“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”
~ Brené Brown
When a guy talks about his ex all the time, you are being given important information.
The information is not really about the ex, but rather about the guy.
Particularly if the break up was not his choice, he may be obsessed with his ex and processing the ending of the relationship with anyone who will listen, including you. This is quite inappropriate, and should not happen. He would do much better to find a therapist and process his last relationship with a professional.
Another reason a guy may be talking about his ex is that he lacks boundaries.
He may not understand where other people end and he begins. A lack of personal boundaries is a symptom of greater issues that will surface in other parts of your relationship.
If he is talking to you about her, you can be guaranteed that he will talk about you to other people as well.
This may be a symptom of poor relational skills, codependency issues, untreated family of origin issues, or other mental health problems. In any case, he has some serious work to do.
Your relationship with him does not need to include information about her.
Some people relish the idea of finding out information about a person’s last relationship. This is usually a desire to find out as much as they can about the person they are now dating, but is not necessarily helpful for the next relationship.
If the person you are dating is withholding information about himself and reluctant to share with you, this is not the way to discovering who he is.
People do not always behave the same way from relationship to relationship. The way he was with someone else may not be at all the way he behaves with you.
If he is unwilling to stop talking about his ex, tell him you want to take a break and invite him to contact you once he is truly available and healthy. You will both do better if you are traveling light, without past baggage.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
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