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Hey INFJs and any other PerCians lurking in our forum.

I was just wondering how you feel when your SO brings up their exes.

What factors may influence how that makes you feel?

Do you feel there is a difference between when their es was someone they were with for a few months, compared to several years?

On the flipside, how do you expect your SO to react when you bring up an ex?

What do you think when they react differently?

And how would you feel if they encouraged you to talk about your ex?

I don't expect you to answer each question one by one, you can if you want to, I just want to get a discussion going.
 
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m. absolutely hates to bring up his ex. not because she was horrible or because he was so broken after they split. it is because it reminds him of the fact that he was with her for the wong reasons. he is hardly even uncomfortble about anything, but that makes him utterly uncomfortable and miserable.

i don't bring her up, there's no need for me to do that. she was a part of his life, it's simply a reality. i don't feel jealous of her, obviously...

i have an ex, too. it's ok for me to bring him up. m. doesn't like it much, but he accepts it.

about two years ago i contacted my ex through LinkedIn. we had a short but very nice email exchange. he is an awesome fellow. m.'s ok with that. but just ok, he's not thrilled or anything. if m. would ask me to talk about him, i would. in hindsight, it was a pretty interesting thing, psychologically speaking. but i doubt he will.
 

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My INFJ boyfriend and I talk about both our exes a lot. If he minds he doesn't show it. He know what I did (no raunchy details; enough to know I didn't have sex with them), whom I did it with, and how I feel about each of them. I know similar things about him. We've been friends long before this so this isn't some kind of uncomfortable topic. We both dated other people while we were friends so there's no reason to avoid this subject.
 

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It often ends up being me inquiring about their ex(s) at some point. While part of my interest pertains to the type of relationship or experiences they shared as it obviously was a form of personal growth for her, the other part is deep down just rivalry & validation -- I want to know it all because I want to surpass each and every "good" part of their relationship; I need to know that I'm the best person for her. With that said, after we talk it over once or twice in reasonable detail it's essentially never brought up again, but I'd be worried about closure-issues if it popped up often.

More-often when a gf has brought up an ex through her own fruition, it's often to slander. He didn't do this, didn't do that, or did _______ and it was terrible. Naturally, all the while I'm just thinking "she deserved so much better than that" while simultaneously wondering why they were together in the first place.

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As for my exes (6), I'm surprisingly still on good terms with most of them, except 1. So I may share a text, rare Facebook message, and what have you, from time to time.

While I never hide this fact and ensure I'm not making my current girlfriend uncomfortable with it, most have not inquired about my past history. I don't doubt their interest in knowing, but even they have acknowledged it would simply make them feel jealous, threatened, and so fourth.

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So at the end of the day, we're both interested and threatened by exes at the same time. We just have different ways of going about it.
 

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My SO and I talk about everything, including our past.
I want to know, so, I am more than willing to listen when he feels like sharing his past with me, and sometimes I am curious enough to ask. It´s a part of him that I accept and understand.
I am who I am beause of my past so I expect from him to accept that about me, which he does, so it´s all good.
In knowing about his past I get to know him better and I love that, it makes us grow closer.
 

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I prefer to get it all out at once, (from my SO that is) ....it can be a painful experience listening....that is...

but I'd rather know about the past instances -if I care about my SO- it makes it to where I won't make the same mistakes other girls made.
 

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We have an open and honest communication when it comes to pretty much anything, including our past, present, and future. I couldn't ask for better than that. Events and people in our past help to form and shape who we are, so knowing about them helps us to know each other better, on more deeper levels.

Both my SO and I were hurt by our previous partners, so we can empathize and help each other heal. We appreciate what we each have to offer and we make it a point to avoid taking each other for granted. It's not always easy to hear how things turned out in the past, but by listening and understanding, we can work towards being better for each other, providing for needs that weren't met before. We do our best to turn our misfortunes around, to learn and grow and heal.

Sometimes knowing how to love involves experiencing what to avoid or watch out for.
 

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More-often when a gf has brought up an ex through her own fruition, it's often to slander. He didn't do this, didn't do that, or did _______ and it was terrible. Naturally, all the while I'm just thinking "she deserved so much better than that" while simultaneously wondering why they were together in the first place.
:shocked: Guilty as charged. I confess I personally do this because I've just had nowhere to let out all of this frustration. I don't consider it good form to complain to most of my friends because a lot of them are his friends too. Plus strangers have no business knowing about our dirty laundry- it's between the two of us. If there was something I didn't like, I bring it to the boyfriend in question. I'm such a privacy whore I cannot bring myself to act like a hypocrite, as a result I don't have many confidants.

But I feel close enough to my INFJ all of this bottled up negativity just come out (it's also convenient because he was the only one who knew about my previous relationship... we were really close even before this) I try to moderate it though. I don't like complaining about people behind their backs too much, especially if the person I'm complaining to knows the object of my complaints. As for why she was with them, she probably didn't tell you all the good parts because 1. You might be threatened- that's why I don't mention the good parts and 2. People like to bitch more than they like to praise. it is known.
 
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Hey INFJs and any other PerCians lurking in our forum.

I was just wondering how you feel when your SO brings up their exes.
Depends - but my default is to approach it as information abut them and their lives - and I want to know and understand them and their lives, so I want to hear about it and usually know more (I often ask questions beyond what they share).

What factors may influence how that makes you feel?
My default is in play when there's nothing going on that challenges it. Tangled/weird/bad energy is something that can (though not always) challenge my default.

Do you feel there is a difference between when their ex was someone they were with for a few months, compared to several years?
Not necessarily. From what I've seen, the impact of the relationship on the individual is more relevant more than the duration.

On the flipside, how do you expect your SO to react when you bring up an ex?
I don't know, I watch for cues. My SOs have tended to express interest similar to what I described as my default.

What do you think when they react differently?
I don't think anyone has.

And how would you feel if they encouraged you to talk about your ex?
Depends. there's only been one context in which I didn't want to talk about an ex and my lover didn't encourage me to talk about her, she (the lover) was very thoughtful about it. Otherwise, it's okay with me when SOs encourage me to talk about exes. Again, as information, learning about each other.


I just want to get a discussion going.
I'm curious to know: What got you interested in this issue/topic in the first place?
 

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Heya Dewy :)

Well you see I don't get jealous,
Not anymore.

I used to get jealous as a I sometimes felt that when a partner brought up their Ex,
Or even their thoughts on how attractive someone may be,
That I had to compete with these people for his attention,
But what you realize,
That now(Especially with who I am involved with now),
You are so assured of your place in their heart,
That you know that no one is ever going to take that place,
But you :)

I think what matters is that those relationships ended for a reason,
You'd never go for any of your Ex's,
And although you may bring them up,
YOU know that the one you're with now beats them all :)
So then the same rule applies to your partner!

I think it's normal to be a bit jealous,
Heck I am,
But it's about biting your tongue and realizing you trust that person,
Because if you don't,
Then what are you doing in a relationship with them?

I won't lie and say I don't like when my partner gets a bit jealous,
I find it endearing :)
And it's not doing any harm!

But with mutual trust development it should become easier to overcome the jealousy!
I think though you as the current(And knowing you and your SO, the last partner),
Do have a right to say whether you feel comfortable about their discussion of their past relationships,
You have a right to question and ask :)

Best of luck Dewy!
And don't worry we all get a little defensive and jealous when those past relationships just pop up :p
It's us being human :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm curious to know: What got you interested in this issue/topic in the first place?
It's already something I have talked through with him, but somebody (not going to name anyone) kept apologising everytime he brought up a certain ex and then apologising because he thought that I wouldn't like it, that I was getting annoyed or frustrated or something, when that wasn't the case at all, all I felt was interest because this was more information about him and insight into his past, and maybe a little concern about past hurt.

I have told him this already, and I think he's learning, but it just got me thinking, if I was weird in this way, not really getting jealous about past ex's, or if other INFJs felt the same way I do.
 

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but it just got me thinking, if I was weird in this way, not really getting jealous about past ex's, or if other INFJs felt the same way I do.
Ah. IMO you're totally not weird.

In fact, "not really getting jealous about past ex's" (specifically, talking about them) is the norm for the people I've been involved with - who aren't INFJs. For example, my INFP mate, and the woman before her whose type I don't know for sure but guess was also INFP.

I can't quite get my head around anyone being jealous just because someone is talking about an ex.

Now, if someone is carrying lots of unresolved baggage or attachment and that's why they're always talking about their ex, well, that may become a problem. Not because of jealousy, but because it can get in the way of a healthy relationship. Of course, if it exists, that baggage or attachment will be there whether the person talks about it or not.
 

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I was just wondering how you feel when your SO brings up their exes.
It depends on how secure I feel in myself and the relationship at the time. I have felt extremely jealous before but there are other times when I realized that there was no need to feel jealous and it was just a game I am playing with myself. Other times I am very interested and relaxed about it because I think it helps him to sort stuff out from the past.

What factors may influence how that makes you feel? My own self. I know he doesn't want anyone but me.

Do you feel there is a difference between when their ex was someone they were with for a few months, compared to several years? Yeah, of course. One was more serious than the other.

On the flipside, how do you expect your SO to react when you bring up an ex? I expect jealousy.

What do you think when they react differently? I am surprised and relieved.

And how would you feel if they encouraged you to talk about your ex Nervous. Don't want to say anything to unintentionally hurt them or give them the wrong impression.
 

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I was just wondering how you feel when your SO brings up their exes.
Don't have an SO, but if I did and they were to bring up their exes, I wouldn't care. Unless, that was all they prattled on about. Someone who spends as much time (or more) concerning themselves with their ex instead of their So has their priorities a wee bit confused.

What factors may influence how that makes you feel?
I guess the only one was mentioned above. Can't think of anything else.

Do you feel there is a difference between when their es was someone they were with for a few months, compared to several years?
No.

On the flipside, how do you expect your SO to react when you bring up an ex?
That was verboten in my last relationship... not that it mattered. I likely wouldn't anyway. They're exes... if I'm with someone else, why would I concern myself with an ex?
And how would you feel if they encouraged you to talk about your ex?
I'd probably question their motivation. Internally, if not outright question it.

In my current non relationship the ex came up exactly once, as the explanation for why I chose to be in a non relationship as opposed to a relationship. The other side of the non relationship mentioned her ex for exactly the same reason. Neither of us has felt the need to say anything more about them. Serves no purpose whatever, so why bother.
 

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I don't mind hearing about their previous relationships, because it's good to know what they had, what they didn't have, and what they longed for but never achieved. It's only when your SO starts comparing that there's a problem, or saying damaging things like "My ex would've behaved like X in Y situation, so you should as well." (Well we aren't your damn ex, so stfu!) XD bringing them up in such a context is totally unnecessary.

I talk openly about my previous relationships, but only when asked pointed questions. (They've all been long distance, so if I were dating someone and they inquired about my past, then I doubt they'd hear anything potentially hurtful; they'd probably just get a bunch of laughs out of each of my descriptions.)

Everyone that i've dated would get jealous of my exes, but I never felt any sense of jealousy towards theirs - all I've ever felt was a hint of sadness, and not wanting to overly-commit to, trust, or otherwise let them get too close to me. The more involved I learn that they were with previous guys, the more cautious I'll become... and if it's too much then i'll close up indefinitely (It's an Fi thing, so possibly not all that relevant to INFJ relationships.) It wouldn't be a problem if it only took a few days for me to sort out my feelings, but it can easily take month(s) and no one wants a partner like that! XD

The fact that it can take months kinda tells me that i'm not "sorting out" anything, rather i'm doing nothing - just waiting for those feelings to dull so that I can hopefully overlook them. (Something bad has come up against my "impenetrable-Fi-wall of ideals" - which I erected at a young age to protect myself - and I guess I just can't bring myself to allow certain things to pass through?) *shrugs*
 
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Although I've never had a SO, I remember having crushes on girls who would constantly bring up their exes. It always felt like a punch in the nuts, the painful feeling you get in your stomach afterwards. Sometimes they would bring them up in a good manner, like good things they've done; other times they bring up bad things, and can't move on. It angers me because if they take a moment to analyze the person they like, they won't be hurt in the end.

For example, this one girl I knew was having sex with this guy that had a girlfriend. He broke up with his girlfriend for her. Then, to her surprise, he cheated on her, broke up with her, and went to the girl he was cheating with.

I completely derailed, oh well.
 

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Strange. I find it interesting and important to know and purposely ask questions about it. Even meeting the exes of two of my then-boyfriends, I felt perfectly fine. I don't get jealous unless there's an actual reason to be (i.e. I'm being taken for granted/disrespected).
 

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Hey INFJs and any other PerCians lurking in our forum.

I was just wondering how you feel when your SO brings up their exes.

What factors may influence how that makes you feel?

Do you feel there is a difference between when their es was someone they were with for a few months, compared to several years?

On the flipside, how do you expect your SO to react when you bring up an ex?

What do you think when they react differently?

And how would you feel if they encouraged you to talk about your ex?

I don't expect you to answer each question one by one, you can if you want to, I just want to get a discussion going.
This topic goes sort of all over the board for me, so I'll try to make it as easy to follow as possible.

Hearing my fiance bringing up exes is a little more difficult for me to stomach than it was for me with past relationships-- I wasn't as emotionally invested in them, it was more casual, and so it didn't really phase me all that much.

My fiance doesn't have a lot of exes or any really long-term relationships in his past, so I don't hear a lot about any of that to begin with. What makes me feel uneasy when he talks about past experiences/flings/etc. is knowing that he was pretty flighty, never really attempted to commit to anyone...and although we are engaged, I guess being reminded of his going from girl-to-girl past sometimes causes me to feel insecure and like I may be quickly and easily disposed of if something better comes along.

Ironically, there are times that knowing his past with girls makes me feel really special and important since I AM the only one he has ever been able to commit to.

He still talked to some of his exes when we started dating, and I guess I felt more uncomfortable hearing about them at that time, wondering if there were any unresolved, remaining feelings there...but that's not really a problem anymore since time has gone on and we built a relationship and life together

I do NOT like hearing about anything regarding sexual encounters or hearing from other people who he had sex with, or being able to figure it out based on comments he's made.

I have a past too, obviously, but since I am a very "visual" thinker, hearing about those experiences paint an image in my head that I don't care to "see".

All that aside, I am well aware and understanding of the fact that we both had lives before we met each other. I also appreciate knowing that those experiences we each had before meeting each other contributed to our relationship- learning experiences and such.

I do my best NOT to bring up exes with him (anymore) as I have taken note that it seemed to have bothered him when I did, and also knowing that it's not something that I like hearing about myself-- so I try to treat him as I wish to be treated.

Plus, I don't enjoy talking about them. There's a reason I am not with them anymore, GOOD reasons, and I don't enjoy re-experiencing the painful emotions I experienced when I dealt with them.

But, they end up being part of our conversations a lot more frequently than I wish for them to be for a variety of reasons.

One reason being that a specific ex of mine won't leave me the heck alone. I've had to change my number because of him. Other reasons being that, well they all live around the area, some of them are friends with my co-workers or other friends of mine, some of them come to the business that I work, etc.

My SO brings them up a lot, too for some reason. He asks me a lot of questions about them. I actually hate it and it makes me uncomfortable. I've told him this, but he continues to do it, and it isn't worth arguing about because, I figure if it's something that makes him feel better somehow, I'm not going to deny him that information.

I think it's good to know about someone's past to an extent, but I think you gotta draw the line somewhere.
 

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I did not mind it when my (recently now ex) SO brought up his ex's and I didn't expect him to mind when I brought up mine. It should be healthy to share your past with your SO. Now, it was a different story after he then slept with that ex, cheating on me, and would bring her up after that. I did not want to hear anything about her, or really any other girl, ever again. After this happened, he cared a whole lot if I ever brought up mine despite me remaining loyal and honest.
 
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