I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. We have a great, stable relationship and I truly feel loved and blessed to have him in my life. What bothers me is that I recently found out about his ex who he was madly in love with. I saw her on Facebook and she looks a lot like me. She looks more like me than my own sister who is just a year younger than I am. I now cannot get her out of my head thinking that he was just looking for her replacement. My boyfriend’s ex is married now and is expecting a child. I don’t have any reason to suspect that my boyfriend wants her back or is otherwise not faithful to me, but still – not a day goes by that this thought of him using me as a replacement doesn’t bug me. My specific question is this – do I just keep dealing with this myself or do I share this with my bf risking that this will cause problems and he will think that I am some kind of psycho?” – Lydia, 29, North Carolina.
You are bringing many interesting and important points in your question, which I will address in the order that you brought them up.
- It’s quite possible that initially your boyfriend was attracted to you at least in part because you reminded him of someone else who he loved. And there is nothing wrong with it. This is totally natural and very common. Although this might make you feel not so special, you should look at it from a different angle – it’s a compliment to you. He saw something in you that he really likes – he liked it in her ex and he likes it in you. If you think hard enough, you may even recall the time when it happened to you or someone else that you know, where you liked someone because consciously or subconsciously that man’s looks or behavior reminded you of someone else that you liked before. After all, this works both ways. Positive and negative experiences with people push us toward some people and away from others.
- It’s unlikely that he is with you all this time only because you remind him of his ex. I am sure there are plenty of other things that he appreciates and loves about you that go far beyond that physical resemblance, or otherwise you guys wouldn’t last for four years. And if you have no reasons to suspect him of not being faithful or still loving his ex, then there is not much to worry about.
- You should absolutely share how you feel with him. Feelings and emotions are not always rationals and they are often impossible to explain. It’s easy for me to sit and tell you how you should and how you should not feel, but that alone won’t fix the problem. The right way to bring this up with him is by not accusing him or his ex of anything (since they haven’t done anything wrong), but instead asking for his help while acknowledging that you know that it doesn’t make a lot of sense how you feel and your recognize that. If and when you get over this issue together, this will only bring you closer by removing a significant barrier.
For more useful tips check out our articles on overcoming jealousy in a relationship.