He Went to Lunch with His Ex and You're Eating Your Heart Out

My boyfriend and I have been dating now 9 months.

Last week, he had off work one day so I had asked him if he would like to go to lunch with me that day. He told me that he had already made lunch plans with someone else. When I had asked him who, he said his ex!

Now, he said that he wasn't going to tell me because he didn't know how I would react to him going out with her. I would have been really mad if I had found out afterward that he had gone to lunch with her without telling me, but I told him that I was fine with it, that it was ok that he go.

I do, however, feel nervous about all of that because he has told me that he still has feelings for her and she still has feelings for him. She has another boyfriend now, and he tells me every day that he loves me and that him and his ex will never get back together.

What do you think that my boyfriend going to lunch with his ex and not wanting to tell me about it means?

Answer: 

I think you need to ask him what having lunch with the ex means. I think you have two issues: The first is his tendency to avoid telling you something that he fears will upset you. The avoidance defense, as is the case with all defenses, eventually backfire big time.

When you found out that he planned to conceal information from you did make you upset--more upset than if he'd been upfront. What's more, the concealment makes you begin to worry what he might be up to, especially since you know he has feelings for his ex.

Tell him the above and ask him what were his thoughts regarding seeing the ex. Is he seeing her to explore whether there's a chance of getting back with her? If not, and he simply wants to stay friends, then you need to tell him that his telling you everything that relates to his ex is vital to the preservation of your relationship. Ask him to agree to let you know ahead of time when he plans to see her.

Your being all right with his seeing her with depend on your understanding why he wants to pursue the friendship with her. He needs to assure you that he isn't staying in touch with her in order to pursue the possibility of starting over with her. When he reassures you that this isn't his intention and he explains why he is keeping in touch, you should feel more comfortable.

When you are more comfortable, then you can assure him that you won't give him a hard time when he's honest with you about seeing her. Let me know what happens.

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