You are here:

Relationship Recovery and Resilience/Boy friend has an ex in the family


I searched the internet and could not find a single thing about my question. :( This makes me feel even worse but my boyfriend who I have been going out with for a year now went out with his sister-in-law.

This means that at every family event they see each other. And I see them. There are photos of them on facebook. There is even photos of her and them at grandma's house which means every single week I will see her in photos or in the flesh and it's eating me alive.

We have had fights about it but what can I do?

He laughed at me today when I started getting upset about it because now that a new baby is born the whole family will have to meet up and celebrate. He said the past is the past so get over it. But it's not the past it's in my present. And at every event.

No one in the family knows about it and I am the one that looks totally crazy and unreasonable when I can't handle it.

I think this is a deal breaker for me which is really hard because he is the best guy I have ever been with which means either he is a great guy or I have horrible taste.

I really think this guy is for me but today we had a horrible fight and I said things to him I don't mean at all but I just hated that he laughed at me.

In the past he promised me he would protect my feelings about this and today he just did a 180 and said Get Over It! Because it's in the past.

But this is the 2nd family member he has been inappropriate with. I already have had to deal with this other revelation about his past and I can't deal anymore. I said horrible things like I hope he dies and then I said oh well I said that and it hurts you but the past is the past! Like he said to me.

Yes I know what I did was unhealthy and immature but no one prepared me for this.

Is this a broken relationship? Is there anything I can do? Because honestly just saying "Hey it doesn't matter!" is a lie and his attitude of "Get over it" is not working for me.



I read your question twice to be sure I had a handle on where you were sitting in terms of your frustration on a scale of one to ten. Your question reads as though you are at a twelve.

My answer may surprise you- You need to walk away from this situation. Not because it's an impossible situation, but because your boyfriend will never be able to meet your expectations and ensure you are totally at ease without making himself miserable. If he is miserable, and left to walk on eggshells around this issue, you will both be miserable fighting all the time.

He has a past, but you clearly represent his future. His future will also include socializing with this family member from time to time. I don't see this as a reason to let a good man get away. They are just too hard to find.

Again I'm suggesting you walk because, without more flexibility on your part, the tension will break you apart eventually. You attend these events as a couple and he is no longer intimately involved with this woman. Unless he has given you a reason not to trust him in your 'present' relationship- your only worry should be picking out a fabulous outfit for the next family event and enjoying the good man you've been blessed with. Confidence is very sexy. If you flip the script on this situation, and refuse to let the past wreck your future- you may be surprised by the outcome. If you cant come to view the situation in an empowered way the mental torture will not be worth it...

Good luck to you...  

Relationship Recovery and Resilience

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sheila V. Robinson-Kiss


I am qualified to answer any questions related to relationship recovery (Romantic, Family, Work, Friendship etc.) In addition I will answer any question related to the area of cultivating more bounce back and resilience in life. In short my specialty area includes helping people to "Get Over Broken Relationships" and "Get on with Cultivating Healthy Relationships", while growing lasting resilience in all areas life successfully.


Sheila Robinson is a psychotherapist, author, and trainer, with over a decade of experience helping people grow and sustain the necessary tools needed to bounce back from the challenges that life and relationships can present. She has written two books that focus of life/relationship resilience “Getting Over It In Milwaukee” and “STAMINA” . She lives and works in Chicago, IL, providing workshops, therapy, customized trainings, and style-STAMINA sessions.Her mission is to help people around the globe lead more empowered lives through clear thinking, growing resilience skills, creativity, visioning, and the mighty power of the mind. For more information visit

National Association of Social Workers National Association of Behavioral Therapist Toast Masters International The Theosophical Society

Author "Getting Over It In Milwaukee" Author "Stamina"

Master of Social Work - University of Illinois, May 1998 Bachelor of Science in Sociology/ Journalism - Illinois State University, May 1996 Independent Clinical Social Worker - Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing 2000, and Illinois Department of Regulation and Licensing 2003 (Full Certification, 3000+ hours) Future Milwaukee Program - Leadership Milwaukee Program, May 2003

Awards and Honors
• Future Philanthropist of Greater Milwaukee • NADEIS Networking and Delivering Excellence in Services, • University of Illinois Academic Fellowship recipient • Ann Keaton Outstanding Leadership Award

Past/Present Clients
Privacy regulations prevent me from disclosing the names of client's I have worked with in my private practice. Below you will find a partial list of corporate client's I have provided trainings for in the area of workplace relationship development. •American Family Insurance •Boys and Girls Club of America •Legum and Noman •Pearls for Teen Girls •Marquette University •Chicago Housing Authority •Governor’s Council of Wisconsin •Seven Stones Day Spa •Sanofi-Aventis •Social Development Commission •Women’s Center of Waukesha •Pfizer •Children’s Outing Association •Alverno College •Department of Veteran Affairs •Corporation Aurora •Coakley Brothers •YWCA •St. Mary’s Hospital •Milwaukee Health Services •Dakota Intertek Corp. •Village Financial Services •Private Industry Council •Learning Enterprise Academy •Ujima Inc. •Harvest Development Center •Reinhart Boerner Van Deurn SC •University of Wisconsin •Ortho Bio-tech •Novartis •Executive Women International •Lutheran Social Services •Planned Parenthood •Arkles Custom Products •Milwaukee Area Technical College •MCFI •House of Daniel •Roche Pharmaceuticals •McCormack Baron Ragan Corp.

©2016 All rights reserved.