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Dear Stavroula

Dear Stavroula: My Husband Works with His Ex

Dear Stavroula,

 

I’ve been married for a few months now, but my husband and I have been in a relationship for about three years. Before me he had been in a relationship with a woman that ended just shy of the altar. They broke up because she left him for someone else. It was a very intense relationship, with quite a lot of passion, and my husband had a hard time getting over it, as I have learned mostly from third parties. This woman worked in the same department as my husband but had moved to another city with her new partner. However, I learned that she broke up with him and is returning to her previous position in the company. This means she will have daily contact with my husband. Ever since I found out, I can’t calm down. How can I handle this situation when I know my husband will spend more time with her at work than with me at home? I would like your help.

 

Evie

 

Dear Evie,

 

Jealousy of the current partner’s previous love affair is a common occurrence that can become particularly excruciating. Behind this usually hides a process of comparing oneself with the ex. Many times, this comparison is painful and can lead the couple to conflicts that can even lead to the destruction of the relationship.

The feeling of jealousy is often the result of low self-esteem, insecurity, or the feeling of inadequacy in some area of the love relationship.

At other times, the behavior of the current partner can cause jealousy, when he refers in detail to the former relationship, when he makes direct comparisons between the former and the current partner, or when he does not seem to have overcome the previous situation.

Something similar may be happening in your case.

If indeed your partner in some way shows you that the relationship between him and his ex is still special or important, that is, if his behavior makes you insecure and jealous, then maybe you need to find the reasons that drive him to this behavior, even if you need to reconsider your role and position in your relationship with your husband.

But if you feel jealous, without having any evidence from your partner, you may need to explore what these feelings reveal about you. Committing to a marriage relationship does not happen because there are no other options. Your man seems to have made his own choice – and that is you. If he was looking for something else he could claim it and not wait for the right conditions to come along.

The question therefore is why you feel this way. For what reasons do you choose to torture yourself with the possibility of something happening that could harm you and your relationship, in the event that you have no indication of such a thing? What makes you feel like your relationship might be in danger? Are you having trouble communicating with your partner? Is there an area in your relationships that you feel isn’t working as it should?

If so, the first and most important thing is to seek a meaningful conversation with your husband, in which you respectfully and lovingly express your worries and concerns and ask him to work together on your relationship. It might be good to talk to a specialist either alone or as a couple. This would perhaps help you to better discern and to better understand yourself and also the aspects of your relationship that need care and more attention.

 

Stavroula Tsoutsa is a Certified Holistic Professional Life Coach, ICF ACC, Certified Heartmath Coach/Mentor and Trainer, and Certified Points of You Practitioner.

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