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How Do I Deal With My Husband's Feelings Towards His Ex?

Dear Advice People,
I am having issues with my husband's feelings for an ex-girlfriend of his. Over 8 years ago my husband broke up with his then girlfriend Amanda. By all accounts it was an extremely messy break up. They had lived together for a couple of years and broke up due to her cheating on him. After that happened, a mutual friend of theirs told my husband that Amanda had aborted a child of his. Naturally this knowledge devastated him. For a few years he was drinking heavily, running from one quick relationship to another, and eventually decided he was ready to move on. Eventually the two of us met and after dating for a few years got married.

Throughout our relationship I have often been reminded of Amanda. When he gets mad he will say things like "You are acting just like Amanda used to!" or, in response to why he isn't very romantic, "I was with Amanda and learned the hard way that it is overrated" or similar things to that effect. So when he had a dream the other night that sent him in a bad mood I correctly guessed that it was about her. He had told me that he dreamed that the mutal friend had lied to him and that she had his child but never told him. Because they had absolutely no contact after their messy breakup, I understood why he would be upset that he had doubts about whether or not he had a child with this girl. Saying that he just never knew the truth, that the not knowing was hard, and to finally put this issue to rest, I offered to try to look the girl up and see if I could find a way to contact her to ask. Figuring after 8 years that they might actually be able to have a conversation about an issue that has been hanging over his head. But when I found out that she was doing well and married some time ago and an address to write either her or her family he grew upset. I found he wasn't as concerned about if there was this possible abortion, but how her life turned out. He was highly upset that she was now married. I understood the need to find out the truth about a child - anyone would want to know if they had a child. But I don't understand his disappointment that she is married and by all accounts, happy with her life. Since we are married and starting our own life, what should it matter what she did with hers? Please help! This is causing some really bad feelings towards my husband and doubt about his feelings towards me. What can I do? Thank you.


Wendy's advice

When a relationship breaks up over infidelity, it can cause a lot of resentment and emotional issues that can take a very long time to heal. This is not something your husband has completely dealt with, and it seems as though dealing with it by himself is not working. You shouldn't try to fix this problem by yourself either. Discuss with your husband whether or not he is amenable to seeking counselling as a couple, and tell him that doing this is important to you because you're concerned about how this past relationship is affecting his current one. If he is not willing to do this, consider seeing a professional on your own. It will give you a chance to work through this problem at least from your end. Good luck.

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