So your husband still talks to his ex. You want to stop fighting with your husband over his ex-wife, but hearing her name boils your blood. Woah! That’s a red flag right there, but which one of your three is to blame can be debated.
As the old adage goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth.” In most cultures, marriage is a sacred contract between two people. When a third one comes into the mix, things start to get tricky. This principle applies if your husband still talks to his ex, resulting in fights between you and him.
The key to a healthy relationship is open communication. Sharing understanding conversations with your husband can help, as opposed to yelling or fighting. However, we know this isn’t easy. Luckily, we’re here to help!
So, if you’ve been asking yourself “how can I stop fighting with my husband over his ex-wife?”, read on.
Why Is My Husband Still Talking to His Ex?
Your husband may share children, finances, or a lawsuit with his ex wife. If so, she will come up in conversation from time to time. He may talk to her often, and recount the discussion with you, because he sees you as someone he can confide in.
Likewise, your husband talking to his ex isn’t a problem unless he’s always talking about her outside of those conversations. As a result, you may not get time to speak to him about the things that matter to you. Such moments can lead to communication problems in relationships. The worst part is that your relationship is unknowingly put at the mercy of a third person’s actions.
If your husband still talks to his ex all the time, it’s possible he misses her. He may either genuinely miss her, or miss a romanticized version of her. It’s easy to love something toxic when it’s out of our lives.
Does My Husband Miss His Ex Wife?
Here’s how to tell if your husband misses his ex wife:
He talks to her all the time, even when it’s not important. For example, instead of discussing necessary topics, like divorce-related finances, he spends forever chatting with her about shared memories or their time together.
This is a big red flag and suggests he still has feelings for her, even though he knows they can’t be together. It’s worse if his ex-wife is engaging in this behavior, which means she doesn’t respect you.
He saves the things that remind him of her, like old gifts or sentimental objects. This may be a sign he’s trying to hold onto her, suggesting that he hasn’t gotten over his feelings for her yet. She may have a permanent place in his subconscious, even when he’s married to you. Luckily, feelings aren’t always permanent, and can be overcome with guidance.
He brings her up all the time, regardless of the situation. In happy moments, he’ll talk about her smile. In difficult times, he’ll talk about how she’d help him. If your husband is doing this, he needs to overcome his unresolved feelings, or else they’ll keep hurting your relationship.
What to Do If He Still Loves His Ex Wife?
This is his ballgame to tackle. You cannot fight for your husband’s heart if he loves his ex wife. He must address the feelings independently, and do you justice.
If you’re certain he still loves his ex wife, tell him your marriage cannot continue on this basis. He must cut her off and focus on you. Going to a therapist or seeking support from loved ones can help him make the shift.
If he does not move on from her, you sadly may need to move on from him. But, of course, that’s a last resort solution. Try tackling it by addressing the concern head-on first. Talk to him, but don’t outright shame him. Let him fix things. If he can’t, then it may be time to move on.
If you’re certain he still loves his ex wife, tell him your marriage cannot continue on this basis.
You don’t need to be the woman saying “my husband talks to his ex girlfriend or wife all the time.” You deserve better than that.
The first step to addressing the issue is by communicating your feelings. He may not realize that the problem exists, until you tell him it does. Or, perhaps he’s realized, but doesn’t know what to do about it. Luckily, open communication can help resolve these issues, and promote a healthy relationship.
How to Communicate in a Relationship
Here are 5 tips to communicate your feelings to your partner:
1. Scheduling tough conversations
Some people get irked when they’re pushed into a serious conversation without warning. If your husband is the type to schedule heavy talks in advance, ask him when he’s free before chatting.
2. Take turns talking
Sometimes, it helps to let one person share all their concerns before listening to their partner’s perspective. Your husband and you can take turns talking to avoid interruption, rushed conversation, or miscommunication.
3. Practice empathetic couples communication
Listen to understand, not retaliate. Maybe your husband didn’t realize how often he talks about his ex wife. After hearing him talk about her all the time, you may have told yourself “he doesn’t appreciate me.” Feeling unloved due to communication issues in relationships is normal, and can be overcome with empathetic couples communication. Remember: listen to understand, not retaliate. Tell your husband to do the same!
4. Speak in a gentle tone
We know you’re angry, but your speaking tone is half the conversation! Words only communicate so much. Your speaking mannerisms determine the rest. If you speak harshly, he’ll feel like a child being scolded…which never goes well.
5. Establish trust through communication
Relationships and trust go hand in hand. Without trust, there is no relationship. If you feel like there is tension, or that your trust in your husband is falling, you can try repairing it with some patience. Start by focusing on his positives and talking about your feelings with him. If you feel like his ex is hindering your relationship with your husband, bring it up gently. Avoid using an accusing tone. Instead, tell him you trust him and need his attention and empathy to help resolve your feelings.
Relationships and trust go hand in hand. Without trust, there is no relationship.
Make sure your husband understands where you’re coming from. If he’s always talking about his ex wife, he needs to tone it down so your relationship isn’t damaged by it. Try supporting him if she’s giving him a hard time, but also tell him to set limits on how often he discusses her.
How Do I Deal with My Husband and His Ex-Wife?
First off, it’s not your job to baby your husband. He is a grown man who should ‘deal with’ his ex wife himself. However, you can support him in realizing his inappropriate obsession with his ex. Let him know how you feel, and if he respects you, he will fix the issue. However, if he keeps overstepping his boundaries with his ex, don’t let it slide.
Issues with this ex wife can threaten your relationship. Ignoring the issue can worsen things. However, arguing and fighting can add salt to the wound, too. You’ll need to talk to him, adult-to-adult, and overcome the challenge as a team.
Couples therapy is a good place to address the rift between you and your husband. His ex should not be a toxic contributor to your relationship. A professional counselor can help your husband realize that by using emotionally-aware conversation tactics. A therapist can also teach you how to build trust in a relationship. They’ll also teach you about healthy communication in relationships to avoid future fall-outs.
Joining therapy with you is a sign that he wants the relationship to work. However, many people do not believe in therapy, so getting him to start seeing a counselor may take some convincing.
Try highlighting how important your marriage is to you, and remind your husband that you still love him, but can’t receive his full love until he moves on from his ex. Seeing you invested in maintaining the relationship may convince him to start relationship therapy.
Granted, therapy is expensive, and financial troubles can come between any couple. If you can’t afford therapy, consider scheduling time with a trusted family member or friend who can help moderate conversations between you and your husband.
Or, try communicating your feelings to your partner directly. Use the communication tips shared above to allow for better conversation.
Like anything worth having, marriage takes work. Though it may not be easy, it will be worth the effort.
See, relationships are a two-way street. So, your husband will need to work with you towards solving the problem, not against you. Communicating your feelings to your partner without fearing his reaction signifies a healthy relationship.
Just remember that you won’t stop fighting with your husband over his ex-wife till you two work through it together. Marriage is all about teamwork, afterall!