Friending Her Ex
Q: So my girlfriend got a Facebook request from her ex-boyfriend the other day. I saw that it said they were now friends, so she obviously accepted his request. She knows how I feel about him, so when I confronted her about it, I didn't exactly keep my cool. She accused me of being controlling and paranoid. But I know about this guy. Long before me, she was dating this other guy, and that's when she met THIS guy. He doesn't understand boundaries, and I can easily see him trying to scoop her up again. I don't like this one bit. Am I just being controlling and paranoid like she says? -Anthony, 30
Dr. Anna: Good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. They key word here is mutual. You need to be able to trust that she is committed to you. She also needs to respect your feelings in the relationship. Many couples choose not to friend ex's out of respect for their current relationship. It's never appropriate to demand or control who your partner can or cannot see or communicate with. Both partners have a right to be friends with whomever they choose. Friending her ex is her choice. But if you feel you can't trust her, you might think hard about whether this is the best relationship for you—that is your choice.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.