‘Should I send him a congratulatory message?’

I have been married for almost two years and with my husband for close to five. I am also pregnant with my first child. I met my husband while I was in a relationship with "John." I was madly in love with John and wanted to spend my life with him. I saw him as the father of my children. We had a ton of mutual friends and had a lot of fun together. However, he often said mean things, and I never felt like he was attracted to me or really loved me.

My husband was very pushy even though he knew I was in a relationship. Whenever I would vent about John, he'd tell me that my love wasn't enough to fix what was wrong. I believed it and left John for my husband. When I finally left, John changed and literally begged me to try to make it work with him. He made romantic gestures and put in a real effort. As much as I wanted to try with him, I didn't because I knew him well enough to know that he would resent me for trying to "change" him, when, in fact, I just wanted him to respect me. My husband treats me like a princess and respects me.

Over the years, I have thought about him, but have mostly pushed it out of my head. I found out he had a child this past week and I felt heartbroken. I have become obsessed with wanting to reach out and talk to him. I have missed him and have wondered what my life would be like with him and not my husband. I don't know if it's pregnancy hormones or if I am jealous that he had a baby before me or what. I want to get back to how I was before I found out this information. Do you think I still love John? Should I send him a congratulatory message?

– Congrats?

Do not reach out to John. He is not your friend, and you do not need more confusion in your life. Also, he's probably very busy with his baby.

You must to remember that you rejected a second chance with John because you knew that no matter what, his default setting was disrespectful and mean. You had so much time to change your mind and break up with your husband, but you stuck around because you liked the way he made you feel.

I can't speak about the power of pregnancy hormones (I hope readers tell some personal stories in the comments section), but I can say it's normal to have temporary obsessions with exes. Often, it happens during times of change. My qualitative research (talking to many frenzied friends, mid-google) suggests that these feelings go away over time.

It'll help if you remember that the choice you made years ago was not between John and your husband. You could have dumped John and told your husband that you wanted to be alone. You could have gone on hundreds of dates or remained single for years. Of all the options, you chose the one that led you here. This is the life you wanted.

– Meredith

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