Jump to content

I'm ruining my relationship with my insecurity

Recommended Posts

I have been feeling like I'm living in the shadow of my boyfriend's ex wife. It seems that everywhere we go, someone has a story to tell or a question to ask about his ex wife. This past weekend we spent with some of his friends and family at the beach. Naturally, when we arrive at his sister's house, my bf's son starts pulling out picture albums and wants my bf to look at his mom when she had long hair, etc. The next day, a large group of his friends gathered on the beach and spent the day together. The conversation started about the cruise that they all took together 10 years ago (the cruise included ex wife). Obviously, I couldn't contribute to this conversation at all and just sat there feeling very excluded. I feel like someone or something is ALWAYS bringing her up and I just want to move forward with my bf. He says that we are creating our own memories and that he hadn't seen these folks in years so they are naturally going to bring up a mutual topic for discussion (the cruise).


My bf is getting sick of hearing my complaints about his ex wife and thinks it's ridiculous that I could even have any anxiety over her. In my mind, we have been dating for 1.5 years now and it's time for people to start moving on.


Additionally, at 1.5 years into dating for bf and his ex, they were engaged. We are not even close to an engagement. It makes me wonder why I'm not as good as she was that he would want to marry her by this point and yet he doesnt' want to marry me yet. I've asked him what she did that was better than what I can do and he said that it was just the point in his life (25, good job, house, etc) where he thought he was supposed to get married and she happened to be the person that he was with at the time. I guess that's supposed to make me feel better somehow.


We are both divorced with 4 kids between us. I am 38, he is 39. Can anyone help me deal with these insecurities about why his ex is better than me and why I have to hear about her all the time?

Link to comment

I can understand you becoming upset/jealous, but there's nothing you can do about it really. Your BF is right, he cannot help people bringing her up if he hasn't seen them for a long time and they talk about something from the past.


Have you thought that maybe the reason he doesn't want to marry yet is because he has already been divorced once and doesn't want to rush into things.


I think it can be hard for a woman to step into someone else's place, especially when children are involved but really you have the better side of him now, because he would have learnt from his last divorce and become a stronger, better person for it.

Link to comment

I don't understand this at all. I have to be honest, having been through divorce, my measure of 'whether I'm good enough' is NOT 'does he want to marry me?' We all know where that can lead.


You have identified your problem - YOUR problem. You have also identified a HUGE red flag - that your boyfriend has said repeatedly that he is tired of this behaviour. Why on earth would he want to get engaged to someone who is too jealous to allow him time with his friends if that includes discussing shared memories?


He is right - you are (or ought to be) building shared memories. His wife is in the past, that's why all they have to talk about is memories. I hope your attitude doesn't mean that your children are never allowed to mention their father....


You know - because you are here - that you are in the process of successfully destroying this relationship. So get a grip. Bite back the words. Deal with your own shrivelled self esteem. It's not HIS fault. It is your attitude.




Just use that as a mantra and learn to appreciate the fact that you are not with some guy who is so embittered that he can't bear to hear his Ex's name mentioned. Believe me, I have dated some of those and couldn't run fast enough.


Do you not see that he is displaying maturity, generosity of spirit and a healthy gratitude for the good times (before the bad ones)?


Why not tell him you are sorry about your insecurity and jealousy, he's just such a wonderful guy that you can't help wishing you had met each other years ago... and ask him to teach you how to be so positive. He has a rare and lovely gift, don't throw this relationship away!!


ETA: Don't you remember how when you were pregnant, pregnant women seemed to pop out of the woodwork? It's only the same thing. YOU are somehow sensitised to this woman's presence in conversation now. I wonder if this has been the case all through your relationship, or if you had some worry which you haven't addressed and you are projecting it onto her somehow? How long have you felt this way?

Link to comment

Speranza - I think I need to clarify that I'm not saying that I am placing all of my value on this guy deciding if he wants to marry me but I HAVE wondered why her but not me and I can only assume that she must have been better than me at making him happy or he wouldn't have wanted to marry her. Having been divorced myself, I'm experienced enough to know that if I don't make him happy then I don't want to be with him. The fact that we really haven't had much in the way of conversation about marriage makes me feel that we are just a couple that is dating with no plans for the future and that is not what I want for my future. I DO want to be married again. I DO want to have a partner in life. I want all of those things that I tried to have the first time around.


Honestly, Speranza, I feel as if your post is a little attacking. I've shared my thoughts and worries here in this forum and I've been accused of placing my self worth on whether he wants to marry me and on my jealousy and "Why on earth would he want to get engaged to someone who is too jealous to allow him time with his friends if that includes discussing shared memories?

". I DID "allow" him time with his friends to discuss memories. That situation was an obvious exclusion of me. I had NOTHING that I could contribute to that conversation. It went on for 15-20 minutes as I sat there, unable to participate or bond with these friends (which is what I came to do in the first place).


You are right that I am sensitized to the ex wife. There are many reminders of her life with him....the house they built together, the decorations in the house, his friends are husbands to her friends in many cases. You DO bring up a good point though about why I have been so heightened to my sensitivities. That is that we have reached the point in dating that he was ready to marry her. I'm jealous of that. In my previous marriage, I dated him for 6 years and finally had to tell him that I was ready to take the next step or move on. He never asked me to marry him. I don't think he ever would have. My deep down need is to be loved enough that someone would actually ask me to marry them without me having to beg for it. Maybe that's the root of the whole problem. I don't know.


I thought that if I came here to post that maybe I wouldn't feel the need to nag my bf about all of my insecurities because I can discuss and get it off my chest in this forum.

Link to comment

Hiya, I really can understand how you feel, not that I have been there, but I have to say that if I could not handle people talking about an ex-wife sometimes and would find myself constantly comparing myself/our relationship to theirs and the timescales, I wouldn't get involved with a man with an ex-wife in the first place.


You have to expect to hear these things. My mum is re-married and sometimes my step-dad will mention his ex-wife and my mum openly chats with him about it because they both know that it doesn't matter now, they are together now.


Something is wrong.

Link to comment



I'm with you on the cruise conversation. In my opinion, it's rude to have a discussion in front of any new person meeting a group of friends that by its nature will automatically exclude them from the conversation. Doubly so when that conversation involves the ex-wife and the new person is the new girlfriend. Was this your first time meeting those friends and how did they act toward you for the rest of the weekend?


On the other hand, you really shouldn't be bothered by his son pulling out old pictures of his mom. My fiancees' kids talk to me about their dad quite a bit, and it's just something you have to learn to deal with.


Regarding your engagement insecurities: have you and him had the relationship talk about where it is going? After 1.5 years I would think that you'd both at least have an idea about where you see the relationship. You shouldn't compare timelines though, because at 25 he was young and dumb and didn't have kids to worry about. You shouldn't be offended if he only wants to take things a little slower this time to make sure that you mesh well with his kids.

Link to comment

Hiya, I really didn't mean to attack you, I'm so sorry... I did wonder if it was about the timing.


I still think the best thing to do is to step back mentally and say to yourself, "I am being overly sensitive here."


I agree, perhaps people could have included you a little more. But it would have been hard in that particular conversation. What I suggest (though I know this isn't easy, if I'm in a vulnerable mood I would find it hard) is that you leave them to talk for a while (if it happens again) and then say, "It's great hearing about all this stuff, but I wonder if you'd mind me asking how your holidays went THIS year? I know I'm a bit over sensitive, but it's a bit hard when I can't join in..."


Or say that to one or two of his friends. I think for things to move forward, you could perhaps acknowledge to him that you may have over-reacted and that you are trying to pull back but that you will need a bit of help, so could he look out for you in such situations?


Again, please forgive me for hurting your feelings. It's the last thing you need!

Link to comment

FGA --


You and I have similar relationships (though neither my boyfriend and I have kids)....he had a very civil divorce and is actually still friends with his ex (though, not close - they see each other for lunch maybe once a year when he goes back to his hometown). I tend to have the same issue surrounding talk about the ex. His family is actually still close to her, and his brother's wife was a bridesmaid in her recent wedding! There have been a few conversations where I have felt excluded or felt bad when she comes up and everyone shares memories. I, too, get that feeling of - why her and not me?


The way I deal with it is by being honest with myself - listen, no one really wants to hear about their partner's exes...it's not fun, but I think when you have such a strong reaction from it - there is something underneath. For me (and I think probably for you), the issue underneath is the fact that he is not commiting to you to the level that you want. So, try to focus on that issue. Don't make your fights/conversations about an ex that is out of the picture. Focus them on what you want out of your relationship with him, and how you guys are going to get there. I think by doing that you'll present a much more rational and unemotional side that he'll be better able to identify with. And, I'm guessing, if you were at the point of commitment that you wanted to be, you'd probably be less upset if his ex occassionally comes up with old friends.


So, bottom line: zero in on the real issue and try to get some resolution on that.

Link to comment

Sweetheart, I think you may be a little oversensitive. It comes out in this post and in your interactions with your bf. I notice you key in on when he married her but you don't think about the ending of their marriage.


My bf is somewhat similar to yours. We've been dating for almost 2 years and there is very little talk of marriage. He's been divorced and has kids. He married his ex wife after 1.5 years. But to me, I know that he's needing more time - to get himself together and to observe our relationship - before he thinks about commitment. That said, when you are at the point where you want to talk about it, it's incumbent upon you to do so. You should at least bring up with topic with him and let him know what you want and then leave it to him to think about it.


You don't need to wait another six years if you are not happy with that.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...