are not comfortable with that at all. If you get to have both of you thinking from each other's point of view, it would be wonderful. I really hope you get to communicate and sort this out. If he cares about you, he most likely will understand that you feel hurt by him talking about his past relationship. I wish you the best of luck :)
March 3rd, 2021 7:02pm
I believe that you are always able to ask anything that you want because it's something that you desire. In the case of asking your significant other to disassociate with an ex, it's not wrong to want them to. If you choose to do so, however, perhaps sit them down and start by telling them that you love and trust them. Explain your feelings as to why you want them to stop and ask them along the way if they understand or have any questions or concerns. At the end, if everything is said, you can give them the open option as to whether or not they want to stop, but for your own heart and mind you wanted them to know your feelings.
March 31st, 2021 5:47pm
Thank you for reaching out! It is hard to say whether you can or should ask your significant other to stop talking and associating with his ex. There are reasons both for and against it. Firstly, it can be a red flag or warning sign if a partner is controlling of who their partner sees or hangs out with, as it can be isolating and lead to unhealthiest in the relationship dynamic. Further, your partner should be able to decide and consent for themselves who they spend time with. If your partner spending time with their ex bothers you, or is in some way harming the relationship between you, you should examine why it bothers you and why your significant other is willing to engage in that type of behavior. If it bothers you, does your significant other know it bothers you? If they know it bothers you and they do it regardless what do you make of that? Are they really someone you still want to be with? This is where thinking about your boundaries can be a great way to reflect. You may want to reflect on your general expectations from relationships. Consider talking about the issue with your partner first, before making any decisions on whether you should ask them to stop talking to their ex. Ask yourself if it bothers you and why, and share those answers with them. You may want to reflect on whether you want to ask if your partner they knew how you felt about them interacting with their ex. Do you feeling like asking them if they feel it's important for them to keep talking to their ex and if so why. Try to come to a decision as a team about what is best for both of you. A relationship takes two people to work, not one! There are support organizations relating to relationship stress such as OneLoveFoundation and Relate.
April 17th, 2021 6:01am
You have the right to ask your boyfriend not to talk to or meet with his ex. I think there will be many ways to deal with it, but I recommend the one that in my opinion is the most effective.. You should make a direct remark to your boyfriend. Make it clear how you feel and suggest that your boyfriend shouldn't meet his ex while having a new lover, which makes anyone feel insecure in the relationship. If he brings up his ex even when he recognizes you're sad, you should rethink if your boyfriend really loves you. I say, if he cares about how you feel, he shouldn't talk or associate with his ex.
April 21st, 2021 1:04am
This is a hard question. It is super important to communicate with a significant other about how things make you feel, and what you are comfortable with. Going to your significant other very calmly and approaching them with how you feel is a way to start a conversation. It is also important to not be overly offensive when saying that them talking to an ex makes you uncomfortable because they make take it as you having mistrust in them. It is important to listen to how they feel as well, they may still want to continue contact with them. If it something that they wish to continue doing, you have to respect that boundary they made and trust them- or you can assess if your relationship is more important than them talking to an ex.
May 2nd, 2021 12:47am
A wise man once said, "seek to understand, then to be understood." Or something like that. Why is it that he talks about his ex so frequently, is it for a reason that can dampen your relationship like still having feelings for her? If not, then good and following clarifying, it would be beneficial if you helped him to understand how it makes you feel when he speaks of his ex. If he is as understanding as you, he should cease doing so, but if he does not and continues, you may want to reevaluate your relationship with him.
May 14th, 2021 1:07pm
On the question of whether you can, or are able to - this would depend on how comfortable you feel in terms of the possible reaction it might bring about. Otherwise, bringing up a topic should not be a cause for concern in itself. To the matter of if you should, well, ultimately you as an individual have the right to decide what your boundaries are. If it's an issue for you and not shared, then perhaps a compromise can be reached. Relationships demand a certain amount of patience, sacrifice and problem solving to be worthwhile after all. Ask and be sincere in reaching a compromise, or deal with the internal confusion this causes - either way it's important to take a decision and move forwards.
May 19th, 2021 10:20am
You should be worried about an ex when your partner is defensive or secretive about their communication or the nature of their conversations. If you have a gut feeling about your significant other's ex, then you have every right to tell them how you feel about it and tell them that you don't feel too good about it. The relationship ended for a reason and if they start talking they might rekindle the romance if it didn't end too badly. Don't hide the fact that it bothers you and that it makes you insecure so that it has been known and if your S/O still doesn't validate your feelings then they are wrong.
May 20th, 2021 4:44pm
Communication is always the key. You know this situation and you significant other better than anyone else, so think what could be the worst and the best case scenario if you share your feelings. It is always better to talk things through. With talking, you can see the other persons real intentions with you. Remember, if communication doesn't work, always think what's the best for you. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with being associated. Understand if that is a big trigger in your relationship. After reviewing these questions, act accordingly as your heart says. Always remember that first comes your wellbeing. Try not to think about what the other person might feel like. Someone always is going to feel different about your emotions and acts. Of course, you shouldn't be rude. Just speak from your heart. I hope this helps! If anything, let me know!
June 18th, 2021 11:02pm
In a relationship, it is important to set personal boundaries, If what your significant other is making you feel bad (sad, worried, jealous... or whatever it is you feel) you should totally let them know in a calm manner so that you can discuss it together. But, perhaps, whether your SO actually stops talking or associating with his ex is something you both have to decide as a couple, I don't believe it is something you can ask him to do unilaterally. So, my advice is to talk to him about how this makes you feel and come to a mutual understanding about what to do about it.
June 18th, 2021 11:31pm
It is necessary to set reasonable boundaries within a relationship. I believe a discussion should be held with the significant other, with you expressing your discomfort with their friendship/relationship. Your emotions matter, and having a partner who is still close with their ex can be intimidating and confusing. I don't believe you should 'demand' they stop talking to their ex at once - rather express how their interactions make you feel. It's unfair to tell your partner what to do - as it can be controlling, but they should respect you in return and strive to be as fair as possible, too. Keeping contact with exes can make someone feel very nervous, anxious, and scared. It heightens the possibility of cheating.
June 19th, 2021 11:33am
If it's something that bothers you, yes, you definitely should bring it up. You can't force them to stop talking or associating with their ex but they should stop if it's something that's bothering you by themself. If even after clearing explaining that it's something that you don't like, they waffles and tries to go on an obtuse angle or try to make you feel guilty or get defensive, take some time away to think about the relationship. Do you really want to be with someone who values their ex over you? Think about it for a while. Don't phrase it like a command when you tell them, phrase it like you're explaining your feelings. "Hey, this has been really bothering me, could you please not associate so much with your ex?..." is a good way to start. You've got this.
June 24th, 2021 11:10am
Yes, you can, and you should first sit down with your significant other and tell them what the issue is at hand. Firstly, listing out what the problem is and why this is emotionally affecting you and possibly the relationship and finding a middle ground to the problem - this technique can be used for almost any problem at hand in a relationship. If your partner does not understand the problem, consider trying to make them understand by trying to let the person see it from your POV and angle. If your partner still does not consider your feelings and thoughts then you should consider leaving.
September 16th, 2021 11:08pm
if you feel comfortable in asking your partner, without confrontation, and feel that it won't cause problems within the relationship, then i would suggest it. A relationship is built on trust and an open communication.And if this is something that does bother you, it needs to be addressed delicately and with a bit understanding from both parties before it gets to be too much for you to handle. Being polite and speaking rationally will carry more weight to the validation to the conversation. Address your concerns and hope for the best At the vey least, you will know where you stand with your partner
September 22nd, 2021 11:12pm
Thank you for reaching out! With relationships come respect for each other’s boundaries. Asking individuals to compromise is not asking for too much. From personal experience, I personally have been in your situation where I did not want my boyfriend to associate with his ex. It’s really important you explain why you feel uncomfortable exactly with your boyfriend associating with his ex? What deep down are you worried about ? Do you feel his ex was so toxic that you do not want him to get hurt again? Are you feeling like they have so much chemistry together that it worries you they may get back together? What are your thoughts on speaking with your boyfriend and explaining this through ? If there is hesitancy to ask your boyfriend their equation with their ex and what makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself why that is? Know what your boundaries are and how you address them within your relationship. Trust your intuition and if your gut feeling is telling you something is not right don’t be afraid to question. You may be experiencing mixed feelings. You may ask does me asking my boyfriend/girlfriend about me feeling uncomfortable with his equation with ex pushy and bossy which is what may hold you back from questioning significant other. Another important question to ask yourself is if you are super friendly with any of your ex’s and how your boyfriend feels about that if applicable? Any communication to address any concerns should be done in a way that is carefully thought through. Try not to react too emotionally towards what makes you uncomfortable and take your time with what you want to say. Do not assume they can read your mind just like you cannot read your significant others mind if they don’t share with you. Thank you for reaching out! Trust your intuition and do not rush into decisions without careful thought. You are welcome to communicate with any one of our listeners on our site to further explore your thoughts. There is also Relationship Support room you are welcome to visit 24/7 every Thursday to communicate with members going through relationship issues too.
September 23rd, 2021 5:30am
The answer to whether or not you should, would depend on the reason that you want your significant other to stop associating with their ex. Is your concern related to his well-being or is it a concern stemming out of your own insecurities? Understand that if it is a matter of jealousy, you need to consider that it might be a selfish choice to ask him to not associate with his ex. Don’t take it the wrong way, you are allowed to be selfish sometimes, allowed to demand and expect certain things from your partner in a romantic relationship. But recognising the cause will help you approach the situation with a broader, more unbiased perspective. To be frank, you should communicate with him either ways. You should not expect him to stop associating with his ex after the conversation if it’s a matter of jealousy. He may decide to stop associating to relieve you of your duress, but remember it does not fall in his obligation to do so. As for how you should communicate your distress, you can simply start by saying that something has been bothering you and it would make you feel better to open up to him about the matter. When communicating, remember to focus on your feelings. For example, instead of saying “I don’t think you’re spending enough time with me,” consider saying, “I feel a little neglected.” Find the emotions behind a particular behaviour, label them and take accountability for them.
November 4th, 2021 2:11pm
In all honestly, does it appear to be some sort of jealously that they continue to talk with their ex? However at the end of the day they are in that relationship with you and you must instill trust in them for you see yourself with them for a longer-term, all relationships are built on healthy habits. It may be beneficial to ask why they continue to still communicate with their ex, however if they say that there are no true feelings between them anymore, you shouldn't have the power to control what your partner does or who they talk to. Just express your feelings with them and see how they react!
November 19th, 2021 5:28am
You can open the discussion, but unfortunately you cannot control what someone else does. Start by telling them how it makes you feel when they talk with their ex. Having the conversation is the most important step. Also, ask yourself why you would like them to stop talking to their ex. Are you jealous? Do you feel competition? Do you feel like they will leave you for their ex? Understanding why this bothers you can help you notice if this is something you may be able to work through on your end so that you may eventually feel comfortable with them talking with their ex. Lastly, if this is something that really bothers you and you can’t see any way around it, ask yourself if this is a dealbreaker in the relationship. There is no right or wrong answer here. You deserve to be happy in a relationship, and it’s worth a shot trying to get there. Ultimately, remember you cannot control the other person - only yourself.
December 3rd, 2021 2:27pm
Partners are meant to respect and honor your feelings and wishes. If there is something causing you emotional stress, I encourage you to express it in a calm, collected way. There is nothing wrong with being open to your partner about how they or their actions are making you feel. In order to come to a place where both people feel respected, it's very important that you don't invalidate their feelings, but actually fully listen to their thoughts and take it into consideration before responding. You know the situation best, so I hope my words helped give you understanding on an approach that encourages positive results.