Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Relationship Room with Dr. Scales: Communication Breakdown?

Dr. Kerri Scales opens up her Relationship Room to discuss how much is too much when maintaining a relationship with your "ex."

*Editor's Note: Dr. Scales welcomes questions from people of all walks of life and love. You can send your questions to her whenever you like. As she is a member of the medical profession, she honors, with the utmost respect, the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement. And she's a hell of a gal besides.

What’s up you bags of freaks? It’s a beautiful Wednesday afternoon here in New York – the sun is shining, people are smiling, and the iced coffee is flowing. But, don’t let that deter you – I am still not going to be nice. Now, let’s get down to the business of me making your relationships right…
Dear Dr. Scales,

I’ve been with my partner for quite some time now and though we have our ups and downs, things seem to be going just wonderfully. The only real point of contention for us is my uneasiness about his intimate relationship with his ex…they talk on the phone often (2-3 times a week!) and spend a lot of time together (they even have sleepovers) and I am at a crossroads as to what to do next.
So, I guess my question is what kind of friendship with an ex is too much? Where do we draw the line? Am I being a 'jealous girlfriend'? I have dated guys who were friendly with their exes in the past and I was even friends with their exes so I really don’t think I have jealousy or insecurity tendencies. This situation just makes me really uncomfortable...

The only beauty queen this side of ‘The Iraq’

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (just trying to reach my character limit) mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (ok, we’re good)…I must admit that I hesitated quite a bit before sitting down to [expertly] answer this question and for a few very obvious reasons: everyone’s an ex and everyone has an ex and everyone should own an ax—for security purposes. The real problem here is not that an ex exists (let’s not get wild), but rather where to draw the line between you, your past loves, and your current loves.

Non-Iraqi Beauty Queen, I know you mentioned you don’t have “jealousy or insecurity tendencies,” but, before we go any further, you need to take a giant step back and re-evaluate the root of these feelings before you make any more presumptions or throw out any more accusations…

(giving you time…)

(still giving you time…)

(seriously, are you done yet…?)

…ok, enough. I have a business to run.

The next step I recommend taking here is simple: talk it out! You guys know me by this point and you know I always say how important communication is—in any relationship. If you haven’t already, you must express your concerns to him. Tell him that their interactions make you feel uncomfortable, tell him why, and try to work together to come to a reasonable conclusion that leaves both of you happy…and comfortable. I mean generally comfortable; not like wrapped in soft duvets, wearing Snuggies and holding body pillows.

At the end of the day, it’s not my place to say whether they’re too close (though I do feel that two to three times a week seems a little excessive and I’m not sure where I stand on the “sleepovers”…) but, regardless of my opinions, things need to be addressed and behavior needs to be changed or things are only going to get worse—for all parties involved. If he’s not willing to take a moment to try to understand how it is making you feel or to take steps towards easing your woes, it may be best to give your Prince a little space so he can think about what he really wants. On the other hand, you need to make sure you’re understanding things on his side as well. Two-way street, remember?

And if all else fails, my posse and I are always on hand to crack skulls where skulls need to be cracked – amIright?!? Yes, yes I am. This is your life, this is your relationship, and you simply should not stand for a meddling third party—whether their intentions are intentional or not…intentional.

Alright, you guys know where and how to get in touch with me (all day, every day). As for now, well I’m off to an important meeting with my old buddy Snooks and her new man. She’s pissed!

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