Can Justin have a friendship with his ex without it affecting his current relationship?
Justin has a really good female friend. They’ve been friends about 3 years. He loves her as a friend but is not in love with her. He’s trying to be a friend to a girl and encourage her, but his girlfriend is jealous. They had dated in the past, but that’s not happening now. Justin and his current girlfriend are talking about getting engaged. The friend relationship with his ex-girlfriend is causing issues with his current girlfriend. How can Justin be a friend and offer encouragement to his ex-girlfriend without it affecting his current relationship?
It Makes My Girlfriend Uncomfortable
How do you feel when she says I don’t want you with your ex-girlfriend at all? Justin – “She doesn’t tell me she doesn’t want me with her, because she knows what I’m doing. She knows the fact that I’m encouraging this person and I’m there for support. But I know deep down inside she gets jealous, because she [my friend] is taking my time away from her. And from time to time, it makes her uncomfortable - as it would anybody.”
Peer to Peer:
Justin is looking for some answers here. What do you say to Justin about his friend relationship causing issues with his current girlfriend? What should Justin do? Can he be a friend to his ex? Or will that friendship affect his current relationship? Yolle, Parker, Jamie, Jennifer, and Sophie all called to weigh in on Justin’s situation, several of them have been in similar situations. Here is their advice to Justin:
Consider the Type of Relationship You Have with Your Ex - Yolle
Yolle – “The advice I have for Justin is more of a series of questions and not really advice, because he should be the one to make this decision. I would like for him to consider the type of relationship he has with the ex.
- What is it about this relationship that he’s holding onto, where he feels he’s the one that can encourage the ex?
- How important is the new relationship to him?
- How can he allow the new girlfriend to trust there’s nothing serious going on with the ex?
I would like for him to consider those questions. I also encourage him to set boundaries. I understand why the new girlfriend is not comfortable with the whole thing, because as females we always wonder if there’s anything more than a friendship. She should seek God in her discomfort, knowing that her future husband is trustworthy. And Justin needs to allow God to be the one to lead him in any type of relationship that he’s going to be involved in.”
Let Go of Your Past Relationships - Parker
Parker – “I was inspired to call in tonight because I’m in a similar situation right now. What I’ve found is that sometimes you have to let go of your past relationships especially if there affecting someone you love. What you have to do is move forward with your new companion. I encourage Justin to take the path where he can allow the love with his current girlfriend, who might be his wife one day, to grow and blossom into a beautiful thing. That’s what I’ve found during my current relationship, and I’ve never been happier. Look forward, water your grass where it is right now, and it will grow to be a beautiful garden.
Direct Her to Someone Else Who Can Help Her - Jamie
Jamie – “I don’t necessarily think that she’s immature so much as it’s a new relationship and she’s wanting to marry the guy. I know from personal experience I wouldn’t want my current husband now hanging out with his ex. If he wants to be a good friend, he can direct her to a church pastor or a counselor or something if she needs that guidance. He doesn’t have to be the one giving it. Then he would still be a good friend but is also being a good soon-to-be spouse. If he’s deciding to marry this other girl, her feelings should come first to him above an ex-girlfriend.
I had an issue when I was engaged to my husband now, I had a friend who was an ex, and he wasn’t happy about it. And I said, “Well, he’s, my friend.” I was young and felt like he was here first, friends come before anything else. Then my husband, at the time was my fiancé, put his foot down and said, “It’s me or him.” And so, I really had to think about what was I holding onto? Am I going to keep him in the wings just in case? Which was not the case. I ended up deciding to go with my husband and I’ve never been happier!”
Show Your Girlfriend She Can Trust You - Jennifer
Jennifer – “Everybody has said a lot of things that were going through my mind. But one thing that I see as a female is a lot of girls don’t have good self-esteem and that’s where a lot of times those types of feelings come from…low self-esteem. If he loves her, he needs to reassure her. One of the guys said a few minutes ago, redirect your friend to either someone at the church or another girl she could lean on and talk to. If you love this woman so much that you want to marry her, then you need to show her that security. Show her why she can trust you. A lot of times you want to just say, “Just trust me, trust me.” But some people you have to show them you can trust me.”
Cut Out Meeting One-On-One with the Opposite Sex - Sophie
Sophie – “Me and my fiancé originally got engaged and we went through a similar type of situation. I had a lot of insecurity within me just from things happening. Even though I knew his heart was right in it, I didn’t necessarily know the girl very well, so it was just one of those things where it doesn’t really matter regardless. You’re both more protected when that boundary is set, such as, we both know now we are more serious, so we’ve got to cut those type of relationships out of our lives. It’s too hard to have those relationships with the opposite sex without it getting perverted. So, really creating that boundary, saying: we both equally have to be good friends with this person and maybe we both meet with them, or you have to cut that person out of your life, and stop meeting with them alone, one-on-one type of thing.”
Did Today’s Episode Get You Thinking?
You could say Justin’s girlfriend, soon to be fiancé, is being immature, but the Bible says, you who are strong bear the burdens of the weak. (Romans 15:1) When you say to this girl, I’m talking about you becoming my fiancé. Once they’ve become your fiancé, you’ve made a statement which says, I’m going down the road to decide whether or not we should get married. He does not need distractions from an old flame. Even if she is immature, you who are strong bear the burdens of the weak.
I’m Fine Letting Her Go - Justin
Justin explains, “I’m perfectly fine letting this girl go, because that’s how important my girlfriend is to me now. But I’m also an assistant youth pastor so when the person who doesn’t 100% know God, comes to talk to me all the time. And I’m the only person that she’s comfortable talking with, so trying to figure out a Biblical way to do it.”
You Who Are Strong, Bear the Burdens of the Weak
She needs to speak with a woman anyway, Justin. Pass her onto a woman and then go back to your fiancé and say to her we’re making this step. I’m going to show you that I want to be faithful to you. Here’s what I’ve done so far, but I want to show you. Even if she’s immature, you who are strong, bear the burdens of the weak.
Resources for help with Relationships:
Blog: Why Do People Get Jealous
Blog: 8 Ways of Overcoming Jealousy in Your Relationship
Blog: Dating and Marriage: Am I Ready to Get Married?
Podcast: EP 41: How to Move On From Your Ex
Need to talk to someone? Chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine.
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