Partner is fanning the flames of mistrust with contact with ex
Q: Early on, my now-partner of seven years told me about his past with women/girls. He’d had many sexual partners and was unfaithful in his committed relationships with three other women at the time.
He’s now become responsible and considerate. He says I’ve helped show him the error of his ways.
However, one relationship that began when he was in his 30s, with a girl of 18, continued for decades. He said they stopped sleeping together when she got married. But I was aware that she called him five years ago. It upset me and I said I won’t share him with the past.
He minimizes it, saying “it was only one phone call,” or “she’s crazy.” I’ve always suspected there have been more calls, maybe letters.
Then, after a move, I found a letter sent to his workplace within the last year, and recognized the return address.
Confronted, he confirmed it was from her. We argued and he said that he wouldn’t end it.
I’m devastated, realizing that he’s been in an emotional affair with her all along.
An email was sent to our account with the subject “I Miss My F— Buddy which I deleted before opening. There’ve been many hang-up from her area code.
It’s become like a cancer for me.
I’ve tried making him understand that this woman isn’t in his past, but in his present and likely his future. I can’t accept this.
I don’t know how to make him understand that an emotional affair is as destructive as a physical one, especially when this was once physical.
He said he won’t call her and that I should do so.
I don’t think I’m overreacting. I can’t imagine how we’re going to get past this, since he doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong. Part of me thinks I
calls should ask him to leave. But I love him. Betrayed
A: It’s not overreacting when your whole sense of trust in your partner is shattered. You need to make this clear to him.
Yes, he has an emotional attachment to this former lover, and she’s urging him on, restless in her own marriage.
It’s a dangerous time in your relationship. Say so.
You won’t love him much longer if he ignores your deep hurt, disappointment, eventual disgust. If he persists, consider your own future — the legal and financial logistics involved.
Tell him what you’ve learned, and that if he doesn’t end this emotional cheating, you’ll have to separate/divorce as a consequence.
He needs a reality check on the consequences of playing fast and loose with a mature, responsible partner who’s loved, trusted and supported him.
Q: My husband of 18 months and I purchased a three-bedroom house because we want to have kids.
One bedroom holds his self-built college bunk-bed which “can’t be moved” and he’s saving for our kids. He expects to put a crib and baby stuff there. But I want a dedicated, decorated nursery with space for baby things, plus rocking chair. I suggested making the spare bedroom the nursery, with guests sleeping on the bunk-bed. But he resisted storing the guest-bedroom furniture. How can we find common ground?
Flummoxed and Frustrated
A: A baby’s arrival, by whatever means, takes enough months to plan and compromise.
Talk to a knowledgeable salesperson in a baby furniture store (bring photos/measurements).
Go together, and find logical choices together. He’s equally excited and invested in being a parent. Then relax. Babies thrive where there’s the least stress.
Ellie’s tip of the day
It’s too hard and too self-demeaning to stay in love with a partner you’re sure you can’t trust.
Ellie Tesher is an advice columnist for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: el[email protected]tar.ca.