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Guys and their exes...


Cynder

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Before I get to the meat of the problem... a little bit of my case history:

 

First serious boyfriend (6 year relationship) had two exes he was completely hung up on. One of them, named Sue, cheated on him. And so for 6 years he was convinced that I was either cheated, had cheated, or was planning to cheat on him. His only reason was "Well, Sue did." I never gave the man anything to be suspicious about. He knew where I was 24/7. Yet he was always so paranoid because of some girl who came way before me.

 

His other ex, Amy, was his "true love." He made it known that she would always have his heart and no one, no matter what, would ever take her place. This was just as upsetting as the Sue situation.

 

My now ex husband, who I was married to for 8 years, together almost ten years total. He had a lot of exes... but two in particular caused throns in my side.

 

There was Chrissy, his one and only love. He told me one one ocasion that the only thing stopping him from being with her is not knowing how to contact her. He told me (a year into our marriage, mind you) that if Chrissy ever came knocking on our door, I would be out on my ass. He had a shoebox full of pictures and love letters from Chrissy that he almost treated like a holy relic. He was a musician and wrote romantic love songs about her (which he played for me and asked my opinion on.) He had a notebook full of poems and short stories about Chrissy. AND, on top of all this, I went to high school with Chrissy and she is one of the girls who bullied me pretty bad. So that was just like adding insult to injury.

 

Then, there was Brenda... he never actually met her, it was an online relationship. But he had a lot of pent up anger toward her that he took out on me. I was also pretty insecure about my body back then. He flaunted the Brenda was Hooter girl and that he had tons of naked pics of her that he used for his own private entertainment when I wasn't home. That about crushed me.

 

Now we come to my current relationship... Been together a year and a half. He is still friends with pretty much all his exes which doesn't bother me all that much.

 

I am bothered by the one he isn't still friends with.

 

There are some comments he has made that are devastating. I don't think he meant them to be, but still.

 

He told me a while back in his own subtle way that she was better in bed then I am. Of course he didn't come right out and say that. It takes forever for him to get off when we have sex. I mean, we are a good hour into things before he ever starts getting close to orgasm. By then I've usually had 5 or 6, lol.

 

And one night he was talking about her and he said, "Once she got the hang of getting me off she could get me off pretty quick." Keep in mind I didn't ask for this information. He volunteered it.

 

It did come up in a later conversation though. I told him he basically told me she was a better lay then I am. And all he had to say was "Sorry." then he added "You're pretty good too."

 

He told me once that in the three years they were together they never spent more then 24 hours apart. Then he tells me he likes that we only see each other on weekends because he likes his alone time. Ok, I appreciate my alone time too. It's not like I want him up my ass all the time or likewise. But why would he bother telling me that him and her were always together then?

 

He was talking one night about how he feels love. And he told me (once again, voluntarily, I didn't ask) that he felt love for her differently then for me. He said it was stronger for her.

 

I was crushed, immediately told him that, and I considered dumping him over that one comment.

 

He cried and told me he was sorry. He said she is all he has to compare me to because I am only his second relationship. He said he is just trying to figure out his own feelings, etc. I told him maybe he shouldn't treat everything like a comparison. He said his feelings for her were strong but he is happier with me. He told me maybe it was just stronger with her because she was his first. Idk...

 

Last year around this time he took the time to tell me the things he bought her for Christmas. He has told me way more then I want to know... He told me he was going to propose to her. But he also told me how bad she treated him and that makes me wonder why the hell he wanted to marry her.

 

He hasn't said anything recently... but a couple things have me thinking about all this crap. I have lost a lot of weight and I actually just went down a bra size. A while back he made it a point to tell me that he named her boobs and that they were small and perky. Earlier I was telling him I need to go bra shopping again because I need a smaller one he was making some funny comments about that and all I could think was "What are you getting all excited because you want mine to be small and perky like hers that you named and everything."

 

And it doesn't help that she is absolutely drop dead gorgeous, a perfect ten and I have always considered myself on the lower end of average.

 

So, I hope everyone understands he hasn't really done anything recently. But sometimes this stuff creeps into my mind and makes me sad. I'm not sure why I can't just get over it. I also don't understand why I always end up with guys who have some kind of ex girlfriend complex.

 

I told him that one night and he told me that his isn't near as bad and other guys in my past. Yea, that may be true... but that doesn't make it ok.

 

So how do I beat these feelings? Am I just being too sensitive?

 

I also want to point out that aside from this, everything is fine between him and I. He doesn't treat me bad like the two previous relationships I described above. He just has what seems to be a little hang up... I guess.

 

So does anyone have any wisdom to offer?

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Oh dear heavens. Why did you continue to be in relationships with these clowns after they told you they were hung up on their exes? My only response to that would be, "Great, go to X then because I want a man who puts me first." Seriously you need to take a hard look at what's going on that you are attracted to guys who are so blatantly hung up on their exes and then you stay with them. There are a billion guys out there who can't stand their exes and want nothing to do with them, so you've got a clear pattern going where you seem attracted to men who aren't really emotionally available to you. And stop letting them tell you all about the exes, that just opens the doorway to them thinking it's acceptable behavior and it isn't. So tell them to shup up or you'll start talking about your first love and how you wish you could be together, but alas you can't so lucky you, you found someone willing to be second best.

 

Yes, I know I'm being sarcastic, but nothing quite galls and appalls me like guys and girls who have the nerve to talk about other men and women they fancy to the one they're with. It's a special brand of cruel that I just can't fathom and refuse to accept. And you shouldn't either. Also don't sell yourself short. You're only problem is you're the rebound girl when you need to find someone who places you first in line. Choose a better person to be with and if you aren't attracted to them then find out why. Stop settling for jerks and yeah, every one of these guys you describe is a Class 1 A**hat.

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The wisdom I have to offer you is that you deserve to be treated like no woman was ever before you. True love does not compare. To the curb! I can't believe you have even experienced guys like this. How terrible. He's dropping subtle hints to you and it's disgusting. Seriously, I would run.

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Well, in the case of the first one, all I can say is I was young and stupid. I started dating him when I was 17.

 

In the case of the ex husband... this stuff didn't start until after I married him. That's still no excuse though. I could have divorced him but didn't. My parents just threw us this wedding, etc. I just saw marriage as a commitment even if I felt like I was duped into it. It's like the jerk didn't come out until after the ring was on.

 

My current boyfriend had been single for two years when we met. He didn't show any signs of this early on.

 

I don't exactly tolerate it from him either though like I did in the past. The night I almost dumped him I think was a real wake up call. He hasn't talked about her since, (and that was months ago) but the damage is already done and I'm trying to get over the hurt he caused when he did talk about her. It sucks.

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The wisdom I have to offer you is that you deserve to be treated like no woman was ever before you. True love does not compare. To the curb! I can't believe you have even experienced guys like this. How terrible. He's dropping subtle hints to you and it's disgusting. Seriously, I would run.

 

I've considered it. I almost dumped him on the spot when he told me his feelings were stronger for her.

 

But, like I said above, I think that might have been a wake up call because I haven't heard it since and that was months ago. I really think he realized how much it was getting to me and he stopped. I hope so anyway. If it starts again then that's something I will have to deal with accordingly.

 

I just get so down sometimes thinking about this stuff even though he doesn't talk like that anymore. Something as simple as needing to buy a new bra has me all sad and down now because it just made me think of her small perky boobs.

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Just cause he doesn't mention it anymore that doesn't mean he wouldn't up and leave you if she walked back into his life.

 

You deserve better than 2nd choice but you have to ultimately make the decision to move on...or not. I just don't see it ending well but your life is your own.

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Just cause he doesn't mention it anymore that doesn't mean he wouldn't up and leave you if she walked back into his life.

 

You deserve better than 2nd choice but you have to ultimately make the decision to move on...or not. I just don't see it ending well but your life is your own.

 

I know... and that thought has crossed my mind, like what if she does come back? And they have a ton of mutual friends, so it's possible she might too.

 

He told me she broke up with him in a really cruel way. Then after him she was with a married man for a while, then after that she had a fling with her best friend's boyfriend...

 

All I could think was, Wow, she sounds like such a lovely person. Sleeping with married men and her friends' boyfriends, what a winner.

 

So I guess I can tell myself that I am better then that, (because I am.) But apparently something about her (as bad as she is) really got to him.

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I think that it might be helpful to ask yourself why you choose to participate/play along in these comparison games (and could it be that you somehow invite these games/conversations in your life?). The fact that you may be prompted to do so from time to time (at 35 everyone has had exes that they may have felt more strongly about than their current relationship without that meaning that the current relationship isn't overall better for them) does not mean that you have to accept that invitation/challenge. You could also cut these conversations short and let comments pass without analysing them so much given that this woman was his first love and out of his life. You say that he has stopped all comments, which means that he did take into consideration your feelings and that he DOES value you. Maybe it's time to stop the comparison game in your own head -unless he crosses that boundary again. The common denominator in your relationships is you. Maybe it's time to cut these kind of conversations short instead of participating in them and then letting them bother you.

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Yea, you're right. Usually he just blurts this stuff out and then it's already out there for me to deal with. It's like there is no slow build up for me to say "Hey, I don't want to hear anymore about her."

 

Like the getting off thing for example... he was talking about how it's so hard for him to get off, the ex wasn't even being mentioned, then suddenly he just busts out with how good she was at getting him off. Same was true with the stronger feelings thing.

 

But I know I also need to work on thinking a little differently too. I wish I could get to a point where I just let stuff like this go right over my head and never think about it again, but I'm apparently not that strong.

 

And, I had exes too that I felt strongly for. Some of them were better in bed, etc. But the difference is I would never tell him that. One night (it was actually the night I almost dumped him) I asked him how he would feel if I talked that way about any man in my past. He started crying and said he would be devastated and now he feels even worse for talking that way to me about her.

 

When I've talked about exes to him it's been different... like one time we were telling each other drunk stories and I said, "One time my ex got so drunk he threw up all over my back porch." stuff like that. It's not, "Oh I was so in love! etc..."

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The problem with this stuff is "what's done can't be undone" "what's said can't be unsaid"

 

so you have all the information ( and for the record I would feel EXACTLY the same as you about this stuff ) so it is your job now to make sure he knows that this in unnaceptable and it needs to stop ....so you never have any new information to deal with .

 

then it is a case of not allowing it to fester and go round and round in your head and that is the hard part .

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Okay these guys have issues but you are worse. You put up with it! 6 years, 10 years, now you have wasted another 18 months on another loser.

 

You need to get therapy. Figure out why your self esteem is so low that you will stay in a relationship with someone who makes you miserable. Someone who tells you straight that you are second best. That is horrible.

 

These men have issues. Healthy people get over their exes, they grieve the loss, deal with it, they eventually realize that it did not work out for a reason and they are ready to meet someone better-to fall in love properly again. If a person cannot do that then there is something wrong with them

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The problem with this stuff is "what's done can't be undone" "what's said can't be unsaid"

 

so you have all the information ( and for the record I would feel EXACTLY the same as you about this stuff ) so it is your job now to make sure he knows that this in unnaceptable and it needs to stop ....so you never have any new information to deal with .

 

then it is a case of not allowing it to fester and go round and round in your head and that is the hard part .

 

Oh yea, not letting it fester is really hard, especially when it's already started.

 

But I do really try to deal with it the best I can.

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You can be proactive about his blurting things out by saying "don't bring her up to me about anything anymore and if you can't do that then it's time to end this because you clearly are still emotionally tied up with her and aren't free to be with me like I deserve." Say it BEFORE she comes up in a conversation. Launch the salvo first, dont' wait for his torpedo to gall your hull.

 

That's takes courage to stand sentry to your boundaries like that and be willing to be alone until the right man comes along who has no need to still hold a torch for an ex. Question is: do you have courage?

 

It's easy to make excuses and stay with someone who treats you like this and be miserable; it's far harder to be by yourself until the right man comes along.

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But I know I also need to work on thinking a little differently too. I wish I could get to a point where I just let stuff like this go right over my head and never think about it again, but I'm apparently not that strong.

No, you already let too much slide as it is. The things you are describing are things that would upset almost all women, these are not the kinds of comments that we are "strong" and just overlook, they're the kinds of comments that we need to let our partners know up front are not appropriate.

 

It sounds to me like you talk waaaaay too much with your partners about their exes. I know you said sometimes this current guy just blurts stuff out--that is when you take the opportunity to let him know that you are not interested in hearing flattering information about his former lovers, ESPECIALLY not in a sexual context or (GOD FORBID) any time during or around when you guys are having sex. (I never want to hear another woman's name in my bed during sex or any time before or after at least half an hour.)

 

I know you are probably curious, but make sure you are only asking about stuff that you really need to know, not just stuff you are morbidly and masochistically curious about. And make sure he's only talking about his exes because it's somehow necessary, not just because he wants to reminisce for a few minutes.

 

Sometimes a person isn't over their ex and you can determine that and decide they are still too preoccupied with them for you to want to date them. I think that has been the case with one or more of the men you mentioned. But I also think for some of them you are prying too much. Anybody who pries too much in the former love life of their partner is bound to get hurt, it's pretty much impossible to avoid. Focus on evaluating the guys you date based on their current behavior towards you more than worrying about things related to their past. And also set standards that you do not want to hear your partner speak too flatteringly about other women. This is reasonable. Nobody, man or woman, wants to feel that their partner thinks more highly of others than of them, so there should always be more positive things said about YOU than anyone else, that's the way it's supposed to be, because their words are supposed to reflect the fact they have chosen to commit themselves to YOU.

 

To just talk about the general topic--I know close to nothing about my husband's former relationships and he knows little about mine. There is one ex of his who continues to make problems for us to this day--she obviously still wants him romantically even after he and I being together for over seven years. I don't make an issue of it right now because I just don't feel threatened by her...yet. I have multiple exes who could pose potential problems for us, some he knows about, some he does not. The thing is that it's about the current relationship--those people only become threats when we are not satisfied with the relationship we are in. Everyone, I think, has an ex who they still have feelings for and would date again, honestly sometimes even people we like more than the people we are with. (This is not the case for me, but the fact is lots of people have "the one that got away" who they are not with not by their own choice, but because they cannot be and so they date other people because there is no sense being celibate for a person who won't even date you.) All we can do is look at the relationship in front of us and evaluate whether or not we want to continue it just the way it is.

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those guys might have felt that they started to miss their ex after being with you for awhile that's why there were probably no signs in the beginning. the only reason that they are comparing is either they realized that they miss their ex or/and they feel that there's something missing in the relationship with you. it's one thing to bring it up once but if they keep bringing it up over and over again, that means it's constantly in their mind bothering them and that's a red flag. when you're with someone that you feel is 100% right for you and that you love, you wouldn't be constantly comparing and reminiscing.

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I don't think you should have considered dumping him, I think you should have done it. Those sorts of comments are hurtful and soul destroying, I can guarantee any woman would be offended by them. I feel a bit of a hypocrite actually, telling you to dump the guy. It took ages for my relationship to end with someone who was totally hung on their ex, brought her up every 5 minutes (he even did errand runs for her, drug runs etc). But I truly believe your guy (I'm sorry forgive me) must be an idiot, to say things like this to you and not know or even have an inkling that he's crossing a line. You deserve better. Much better. I hope you can resolve these issues and if not I hope you walk in to a new relationship and be the his first priority and the only woman he talks about.

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Sure we ALL carry some sort of 'leftovers' with us.. we don't always get totally over some of our ex's...but...geeze.

As for your bf's 'sex' issue? That's HIS problem.. taking that long. (how insensitive). I dont think he, is at all 'over' his ex!

 

I agree with what Paris said. You need to think of YOU as well in this and what YOU want in life. These guys were all messed up emotionally etc.

With the fact that he's slipped up numerous times, proves his issues.

Right- the damage is done and that sucks!

 

Now what? I'd suggest either HE work on 'getting over it', or i'd split with this one.

 

Find someone much more appreciative and more compatible. Do you really need/want this to continue? No

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You don't wait for him to bring it up, you sit him down and explain how hurtful the discussions and comments are. And how they are poisoning your feelings. FInd out what it is he does feel for you though, because it may just be that you need to hear him say positive things about you too, not just a past ex. Don't let it fester and say nothing or try to will it away. I ended up divorced to a large degree, because my ex-husband said a few rather hurtful things early in our marriage and I let it "slide." It also killed any desire to be with him and that just got worse over time, not better. By the time I brought it up we were already at the attorney's office and the papers were being filed. He had no idea what he'd said had hurt me so, but it had. It was too late by then though because we'd drifted so far apart we were nearly strangers. We talked that day and it turned out to be that he'd had no idea his remarks even hurt me or that they'd festered the way they had.

 

What's said can't be unsaid, but maybe you'll find out there are things he likes/loves about you that no one else has. You have things right too or these men would not have chosen to be with you, but sometimes letting them talk about an ex, while perhaps cathartic to them, is not really your job and it's damaging. I've loved every ex in a different way, but the one I'm with is the one that counts. It may well be he is like this too, but just totally stupid in what he says. And small and perky be damned, he may do what happened with my current SO when we ran into an old flame of his. He told me, 'Whew, I used to think she was so pretty, but now um, wow, dodged a bullet there." I thought she was still pretty although a bit overweight, but she was a bit rude that day. My current SO saw it differently telling me, "I used to think she was the one that got away, now I'm really glad she did. She was always so rude to people, what was I thinking?"

 

It's easy to romanticize an ex, but reality often brings another realization--that they're your ex for a very good reason. So just talk to him about it, tell him how you're feeling, find out what the issues are and work out how to resolve it together. And if you can't or he really is stuck on his ex then go and let him get hung up on you instead. I personally sort of draw the boundaries on all of that these days, telling my SO and the men I dated before him "I don't want to hear about exes in any capacity outside of a casual "she's got the kids this weekened." Same with when they talked about other women, they could look fine but if they breathed an "Wow, did you see the pair on her," kind of a deal my reply was, "First, I"m not your drinking buddy, so you can't talk to me about another woman and have it be anything but a lack of respect and second, you're not exactly Brad Pitt yourself so think about that." I'd smile, I would be joking, but at the same time I meant what I said. It worked. They never brought it up again or they left in a hurry when they realized I was not going to let them cross certain boundaries.

 

In the end you have to learn what you're willing to put up with and not and how to draw your own personal boundaries. For me I found out a long time ago I don't want to know what my SO thinks of other women, period. It just sets up the sort of toxic obsessing and nitpicking over myself that I just don't need. Besides these guys really aren't Brad Pitt, so they should be grateful to have you. No offense to any guys out there, I know most of you won't do those types of things, but for the ones that would I am just pointing out that there are other men out there who are so much more too. And if the women in their life isn'tt running around making comments and ogling or going on about an ex then they shouldn't be either.

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I had a similar experience with a past boyfriend saying he felt more for a couple of exes than me. Unfortunately, I stayed for another year. In my experience, he likes/appreciates the stability of the relationship but you are "Ms Right Now." I think he's happy to have someone right now but he's not necessarily planning a future with you. If someone he is really into comes into the picture (whether his "10" ex or someone new), he'll drift away.

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You say that men are hung up on their exes. And you can't understand this.

Yet your post contains you being 'hung up' on YOUR exes.

 

Can you see what I mean?

 

Maybe you can understand now, that all exes will always be part of your and others lives. So just accept it.

Everyone comes with baggage.

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