Social Question

Neizvestnaya's avatar

How do you not have your confidence shaken up when in a relationship with a partner who was truly in love with their now ex and only broke up because they couldn't have that ex?

Asked by Neizvestnaya (22622points) May 8th, 2010

Being in a serious relationship with someone who dislikes their ex seems so much easier and non threatening but maybe that’s because I’ve never done it before.

For people who’ve gone on the 2nd, 3rd, etc. marriages/serious SO’s, how did you get past the feeling of not being the number one choice of heart? Did you look at your partner one day and just know all of sudden everything was okay and that they really loved you?

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10 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

My husband has never been married before, but I have been. The love I have for him is nothing like the love I had for my ex-husband. My husband knows exactly how I feel about my ex-husband. I think if the person is not over their ex, there will be problems, no matter what they say.

wonderingwhy's avatar

When my wife and I first started dating and I realized there was some level of connection we sat down and discussed it, I’d been through this before which helped a lot. She was more than a little leery of of the relationship I maintain with my ex (a couple of them actually, but one in particular) because my ex and I were and still are very close. I explained as best I could the relationship my ex and I shared (she is my best and closest friend and I’m hers, it’s been that way for a long time now) and did what I could to offer assurances that my ex was an ex for a concrete reason and that there was no threat. She said there were several things, over time, that made the difference in being able to handle it and finally move completely past it. (A lot of it also had to do with my wife being a strong and good person, not to mention her love for me – though she’d never admit it.)

Day to day I put her ahead of my ex (which apparently was a big fear of my wife’s). Reading it sounds a little silly, but if you’ve gone though it you know the insecurity I’m talking about.

I never tried to hide anything I did with my ex – it’s all about trust and communication.

Their having a private discussion of the relationship and getting my ex’s perspective apparently made a huge difference; though that, for some reason, was pretty nerve-racking for me, I just didn’t think it would end well.

Finally, sort of like what you said, except gradually rather than suddenly, my wife came to realize that just because I whole-heartedly love my ex and always will, doesn’t take away from or lessen the love I have for her.

Several years later, my wife and I couldn’t be happier together.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

We’ve both been married before but have left our spouse so it’s a bit different, I think, than if our spouses have left us. I guess I should ask my ex-husband this question – he’s in a relationship now and I don’t think it matters to him that I left him, he understands they’re a better match – but I do think his current partner is under the wrong assumption that he must still love me.

marinelife's avatar

I think even in the case of first marriages, second marriages can be better and more “right” or “more right at the time”. I think you need to know that your partner is not thinking about that way. That they are in the middle of your relationship not thinking and longing for the old relationship.

I think the problem is you not them. Consider getting therapy.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@wonderingwhy- I am also best friends with my ex husband and my current partner knows about it and doesn’t feel threatened at all, he knows I’m crazy about him. I’m wondering how long it will take for me to feel the same security, I’m kind of embarassed by myself right now.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir- I never had a problem when I was told my ex husband’s next wife was jealous of me but now the shoe’s on the other foot and I’m at odds with myself to follow my own reasoning I would give others.

@marinelife- This is what I’ve been believing for so long because I’ve seen it happen to other family and friends and really want that for myself too. The problem is totally on me, I know that but wonder how long it takes people to “settle in”, I’ve always been the bright spot for my partners and now I’m a little long in the tooth and feeling it hard. Also, I think therapy is pretty much a waste of time except for people with debilitating issues, never seen it do much for “relationships”.

marinelife's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Relationships are, of necessity, based on our underlying issues. SInce it is your underlying issues that are causing your attitude, I think it would be of great benefit.

Silhouette's avatar

I’m drawn to the man who still loves his ex. I wouldn’t be comfortable in a relationship with a man who didn’t remember the love he once had for an ex. There is plenty of love to go around if you’re with a man who doesn’t stop loving. Number one? I just don’t look at love like a competition.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Silhouette
On 99.9% of days then I’ve felt and feel exactly as you, I respect a person who can cherish the love and give some reverence to time spent they’ll never get back again. I guess what bugs me is the person who pines away for someone who has lied, cheated and humiliated them rather than the two of them just not being a good fit and parting from there. I see wanting a destructive and untrustworthy person as making no sense at all and it scares me to question the reasoning and values of someone I’m soft on. I question how a person will value me and respect what I offer, I wonder if they can even appreciate the difference, that kind of thing. It’s not a general feeling thank goodness but one that crops up now and again and irks me so I’ve tried to explore it a bit and bounce it off others.

Silhouette's avatar

@Neizvestnaya You have to keep in mind that he probably isn’t the same man he was when he was with her. Loving her in spite of her lying and cheating takes a man of strong character and great compassion and it doesn’t take anything away from his new love. She blew it, but you haven’t! Enjoy your man and don’t worry about being number one.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Silhouette
It’s kind of strange but I did just look at him recently and everything felt all right, that we were “us” now.

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