Concrete ways you handled ex-wife insecurity

posted 7 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
2230 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t know…I think I would feel pretty insecure myself if a boyfriend kept bringing up an ex and had to be told multiple times that it was upsetting to me. A year really isn’t that long to get over a 6 year relationship, particularly a tumultuous one.



And yes, actually this morning it came up in conversation and I was honest about it. Unfortunately, happened right as the day started, so have not been able to talk much about it.


Do you mean he brought her up again, or do you mean the topic of your resentment and insecurity came up in a conversation this morning?


ETA again: sorry I have no helpful advice. I know exactly how you feel and I wasn’t ever able to get over it. In my case, it was an ex girlfriend, but I still couldn’t stop comparing myself to her and wondering if she was still his first choice. Eventually, my insecurity caused us to break up (although I think we would have eventually broken up anyways, this just sped up the process as he got tired of constantly reassuring me he was over her).

Post # 5
871 posts
Busy bee

Idk, bee. It’s hard to tell what the core issue is here: if he is truly not over her or if dating a divorced man is just not for you. Or maybe both? 

Although it does sound like he has gotten better about talking about her, it seems that you are now feeling worse than ever. Which makes me think maybe you’re just not meant to be with someone who has been married before. 

You might not be able to get over it. I’m thinking this is the problem because your Boyfriend or Best Friend has stopped focusing on her, and yet you are still upset and resentful of her. It almost seems that as he stopped thinking about her, you started to more and more.

I dont know of anything concrete that you can do unfortunately. Dig deep- are you truly happy in this relationship?

Post # 7
2230 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

cabs8797 :  Thankfully whatever insecurities about thinking she was his first choice didn’t stick around too much. I’m pretty confident of how much better of a match I am for him, his friends have commented on how much happier he looks with me, and I have almost zero doubts he would ever leave me for her (with me he said he now knows what he should have been looking for; she effectively destroyed any possibility of reconciliation by cheating on him and flouting it on social media before he had a chance to even tell his family about the divorce). Oh also, might be kind of petty, but I am SOOO much prettier hahaha


Not trying to be argumentative, but if the above is true, not really sure why her existence still affects you so much then. I wonder if maybe deep down you’re not as confident in his feelings for you as the above paragraph would suggest.

Post # 9
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

My situation has similarities to yours. Started 8 months after his divorce was finalized, they dated about 4 years, married under a year. She up and left him seemingly on a whim. His whole family was nice to her but disliked her because she wanted him to only hangout with her family not his. His family is amazing so I have no idea what that was about. So they had been finished for about 10-11 months before we met and began dating. Our first date he was upfront about being divorced. They had no kids. 

I was and am ok with it for the following reasons. 

– he talked about it in the beginning, but in a giving me info way, not just randomly talking about her. 

– he dated a few other people casually before meeting me so I was not a rebound of any kind and he was ready for something serious again

– she cut off all contact with him afte the divorce, not only that she cut contact with ANYONE that was his friends or family. So they aren’t in contact in any way shape or form. 

– over time in conversations he admitted that while she was not a great person, he did have responsibility in why it broke apart. He said he was selfish and not a good listener and not as considerate as he could have been. The fact that he doesn’t blame her for the end of their marriage and not only took responsibility but worked hard on his flaws means a lot. 

– I strongly believe that he had to go through that marriage experience to actually get to a place where he was ready to be a husband to someone. 

We are now looking to get engaged in the next few months. He never gave me cause to be jealous because he is legitimately the most trustworthy guy. I had one moment when we were falling in love when I asked him if she showed up tomorrow wanting him back would he take her, he assured me not and I believed him. Insecurity in this situation is normal but you have to keep it under control. Am I jealous that I feel like this woman stole from me the precious first of marrying him? Yes. It bugs me, and probably will until we get married and move forward. I take a lot of satisfaction and joy knowing they never had kids, and that we are a way better fit together. I love his family and spending time with them. His family loves me and my family loves him. We have none of the toxicity in our relationship that he had with her. 

In my case even if I could undo the past and have him not marry her I wouldn’t. Because that lesson literally has made him the wonderful man he is now. Who is so considerate of me, and my feelings, and takes care of me when I’m sick in the most gentle way. Each time you are tempted to be jealous or upset just try to remind yourself that your relationship with him is totally separate from what they had and it can’t touch you. You are both moving forward together and making new memories. You are in control of how you react to this. 

cabs8797 :  

Post # 10
2467 posts
Buzzing bee

Your boyfriend is not making you feel secure in the relationship, which is why you are feeling this way.  


Post # 11
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

My therapist had me do a visualization exercise when I’d start the spiral into stressing about his ex (different situation as they have a child together so there’s constant communication – but I would latch on to being overly upset about her). 

So it went like this: Imagine a box. It can be any size box you want. Picture the size, shape, feel its weight etc. What color is it, what’s the texture, etc. Make it real in your mind.

Now – put her in the box. Shrink her down so she has no power over you anymore and put her ass in the box. Close it. Fasten it. Wrap it with duct tape if you want. Then put it out in the garage, or on the highest shelf in your back bedroom closet. She can’t bother you from in there. She doesn’t exist. If she gets out, put her back in. 

Post # 12
4486 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

cabs8797 :  Realistically he probably wasn’t over the fear, hurt and baggage when you started dating. Having a marriage break down imparts itself on you as does someone cheating on you. Time heals a lot of things but I’m certain that these expiriences do impart themselves on you in a permanent way as do other trying life expiriences.

The thing is this man is who he is as you know him now because of his life expiriences. He probably brought her up often because he felt safe disclosing to you as someone who didn’t know him and her together. Should he have done so? Maybe not but you cannot ask someone to erase 6 years of their recent life. Time fills in new expiriences and erases old or pushes them further  into the recesses of our mind.

You started dating a recently divorced man. She will come up in conversation now and into the future when you least expect it. You either have to deal or move on. Honestly he probably wasn’t over her or the divorce when you started dating but look at where you are together now. I know you don’t want to hear it but he loves you and he picked you and you need to remember that and understand that this woman was his past and his experience with her has imparted on who he is today as the man you love.



Post # 13
19 posts
  • Wedding: February 2020 - City, State

My fiancé is divorced. They were together about 10 years total, married for 2, no kids. They broke up about 3 years before we started dating. My advice is just take it, and your feelings, one day at a time. Sometimes it bothers me, other times it doesn’t. Sometimes I beat myself up and compare myself to her, other times I don’t. The way I get through it is I just have great communication with my fiancé. From the very beginning of our relationship he was very open and honest about it, and it never felt like a shameful thing that wasn’t to be mentioned. He never made me feel like there were any questions that I might have that would be off limits.

Honestly, as our relationship grew more serious, his first marriage more and more just began to seem like another fact about him. Like, he has brown hair, hates cantaloupe, and was married before we met. But it did take time, and honesty, and a lot of communication. 

Post # 14
8170 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

cabs8797 :  

I haven’t got any wise words really , except to say  if you don’t get over this retrospective jealousy it may well poison   your relationship.

Also, separately,  it  bothers  me when the  ex-wife’s behaviour  is made out to  be the sole  reason   for the breakup. I  dont see your bf admitting to any fault   tho maybe he does and you not posted that part? Or he daren’t confess to  any because you will see it as defence of the ex? 

Whatever, I think you have to let him know how you  feel , then stop talking  about it so much. Role play boredom  if he brings her  up.. ” mmm yes ,sorry ,what did you say again ? …”  

Post # 15
6399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY

“The insecurity comes from feeling like he wasn’t over the marriage and the feeling of hurt, isolation, and betrayal (which at the time he wasn’t over), where I definitely thought that clearly I wasn’t enough for him to want to move forward”

You need to make peace with the fact that he was not ready to move on when you started dating.    It didn’t have to do with you, it was just too soon for him.  Taking a lot about her was part of his process of healing.  This is something you can’t change now.  At that time he needed a friend more than a new girlfriend, but both of you decided to continue with your relationship and are here now.

Put your focus on the present time and be honest with yourself.  Is your insecurity truly stemming from those earlier days of your relationship, or is something else happening now?  If there isn’t, you need to make a conscious effort to leave his past in the past, and understand that his time getting over his marriage is part of that past.

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