‘I’m sick of my boyfriend’s family telling me stories about him and his ex’

Dear Coleen

My boyfriend of three years and his family bring up his ex frequently in conversation.

For example, I visited his 85-year-old father and he was more interested in telling me that his son was sent abroad to Mexico to lose his virginity, and how gorgeous his college ­girlfriend was. My boyfriend kept quiet, even when it was obvious that I was becoming more and more uncomfortable.

I feel he should have stepped in, but his comeback is that I have no reason to have an issue with it since he is with me.

His father does say how much he likes me, but he doesn’t even know how his son and I met because all he can talk about is this trip!

My boyfriend says I need to be more tolerant, but we went to see a house together recently that had a pool, and the first thing his cousin did was bring up a story about an ex-girlfriend relating to a swimming pool! ­Obviously, it put a dampener on my visit to see a house for our future together.

This kind of talk isn’t all the time, but it’s not infrequent either. We love each other, but I am going crazy and he is upset by my reaction. Any ideas?

Coleen says

Yes, I think you should consider that his dad is 85 and is perhaps just trying to make jokey conversation, without realising it might upset you.

Your boyfriend is right – his ex and all that other stuff about Mexico is in the past and you need to focus on the here and now, and your ­relationship with him.

I can’t imagine you’ll be seeing too much of his dad and his cousin, but if his cousin does bring up ex-girlfriends in the future, just tell him firmly but politely that you’ve heard all the stories before and you don’t need to hear them again. I’m sure he’ll get the message.

When you start a relationship with someone, you’re starting from scratch and building your own story. Yes, the past can have an impact on subsequent ­relationships, but I don’t think you have to worry too much about a college girlfriend.

Make a decision to move on from it in your own mind and get excited about building your life together. And, if his cousin offers to accompany you on any more house-hunting trips, say thanks, but no thanks!

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