I have been with my boyfriend for two years and it’s serious – we are thinking of moving in together soon. He is best friends with his ex-girlfriend. They were on and off, and their relationship ended with him desperately wanting her back and her saying no, but they stayed friends. They talk all the time. She has told him she is still in love with him and has hinted that she doesn’t respect my relationship with him. The last time he saw her, he went behind my back after promising he wouldn’t see her again, and she became very upset because he wouldn’t sleep with her.
I trust him not to cheat on me, but I still feel very uncomfortable with them talking so much and I’ve told him that. He says he only cares about her as a friend and he “comprised” by saying he will only talk to her once a week and will no longer discuss our relationship with her. He’s offered to let me read their texts. I haven’t, but it makes me feel a little better. But I still feel very uncomfortable that they are so close, especially since she says she’s in love with him and always tries something with him. I”m not a very jealous person and I know he loves me, but I feel like she’s manipulating him. I’m not naive. I know that if we were having a difficult patch, he might be unfaithful to me with her (as anyone would if pushed). I don’t know if I should give him an ultimatum or accept them being friends. Please help!
I want to be honest about this: I see a lot of red flags here, and I don’t think your boyfriend is handling this situation correctly. I actually really don’t think anything about this situation is okay, and I think you deserve a lot better than this. So, uh… where to start?
Well, first of all, it’s a little strange to me that your boyfriend is staying this close to someone who has not only said she loves him, but has even tried to get him to hook up with her. And you’ve told him you feel uncomfortable about the situation. That is… not okay. It’s fine to be friends with an ex if neither of you have feelings anymore, but it’s not fine to stay close with an ex who has expressed, several times, that they still have feelings. And it’s definitely not okay for him to ignore your legitimate discomfort with the situation.
Which brings me to his “compromise,” which I assume you put in quotation marks because even you know this was not a compromise. He’ll only talk to her ONCE A WEEK? I mean, are you kidding me? Talking once a week is still a lot of speaking, especially when it’s to someone who is clearly trying to get him back. What this shows is that your boyfriend is intent on keeping her in his life whether you like it or not. That shows a lack of respect towards your feelings and your relationship, and that is not okay in this type of situation.
Speaking of a lack of respect, he literally went behind your back and hung out with her after saying he wouldn’t. If he did it once, why do you think he won’t do that again? I can almost guarantee you that he will. That shows so much disrespect – it’s blatantly rude and terrible behavior towards a girlfriend who seems to be acting pretty reasonable here, all things considering.
Now, let’s address the part where you say you are pretty sure he would cheat on you if you guys were going through a rough patch. You say that anyone would do that if they were in that situation. I hate to be so blunt, but uh, no they wouldn’t. A rough patch is fairly normal for long-term relationships, even more so as things get more serious and you live together, which is tough. A rough patch is not code for “it’s okay to cheat on your girlfriend because you two aren’t getting along perfectly right now.” A rough patch means you are working things out, not that you’re broken up and can do whatever you want.
You can’t justify that type of behavior, or that type of possible behavior. If he would cheat on you if you were fighting, he will cheat on if you are not fighting. I can almost promise you that. You might trust him, but to be totally honest with you, I don’t think you should. He’s ignored your feelings and has continued to do what he wants despite your obvious discomfort.
This girl isn’t going to back down anytime soon. While some exes can have normal friendships with nothing shady happening, it sounds like these two have some weird history. And what it seems like, from a glance, is that your boyfriend is keeping her around in case he changes his mind about your relationship or you two break up. Or, he might be unsure of what he wants, and is still trying to decide. Please, please don’t let him get away with this. You deserve a guy who will respect your feelings, who won’t lie to you, and who won’t make you feel like he could cheat at any moment. Give an ultimatum if you want, but if another incident happens, I say you’re better off ending things now, before making any sort of major commitment.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at email@example.com