He Keeps Talking About his Ex
January 29, 2007 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Hi I am a 16 year old girl who lives in PA.
I have finally found someone who I truly care about and I opened up to him and told him everything about me. No matter how hard it was for me to tell him I did, but I met him over the internet and we talk every night on the phone.
He is 18 years old and lives in CA. I've known him for a few years now but we just recently started talking a month ago and we started dating a month after that. After we started dating things have changed between us. I've change and he's changed and we have been fighting, but we want each other to be the same as when we fell in love with each other.
We have been fighting because he's always talking about his ex g/f and I cant take it any more. It's getting me pissed off, but the feelings I have for him I'm never had for someone else.
Some days I go 2-3 days without sleep and cry all day and night. I get all depressed and explain to him that I'm supposed to be the one he thinks about, not his ex, but he just doesn't get it.
Please help us so we can be happy again, and please give me advice on what I should do so I can keep him.
I understand your pain and frustration. The way he talks about his ex makes you feel like you aren't his number one girl. Then, when you try to tell him, he doesn't understand how you feel, which makes you feel even less cared for. No wonder the situation seems hopeless.
First of all, I think that you may be misinterpreting his reason for talking about the ex. You're taking this behavior as a sign that he must love her more than you. I want you to step back for a minute and look at his behavior in a completely different way. To do this, you must stop taking his behavior personally. Don't assume that his babbling on about her has anything to do with you, but I don't think it does.
In fact, I think he's talking about his ex, not because he loves her but because he's been traumatized. Let me explain. Whenever we find ourselves stuck and unable to let go of an issue, it's because we have been wounded and we're trying to heal the wound. The mind will keep coming back to the issue, repeatedly returning to it in an attempt to heal.
So, if you can stop taking his behavior personally, you will then be able to handle the matter effectively. The effective way of handling this is to ask him if he knows how he feels when he brings up the subject of his ex? Does he feel hurt? Does he feel angry? Tell him that the repetitive nature of his conversation suggests he's been trauamtized since people who have been mistreated tend to keep returning to the trauma to try to work through the feelings associated with it.
Next, ask him if he feels like she did him wrong. If you can bear it, listen and understand his feelings. This should help him work through the trauma and the feelings associated with it. If you can't do this, then encourage him to talk to me or some other therapist. As he works through the feelings, he won't need to talk about her any longer.
So please believe what I say and stop allowing yourself to be so upset. You both love each other and when he works this wound out, all should be well with you both again.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book is mandatory reading for every couple that wants to build lasting love.”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show