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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  Experienced in counseling all age persons on relationship issues.
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is it normal for my boyfriend to want to keep some level of

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is it normal for my boyfriend to want to keep some level of communication open with his ex wifes and girlfriend?
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,

Some people are able to maintain a platonic relationship with ex's.....others just cannot due to the pain the past relationships may have caused. It seems that if he can continue to communicate with them, then, he does not carry "baggage" about them....it may mean he is well-adjusted regarding moving on.

However, I know this is not easy for you as the current girlfriend. If you request that he cut of these relationships, it may make you look too insecure. But keep in mind, his communication with them does not indicate any less respect for you.

What do you think?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have no doubt it is platonic. what I'm not comfortable or dont undrestand is he has had nothing but negative to tell me about them so than why even maintain a friendship? is it not healthier to move on and put past in the past? I know it bothers him that I'm selling my ex husbands house and we communicate only over the process of selling and offers, nothing personal. my boyfreind keeps reminding me he cant wait till its over and I dont communicate with my ex anymore. I have no problem with that. but when I ask him he should also do the same he tells me its different, he has come to a certain level of peace and beacuase each ex wife or an ex girlfriend represent a peace of his past and the fact that he has no children, he has the need to keep the past somewhat alive with a here and there phone call, email or meeting. I just dont get it...


 

So it is he that is the insecure one....it seems. That would be the most likely theory about his behavior. He has even admitted that he needs to keep a link to his past. It may be related to his anxiety about having so many break-ups and being unconsciously worried about your relationship lasting. He may also be motivated by an unconscious need to keep these contacts because of your situation with your ex.

Well...we can only conjecture...
Hope these thoughts help with some understanding.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well perhaps we both have insecurities. I also fee left out when I know there is communication with other women in his past and Im not included. with that do you think these are things we can work on or do you think our past experiences and insecurities are eventualy going to lead to a break up? (I also found out he had asked an ex that poped out again a few days ago to meet over a glass of vino...) lets just say I felt betrayed eventhough I knew he was not interested in her in any other way. that fact that he had kept it from me and I hapen to see the email when he was on his phone and questioned him. he said if he had told me about it he knew it would upset me so he decided its best to keep it from me...errr very confused.

Yes...confusing for sure. I think that is the reason for your uncomfortable feelings about this....he is giving mixed messages about it. Says you can trust that he has no feelings for the others but then goes an untrustworthy thing like meeting one of them behind your back. This secrecy and meeting over wine goes further than "keeping a level of communication open". If this continues, it could undermine the stability of your relationship because trust is the hallmark of a good relationship.

But having said that, there is hope. Relationships take work meaning talking out these feelings. Due to the confusion so far, it may not be realistic to do this on your own. I wonder if he would agree to some couples counseling. It may not take many sessions but the therapist will add the element of clarity as she/he listens to the two of you dialogue about this.

You can find a couple counselor at the PsychologyToday website. It is a good place to look for a counselor because you can see a picture and description and chose someone who is of the age and gender that you prefer.

I hope this helps, Warm regards
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