Is Your Husband Still in Love with His Ex?

Learn the signs that someone else owns his heart

Couple ignoring each other
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What if your husband said, "I love you, Sabrina," only you're not Sabrina? You're his wife Julie. Sabrina, on the other hand, is his ex-girlfriend. A reader recently recounted a similar story in the comments section of a blog about those moments when you hate your husband. Considering this story and a "Will This Marriage Survive?" column about a husband who threw away his marriage for an emotional affair with an ex from high school, one must believe that husbands (and probably some wives) are still holding torches for their former loves.



If you're worried your husband is thinking about an old flame, then check out these signs that his heart belongs to someone else:

He calls you by his ex's name.
These Freudian slips of the tongue could be meaningless. After all, we all think about an ex now and then. But if it happens at times when your husband should be completely focused on you (like in the example above or at the altar - think Ross on Friends - or during sex), then you have to recognize that he is subconsciously living out this marriage with someone else in your role. That's not cool. Even though he has not committed adultery, he is demonstrating that he might not be fully committed to you. This doesn't have to mean the end of your marriage, but you have to force the issue and dig into his true feelings. You deserve someone who wants to give you his whole heart. The truth will hurt if it's not what you want to hear, but you need to know it.

Then, you can move on and make the right decision about the future of your relationship.

He constantly refers to his ex.

Kudos to your husband for keeping your name straight. But he might as well call you by his ex's name because he's always talking about her. You bring up the idea of going to Mexico for your anniversary, and he tells you about the trip he took with her there.You go to the trouble of ironing his pants, but you forget the pleats, and he reminds you that his ex was great at ironing.

She may as well be a celebrity for all the name dropping he does. When an ex comes up in conversation often, you have to wonder if your spouse is just constantly thinking about her or is picking up his relationship with her. Either way, it's bad news. Now, it could be innocent. He might just have a lot of stories involving her. Still, if nothing else, it is insensitive to your feelings. And he has to cut it out. You'll have to ask him some difficult questions about why she's always coming up. Then, you'll have to deal with the answers.

He insists you hang out with his ex.

At some point, people started to believe that it was socially unacceptable to throw a fit when your spouse wants to go on a double date with an ex or invite his ex to your wedding. You have to be cool and let this stuff happen. Wrong. Relationship expert April Masini has warned readers before of the dangers of staying close to exes. It threatens your marriage and is completely unnecessary. The only reason you have to maintain a relationship with an ex is if you have kids together. If that's the case, then you and your spouse need to set ground rules about what's appropriate and inappropriate interaction. Bottom line, you can reject the idea of spending time with your spouse's ex.

And he should be cool with that.

He communicates with his ex frequently.

Many spouses have documented - sometimes on this site - how their husband or wife innocently began catching up with an ex on social media, such as Facebook, or via phone. The two begin talking frequently like they did when they were dating. Next thing you know they're in the middle of an emotional affair (with the potential to turn physical if it hasn't already). There is no turning back once one of you has cheated. Some couples manage to move forward together, but their relationship is forever changed, and it's very challenging to get back to good. If you fear your spouse is at risk of cheating because he's talking too often with a threat, talk to him about it now. Granted, if he loves this other person, your marriage could end anyway.

But you owe it to yourself and your relationship to protect and nurture it until you know his true feelings for you. Ask him to quit talking to his ex cold turkey. He should be willing to do this for the sake of your marriage. If he isn't, you have to decide if your love is salvageable.