Julie cannot believe the audacity of her husband Andrew's ex-wife. Julie and Andrew have been married for almost 6 months now and his ex continues to call him asking for favors, e-mail him with news about her family and even drop by their house, usually when Julie is out.

It sometimes seems as if Andrew's ex is watching their house to see when Julie leaves and then she conveniently drops by. Julie knows that Andrew has tried to set some boundaries with his ex. She has seen him delete his ex's text messages and e-mails without a reply.

But, still, Andrew's ex keeps texting, e-mailing and dropping by their house. She isn't getting the message.

In fact, his ex has sent some text messages and e-mails to Julie too with claims that she is winning Andrew back. Andrew's ex is always sweet to Julie when in front of him, but is hostile and nasty when he leaves the room.

All of this is starting to mess with Julie's mind. She used to never worry about Andrew lying to her and possibly cheating on her with his ex...but now doubts are cropping up.

Julie finds herself more closely watching Andrew when his ex contacts him. She wonders if he is being as firm with his ex as he could be. All of this watching and wondering make Julia angry and fearful for her marriage.

Could Andrew's “evil” ex actually break them up?

If your partner's ex keeps barging in to your love relationship or marriage, this person's actions could feel manipulative, sneaky and ill-intentioned. You and your mate may have recurring tension or arguments about his or her ex.

If your partner has children or ongoing responsibilities with his or her ex, this can become messy and confusing. Of course, you don't want to keep the children from one or the other parent, but what if the ex seems to be using this as a chance to get between you and your partner?

It can start to feel like your partner's ex is bound and determined to break up your happy relationship in whatever way he or she can. This is why your partner's ex-- to you-- may seem “evil” and like a real threat to your relationship.

We believe that people do things for various reasons. Often, it is because they are fearful. We do not necessarily think that your partner's ex is literally evil, even if he or she is truly trying to break the two of you up.

What we know, however, is that you can either make the situation and your relationship better or far, far worse depending on how you respond to your partner's ex.

Here are 3 ways you can actually bring improvements to both...

#1: Remember your priority.
There is no doubt that your relationship with your partner is your #1 priority.

You might have children of your own and you may have a career and other important people and things in your life that require your attention. But, one of your #1 priorities is your love relationship or marriage-- and NOT your partner's dealings with his or her ex.

If your mate's ex seems to be creating a big scene about some issue, it can be easy to get distracted. The details of how to handle the nasty comment that your partner's ex made about you can take on more importance than they really need to.

They can draw your energy and attention away from your partner and keeping your trust and connection healthy and strong.

Keep bringing yourself back to you and your partner and NOT to you, your partner and his or her ex. There's no need to create a triangle. If something with your partner's ex comes up that needs to be dealt with, take care of it and then return to creating the kind of relationship you desire with your mate.

#2: Determine what's really your business and what's not.
Be clear within yourself about what is really your business and what isn't. If your mate is struggling with his or her ex about their kids, an unresolved money matter or another issue, pause before you get involved.

Of course, you love your partner and probably want to be a source of support for him or her in this matter. There is, however, a big difference between supporting your mate and needlessly getting embroiled in the conflict.

Get into the habit of asking yourself this question, “Is this really my business?”

Sometimes it isn't and sometimes it is. This is for you to decide.

If you have an idea or resolution regarding a matter that isn't really your business, ask your partner if he or she is open to hear your idea. Once you've made your suggestion, back off and leave the decision to your partner.

Again, remember the difference between supporting and meddling.

#3: Don't give away your power.
If your partner's ex has been unkind, unfair or nasty to you (or about you), it's understandable that you might start to feel helpless and as if there's nothing you can do to stop this person.

A first step to bringing more peace to your life is to take back your power. Don't let yourself believe that there is nothing you can do or that your relationship is at the mercy of your partner's ex.

Acknowledge your feelings. You might very rightfully be feeling angry, furious, irritated or fearful about whatever your partner's ex is saying and doing.

Next, come up with some ideas for what you CAN do that will bring real improvements to the situation and help you feel empowered too.

Think long-term as well as short-term. For example, meeting hostility or aggression with hostility or aggression might seem appealing in the short-term, but it's probably only going to inflame and intensify the dynamics and not bring you and your partner closer together.

Work as a team with your partner to develop a plan that will keep you two focused on each other and on maintaining your connection. Create agreements that are reasonable and that you both will follow through with. And, be sure that you are noticing it when there are improvements.

Author's Bio: 

Learn communication secrets that can help you talk with your partner about his or her ex and other potentially tricky topics. Click here for a free communication mini-course from Susie and Otto Collins.

Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the passionate relationships they desire. They have written these e-books and programs: Magic Relationship Words, Relationship Trust Turnaround, No More Jealousy and Stop Talking on Eggshells among many others.