My fiance hasn't said anything, but I can just tell. My ex's husband is going to be one of my groomsmen; so, this is kind of a problem. What can I do to ease the tension ?
Most Helpful Girl
Ouch. This is a toughie - I have the same situation, but from the other side, so I can see both perspectives on this one.
The feelings your fiancee has will be mixed. On the one hand, she probably feels a bit insecure, and a bit jealous. On the other, the fact that she hasn't spoken out suggests that she loves you, she wants you to be happy, and that she knows that, at some level, her feelings may be a little irrational. That's a complex set of emotions, and she's probably wrestling a bit with them.
There are two things that I think you need to do.
Firstly, open up a space to discuss this when you're both calm and can take some time out to talk. Broach the subject by saying that you're concerned about her - that you sense her feelings on this issue aren't entirely positive - and that you want to reassure her. Stress - repeatedly and forcefully- that you love her and only want to be with her. Be careful not to equivocate or hesitate - one moment's pause (even if unintentional) will be remembered much longer than all the reassurance you can give. If you can come up with a few stories to explain why your ex was absolutely definitely not the woman for you, that will help tremendously! You may be surprised at how upset she is - give her time to vent if she needs it. Also, be prepared to make a trade. Clearly, your ex has to come to the wedding. Is there a favour you can grant your wife on the special day in return?
Secondly, this is a situation that will require long-term management. It is always strange to hang out with someone who has been in a longterm relationship with your partner. The problem can persist for years. Even though I'm sure you're sensitive to her feelings (the fact that you've picked up on her discomfort suggests you're a pretty caring guy overall), there will be intimacies there that are difficult for her. The less you stress these when in her company (or that of your groomsman) the better. This may mean policing your language a bit. For instance 'we' statements that exclude your new girl for your old one (e.g. 'Remember when we went on holiday to the States five years ago') raise unnecessary questions in the mind of your partner. And avoid - like the plague - any comparisons between old and new girlfriends that work to the detriment of the latter.
Also to be avoided is any suggestion that you are weighing your ex's feelings, or opinions, as more important than your fiancees, particularly if (as your message suggests) your current girlfriend is patient and wrestles with her feelings, while your ex is feisty. It's easy - and natural - in human interactions for the moodiest or the most forceful person to get their way, sometimes overriding the feelings of people who are more sensitive, but quieter. If your fiancee is that way, it's quite important that she feels that you are attentive to the small signs she will give.
I'm sure that you can work your way through this. Good luck.0
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