Do you Feel Jealous of His Ex? Three Proven Steps To Improve Your Relationship
Feel Like a Muse (even if your guy isn't a poet)
If you find yourself dating a guy for a little while, there will be things that will trigger your insecurities. What if he is still friends with his ex? It's natural that you feel insecure. If you feel jealous of his ex, keep reading because there are ways to communicate with him that will improve your relationship.
You may not be committed to each other yet, but you like him more and more, and the relationship is becoming deeper. However, when he talks to his former girlfriend, you feel threatened. How you handle this situation will make or break your relationship.
Figuring out why he is still in contact with her, will help you know what to do in the relationship. There are three possibilities of what may be going on between your boyfriend and his ex.
Their relationship is over, and they both are healthy people
In this case, you can be happy because you are with a great guy. When your guy talks ill about their ex, it's a big red flag. You should be more cautious when he speaks negatively about her than when he is friends with her. Still, it's understandable that you feel jealous of his ex. But keep reading for the tips on how to handle this situation.
He still loves her and hopes that they will get back together
In this case, there is not much you can do to change this situation. What matters is that you learn this soon enough, so you don't get emotionally attached to him. What matters is that you take care of yourself and protect your heart. Once you realize this, you know what to do.
He is a people pleaser and is easily manipulated by her
This situation is definitely a delicate one. You don't want to put him in a bind by demanding anything from him. Doing this will just perpetuate his tendency to please you. So, you don't allow him to make his own decision. Instead, you further reinforce his tendency to be a people pleaser. He will resent you someday. The methods that I provide don't involve demands.
So, now what? You are not sure in which category he is, and you don't know how to handle this situation. It's understandable that you want him to stop hanging out with his former girlfriends.
The method that I will give you will help you figure out where his heart is and improve relationship if it's worth it. The most important thing is that you don't assume anything about his feelings towards her or you. Doing so will trigger you to be upset and say or do something you may regret.Keep in mind that you may be upset not just based on his actions, but also based on what you bring from the past. Your childhood upbringing and previous relationships all cause you to feel a certain way about yourself. Thus, you should avoid accusing him if you feel jealous of his ex.
The first step to do if you are jealous of his ex: get in touch with your feelings
What matters now is that you focus only on yourself. Pause and take note of what feelings come up when you think of his friendship with his ex. In therapy sessions with my clients, I help them process their feelings by asking them relevant questions that will help them explore and get insight into what truly hurts them. Very often it's something from the past.
If the relationship with your parents was complicated, you might be more prone to feel jealous of his ex. This means that your parents didn't provide you with a sense of emotional safety, security, and self-esteem. When this happens, we struggle in romantic relationships later in life.
You may also feel hurt due to some past relationships. If you lost trust in some of your past relationships, it's just natural that you feel jealous of his ex when he is friends with her.
But, it's important to note here that none of these reasons involve him and his actions. Once you go through the process of this exploration, you will be able to honor yourself more and do what's right for you.
Questions that will help you explore your feelings
What specific situations trigger me to be jealous of his ex? You will focus on the behaviors and situations that cause you to feel this way.
What does this situation remind me of? This question will help you explore what other situations bring up the same feelings.
What feelings come up when I experience these triggers and situations? You will want to go deep down to the fears that are underlying this jealousy. Those feelings could be insecurities, fears, sadness, abandonment, etc.
What are some other situations in the past in which I felt like this? This question will help you go back to the past situations in which you felt this way. It could be when your younger sister was born, and all the attention went to her, or when you didn't get a promotion at work, etc.
What did these feelings tell me about myself? This is one of the most important questions. Usually, when we get hurt and don't repair it, our self-esteem takes a hit. Thus we wind up with the diminished concept of self. We may create beliefs, such as, "I'm not good enough," I'm not worthy of love," etc.
Usually, these old beliefs come back to hurt us in these triggering situations. So, when you feel jealous of his ex, note these beliefs and feelings. It's usually old stuff.When you get in touch with your emotions, you will be able to feel less confused in relationships. Your feelings will give you information and grounding you need. In my course, Self-Love Revolution, I guide you through this process of getting in touch with your feelings through your anger.
The second step is figuring out how you want to communicate with your boyfriend
Once you are clear with your feelings, it's time to decide how vulnerable you want to be when talking to him about your feelings. This will depend on your level of comfort and your relationship with him. In other words, if you are in a new relationship, you may feel less inclined to be vulnerable.
For instance, if you are not comfortable being vulnerable, you may choose to say something like, "I don't feel comfortable when you are so close to your ex," or "I'm not feeling free to invest more into this relationship when you are so close to your ex."
In contrast, when you feel more comfortable expressing your deeper feelings and if you are closer to your guy, you can say something like, " I feel insecure and as if I'm not worthy of love when you keep your friendship with your ex."
Once you decide how you want to communicate with him, you can proceed to talk to your partner.
The third step in managing your jealousy is communicating with your boyfriend
The most important part here is that you don't accuse him of wrongdoing. At this point, there is nothing wrong with being friends with his ex. Another critical thing to note is that there is no right or wrong. Instead, there is consideration about your feelings.
Note that the examples from the previous step don't accuse him of anything. You are just expressing your feelings when he does something. At the very least, he will respect you for this, but most likely if he is not in love with his ex, he will feel closer to you.
Expressing your feelings to your boyfriend will help you see where you stand with him. Once you go through the first step, you will be clear about what you feel, and the second step will help you decide how you want to talk to him.
Now, you are ready to share how you feel about him being friends with his ex. You can easily say you are jealous of his ex. There is nothing wrong with that.
Once you share your feelings with him, he will be intrigued and appreciate that you care for him enough that you are jealous. Note that if you speak with him openly, he should not have a tendency to attack you by saying something like, "You are jealous."
What happens next
You already expressed yourself openly. Men like it. They feel safe to fall in love with you when you are open and vulnerable. In fact, when you tolerate his bad behaviors, they may feel they can't trust you.
There is nothing more you need to do in regards to feeling jealous towards his ex. All you can do is let him pickle in what you said. If he is a man you want, he will feel protective of you. He will want to take care of your feelings and make you feel secure.
How will he do that? We don't know. He may reduce his contacts with his ex, or he may try to make it up to you in some way and show you that you are the one who matters to him. If he doesn't, then it will be clear to you eventually that he is not your man.
Other benefits of expressing your feelings
You see how expressing your feelings about this help you build your relationship closer or move on. This clarity happens because you ultimately acknowledge and respect your feelings.
When you take care of your feelings, then others can respect you and your boundaries. Your feelings are not right or wrong. They are just feelings, and when you express them, you don't have to harbor resentment that turns into something potentially ugly.
Your emotions will also help you avoid bad boyfriend spell. As you go through the process of healing, you will be attracted to good guys that will be good for you and give you love that you crave.
In my therapy and coaching practice, I help clients heal the old emotional wounds that prevent them from enjoying love and relationships. You too are welcome to book a complimentary discovery session with me.
You can also apply these principles about sharing your emotions with your partner to improve your relationship and deal with feeling jealous of his ex.
Support is available as counseling or relationship coaching
In the case that you need relationship coaching or counseling to help you heal and deal with these difficult feelings, I'm here to help. We all need a little extra help. And why not? If you can get closer to your goal of getting the love you want, why wouldn't you? Life is precious, and why would you let the months or years pass you by.
Schedule a free 15-30 minute consult; I will help you figure out what you need to work on to enjoy your love life or relationships.
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