Dear Wendy: “I’m Jealous Of My Boyfriend’s Friendship With His Ex”

My boyfriend is still friends with his ex-girlfriend of a year, who also happens to be friends with all of his friends. They all hang out often and I see that they still talk over text messages and in person. I really feel uncomfortable and that it’s unfair that he’s still friends with her when he has told me it would be easier on our relationship if I didn’t talk to my ex of three years. I’ve only met this girl once and she has introduced herself to me but it doesn’t change how I feel about their friendship. I don’t know if I trust him or believe that he does not have feelings for her anymore. How can I ask him if he still loves her or tell him that it makes me feel uncomfortable without coming off like a complete psycho? — Ex Files

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The problem isn’t so much that your boyfriend is friends with his ex; it’s that you don’t, as you say, “trust him or believe that he does not have feelings for her anymore.” Even if your boyfriend were to cease all contact with his ex, if you don’t trust him or you still suspect he’s nursing feelings for her, your relationship isn’t going to last. So, instead of forbidding him to see or speak to his ex — which is where you begin to verge on “psycho” behavior — get to the bottom of your own feelings. Why don’t you trust your boyfriend? Why do you suspect he isn’t over his ex? Are these feelings grounded is reality — has he given you reason to doubt his loyalty to you? Or, are you just naturally a skeptical person who has a hard time trusting people? If it’s the former, then you need to (rationally!) discuss your fears with your boyfriend and see if there’s anything he can say or do to earn your trust or convince you he only has feelings for you. If he can’t, or if the problem is really your own inability to trust guys, you either have to move on, or figure out a way to deal with your demons. Therapy could help. Spending time with your boyfriend’s group of friends — including the ex — could help (in that it could show you that the dynamic between them in strictly platonic). And doing a little self-reflecting could go a long way in helping you pinpoint the root of your fears and attack them head-on.

Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Thinks I’m Too Opinionated”

My boyfriend and I were good friends before we started dating, and have now been together for over a year. Unfortunately, we also tend to have frequent misunderstandings and arguments. Sometimes it feels like we’re just going around in circles and having the same arguments every single time we fight. We have both talked about breaking up before, but always end up talking ourselves out of it. I feel stupid for always giving in, and it just makes me sick to my stomach that I seem to have become “that girl” who has to always be in a relationship. Even as I say this though — that I don’t like who I am becoming, that it doesn’t feel right to still be with him — I know that I won’t leave him. I had been talking to my mom when all signs pointed to breaking up, and when she found out that we were still together she raged on me and said that I needed some self-respect. That really hurt. I feel completely pathetic and alone. I just finished my first year in university, and upon returning home most of my friends have moved on to other things. I feel like if I leave him, I won’t have anyone else. What should I do? — Scared to Leave

Well, it sounds like you know what you need to do. You’re unhappy with him, you fight all the time, it doesn’t “feel right” to stay together with him, so you know you need to break up. But you’re both co-dependent, so every time you try to break up, you talk yourselves out of it. If only one of you was co-dependent, you could do this, but you’re both co-dependent — you’re both afraid of being alone — so you stay together, even though the relationship is an unhappy one. There’s really nothing I can say that you probably haven’t already told yourself a million times. You know what needs to be done. You just have to get he balls to do it. You have to realize that your boyfriend isn’t with you because he’s madly in love with you; he’s with you the same reason you’re with him — he’s afraid to be alone. Do you really want to be that for someone? An emotional crutch? If so, stay with him. But if you want to give yourself a chance to create a fulfilling life — without or without a boyfriend — then MOA. You can make new friends, date other guys, and have a very full and fun life. Life is what you make of it.

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