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How to Deal If Your Partner's Ex Is Still in the Picture

Is three a crowd in your relationship? Here's how to peacefully co-exist with your partner's former better half.


  • Step 1: Assess the situation Ask yourself what it is about your partner's ex that upsets you. Their attitude toward you? Continued closeness with your partner? Animosity toward your ex?
  • Step 2: Search your soul Be honest about your role in the triangle. Could your own jealousy, insecurity, or resentment be partly to blame?
  • TIP: Control jealousy by reminding yourself that your partner and their ex are no longer together for a reason.
  • Step 3: Talk to your partner Once you have a handle on the situation, find a quiet time to talk to your partner about your concerns. Give them a chance to express their feelings, too.
  • Step 4: Find ways to compromise Be prepared to compromise. Avoid ultimatums and demands. Jealous or aggressive behavior could drive your partner away.
  • Step 5: Mind your own business Stay out of your partner's conflicts with their ex – especially if children are involved. Respect boundaries concerning parenting.
  • Step 6: Cope with an amorous ex If you suspect your partner's ex is still carrying a torch for them, talk to your partner about it and decide on a course of action together.
  • Step 7: Keep your enemies close Make an effort to befriend an ex who remains an important part of your partner's life. It's bound to strengthen your relationship and – who knows? – you may get a new pal out of it.
  • FACT: Platonic, nonromantic love between friends of the opposite sex does exist, according to psychology researchers.

You Will Need

  • Honesty
  • Maturity
  • Communication

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