I've been with my boyfriend for a year and 6 months, and we have recently gotten engaged. The only problem is that he talks about his ex-girlfriend all the time, and he's even told me what her body was like. It's really getting me down. We have a child together, so I really don't want to break up with him, but i don't know what to do. I've tried talking to him about it but he changes the subject. Please help me. -- Hurt Hannah
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Dear Hurt Hannah --
This is a hard one. Any relationship with a child involved is one in which much deliberation and thoughfulness must follow. It's also critical for a child to see love, kindness and respect between his parents, as you will both be models for what is and isn't acceptable between two people. I believe you need to take a long walk or sit quietly somewhere and ask yourself what you need in a marriage, a man, and a father to your child. Search yourself for these answers, Hannah. When you know your expectations and boundaries, take a deep breath and resolve to accept nothing less for you and your family.
Then, communicate to your partner that being told any details about his ex-girlfriend is off-limits and unacceptable, unless you solicit the conversation. Period. Do not let him control or change the subject. Be sure he understands that this kind of talk feels unloving and disrespectful, and that you are completely serious about being in a relationship where such bad feelings are not daily fare. However, Hurt Hannah, I wouldn't suggest taking this position unless you mean it and are prepared to make choices for yourself and your child based on his subsequent behaviors and attitude.
I truly, truly hope he hears you this time and can connect with how uncomfortable and awful this would make anyone feel, much less the woman he's about to marry. Please keep in touch and let us know how this unfolds for you.