Question: Hello, I think my boyfriend is still emotionally attached to his ex and when I ask him about it, he assures me that there is nothing to worry about it. Should I be concerned, what should I do?
Answer: Hi there,
Suspecting your partner of having feelings for anyone besides yourself can be very painful, and I understand your turmoil.
In your case, you think that your boyfriend might still be emotionally attached to his ex, and you’re not sure if there is anything to worry about.
I hope that some of these answers will be useful to you and help you understand what is going on.
Emotional attachment to anyone besides your significant other is called emotional infidelity. That is not to say that you should not have any friends, but there is a certain boundary that separates the two.
Platonic relationships between men and women are possible, but they can spell trouble for a couple if certain lines are crossed. The fact that an ex is involved makes things that much more complicated.
If you are sure that your boyfriend is not having sex with anyone besides yourself, but are still worried about his emotional fidelity to you, read on to see whether your boyfriend’s ex is a threat to your relationship or not.
1- Is your boyfriend still in contact with his ex? Does he still talk to her constantly on the phone or on the internet? If he is in contact with her, does he do it in front of you, or does he talk to her in private? In short, are you aware of all the communication that goes on between them?
If you are, then your boyfriend probably has nothing to hide, but if their communication makes you uncomfortable, and who can blame you?
You should talk it out with your partner and tell him that you prefer that he didn’t contact his ex anymore. If he values your relationship enough, then he should understand.
Don’t let him turn this around, and make you feel like you’re the unreasonable one. If they really are just friends, then they should be able to respect your wishes and cease all communication.
If after this, they still talk to each other, especially behind your back, you might have a case of emotional infidelity on your hands.
2- Has your boyfriend recently seemed emotionally unavailable or detached from you? If you feel like your man is withdrawing for no apparent reason, then you should ask him about it because it may be that he has become emotionally invested somewhere else.
Maybe you noticed that your boyfriend doesn’t tell you about what goes on in his life like he used to, or doesn’t tell you I love you as much. The fact that there is an ex in the picture can make you even more suspicious.
If he’s in contact with her and you hear them talking or catch him telling her things that he’s not telling you, and you feel like he has become emotionally closer to her than to you then that is a red flag you should definitely not ignore.
3- Does your boyfriend spend less and less time with you? Did you used to go everywhere together and then suddenly you feel like he’s leading a double life.
He seems preoccupied and doesn’t want to engage in activities with you like before.
He may be on the computer more often for non-work related activities or spends more time on the phone and claims it’s just a co worker.
If your boyfriend is physically there, but doesn’t enjoy spending time with you like he used to, then there may be emotional infidelity going on.
4- Is your boyfriend not as sexually interested in you anymore? If he used to be all over you, and then suddenly retracts, there’s something going on.
You know that he’s not having sex with anyone else, yet he’s still avoiding intimacy with you.
Ask him about it, it may be that he is just stressed out from work, but since there is an ex that you’re worried about, it is imperative that he give you a good explanation for his sudden change of behavior.
5- Another sign of emotional infidelity is that your boyfriend suddenly becomes overly critical of you; your actions, your appearance, your words.
Nothing you do seems to be right for him anymore, and he devalues you and becomes negative about you or your relationship in general.
6- If you have specifically asked your boyfriend to cease all contact with his ex, and you’re still finding her number on his call log or emails between them, then there is definitely emotional cheating going on.
Check his phone bills, and web history to confirm this before you thrash around accusations. They may not be physically attached, but emotionally, he seems to still be very taken with her, and that is not okay when you are in a committed relationship with someone else.
If any of these emotional infidelity signs are ringing bells for you, then you need to explore the issue further. If your partner is still in contact with his ex, set boundaries, and demand that he respect them.
If he does, and he’s not displaying any emotional attachment signs to her, and is back to being his regular self, then their relationship was probably platonic and you had nothing to worry about.
However, if your boyfriend is still talking to his ex after you told him not to, or he is doing it behind your back, and he is also exhibiting any of the emotional cheating signs, then you need to decide whether you want to stay with him or not.
Emotional infidelity is different than physical infidelity in that there is usually no sex involved, but they are both equally painful and devastating.
Also, there is always a risk that an emotional affair can turn into full blown affair, so definitely be aware of what’s going on.
Most platonic relationships can seem perfectly innocent, but could spell disaster if certain boundaries are crossed.
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