Maybe it is a guy, thing. I've heard from many men a similar emotional upset to finding out that they've been socializing unknowingly with a former lover of their current gf or wife. And it seems to be much worse when it is a wife.
My reaction was that I felt like he "had one over on me", or something like that. He knew, but I didn't. It feels like a severe disadvantage. I can say I never felt great being around someone I knew she'd been with before, but at least I knew. Not knowing and then finding out later is somehow very unpleasant.
And perhaps it piggy backs onto that when one considers their wife chose not to inform them of this ongoing subterfuge. Even if it really wasn't a malicious thing (perhaps she was only avoiding embarrassment and not trying to harm her husband), it feels really scummy that your wife put you in a subordinate position to another lover. And that may be what is different about men vs women, where it doesn't seem that way to the woman.
Wow, I'd never considered it from that perspective, but it does make sense.
You explained it really well, particularly the comment about being in a subordinate position.
That could be a gender thing, because I know I wouldn't be happy to find out i was socializing with an ex of my hb's, but it wouldn't be because I felt like I was in a subordinate position. It would be because I think exes have no place in a current relationship and I would question both his boundaries and committment to me if he was socializing with an ex and keeping the ex part from me. I guess I'd feel a little disadvantaged because I wouldn't know to pay a little extra attention, which I think you have to do with an ex around.
However, I'm not inclined to be a policewoman with my own hb. That isn't the sort of relationship I'm interested in.
That's exactly the reason I think exes have no place in a relationship.
You want to sniff around elsewhere? Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
We have no reason to see any of my exes besides my ex hb who clearly hb knows all about, but if we did I would give him a heads up.