You can't stop thinking about your ex. That doesn't mean you should contact them.

There are two things that every single successful relationships needs to survive.

Walls. And windows. Stay with me here.

In this week’s Ask Bossy, our very own Agony Aunt, Kate de Brito (AKA Bossy) tells what they are and why we need them. It’s a big answer, but that’s because this week’s question is loaded.

Dear Bossy,

I’m a married, middle-aged woman. When I was 22, I met the love of my life. Spent three of the best years of my life together, before he left me.

Even though I’ve been married to someone else for 20 years, I still think about him almost every day. I’ve never met anyone that came close to the intimacy, depth of feeling, and the spark between us.

I have located him through social media, and now I spend hours staring at him, chasing internet rabbit holes, and tracing his life. Every time  I’m left feeling like I should make contact. Should I reach out and finally get closure, or maybe he feels the same?


So…what does Bossy reckon?

“A psychologist… Shirley Glass talks about when you’re in a committed monogamous relationship, and you want to have friends of the opposite sex…that’s okay, as long as you have the walls and the windows of the relationship in place.” Bossy explains.

And if you’re wondering, ‘why should I listen to relationship advice from psychologist somethingerother, who I’ve never heard of?’ then imma ask you to back right down please, because Dr Shirley Glass, much like Bossy, is a woman who knows her sh*t.

The New York Times has referred to her as “the godmother of infidelity research” and she has written clinical chapters about treating infidelity as well as articles about sex differences in marital and extramarital relationships.

Listen to Bossy’s full answer on Mamamia Out Loud this week. (Post continues after audio.)

So back to the walls and windows business…

“Your walls are your barriers or trust, behind which you guard and keep safe the intimate aspects of your marriage, and the windows are where you open the windows to the world, and to other people. So friendships with other people, even ex lovers or partners are fine, but if you find yourself having a conversation, where you are talking about intimate things in your life, talking about intimate things about your relationship, like ‘yeah, we’re not that happy,’ or ‘yeah we haven’t had sex in a while,’ your walls have come down, and your marriage or relationship is in jeopardy. It’s about maintaining the correct barriers in a relationship.” Bossy says.

Bossy's warning is that it while the walls of your relationship might seem solid, it can be very easy for them to come crashing down.

"All it takes is for those walls to come down a bit, is for them to make a flirtatious comment, for you to accept that flirtatious comment, for them to make another one, for you to feel flattered and for you to enjoy it enough to hold it to yourself, and for you to perhaps return that.

"That's the collapse of your walls, and that's where affairs begin, and that's where your walls can crumble."

Wise and sage advice, as always, Bossy.

Do you have a question for Bossy?

Record your question in your smartphone’s Voice Memo app, and email it to: [email protected]

Mamamia Out Loud is like listening to your friends around the kitchen table. This week we talk about everything from the curious case of Melania Trump, to the seven deadly sins of social media.  You can listen to the full episode in iTunes , via the Mamamia Podcast app (iOS only), your favourite podcast app, or here.