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Dealing with Ex’s , is it jealousy or disrespectful

Torn and broken
Community Member

Hi there

not Sure where to start. I’ve been with my partner for a few years now and we share a house together. I’m very much in love with this man but feel like I have put up with a lot to keep the relationship together. We have a beautiful connection, extremely intimate and enjoy each other’s company. He spoils me rotten as I do him but feel there is two sides to this man. I feel we are only at our happiest if I keep my unhappy feelings to myself. Omit seems if I ever disagree with someone ie Ex’s he gets very cross at me and says I’m jealous.
To fill you in a little, 5 months into our relationship he went back to his ex girlfriend for a week but then came back to me. I took him back. Along the way he also told me in anger that he did not know if he was still in love with his ex wife. 4 years later I have dealt with 4 occasions where he has been in contact with his ex girlfriend (not wife ) because he wasn’t sure about us. His ex girlfriend engaged with the contact because she was still in love with him. On all occasions I was completely devastated but he managed to win my heart back. As far as I know that contact ended over a year ago.

My issue now is his ex wife is always asking for help with maintenance around the house as she is single and has been since their divorce which was her decision
This makes me uncomfortable and I tell him so as I feel he should tell her she needs to sort things out herself now and not rely on him Am I wrong to ask him to do this , is it jealousy or is it disrespectful on his behalf and should he be putting my feelings first
at the end of the day I feel he doesn’t want to upset her by saying no he can’t do it but doesn’t mind hurting my feelings I feel like I have been through enough of disrespect with this man when it comes to ex’s but just don’t know what to do

I can imagine some people would just be saying leave him which is what my friends say but like I said there are two parts to this man
He is so loving , generous, fun to be around , treats me like a queen but then when these issues arise , he calls me jealous and is awful to me
Your honest answers will be gladly received

Thsnk you for taking the time to read

20 Replies 20

Hi Torn and Broken,

I believe this is something that your partner needs to realize and resolve by himself; he needs to realize his own value, as well as yours. If he truly values you for who you are, and the relationship that the two of you have, he would be working out a solution together with you on how to come to mutual terms, rather than dismissing your concerns and labelling it as 'jealousy'. He also needs to learn from what had caused his divorce in the first place. As someone who's been the dumpee (person who got dumped), I can understand that feeling of wanting to get back with our ex is always strong, and clouds us from any sort of healing/self-improvement/self-love. It's not healthy, and it'll definitely hurt my new partner until I learn to detach myself from them completely (going completely No Contact).

Likewise, you'll need to discover your own values (how much do you value yourself). Would you want someone who's not able to let go of their ex and always going to put you second below their ex? Someone who cannot detach from their past, and constantly try to revisit it while covering up the purpose with other reasons? Or do you see your self-worth to allow yourself to continue to be in that position? It's hard to detach from things that brings us joy and happiness, because as humans, we adore that sort of experience. We take pain and misery as something bad and to be avoided, when in actual fact, they are a great source for us to learn from and grow.

Personally if I were in your shoes, I'd sound out my concern one more time, and that this is something that he really needs to take care of alone. This is a past he needs to learn to detach from and I can't be the one that detaches it for him (because that's just 'allowing' him again). If he dismisses my concern, I might have to make a very difficult decision, and I know it'll be for the best for both of us.

But whatever decisions you make, I believe you'll be able to make the choice that you feel is right for you.


jT I cannot thank you enough for all that you have responded to me. I feel very confused , broken , torn about what I need to do because the outcome may not be what I was hoping for. I pretty much know what he will do and say. He will say I don’t love her , I’m just helping her because if my children and that you (being me) are just jealous and immature and he is over this discussion. He’s done. However this is the first time I have reached out to strangers and have learnt so much today not only about myself but the situation more than I have in 3 years.
Love and relationships are not easy, I believe especially when you get older.
I hope you find your happy place again JT and also let go of your past because what may be right in front of you may bring you love , joy and happiness from here on in.

Hi Torn and Broken,

Thank you for your kind words, I've learned a lot from my break up, and feels like there's still much more to learn (and having a blast discovering more about what truly makes me happy). It is true that love and relationships are not easy, and it takes two to value themselves first before they are able to value other people's strengths and flaws in a relationship. I wish you all the best as well, and will be here if you ever need someone to talk to or someone to listen to you. Stay strong buddy!


JT, thank you I will do my very best and you continue to having a blast.

T and B, I see you as trying and brave,

jt has given you very supportive replies.

I wanted to say thanks for sharing honestly your situation here. For every person who posts here there are many people who read and nod because they recognise your situation..

You have helped these people to realise they are not alone.

I think there is a balance between always arguing with the ex to your situation where there is a very familiar relationship with the ex. Maybe it’s about boundaries and about respect.
My partner at start of my relationship was angry I was emailing a male friend, never were we in a relationship. Anyway since he was so upset and even though the emails were friendly and we had been friends for ages, I ended the contact forever.

it is about respect. I feel if your partner is upset by your contact with someone I feel you can acknowledge their pain and either cut off contact or reduce it.

just a few thoughts. Thanks again for starting this thread.


Thank you for your input and it’s nice to hear that I may help others in similar situations. I honestly hadn’t thought of that dude if it but you are right I am sure there are many others out there struggling with common issues and questioning ones self.
Thank you and take care.

Hello JT

Well I took the leap and did what I felt I needed to do and tried to talk to him about still being attached with his ex wife. Like I thought he got angry and immediately said I’m done. I begged him to listen to what I had to say and he eventually calmed down. In the end he eventually agreed. He said he does not love her but for some reason can never say no to his ex wife when she is in need. I told him how I felt about never putting me first. He agreed and said he needed to work this out on his own so you could say we are now over. Strangely enough by what he was saying he wanted me to wait for him to work it out and not move on but part of me is saying this his way of controlling the situation once again and that I must do whatever is right for me. To say I am broken hearted is an under statement but I would like to thank everyone on this forum for making me realise that my feelings count and that I need to find my own self worth. No one should ever feel second best.

My partner has now moved out and I’m struggling. I know it’s the right thing to do but remaining strong is so hard.

Hi Torn and Broken,

Remaining strong from a heart break is certainly hard, as we grieve for the loss of a relationship. We are allowed to grieve as long as we want, and I can assure you it is normal to feel a wave of emotions (anger/regrets/hatred/happiness/sadness etc.). It'll take time to process through them, and I believe you'll make it through just fine. You've done great making this decision for what you feel is right for yourself.

Do you have a safe support network you can reach out to? Such as friends and family or relatives? Talking to them and letting them know about your situation can help a lot with the healing process. Seek out the things that you couldn't do for yourself when you were in your relationship. Give yourself some self-love that you deserve by doing things that makes you happy.

You can also give the Beyond Blues Hotline a call at 1300 22 4636 (available 24/7). They can help guide you on what's the best approach to cope with your grief. Let them know what you've gone through, and they'll be able to point you to the right direction.

Stay strong and take care of yourself. Always here to listen to you Torn and Broken.


Hi Torn and Broken,  We're really sorry to hear that you're struggling. It must be a really hard time for you right now, so please remember that you're not alone, and you can call us if at any point you need to talk it through on 1300 22 4636.   Jt's advice is spot on, as are all of the messages from your peers below. We hope you find some understanding and relief in sharing here. Please keep updating the thread, if and when you feel comfortable to.   Kind regards,  Sophie M