Staying in touch with an ex is tricky territory when you’re in a new or serious relationship with someone else. Explaining your dynamic with your ex-partner to your new partner can be difficult because they may feel insecure. They may worry that you may still have feelings for your ex or that you could reignite the old spark at some point.
However, from your point of view, your feelings for ex may be a thing of the past, you’re over that phase and value your friendship now more than your past romantic relationship. But think, long and hard, are your partner’s concerns truly unfounded? And is there a way you can make your partner understand how you feel? Can it have repercussions for your current relationship?
Talking To An Ex If You Are In A Serious Relationship
“My ex and I are best friends, and honestly, my husband doesn’t mind if I talk to my exes. Doesn’t he keep in touch with his? We are secure enough to not freak out over something like this.”
The random office girl who isn’t your best friend tells you this, and you don’t mean to judge but a part of you wonders if keeping in touch with an ex after marriage is a good idea. I’m a bit hesitant about it. After all, haven’t we all heard the story many times over: someone reconnects with an ex years later, somehow sparks fly and an affair ensues. Even if it is a slim possibility, is it a good idea to jeopardize a marriage or stable relationship for something that’s already long dead?
What if you’re tempted? What about a clean break? Is staying in touch with an ex really a good idea? So many questions! Let’s break this down, shall we?
It’s highly subjective
You may not want to hear this if you’re conflicted about being in touch with your ex, but there’s no real fixed answer to the question at hand. Being in touch with your ex while being married or in a relationship is a thing some people can manage and some can’t.
It also depends on a variety of factors. Your equation with both your ex and your current partner. The level of security you feel in your current relationship. Whether you’re truly over your ex or not. Do you still look up your ex on social media? Why exactly are you in touch with your ex? And so on.
It’s a tricky thing trying to create a new connection with someone you were romantically involved with. It requires emotional intelligence and brutal honesty, and therefore, is not something everyone will be able to do successfully.
Was it a clean break?
Is it healthy to keep in touch with an ex after a messy breakup? Let’s face it, no breakup is clean, but if you and your ex managed to move past the initial awkwardness after a breakup, being friends with your ex can be wonderful. They know you more intimately than most people and it can be a true friendship if there’s no lingering bitterness.
In such a case, both parties know why they weren’t good as a couple and still want to be present in each other’s lives. In such circumstances, being in touch with your ex can’t hurt. However, this is one half of the equation. The other brings us to the third point.
Related Reading: You don’t miss your ex, you just miss being in love
How secure is your current relationship?
Your equation with your current partner needs to be clear and honest if you want to continue staying in touch with an ex. Both partners must trust their bond enough and be honest enough with each other that an ex can’t become a point of contention.
If your partner knows you talk and isn’t bothered by it, it means that there are no trust issues budding in your marriage. They also know that the love that you share is different from the one you shared with your ex and that your association with them now is nothing more than just a friendship.
These are ideal circumstances where adults can have difficult and honest conversations about their feelings and not make a big deal of keeping in touch with an ex after marriage.
Inspect the why
In a situation where such clarity isn’t present – most belong to this category; human beings find it very hard to have clarity about anything, much less relationships – you must introspect and ask yourself why you want to stay in touch with your ex.
Is it because they remind you of your past and that nostalgia makes you feel better? Is it because you like the attention you’re getting from two people? Does the fact that you’re still in touch with your ex make you feel like you have a backup plan just in case this relationship fails? Are you trying to get back at your partner for some wrongdoing by talking to your ex? Are you not over your ex yet?
All difficult questions, but ones you need to ask yourself. If you are keeping in touch with your ex for any of these reasons, then you need to reevaluate your current relationship. A relationship can’t be the place you get everything. It isn’t a supermarket.
But certain things you get in a relationship are sacred for most people who are in monogamous relationships. If you’re going to the ex for one of those sacred things, then you, my friend, need to talk to your current boo and adjust the terms.
Related Reading: Why we crave sex with our exes
Honesty honesty honesty
In times like this, you’re already on shaky ground and your main support will be honesty. Is it healthy to keep in touch with an ex when your partner doesn’t know? If you start hiding the contact between you and your ex from your partner or vice versa, something is surely wrong.
Things don’t always need to fit into boxes and categories when it comes to romantic relationships, but they sure need to be clear to the person they belong to. If you can’t be honest with yourself and your people, then you need to adjust your actions accordingly.
You can’t lie to yourself; it’s clichéd, but like most clichés it’s true.
Insecurity is human
Jealousy creeping into a relationship under these circumstances is the most natural human thing that can occur. By freaking out and making insecurity a bad word, you’ll only add to it. Remember, people’s insecurities are often their projections and are not about you.
This doesn’t, however, mean it’s not your problem, because your partner’s hesitance affects you too, and you need to overcome insecurities together. Having difficult conversations is a necessity here, as many times as they are required. If your partner doesn’t trust you, helping them find the trust is your job.
Your friends are important but so is your partner and you must be patient and kind with them. If your partner is unhappy, you will be too. Long story short, yes, it can be done. Staying in touch with an ex while you’re in another relationship is not impossible.
Just remember that a lot of emotional intelligence and difficult conversations are required. If you aren’t up to it, letting exes be a past neighborhood you seldom visit or talk about is a good idea, especially if it’s affecting your present.
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If you have completely lost feelings for them, and your spouse doesn’t have a problem with it, then there is no harm in keeping in touch with an ex after marriage.
From time to time wondering about the well-being and whereabout is completely normal. However, if you’re still nurturing romantic feelings for them, you may want to discuss this with your partner.
If they text you out of the blue or randomly start stalking your social media, they are most definitely thinking about you.