Do you get twitchy when your significant other mentions an ex? I’ve found that a lot of people get either uber defensive or jealous when an ex is brought into conversation. I used to be that way. If an ex was mentioned, I’d just immediately recede into a seething ball of insecurity.
I can understand why for the most part because sometimes contextually, it might not be done in a nice or relevant matter. I mean, in retrospect, it was never put in conversational terms. Once when my son’s dad was pissed at me, his mature and witty come back was, and I quote- “I’ve fucked hotter bitches than you.”
Yes. That’s the charming
man idiot that I procreated with.
Now I am better at recognizing that there is a way to innocently bring up an ex to tell a story. There is a strong chance in every relationship that there were others before you and that there will be others after you. Some people are lucky and find their soul mate or whatever rather quickly. Others aren’t as fortunate for one reason or another. Finding someone who keeps butterflies permanently in your stomach can be a daunting and exhausting process.
However, we can learn a lot from our own exes and the ex-lovers of our current significant others. It’s important to listen to those stories- even your own.
It’s not secret that I have a lot of residual issues and frankly damage from past relationships. Someone else understanding those issues and why I have them is extremely important for me to move forward with them. The difference is that I’ve learned not to compare or accuse. You can have a conversation and say, “Look, I experienced this and that is why I get upset over x, y, and z. I’m just letting you know that I know you’re not him/her, but this *insert thing person did or said* makes me uncomfortable or nervous because I went through that. I’m trying my best to not get upset about it, but sometimes I can’t stop it.”
There. Simple, right?
Anyone who loves you and cares about you will understand that sometimes things they say or do triggers past feelings. It just is that awful deja vu feeling like, “Christ. How did I get here again?” No one likes feeling that. It puts you immediately back in a really bad place and ruins your mood.
The biggest part of relationships is learning from them before you enter the next one. What happened in your past relationship that made it not work? And I don’t mean what they did. That’s part of it. But you should always do an analysis of yourself. What could you have done differently? What did you do that may have perpetuated certain situations or instigated fights? Were you overly sensitive about some things when maybe you could have let them go? Do you need to be a better listener?
We can all be better. We can all be more attentive partners, more loving partners, more patient partners.
You need to know what your partner experienced in the past so that you can understand why they are they way they are now. The guy I dated after my son’s dad was super defensive about how he spent his time apart from me because of the girl he dated before me. I got that. She didn’t like him taking fishing trips on the weekends. I was at least able to understand why my being okay with that was so important to him. Not being patient and cool with his travel schedule ended his previous relationship. Got it. Don’t be a dick about fishing.
**Must be noted that he broke up with me after 11 months and got back together with that chick. I never onced bitched about that shit.**
There is a right and wrong way for us to bring up our exes. Throwing shit in your loved one’s face about what your ex did or didn’t do and comparing them to that person every time they do something wrong isn’t going to get you far.
Additionally, using your exes in a blatant attempt to make your new person of interest jealous is a shitty fucking thing to do as well.
The biggest thing you have to do is understand that you aren’t the first and you might not be the last. Don’t go ballastic over your boyfriend or girlfriend talking about their ex if they don’t do it ad nauseum. If it’s persistent in their behavior, bring it up (without acting like a maniac). Let them know that you feel like they talk about that person unnecessarily sometimes and you don’t understand why.
Find out why they are telling these stories. Don’t automatically go to psychotic, jealous rage. Even if it’s a sex story. You’re not the only person they’ve fucked. As long as it’s not malicious, just have fun with it. We all have funny sex stories or, “hey I’ve tried this and I really liked it, can we do that?” moments. Just relax and enjoy the fact that this person is yours now.
Be patient and know the difference between innocuous stories and someone berating your via their ex. Don’t be jealous. Don’t be spiteful. Learn and love.