Dear Yaw

Husband still talking to his ex, should I be worried?

Dear Yaw

We’ve been married for the past 2 years. Recently I found out he’s been texting his ex. I want to ask him why he’s doing it. At the same time, I don’t want to push him into her arms. Should I be concerned?

Worried

Afia B

Hi Afia

Well, there are a number of issues that you have raised here. By writing that you ‘found out’ that he has been texting his ex clearly suggests that he has not told you himself and, obviously, that is why you want to ask him why he is doing it. So it sounds like you are scared of what these texts might mean but you are also scared of the fact that he is not telling you and scared of pushing him away from you as well.

It would be useful to spend some time feeling your own fear of what the texts mean. See ‘Putting Feelings First’. I suggest this because it is quite possible that there is little, if any, meaning in your husband’s texts but they might be raising fear of your own from your childhood. Perhaps, for example, you might discover that you have some jealousy of certain communications between two members of your family when you were a child and that this is now intruding on your perception of events in this context.

On the other hand, you might find little that seems related to your childhood but some other experience makes you scared of your husband’s communication with his ex.

Anyway, once you have given priority and some attention to your own feelings, if you are still inclined, you can raise the issue with your husband. If you are able to ask a simple, open-ended question – rather than accuse him of anything, for example – you are most likely to get an honest answer (even if it is one that you do not like).

In essence, if you ask a simple question without accusing him, you are unlikely to push him away from you. He may have an excellent reason for not telling you and their ongoing dialogue might mean little to him (if, for example, he is simply assisting her with a problem and his knowledge of her life circumstances makes him a good source of advice).

Different people feel different degrees of connection with ex-partners and may or may not communicate with them. But whether or not you feel ‘concerned’ is an outcome that is personal to your life experience and not something on which I can ‘advise’. You either feel concerned or you do not. It sounds to me like you do feel concerned. So feeling your feelings and then, if you are inclined to do so, asking a simple question (without accusation) should give you the answer to your question.

You will then need to feel your feelings – relief, happiness, joy, fear, anger, sadness or whatever – in response to his answer.

By always feeling your feelings about what is happening, you are in the most powerful position to work out what you want to do in each and every situation as it arises.

Yaw

Author Robert J. Burrowes

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes (Yaw) has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.


Robert J Burrowes

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes (Yaw) has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

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