Advice – I can’t shake the feeling of my ex sleeping with someone else.

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/u/BigTrain2000 on /r/relationship_advice writes…

“… My ex [29m] and I [27F] broke up about 4months ago after a 5year relationship but are still sexually involved. Somehow things got way better between us after the split and we’ve both decided to use this time “apart” to make ourselves better with the full intention of returning to a relationship between us.

He’s still dedicated to me. I’m still dedicated to him. Clear-cut, with no shadow of doubt on either of our sides. We are both jealous for each other.

Since we’re both single, we sleep with other people as well. He knows I sleep with other guys, I know he sleep with other girls. We’ve kept things cordial, don’t flaunt it in front of each other and don’t bring it up when we are together.

Until now. The car of one of the girls he sleeps with is in his driveway while she is underway with the Navy. He told me that he agreed to watch it because she is a friend and the physical car is unrelated to if they sleep together or not.

I asked him to move it from the driveway, out of my sight, when I come over to his house. He has flatly said “no.” So I (now) flatly refuse to go over to his place. I will not have an item belonging to someone he sleeps with rubbed in my face. It is concrete proof of he sleeping with her and I won’t torture myself by seeing it over and over.

… Ever since seeing it the first time, I can’t stop thinking about him sleeping with her. I try to push it out of my mind but it comes back over and over again. I haven’t eaten in 5 days. I cry constantly. When I eat, I throw it up.

… I have to shake this. What can I do?”

Dear BigTrain2000,

It sounds like you were able to reside in this state of plausible deniability. A mental headspace where you do not necessarily have to accept that your ex have been seeing other people.

You aren’t so much upset about this car residing in his driveway. This car is a physical manifestation of the current state of your relationship. And your current feelings of jealousy too isn’t about this car taking up space, but rather a misdirection from your own insecurities about your ongoing relationship with your ex. This is further exacerbated by the continued presence and your jealousy will continue to fester until it has been recognized and thoroughly addressed.

So let’s sit with that realization. Let’s step away from that vehicle and think about your feelings.

Jealousy is completely natural. If you keep getting upset about, then maybe the questions you could be asking yourself here are as follows.

  • Do I want to continue to live in this state of plausible deniability?
  • What boundaries can I institute so that I don’t keep feeling jealousy?
  • How should I communicate those boundaries with my ex so that I can maintain and manage my own jealousy better?

Jealousy is a feeling, like any other. And it too will fade with enough time. But not if it keeps on tripping you up every time you go by his house. So you might need to establish a boundary such as “I will not go to his place while his other partners’ cars and belongings are still at his place.” It will help manage your own feelings and jealousy. But this would be a temporary solution to the overarching problem of your current relationship with your ex.

It might be a good time to revisit this agreement: “[W]e’ve both decided to use this time “apart” to make ourselves better with the full intention of returning to a relationship between us.” Come to a revised agreement on what that might look like and what the overall timeline is. Identify the steps you feel that is required for both you and your ex to get to that point. Live this part of your life with some purpose. Both you and your ex can use it.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

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