Post # 1
Hey bees! So, I’m hemming and hawing about something with my new relationship and I figured this would be a great resource for some unbiased opinions. My SO and I have been together officially for about 2 months, unofficially for 4. It’s honestly the best relationship I’ve ever been in – and this is after getting out of a 5-year LTR with a man I thought I was going to marry. SO treats me amazing, is so much of what I’m looking for. We are very open with communication and honest with one another. It’s wonderful. I trust him immensely, and he also trusts me. Trust is absolutely not an issue here.
However… his ex kind of is. They dated off and on for 4 years, her treating him like crap the whole time (seriously – his friends hated her). They were broken up for a year when he and I met. But they’ve remained friends throughout this time, which I don’t find too terribly weird – my ex and I are on amiable terms and I’d even consider him still a friend. But there are boundaries, I feel, and this girl seems to not understand such boundaries exist.
She calls and messages him CONSTANTLY about her problems and issues. From health stuff (she recently told him about her abnormal pap smear) to relationship issues. When he’s in town (she moved to his home city for her PhD program), she asks him to take her places and do stuff with her. She even undressed in front of him when he stopped by to pick her up for a meetup with friends they were going to (he told me it happened immediately and stressed that he told her it was wildly inappropriate and made him very uncomfortable).
She bothers him constantly, and I have this fear that she’s going to continue to be a thorn in his (and eventually my) side as our relationship progresses. He’s definitely not still interested in her – she spent the year they were apart trying to get him back to no avail. But she has few friends and is very manipulative and knows he’s got a big heart and doesn’t like to see people suffer.
How do I go about addressing this? Do I address it? Or do I just try to support him in extracting himself from her? He just moved to California for a 4-month internship, so fortunately they won’t be in the same part of the country anymore. But yesterday he told me she’d been going nuts about the pap smear and texting/calling him constantly about it.
I’ve never dealt with exes in a relationship before – my last relationship, we were each other’s firsts so I have no context in how to go about dealing with this. Thanks for the help 🙂
Post # 3
Just bumping this up a bit. I’d love some input, I know it’s long!
Post # 4
Well it sounds like your SO is a little weirded out by the level and frequency of communication. I would tell him that it if strikes him as inappropriate or makes him feel uncomfortable, he should either stop responding to those texts and calls or ask him if he wants to verbally set boundaries with her. I think you should continue to support him and if he sees merit in this friendship then he should by all means continue to communicate with her, but remind him that friendships shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable.
Post # 5
What in the CRAP – she undressed in front of him?? Hell to the no. Your man needs to set some boundaries!! YES I would be addressing this!
Let me tell you a little story. I was cool like you when I started dating my husband. We had been friends for 10 years. When we started dating, he had just broken up with his ex of 6. And blah blah blah, same thing. Friends and family couldn’t stand her, but he was still friends with her (does that make ANY sense if the relationship was not good? Think about it). At any rate, I really did not care. But then I realized they were still talking a lot & about some personal things. I tried to rationalize that 6 years is just a long time to just let go of someone…and it is. But there’s a reason why you break up, you know.
Long story short, she would ask him to change the oil on her car still & eventually they went to a car show together and ended up kissing.
I dumped his ass and said no fucking mas. Now, if I were smart, I would have set that boundary long before that.
Kicker was I lived 1,200 miles away from them. Hubby left 2 months later and came to my state. Had he not done that, I would have been dunzo. Talk to him, ASAP.
ETA: He never talked to her again after that. You break up to, you know, get away from each other. Not to talk about your private parts!
Post # 6
It sounds like your SO really doesn’t want to continue a friendship with her anyway, so I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable talking to him about it. Maybe tell him that it seems he doesn’t want the friendship, and the way she is acting feels disrepectful to you and your relationship, and that maybe it’s time for him to move on from having contact with her. If you make it clear that you trust him, but that clearly she doesn’t have your or his best interests in mind, I would think he’d understand!
Post # 7
I think your SO needs to be up front with her and tell her to quit contacting him. Or he needs to stop responding to texts/calls, etc from her. The more he responds the more she will continue to contact him…and the more involved you will get because you will start getting angry.
Best he cuts ties from her completely if he really is ready to move on
Post # 8
This sounds very similar to my FI’s ex. He broke up with her because she treated him like shit, was emotionally abusive/maniuplative, and cheated on him, but continued to stay friends with her after (helped her move, took her out to dinner, etc.), which I found really weird. Half of his friends loved her and the other half hated her–some of his family is still friends with her, which really bothers me, because they obviously don’t know what a psycho she is.
Because this is such a new relationship, you’ll have to be careful how you approach this. He really needs to set boundaries with her. He is not her go-to anymore, and until he tells her to stop, she’s going to continue doing so.
Post # 9
Thank you all SO much for the great responses! I was worrying that maybe I was overreacting a bit, it’s good to know that I’m not alone in finding her actions super inappropriate.
@Jellybones: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. I mean, I’m still on friendly and communicative terms with my ex – but it’s never uncomfortable, and he doesn’t ask me for favors or act like we’re still together. The most I ever get is the occasional, “hey can you proofread this cover letter” (and I work in copywriting/editing, so that’s common from ALL of my friends).
@deetroitwhat: I’m not at all afraid of anything happening between them because he’s been VERY open with me about how much happier he is with me and the positive differences between her and me (plus I absolutely have the upper hand in the intimate areas). But yeah – I still believe boundaries need to be made and enforced by him because this woman clearly doesn’t understand them.
@whitums: I like that way of putting it, thank you! And that is how I feel – I mean she basically uses him anyway (had him bring her a replacement water bottle from our university which she didn’t pay him back for, used to use his netflix account until he finally changed the PW on her, conned him into helping set up for her birthday house party last weekend). He gets nothing out of it but headaches and stress.
@jtsing: The more he responds the more she will continue to contact him…and the more involved you will get because you will start getting angry. Exactly!
@vorpalette: At least I have the advantage that his family and friends all hate her guts because of how much she used him and the way he was when they were together. During his last visit here, so many of his friends kept telling me how happy they were that I didn’t act like a total bitch to him or make him turn into a raging douchebag like his ex did. But yes – with it being new, I don’t want to step on toes or overstep my own boundaries. I’m definitely not going to tell him who he can and can’t be friends with… but this is such a weird situation, and you’re absolutely correct on him not being her go-to anymore. That’s my spot!
Post # 10
@MissCalifornia: Same here. And I wasn’t either. Then she called one day saying how much her family missed him and bringing up old times, knowing that she would get to him. If she’s manipulative like you say, and he’s already falling for it you cannot rule out the possibility.
I did like a total fool. And we had been together for 8 months by then. I’m not saying he will (and I hope he doesn’t!) I’m just warning to not follow my foolish footsteps and definitely do something about this now. Good luck!
Post # 11
I would not be okay with this. I think it’s good that he seems weirded out by the amount and type of communication happening, but both of you need to realize that him staying in touch with her benefits NOBODY in this situation (except for possibly his ex). It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t have friends that she can talk to about issues, that should be her problem, not you and your new SO’s. She is clearly pulling at him by talking to him about emotional things, nothing good can come of that.
Post # 12
@deetroitwhat: Yeah, I definitely understand where you’re coming from and thank you for the input! I won’t lie and say it hasn’t crossed my mind. He’s been very good, though, about keeping my fears in check – at the house party last weekend, he spent most of the night texting me and played on a beer pong team opposite her so they’d have very little interaction.
@Cory_loves_this_girl: I agree. I kinda figured the lack of friends thing, but wasn’t 100% sure until I asked him last night why she didn’t confide her medical issues with her female friends – he said she doesn’t have any, and half the time he doesn’t even know what the hell she’s talking about when she messages him.
Post # 13
@MissCalifornia: I find it really weird that he would want to remain friends with someone who treated him so badly. What is there left to salvage? What is worth holding on to in this friendship?
i ended a bad relationship with a compulsive liar. He begged for us to stay friends – I said ‘no way’, there were no qualities in him that I’d look for in a friend. He treated me like crap, he lied, what sort of a basis is that for a friendship?
You could ask him why he wants to hang on to a friendship with her, just from the fact that she treated him like crap when they were together. It might make him think. He seems to be her emotional booty call. Telling him about her abnormal pap is a bit weird. I’ve been through the same thing 3 times. It’s not the end of the world, it’s not a death sentence. But it seems like she wants him to be there for her, or is trying to evoke some sympathy from him. It’s pretty obvious to me that she is trying to win him back with desperate attempts. He needs to draw the line somewhere.
Post # 14
From my own experience I would definitely address it sooner than later. I think it is wonderful that you trust him. However, i can’t imagine that as you two get closer and even more committed that this wouldn’t start to drive a bit of a wedge between you. That is extremely inappropriate for her to feel comfortable enough to undress in front of him, and although I applaud him for standing up and saying somethng to her, if she is aware that he has a girlfriend, out of respect for you that should have never happened. All I know from my own experience is that with the crazy ex that can’t let go, it only gets worse as you two get closer, and I would hate to see you in a situation where I am, engaged, then not engaged over constant contact with the ex who has now become blatantly disrespectful to me. The quicker this is nipped, the better it will be for your relationship to have a chance to blossom to its full potential.
Post # 15
@Deejayelle: Yeah, I’m not really sure why he’s maintaining it beyond feeling sympathetic to her – but based on how shitty she was to him when they were together and how little she seems to give to him as a “friend” now… but I’m also the first person he’s dated since her, so I think he never really felt a push to get away from her before like he does now.
@jll536699: Thank you. I totally agree.
Right now he’s up to his eyeballs in stress with the move, but once he gets settled next week I’m going to bring it up when we skype and just talk to him about it as openly and honestly as I can.
Post # 16
It’s up to him to set the boundaries. It sounds like he isn’t a fan of what she’s doing, but he’s the only one that can stop it. It’s always best to address concerns early on in a relationship and set the standards for what you will and will not tolerate. Let him know you find it inappropriate and it makes you uncomfortable that she doesn’t seem to have appropriate boundaries. Don’t be afraid to be honest and say – while you don’t want to tell him who he can and cannot talk to – this isn’t a situation you’re able to handle long term.
If he chooses her over you then at least you know that early on before you guys get too serious…