Dear Dr. Darcy:
My boyfriend cannot stop talking about, or to, his ex wife. They were married for 3 years when he realized he is gay and ended it. They have no children and have remained very close friends – BEST FRIENDS as they like to tell people. I feel like they remain a stronger unit than he and I are. I don’t want to come across to anyone as that insecure girl, particularly since I’m a guy, but I’m not feeling very good about my relationship. How can I get my boyfriend to stop talking about his perfect ex wife and focus on Me?
There’s nothing less attractive than an insecure partner. Period.
Now I know how annoying it can be to hear about an ex. I’ve been around those couples. She divorced years ago and is now married to my friend and we’re all having dinner – and the topic, no matter how often we change it, leads back to her ex-husband. Everyone around the table feels bad for the new husband and wonders how his wife lacks the self-awareness to know how uncomfortable it makes us feel.
To have this conversation without looking like Mr. Insecure, you need to have it as few times as possible – preferably once – and set it up so that he feels safe and does not feel criticized. Frame it through your feelings as opposed to telling him he has been committing a social wrong that your entire world has been made uncomfortable by.
Now it’s entirely different if his ex-wife is an active part of your boyfriend’s current life. You don’t want to feel like the third wheel and you deserve to feel like his priority. It’s possible that he began dating you too soon – that he needed a mourning period to adjust out of his hetero lifestyle.
My experience is that over time, people stop obsessively speaking about their ex’s. You’ll have to decide how long is too long to wait for that to happen.
Writer’s stats: Male, Gay.