March 31, 2011 | 2:01 pm
Posted by Merissa Nathan Gerson
When I have sex, I think about my ex-husband. My new lover is amazing, wonderfully caring, and very talented in bed (which my ex-husband lacked), but every time we are intimate, I see my ex-husband’s face. I’ve come so close to calling out his name but caught myself every time. I am very upfront and honest with my new lover, but this is one thing I just don’t think he would understand. I miss my ex, I won’t lie, but at the same time, I am much happier without him. How do I get him out of my bedroom?!
There are two things that you can do. One: Leave this man and mend your heart, do the work to get over your ex, and then resume dating him or someone else. Two. Deal with it within the relationship.
Thinking about your ex-husband is normal, especially if you were with him for a long time and that time included having sex with him. But thinking about your ex while in bed with the new guy, that’s another story. It indicates an inability to be present with the man in front of you, replacing his face with the face of another.
You can look at this as an opportunity to learn. When your husband’s face or memory comes to mind, stop for a minute, look around, and check in with yourself. What, exactly, are you longing for that you are not experiencing then and there? Could there be a lack of intimacy and trust with this new man, making you long for the old?
Also, is this new dude up to par? This regression into old memories could be a sign that the new lover is not good enough for you. After a bad or ended relationship we often choose sub-par lovers in fear of never loving again. Set your standards high enough and follow suit.
Either leave him, or nurture the relationship with the lover. If, though, he is just a “lover” then who cares? Maybe he is just a filler for the old, in which case this haunting is a sign from deep inside of you reminding you that you haven’t let go of yesterday. Choose. Then or now, and if now is the choice, then work hard at making your present reality and your present relationship one that sates you. Build the trust, expose the edges, and begin again.
My guess though, is that you need to dump the lover and cry by a river somewhere or something to purge the ex from your body. Do what it takes to address and mend the hurt parts so you can love and trust again, ie, be present and satisfied with the man in front of you.
For help read these simple steps for Recovering From A Failed Relationship.
Ask Yenta! E-mail a question to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com directly, or using www.send-email.org to ask anonymously.
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