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Lilo777's avatar

How should I handle this?

Asked by Lilo777 (109 points ) September 22nd, 2012

My boyfriend (of 1 year) went out this weekend, diving, with his old girlfriend. I don’t know much about their relationship, except that they were together for a few years and he will never say anything bad about her. A few months ago, while we were visiting his parents, he made me stay home while he went to “have coffee” with this same old girlfriend, for a couple hours. He was going through old stuff in his room and kept all the love letters that she had sent him. He claims they are still very good friends. I’ve seen that he texts her and messages her on Facebook all the time. I am not comfortable with this AT ALL – I just don’t understand how you can be friends with someone that you were once in love with (how does that not bring up old feelings). I’m really hurt that he’s doing this. Plus, I am 95% certain she doesn’t even know about me – he keeps his relationship status hidden on Facebook.

Am I in the wrong here? Am I overreacting? I am a very insecure person, I’ve been cheated on by previous boyfriends and I don’t want to be put through that kind of pain again. How should I handle this? I really don’t want to end the relationship, but then again, I don’t think I can handle him being tied up with his ex-girlfriend.

Help :(

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19 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

Well, for starters, welcome to Fluther. You didn’t indicate how old any of the parties are and that would change my response. If he is in his 50’s and this is a childhood girlfriend things are different than if you are 17 or so.

Lilo777's avatar

@Kayak8 Sorry, I am 20, he is 23

Trillian's avatar

Sounds like he probably isn’t ready to be over her and commit to you, especially if he keeps your “relationship” hidden.
Why would you want to stay with someone who hasn’t made you a priority and does not put you first? We teach people how to treat us, and if this is what you allow, this is what you will get.
Drop him like the bad habit that he is.

Kayak8's avatar

I agree with @Trillian. It probably isn’t what you want to hear, but it sure sounds like he is NOT over her and not worth any more of your time.

janbb's avatar

I think we all need a lot of people in our lives – not just a girlfriend or boyfriend. It is very possible that they are just good friends; however, the fact that he left you at his house to go meet her is troubling. I would ask to be introduced to her and that he change his relationship status and see what that brings up.

zenvelo's avatar

I think you need to have a conversation (please don’t say “we need to talk”) with him that says you feel insecure about his continued connection with the old girlfriend. And then ask him if you have a reason for being insecure, or not. And also that if he respects you and wants to stay with you, he needs to stop having continual conversations with her.

And ask if he will introduce her to you. If he is past her and loves you, he will. If he isn’t, he will shit his pants. oh, I see @janbb said the same thing.

If things are undecided for a while, start posting things on his timeline that make it evident you’re involved with him.

Sunny2's avatar

It’sa a good bet he’s not over her even if he says he is. You may not want to be hurt, but it’s a good possibility that’s where you’ll end up. I’m sorry you’re insecure. It would probably help you if you had a stronger self-image and could stand up to him.

Judi's avatar

My husband and I have a rule. I don’t have male friends that are better friends with me than with him and he doesn’t have female friends that are better friends with him than me. It may not be liberated, but it has worked for us for 22 years. Anything different would be a deal breaker for both of us.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Even if there is no chance that they will ever get back together and that you didn’t feel pangs of insecurity, this would still be a difficult situation. It’s time to sit down with him and let him know how you feel. Please don’t ask him to change his ways. If he does so on his own, then you know it was an enlightening conversation. If he doesn’t, then the choice is up to you whether to stay in this relationship or leave it.

Kardamom's avatar

It sounds like he is not over her. It sounds like he is lying to her (or omitting the truth, which is also bad) about your existence or status in his life. That is a BIG RED FLAG. It sounds like he might be having some sort of “affair” with her.

If you have told him how you feel about this situation, the fact that he deliberately goes to see her with out you and hides information from both you and her, and he doesn’t acknowledge your feelings or adequately explain his actions, then you have every right to be angry and upset. If I were you, I’d break up with him immediately, and tell him why.

It would be a completely different thing if he had introduced you to his ex and you were invited to partake of their “friendly meetings” and you could see for a fact that they are just friends but it sounds like he’s done everything wrong and it sounds really crappy. I’m sorry about that.

Try to chalk it up to you not making your needs and standards known earlier, something that needs to be done with some backbone. It may sound mean or harsh to actually ask for what you want and need, but until you learn to do that, shit stuff like this will keep happening to you. The upside is, that if you speak up in a confident and pleasant manner, early on in a relationship, you will weed out the jerks who are not willing to go along with your plan for a good and thoughtful relationship. On the downside, it may take a little longer for you to find the right person.

Welcome to Fluther : )

chyna's avatar

It sounds like his “old girlfriend” is probably his current girlfriend. A guy in a committed relationship doesn’t go diving or anywhere else with an ex-girlfriend without his current girlfriend if he truly loves his current girlfriend.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

Have you told him about your feelings? Unless you have “evidence” (which I applaud you for not snooping and trying to find, as some do who get a minute with their S/O’s phone and start mining it for texts and calls made and received), you don’t want to go in and make accusations about any bad assumptions you may have.

All you have right now are bad feelings. If you tell him that “I have bad feelings about this”, then the ball is in his court to address your bad feelings. There are a lot of things that he could do: he could introduce you to her and let her know in front of you how serious he is about you; he could cool the relationship with you (it’s a possibility that you need to face), or he could admit that he’s not over her yet… and put the ball back in your court.

Imagine all of the possible ways that he could address your announcement of “bad feelings” (including making no acknowledgement and no behavior changes at all), and then imagine what your reaction to all of those possible responses might be. You may not ever be able to imagine what actually happens, but making the mental checklist of possibilities may give you an indication of what you want to do on your own.

You may even decide that your bad feelings are bad enough that you don’t even want him to address that any more; maybe you just need a reason to leave him.

Personally, and because of long experience, I would tend to strongly consider @chyna‘s excellent response.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

You are going into spare tyre mode bit by bit. You deserve a loyal and devoted person so make your exit soon.

DarknessWithin's avatar

I am not experienced in relationships as I have not had one yet if I do say so myself I am still pretty good at seeing things for what they are.
It’s pretty obvious from what you describe that you are the one in the friend zone. If he’s spending more time with this ex-girlfriend than with you and especially not talking to her about you than she is not such an ex. If it weren’t for the fact that he doesn’t not give you equal attention to her, I would say it seems like he is two timing you. Although he is still being dishonest with both of you and that needs to be addressed.

Sit down with him and get him to tell you exactly how he feels about you and how he feels about this girl and that he needs to choose. DO NOT make him out to be a bad guy though, make it about how you feel. This will make him less likely to get pissed at you for making an accusation which will only makes things worse and get you nowhere. This is something I learned in Interpersonal Communications class a few years ago.

Even if you don’t get a straight answer his reaction to the subject will tell you a lot. If he tries to avoid it or fights it, than he’s into the other girl but is feeling to threatened to own up to it. If he gives you the just friends answer than he may not realize that he’s still has feelings for her or is trying to will the statement true. Most likely the first, with the time he’s spending with her both psychically and on the computer, I’d say he’s definitely not trying to get over her. In fact it seems like he’s quite devoted to her, and not at all with you. That’s not acceptable and you shouldn’t allow it.

I am sorry to say that I think you’ll most likely need to leave him. Apparently you were the rebound girl he didn’t needs as much as he may have thought.

augustlan's avatar

Just to play devil’s advocate, it really is possible that they are just friends. (I am friends with several ex-boyfriends, and that really is all there is to it. I’d have lunch or a beer with any of them, and my husband would not mind.)

The only thing that really bothers me about this whole scenario is that he keeps your relationship status hidden on Facebook. Given the circumstances, that seems suspicious. In your place, I’d want to meet her, and I’d want him to publicly acknowledge the relationship with you.

Adagio's avatar

I can only reiterate all of @augustlan words, I fully agree with her.

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AuroraSolei's avatar

O Lilo. I adore you so much for this all reminds me of myself at times. Although I read that you are 20, I will give you a hint deary about what is to come in the next 3 years if you pursue. You will watch your heart and mind battle fiercly over what you should do. You will slowly notice a change in your personality and it won’t be for the best at times. You will become paranoid at every situation and eventually snap at the little errands he runs. What will take him 10 minutes to run and do will appear to be an eternity. You will become self consious and doubt yourself, but all in all you shouldn’t.

If you speak to your boyfriend about this NOW you will survive the possible heartache more quickly than you would if you elongate it. When you speak with him explain quietly and calmly how you feel. If he becomes defensive, angered, upset, or shut off then there are your red flags deary. For he feels as if you are attacking her and he feels the need to protect her, protecting her more than you. Now if he doesn’t get on the defensive wagon, then point out how you are viewing the situation, how others may view it and that you want to meet this person. If she wants to be involved in his life and vice versa, and he wants you in his life long term than she needs to be at the very least aquainted to you.

But I am invisioning something very different here, not just from life’s lessons but from another view. I think the cords need to be cut and it’s time to move on a focus on your life and schooling and where you would like it all to go.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It’s been two weeks since posting this question. Have you talked to the boyfriend about the ex?

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