So my girlfriend and I have had some issues with her ex being around. She went to school with him, they dated, they broke up. Not sure why, but they still talk. Since we have been dating she has lied to me about him being at a party that she went to. Now, normally this wouldn’t be a big deal to me, had she told me first. But I found out from HIS girlfriend over a Facebook message. She told me that he was there and she was there and that she feels like things might get physical. This created a huge argument and I decided to try to work through it. Now I still have this constant insecurity about it and I think they are still talking. I don’t know what to do about and it’s driving my crazy. Is it okay to ask if they still talk? And depending on her response what should I do?
There are a lot of other things that we’re going through and I don’t know if this is causing me to stress even more, or what. One of the main things is that our sex life went from a 10/10 to a 0/10 in the past 6 months or so. We’ve been together for nearly 2 years now.
Can a person ask someone they’re in a relationship with whether or not they’re currently in contact with their ex without an argument? Yes. Can you specifically? Nah.
First let me just say that I have an overwhelmingly negative view of how things are going in your relationship and what that means for your future. Which is to say, I don’t see you having much of a future together, if at all, without a pretty drastic change. I’m sure things are a lot worse than you’re hinting at, and you seem to allude to that fact, so given all that let me just say that I’m biased in my advice here because my experience has taught me that if someone is where you are in your relationship, things are headed to an abrupt end very soon. I could be wrong, I tend toward pessimism from time to time, but that’s just my opinion. This might be my least objective piece of advice on the blog, so fair warning.
Let me just say for the folks out there who are wondering if they can ask about whether or not their partner is currently speaking to one of their exs. Yes you can pull this off without it leading to a fight. The easiest way is to ask in a neutral tone. That means that your question should be “Are you still in contact with any of your exs?” rather than “You’re not still in contact with any of your exs, right?”. One of those sounds like you’re seeking an answer, while the other sounds like you’re seeking a specific answer. Understand?
Now, here’s why I think there’s no real way to ask your girlfriend anything about her ex without it turning into a fight: She’s dishonest, and when put in a situation where she needs to choose between honesty, dishonesty, or distracting you by instigating an argument, so far your experience has shown she’ll either lie or start a fight with you. Now, some people might say that her lying about her ex being at a party with her isn’t a big deal, and that might be true, but I’m of the mind that the motivation behind a lie tells you a lot. So, why did your girlfriend lie about her ex being at a party with her? I think it was, primarily, to control the situation and your reaction. Whether it’s lying to avoid a fight, lying to prevent your partner from getting jealous, or lying to spare someone’s feelings, the root is still all about control. Once you put her in a position where she couldn’t control your response, instead of being honest and transparent, you guys got in a big blow-up. The reason you’re worried that asking if she’s still in contact with her ex might lead to a fight is because it likely will. Because it happened the last time you confronted her about her ex and her dishonesty around him. Let me ask you something, how did confronting her about her lie turn into a huge argument when she was the one in the wrong? Don’t you think that when someone does something wrong in a relationship they should own up to it, rather than to start an argument? Maybe it’s just me, but if I was dating someone, found out they lied about something, confronted them about their dishonesty, and then we ended up in an argument, my immediate suspicion would be that there’s way more dishonesty going on here and I should be concerned. Because why else would she be defensive?
So yeah, sorry but I just don’t think you’re going to be having this conversation without a fight. Even if you go in neutral, promise not to get angry, make it a safe space, etc., I just don’t see how asking someone to be honest, someone who reacts to being called out for their dishonesty by starting an argument, is going to turn out in any way that does not result in an argument. I’m sure the relationship drama you’re dealing with contributes to the heightened tension, but when you get right down to it she lied to you, AND she was flirting with her ex so hard that HIS GIRLFRIEND messaged you on Facebook to tell you she was concerned, and somehow with both of those facts in hand you got an argument rather than an apology. Seriously man, I know you’re trying to look at the big picture, but sometimes the little things tell you a lot if you’re paying attention.
There’s a reason she’s being dishonest. There’s a reason that when confronted with her own dishonesty, when she was clearly at fault, it turned into an argument. There’s a reason your sex life has soured. And there’s a reason that you think she’s still talking to her ex. Draw your own conclusions.
Good Luck Out There.