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Old 10-12-2007, 07:41 AM   #1
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I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

My husband and I have had many conversations in the past that have somehow involved an exgirlfriend of his. I am in no way jealous of his exgirlfriends, and he (and I) are good friends with one of them and her husband. He even still owns a jacket that he got as a gift from and ex that I wear a lot because I like it.

Anyway, we got into a conversation about cooking the other night. The subject went to gravy and how his grandmother use to always pick on his mother's gravy for being too thin. I then said something along the line of how one of my exboyfriend's mother made really good gravy. He then said to me "you lived with his parents too". I said no, I only lived with him for like a month and I had her gravy when I went I had Thanksgiving Dinner at her home one year. All sounds pretty innocent, right? He gets all upset and says how we have to change the subject because he can't handle anything that has to do with who "his wife use to sleep with".

So basicly, he can talk about his exgirlfriends in a nonsexual way and I am fine with it. If I do the same with an exboyfriend he freaks out. So why is that? What is the difference? I'm sorry, but I just think it is completely ridiculous, espcially considering I very rarely mention any ex around him.

 
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:34 AM   #2
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Well, I've never had this problem and I've never been married, so I'm not an expert or anything, but it seems to me, some men are just going to freak out when it come to that issue. In this case, I'm not sure it's so much a matter of "well, I do this for you, how come you can't do the same for me in return??" kind of thing. I think it's just that you handle it better than he does. It's just how he feels, and maybe it'd be best not to treat it as a fairness issue, but rather something that he just can't tolerate. You dont' have to like it or understand it, but to keep the peace, I think you're going to have to find a way to respect it.

 
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:45 AM   #3
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Men are so weird about that. My boyfriend does the same thing, we can talk about his ex's but if I ever say anything about mine he always has to make some comment. I think it's because men don't like to acknowledge that you have any kind of sexual past that is not with him, the whole "innocent, pristine" thing...

 
Old 10-12-2007, 09:47 AM   #4
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

But it's almost like he is hypocrit about it, you know what I mean? For example we are friends with another couple and something got brought up about the female's ex. I think it had to do with where he worked or something. Anyway, her husband got all upset about it. My husband then said something about him needing to relax because it was an ex and really nothing to get upset about. The past is the past. Even when we first started dating I was very insecure and would always tell me that everyone has a past and you just have to accept it for what it is. I have been able to that and am much more secure now. He seems to have gone in the opposite direction.

I think that is what really bugs me. I can totally repsect the fact that he doesn't like it. I just don't get how you can preach one thing to one person and then be completely the opposite when it comes to yourself, if you know what I mean.

I know I don't have to like or understand it. I just can't stand how hypocritical it seems.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 09:57 AM   #5
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Sometimes I think that this stuff is just hard-wired into men somehow. I don't think it is hypocritical as such, just two different compartments of his inner workings. Your husband's thinking, rational side can say to his friend "It's all in the past", but when it comes to his own "territory", something in the most primitive part of his brain kicks into life. We have all seen this sort of thing in one form or another. Let's face it, we women are that little more evolved LOL. Cheers, Sera

 
Old 10-12-2007, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Wow, it just shows where as apparently innocent a conversation as gravy can take a couple, lol. I have always believed that men are basically lacking in a behavioral componant that's very important in terms of coming to a rational understanding of the effects of their own actions - it's commonly referred to as 'putting the shoe on the other foot' - and they're totally incapable of it.

Happymom, the next time he starts that BS you should say to him (in your best sarcastic tone); "why dont you ever put the shoe on the other foot? Could it be because you're not too comfortable with the fit?"

 
Old 10-12-2007, 10:38 AM   #7
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Well, I think it is more "natural" for men to be possessive (women, on the other hand, tend to be jealous), so maybe that's why it's so hard for your husband to talk about another man whom you belonged to, so to say.

But this is not at all a trait only to be found in men. Many women I know (including my own wife) can't tolerate the simple mention of an ex (she doesn't even like their names per se), so, on the whole, it also depends on the individual rather than on their gender.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 12:19 PM   #8
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
Well, I think it is more "natural" for men to be possessive (women, on the other hand, tend to be jealous)
I don't see the difference to be honest Pendulum; possessiveness is a major component of jealousy; it's what fuels it, in my opinion.

On the subject of generalising along gender lines, yes, sorry, I know that is unfair, but the thing is when a woman has encountered the same trait in every single man she's ever come across, both romantically and platonically, it is actually natural (albeit unfair) to assume that it is a characteristic that's common to men.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laylah View Post
I don't see the difference to be honest Pendulum; possessiveness is a major component of jealousy; it's what fuels it, in my opinion.

On the subject of generalising along gender lines, yes, sorry, I know that is unfair, but the thing is when a woman has encountered the same trait in every single man she's ever come across, both romantically and platonically, it is actually natural (albeit unfair) to assume that it is a characteristic that's common to men.
Hi Laylah!

But there's a difference between possessiveness and jealousy. It's very subtle, and maybe I am not able to explain it to you. Anyway, possessiveness is more sexual in nature, while jealousy is more social. If you are possessive, you focus rather on your partner and you want to monitor him or her. If you are jealous, you focus rather on the others who approach your partner and you want them to get away. Possessiveness is often associated with anger, whereas jealousy is with sulleness.

Probably what Happymom is describing is more easily encountered in men - I wouldn't deny it - but, in my experience, many women also have a very difficult time dealing with their man's ex-partners or whatever, but probably for different reasons. A man may think that an ex was more potent or wealthier, and a woman may think that her man doesn't love her enough because there are other women in his life (or on his mind).

...

 
Old 10-12-2007, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
Hi Laylah!

But there's a difference between possessiveness and jealousy. It's very subtle, and maybe I am not able to explain it to you. Anyway, possessiveness is more sexual in nature, while jealousy is more social. If you are possessive, you focus rather on your partner and you want to monitor him or her. If you are jealous, you focus rather on the others who approach your partner and you want them to get away. Possessiveness is often associated with anger, whereas jealousy is with sulleness.
Hi Pendulum! - I think that when a person feels a sense of possessiveness towards their partner and that possessiveness cannot be indulged for whatever reason it can act as the spark to the powder keg of jealousy, if you understand what I mean. Yes, men are often possessive in their romantic involvements, and I think Happymoms husband is being rather irrational as a result of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
Probably what Happymom is describing is more easily encountered in men - I wouldn't deny it - but, in my experience, many women also have a very difficult time dealing with their man's ex-partners or whatever, but probably for different reasons. A man may think that an ex was more potent or wealthier, and a woman may think that her man doesn't love her enough because there are other women in his life (or on his mind).

...
Well it's definitely true that women also feel and behave this way, I know I do! I've no time for ex's sniffing round and I've said that many times on these boards, but honestly my feelings are grounded in very real experiences which actually created that aversion in the first place.

Anyhow, I do think Happymom's husband is being irrational, and I think she ought to tell him so.

Last edited by Laylah; 10-12-2007 at 01:00 PM.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 01:35 PM   #11
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Yes, women can be that way too, but when we are that way, we're usually labeled "psycho-b*tch" and all the guy's friends tell him to dump us quick. the woman who gets away with it, and the man who tolerates it, are a rare breed.

I think it has to do with gender roles. I mean, there's a reason why prostitution is the oldest profession. whic his why a woman who had a LOT of experience was not considered "marriage material." They were sullied, used, there for men to gain experience on, but not a woman to be treated with deceny and respect, and surely not the kind you take home to mom. Men were always supposed to have experience, supposed to have slept with many women before he settled down, but a woman was supposed to be a virgin on her wedding night, the white dress signifying the fact that she had in fact never been with anyone else, no children could come years later and claim a right to the family fortune, which is why Princess Diana had to prove she was a virgin before they allowed her to marry Prince Charles. He couldn't be with the woman he really loved because she was a divorcee.

It goes back to the dawn of time. Men are supposed to spread their seed, and women are supposed to be pure and untouched for the man they ended up marrying. Just because times have changed doesn't mean a man's nature is going to change along with it so easily. But if it makes you feel any better, it cuts both ways. I'm a virgin, and I've had a couple of men think that's a tremendous turn on, yet get turned off and frustrated by my inhibition or lack of experience, and there have been other men who have told me outright that it's a big problem for them. Some men want to leave the going where no man has gone before to Captain Kirk. Sexual pasts, or even the lack thereof, will always be a mine field for women, I'm afraid.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 01:43 PM   #12
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
Well, I think it is more "natural" for men to be possessive (women, on the other hand, tend to be jealous), so maybe that's why it's so hard for your husband to talk about another man whom you belonged to, so to say.
I can't help but picture a caveman pulling his wife by the hair after that line!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendulum
But this is not at all a trait only to be found in men. Many women I know (including my own wife) can't tolerate the simple mention of an ex (she doesn't even like their names per se), so, on the whole, it also depends on the individual rather than on their gender.
I certainly didn't mean to say that only men do this. I too know a fair share of women who do this. It's just they are not the ones I'm married to so it really doesn't get under my skin as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laylah
I think that when a person feels a sense of possessiveness towards their partner and that possessiveness cannot be indulged for whatever reason it can act as the spark to the powder keg of jealousy, if you understand what I mean.
I understand exactly what you mean!

And yes, I think my husband was acting very irrationally as well. I'm not use to that from him so I have to admit I was taken aback by the comment. It was just so out of character. Believe me when I tell you I told him he was being a totally irrational hypocrit and remarked on how many comments that were made in my presence regarding an ex (or any woman for that matter) that weren't exactly "innocent" in nature (if you know what I mean) and I didn't even give them a second thought.

I just find his behavior completely frustrating! That is why (a couple days later) I had to post about it. For some reason it is still bugging me. I know it shouldn't be because it really isn't that big of a deal, but it does.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 01:50 PM   #13
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Personally it bothers me not one jot what has gone on between my girlfriend and her exes. I don't ask and I don't necessarily expect to be told any details. But if they are forthcoming then I just listen and take note. It seems to me that one can always be a better partner than the last simply by listening to what your girlfriend didn't like about her ex. Why feel threatened about somebody who either left or was dumped? I think what your husband said, happymom, was totally over the top. But perhaps it is based in something other than insecurity and jealousy? You tell us.
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:04 PM   #14
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErimusValidus View Post
I think what your husband said, happymom, was totally over the top. But perhaps it is based in something other than insecurity and jealousy? You tell us.
Here's the thing EV, I don't know where it came from. It's not like we get into long discussions about our exes or anything. But sometimes things come up in conversation.

For example, a couple of months ago we were talking about our job history. I was in a completely different line of work before I met him so he was asking me questions about it. I realized then that I never knew how he actually got into his line of work so I asked him. It turns out that one of his exgirlfriend's father got him a job with a friend of his and it all went from there. He then started talking what a great relationship he had with her father (they dated for a couple of years and he had no sons so they really hit it off) and how he was over their house a lot. I'm sure this would have bugged most women, but it really didn't bother me. I actually found it really intersting and told him that maybe he should get back in touch with him. He told me that would be a very bad idea because he broke up with her because she wanted him to go back to school and get a better job that paid more money so when he proposed he could give her a nice ring and let her be a stay at home wife. I guess this all happened over dinner with the family one night and he literally got up and left, but not before him appologizing to her father when her escorted him to the door. Apparently her father said he didn't blame him one bit.

But I went off on a tangent again. But do you see what I mean, this has never been an issue before and I don't know why it was this time. I could completely understand if he had a problem with me mentioning my exhusband (who he use to stick up for before I told him the whole story btw), but this random moron? That I don't understand.

So I can't say for sure if it is insecurity or jealousy or what. All I do know is that it was just uncalled for! There are no secrets between us so I don't understand why three years later an issue like this would come up.

 
Old 10-12-2007, 02:50 PM   #15
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Re: I guess this would be a "man" question (but women are welcome to reply)

Oh my gosh, how horrible for your husband but how lucky for you!

One point-
My husband then said something about him needing to relax because it was an ex and really nothing to get upset about. This is hypocritical indeed!

Another-
I am in no way jealous of his exgirlfriends, and he (and I) are good friends with one of them and her husband Good for you! Bad for your husband! Helloooo???? If your hubby had a sexual relationship with this woman how can he get ticked off at you mentioning that your ex's mom made good gravy? GOOD GRAVY, indeed!

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How can you be Larrylou's Mom then?

Many women I know (including my own wife) can't tolerate the simple mention of an ex (she doesn't even like their names per se),
My husband's ex girlfriend's name is Lori. I wanted to name our first dog after her & hubby said no. Our DIL went to beauty school & when she brought home her practice doll head it was so ugly that she let me name HER Lori!! She's a dear, sweet, DIL!

Last edited by leeleelanilou; 10-12-2007 at 02:51 PM.

 
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