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Ask Jen Helant Your Own Question

Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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I am in a relatively new relationship, of around 5 months.

Customer Question

I am in a relatively new relationship, of around 5 months. My partner and I are both in our mid to late 30’s, I am looking for a long term relationship, hopefully including a family, and she says she is as well.
My partner continuously brings up her ex-boyfriends, with me, and in group situations. Her family lives in a different city, the same city as her most recent ex. She keeps saying she wants to be friends with him, and wants to see him when she goes home to see her family. She says the relationship is done, but talks about the passion they had for each other, good and bad. I ask her why she wants to be friends with him, when he was aggressive, and (for instance) threw things at her, and her response it that she isn’t friends with all of her exes, and wants to be friends with one of them.
I regularly hear about how guys try to buy her drinks and coffees and things when she’s travelling or out.
She also had (until I found them) a very large collection of very intimate pictures of her with her ex-boyfriends.
Everyone has a past, I know that. My past two ex-girlfriends (including one 14 year relationship) cheated on me, and therefore I probably am a little sensitive to these type of issues.
I do not understand why she kept all those pictures, and why she insists on wanting to be friends with an ex that used to throw things at her, despite the fact she says its over.
Am I being ridiculous? Is it wrong that I don’t want her exes talked about all the time, and don’t want her bringing her most recent ex into our lives?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Thanks for your question. You may feel sensitive to this situation since your ex cheated on you, but let me tell you in this situation you are definitely not being too sensitive. I do not think it is wrong at all that you don't want her talking about her ex all the time and you surely are not ridiculous. Her doing this is disrespectful behavior and I bet she would not like it if you were to do the same. Speaking about one another's past is fine as long as the other person is okay with hearing about it. However, always talking about an ex is crossing the line. Also, being friends with an ex is not something I would recommend especially if you are in a new relationship. However, regardless if she is single or not for her own self respect based on the way he treated her I do not see why should would want to have a friendship with him anyway. She says she wants to cause she never has a friendship with her exes. Well I believe it is best that way and there is no reason to keep a friendship unless one needed to be held due to having a child together, but even in that case it would be more of a working relationship for the interest of the child and not so much a friendship. There is no reason to start now having friendships with exes especially one whom was disrespectful and mistreated her. All in all I agree with you and that part of her life is over she should now be concerned about your lives together and what will benefit that and strengthen your relationship rather than hurt it. I wish you the very best and please let me know if I cam be of further help.

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