He still talks to the ex

My live in boyfriend still talks to his ex-wife a lot, they have no children, have known each other for 20 yrs were married for 7 have been divorced for 2 and she sends him pictures of her self , he asks her for pictures she never calls the house only his cell phone and never talks to him when she knows I’m around, he had told her he loves her in text mess. and said things like OOH I like show me more skin so this tells me they are more than just friends like he says at least emotionally and they are playing some sick game with each other and not caring about the people they are involved with…. please tell me if I am in the wrong for feeling this way? signed, littlesister, age 34

Dear Littlesister, you are not in the wrong for feeling this way at all. Your boyfriend is totally disrespecting you and your relationship.  There is absolutely no need for him to communicate in this way with an ex and no real communication is necessary since there are no children.  Here are some things for you to consider.

1.  You must sit him down and have a talk about what his behavior is doing to your relationship and how it makes you feel.  Read our express and own your feelings article before you have this talk.   Here are some guidelines for you to follow for this meeting.

a.  Tell your boyfriend that you need 15 minutes of his time to talk about a family matter.  Give him a choice of times and let him decide between the two choices.  Make sure there is no interruption like TV, phone, radio, or other people.  Bring a timer to the meeting and honor the 15 minute time frame.  the goal of this meeting is to state your honest feelings on this matter using the information in the article mentioned above. 

b.  Don’t shame or blame him only state your feelings and how all of this behavior hurts your relationship in general. 

c.  At the end of the meeting, thank him for listening, and tell him that you want some change and ask him to decide what he is willing and able to do on his part to make things work better for your relationship.  Give him a couple of days to think about it and during that time you decide what you can and cannot tolerate in the future.  Get very clear with yourself and be totally honest with yourself – can you truly put up with this behavior for years to come if it does not change?  Are you settling for a man that really doesn’t have your feelings or best interest at heart?

d.  Meet again for a similar amount of time and ask him what he is willing to do to make things better between the two of you.  Tell him very clearly what boundaries you are setting in regards to his behavior.  Listen very closely to how he responds.  Is he denying you your feelings?  Is he shaming you for feeling the way you do?  Is he committing to doing better?  Is he committed to your relationship and to your wants and needs?

Get those answered and then make a decision from there.  If he does not take what you have seriously and make some changes that you can live with then I would highly recommend you end the relationship.  You deserve much better treatment than you have received up to this point.  Don’t settle or tolerate being disrespected in this manner.  there are good men out there that will not have an ex in the picture let alone act like this with one if they do.  Please read some of the books we recommend for finding the right mate.

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.