This is an email I got from a client recently. He has been breaking up with his girl and getting back together over her communication with her ex boyfriends. This is something that almost every guy has to deal with. A girlfriend who has ex’s still in the background.
Here’s his email:
I read your book about three times, and I think it’s very descriptive and hits on so many good points. I have an issue that keeps happening and wanted your opinion on what I should do.
I met Jessica about three years ago at work. We hit it off and started a relationship from there. We became very involved, and things were going good. We both came out of previous long relationships. Her being involved with a guy who constantly cheated on her and broke up with her, and vice versa, for years. Mine being a regular relationship where we just grew apart. Also, I would like to mention that I am divorced six years with no children and no contact with my ex wife. I own and operate a construction company, and thankfully have managed to put myself in a pretty good financial state.
Jessica and I have had a constant battle. She comes from a very strict religious background and her family is very involved in church. I, on the other hand am spiritual, but not very religious. I have managed to overcome that challenge, and the family has accepted me with open arms. Jessica is a very difficult person, making herself a challenge to be with. I found out after two years that she was still speaking to her ex occasionally, and he was constantly asking her back and asking her to marry him while already being engaged to another woman. She always refused, but still maintained contact. I, of course broke up with her, and we remained broken up for about six months. We then reconciled and started up again. I found out that he got married, and communication ceased between the two of them. We have been together ever since, until recently when I saw that he attempted to contact her through Facebook. She didn’t respond, but it did not sit easy with me. We have since broken up and have had very little communication outside of work. She has told me that it was a different guy with the same name, and that she hasn’t spoken to him in a long time. She doesn’t however admit to the fact that they were communicating for a long time, and that he was constantly hitting on her, etc. She becomes very difficult when we argue and doesn’t communicate at all. She gets very distant and remains that way until I, or whoever she is upset with, comes after her. I love her very much, but am very tired of the games and the lack of communication. I do not like the ups and downs of a relationship, and believe communication is the only way to resolve things. I do not wish to chase her, and feel that if I do, she will have the upper hand again and continue to have control. I do not want to give up on the relationship at the same time.
I want you to know that I have never had a problem controlling a relationship or remaining centered, as you say, except for with her.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Here is my response:
Thanks for your questions! I would have handled the situation differently regarding your girlfriend still talking to her ex’s. A confident alpha male is not threatened by other men hitting on his girl. He takes it as a compliment. However, when your girlfriend is talking to ex’s who are constantly trying to get her to leave you for him, it can create major problems. In your case, I would have said to her (your girlfriend)…”I am okay with you talking to your ex’s and you having a mature friendship where they respect the fact you are with me and in a relationship. However, I would prefer that you tell the ex’s that are constantly hitting on you and trying to convince you to leave me for them to take a hike. Since, they are not respectful of our relationship and are constantly trying to interfere and break us up, it is not healthy for our relationship to have these negative outside influences. If you really love me and are committed to us, I would think you would agree. The situation makes me feel uncomfortable, and I would rather we not have outside influences trying to damage or end our relationship.” Now, if she refuses to break off contact with the ones who are trying to create problems, it would communicate to me that I am not really that important to her, and therefore she is not really committed to our relationship 100%. It would also draw into question her integrity. A woman who loves you, but wants to keep interfering ex’s in the background, either still has feelings for these guys, or is too insecure to commit to you both 100%, and therefore keeps these ex’s as backup in case things don’t work out between you two. Most women that sense their relationship is not 100% secure will keep ex’s and male “friends” around as your potential replacement if you screw up. What you have to determine, if you want to patch things up with her potentially, is whether she has any integrity. If she does not, then she is out. She’s fired. Not a candidate. Disqualified. Does not measure up. Not good relationship material, etc. You get the picture. Keep her as a friends with benefits girl or have an open relationship with her, not a committed exclusive relationship. She will never make you feel comfortable. You will always be sleeping “with one eye open,” wondering if she is going to screw your neighbor, best friend, etc. when you are not around, or when things go sideways.
Women that are mature and know how to communicate will work things out with you through communication instead of calling the ex’s and looking for the exit. I dated a woman like this once. I never trusted her. I still don’t trust her. Never have and never will. However, I love her dearly and will always care about her and be grateful for our time together. I learned many years ago, she is unwilling to learn any communication skills. The man is always going to have to break through her barriers to get her to open up when she shuts down emotionally, because she gets mad and gives the silent treatment when she gets mad or feels hurt. As hot as she was, and as good as the sex was, it was not enough for me to want to spend my life chasing after her and breaking down her walls every time she got butt-hurt. That is what her father always did when she and her mother stopped talking over some petty disagreement. This would go on for months, and then her Dad would go over and get her to talk to her mother so they could heal the rift. She got married earlier this year. We were talking on the phone last summer and she brought up her lack of communication skills. She laughed and said how I know she has no communication skills. She is aware of it, but is simply not interested/motivated to learn or improve this issue of hers. I am just not built that way, (like her Dad). It wore me down after a few years of this. I remember the day we broke up. She was pissed at me for something, and I just simply did not want to muster the strength to open her up again. It was petty and I was simply tired of it. I let it fall apart. It was sooo hard to move on, but I did it. Deep down, I knew it was time. We’ve been friends for years since. I don’t think she will ever change. Hopefully her new husband does not get tired of it and leave like all the rest of us have after we’ve had enough.
So what should you do now? You need to communicate and resolve issues like adults, instead of breaking up over them. However, if she has no integrity or is unwilling to communicate better, would you really want to get back together with this girl? I think not. Women that are good long term relationship material will bend over backwards to make you feel comfortable and communicate with words and deeds that they love you. Those relationships are effortless and worth the time and money investing in yourself to become better with women and relationships. If you continue to work on and invest in yourself, it will make you the ultimate alpha male so you can land a total ten when she comes along.
From my heart to yours,
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur