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You Asked: My Boyfriend Called Me By His Ex's Name — Twice!

You Asked: My Boyfriend Called Me By His Ex's Name — Twice!

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend of seven months, who has been amazing, romantic, and thoughtful so far, referred to me by his ex's name on two occasions in front of others. It hurt me very much and it continues to hurt. The first time was around Thanksgiving, the exact time of year they had broken up. The second time was a couple of weeks later, at a Christmas party. He says it means nothing and it was just a slip of the tongue.

They had dated for two and a half years, and he has never wanted to talk about her or why they broke up, but after the second time he called me by her name, I insisted that he tell me about her. He said their breakup really hurt him, but they had intimacy issues and ended up being more friends than lovers. He wanted to work on their relationship but she did not so it ended.

He has told me that he is 100 percent committed to me and me only. He treats me extremely well and makes me very happy. He always tells me how much he loves me, has asked me to move in with him, and tells me how much happier he is with me than he was with her. I have met his family and friends and we get along really well. So was this really just a slip of the tongue? If so, what do I do to get over it? Could he still have feelings for her? I don't want to be naive and I don't want to be blindsided. Any advice would be a great help. — He Made a Mistake Mindy

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear He Made a Mistake Mindy,

From what you're telling me, it sounds as though everything in your relationship is going great except for these two slips of the tongue. While I don't doubt that those mistakes hurt you, you have to remember that people mess up every now and again, even at the cost of someone else's feelings. It's pretty clear that he adores you from the fact that he's constantly reassuring you, but at the end of the day, it's up to you if you're willing to forgive him.

Time will lessen the blow of his mistakes, and keeping the lines of communication open about your feelings will help too. What he did was wrong, but I can honestly say that I don't think it came from a malicious place so if you think you can let it go, I think it'll be worth your while. With that said, if he makes a habit of calling you the wrong name, I'd say that it's a pretty clear indication that he's simply not over his ex. I hope it all works out for you; good luck.


Join The Conversation
goodheart goodheart 5 years
I have been living with my boyfriend for 10 months and we have been through our ups and downs but, my boyfriend has called me by his ex-wifes name five times. I was so upset on the last three that i asked him to take some days at his house so that he could really sort out his thoughts. I am so hurt I can't even explain the pain, he has been very good to me , but know I have dout any suggestions would help
kenyangirl kenyangirl 5 years
i have been called names of my husbands affairs before and when he is drunk and if i sa anthing i am yelled at tel him some things arent meant to be mistakes and he should call you by your name whether he is good to you you deserve not to be called someone elses name
coldfeet2 coldfeet2 7 years
I understand an ex wifes or girlfriend that thay had long term relationship,sometime unfortunately a slip, not good but understandable. I'm saying with a woman, who has tried to hook up with him and he says he's not interested in, but yet in conversation trying to get my attention to listen to him, instead of saying my name he calls me by her name 3 times as he goes on to tell me I'm the only one he loves and cares about. And after that slip he doesnt understand why I have a problem believing him. Now what do you think?
cbaby28 cbaby28 8 years
i would be very hurt as well...but i would wonder if he's not over her.
summerjams summerjams 8 years
well my boyfriend calls me baby so he would never be wrong! plus my name is the same as his ex, so.. i guess the possibility would be 0%.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
My boyfriend's dad called me by my boyfriend's ex's name once!! Just the once! He was very apologetic about it. =) He was drunk and it was about 3 months in so I let him off. Everybody was very embarrassed. I would be mortified if my boyfriend called me by his ex's name. I have to say that we tend not to use names though...
skigurl skigurl 8 years
this has never happened to me, although my bf's ex's name is very similar to mine but i did date a guy who (around our third date) introduced me to about 3 people as the wrong name ... awkward ... i kept pretending i didn't hear it
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 8 years
I'm glad I have a really unique name =]
LittleLady12 LittleLady12 8 years
I don't think you have anything to worry about. I say this because I've definitely almost called my current boyfriend the names of TWO guys I dated in the past. I wasn't that serious with either of them, it meant absolutely nothing because I have zero feelings for them, and I love my boyfriend to death. It was honestly just out of habit and I wasn't thinking. I don't blame you for being hurt by it (I would be too), but people call people by the wrong name all the time--does it mean anything when you call your girlfriend by your sister's name? Nah, probably not. And besides, if your boyfriend really does still have feelings for the ex, there'd be a lot more warning signs than just calling you by her name! From what you've said, your bf sounds amazing! Just let it go.
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 8 years
they've done research that shows that as you get older, the neuronal communication in your brain is pretty set. what I mean is, you associate a certain feeling with a certain person. and it's hard to break that association, that connection. and as a result, you call a person by a different name based on the emotion- have you ever called someone by your little brother/sister's name when annoyed, for example? I'd take a look at the context in which he did that- were yall having a mild argument? were you sharing a tender moment? either way, I think actions are greater than words. if the only proof that you have that he's not over her is that he slipped up, I would say let it slide. He sounds amazingly devoted to you.
lianabambi lianabambi 8 years
my current boyfriend called me by his ex-girlfriends name a few times when we started gong out. it did hurt me and i made a pretty big deal about it. but it was obviously just out of habit even though he had broken up with his girlfriend years before, and hadn't had a serious relationship since. He is open to me about how he had real feelings for her, but our commitment to each other is so much more now than what they had and we have been going strong for more than 2 years now. Even though it was a big deal to me then, now its something i giggle at about how badly i was freaking out over nothing.
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 8 years
This has never happened to me with a boyfriend but my current boyfriend's mother has called me by his ex's name on a few occasions. She said she didnt realize that she did it a couple times and the other times just said it was a slip. lol def weird
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
I'd be pissed. Tell him something so that' he'll hopefully keep it in check.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
It was just a mistake. Don't let something so small get in the way of the good parts of your relationship.
sunnyheart sunnyheart 8 years
Sigh. I am terrified of doing this! I was with my last ex for SEVEN years, and then I was single for two whole years. Six months into a new relationship, where I am really happy, I still find myself almost saying my ex's name. I *so far* have not slipped and said it out loud but it drives me nuts! I don't know why it comes to my brain, I think it really is just habit. Good luck.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Could be memory slip ups or w/e. Just try to get over it. It doesn't sound like this is anything worth throwing everything away over. Everyone in my family and then some call me by other people's names. Think of it this way, he could actually hurt you a lot worse. And, no feelings don't just go away overnight so yes it does depend on how long ago things ended, also there's those memories from certain periods that may resurface so he might have been flung back into the past. Doesn't mean he's still in love with her though. Try to move on please. You'll eventually completely replace any woman from his past and he'll end up saying: who was that chick again? It's not like he's hanging out with his ex's right?
Meike Meike 8 years
I once called my mom by my husband's name and vice versa. Obviously, I don't think my husband is my mom or that my mom is my husband. I guess this was purely a case of the slip of the tongue. That said, I agree that I wouldn't like to be called by another girl's name. I am my husband's first and only and well, it would be a very bad thing and tell-tale sign if one day he called me by another woman's name.
acemonkey acemonkey 8 years
I could understand why it would hurt your feelings, but it's just a mistake. I've been married to my husband for 5 years and he's accidently called me his ex-wife's name a couple of times by mistake. Doesn't mean that he's still in love with her, it's just a slip of the tongue. I promise.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I don't think it's a big deal, but how does that even happen?!
L7amiguita L7amiguita 8 years
It really isn't that big of a deal. We're all imperfect and make mistakes. He seems like a good guy so don't hold it against him.
AmandaKrups AmandaKrups 8 years
Oh, I will randomly call my husband by my sister's name and she by his! I know, it's weird, but they're the only two people I call babe, so sometimes I get confused who I'm talking to after I've said "babe"!! Hahaha I don't think he likes when I do that.
AmandaKrups AmandaKrups 8 years
I have known my husband for 11 years, we've been together for 3 1/2 and married for just about one year, and I am STILL afraid I am randomly going to call him by my ex's name (especially during sex). And that would be a very, very bad thing because my ex was an absolute jerk and was the worst decision I ever made. I have absolutely no feelings for him's just some weird fear I have that I will call my husband by his name.
misskimberly misskimberly 8 years
It would upset me, but I wouldnt make a big deal out of it. My boyfriend always calls me by his dog's name, but they're sort of similar...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
oh please, it doesnt mean anything (unless its during sex) get over it soon, or the next girlfriend might be hearing your name....
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