He still loves his ex

He still loves his ex

Dear Positive Way, I have been happily in a relationship with my partner for 10 months. We were both happy and very much in love with each other.

He came out of a 6 year relationship with his ex last year and I know he was very hurt as his ex dumped him and has since had a couple of new boyfriends.

My partner was involved in a car accident 5 weeks ago and whilst under medication he continually asked for his ex to visit and how much he still loved her. Obviously this has devastated me and I know my partner is also saddened by the circumstances.  His ex has now visited the hospital several times, but has made it clear that she is not interested in getting back together.

My partner accepts this, but has admitted that he still hasn’t gotten over her. I visit him daily and it is breaking my heart that our bond has been broken. He is still as loving towards me and says constantly that I’m the best thing to have ever happened to him, but the timing wasn’t right.

I’m going through so many emotions just now. I’m heartbroken as I know he loves me and I’m angry because of what’s happened. People say I should stay away from him, to allow him time to perhaps miss me. I find that hard, as I want to see him.  But would staying away be a good thing?  I truly love my partner, but don’t want to be in a relationship with him if he seems so bothered about a woman who doesn’t care about his feelings and treats him so callously the way he ex does.

I don’t want to compete with his ex. Should I walk away for now and give him time or should I perhaps even walk away for good. Signed tinydaffodil, age 38

Dear Tinydaffodil, I can understand your hurt and concern on whether to walk away for good or give him time for now.  There is good news and bad news that I have to share with you.  The good news is that many ex’s are still in love with their ex’s and yet they move on and learn to love another just as much if not more.   Your partner even if he still loves his ex for now it does not mean that he loves you any less or that he can’t move forward and get beyond his feelings for his ex.  Now for the bad news:  The bad news is that if his ex should decide she will take him back then there is a high risk that he will return to her.  Sad but true.  Here are some things to consider:

1.  Verify, in the best way you know how, that his ex is not pursuing him again.  Ask directly if you have too.  If she is interested and going to try to get him back then let the man go.  He is not worth fighting over.  You can’t compete with an ex if one is still in love with the other.  You would be fighting a losing battle.

2.  If you feel confident that she does not want him back then give him some time and help him work through his feelings.  We recommend a great book that can help him in this matter.  You will benefit greatly from reading it as well. 

 It is “Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, 3rd Edition (Rebuilding Books; For Divorce and Beyond)  It contains excellent advice and insight on the subject.  We feel sure it will help both of you. We have included a direct link to the book if you are interested.

3.  Sensitive men tend to hang on to past love much longer than women and they will forgive and go back very easily if given the chance.  With that in mind they also can fall in love with someone else and move forward with some time and counseling when needed. You can help him move forward. 

Please read some of the articles on our website for relationships and also the article on Rebuilding after Divorce.  We also have a compatibility guide that could help the two of you decide if there is enough foundation to move forward.


Please understand you have free will.  This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling.  We wish you well.

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