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he won't acknowledge his ex upsets me


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My boyfriend of 1 year (friends for longer. He loves me. I love him. The future for us looks bright and sunny) but he refuses ‘point blank’ to understand why I get so upset about what I see as a problem.

 

He works with his exGF. She lives quite close. He gives her lifts to and from work. His mum also does the same, as she works with them too. They’re like a cosy family unit for 9 hours a day. I find myself inconsolable whenever I see her or find evidence of her in the car.

 

He loves me greatly, and she’s no threat from his point of view, despite whatever’s in her head. I know she’s an ex for a reason. She won’t get a look in now. I KNOW that.

 

But whenever I bring up how upset it makes me he just gets angry and refuses to understand. I’m NOT telling him how to live his life or what to do. He just will NOT acknowledge my feelings at all and calls me silly for feeling like this, then gets angry and moody.

 

To 90% of people I’m sure this is tiny issue teenagers deal with and to grow up and not to get worked up about. However, after crying in the loos at work this morning over it and the fact she won’t go away after all this time, clearly it affects me.

 

Do I just say ‘I can’t be with someone who doesn’t respect my feelings’ and leave? I 100% don’t want to but it affects me beyond words. I can't make her get another job. I can't stop them being nice people and offering someone a lift. I can't stop it upsetting me though.

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It's a difficult situation. The fact is that to stop helping her with a practical concern simply on your say-so would be a little ... not nice.

 

I would first suggest learning to come to terms with the fact that she is a close friend of his family. If you can do this, there will be no problems.

 

That said, it takes a rare person to be able to do such a thing, so I guess in my mind, your next option would be to figure out what's practical/reasonable for him to do to show you that he is concerned wih your feelings, without making things difficult for everyone involved.

 

If you can't do that, you may have to make the choice to either tell him to cut her loose, or end it. Either way is bad, IME.

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It's difficult when they are close friends to find your own place in the friendship, but the fact is that if they're friends (and especially close to his family) then you may find it difficult or impossible to make him understand.

 

It may come down to if you can learn to accept this or not, an if not, then it may be time to cut loose.

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This is a hard one. I would find that very hard I think. I am not surprised you are upset sweetheart. Have you tried to say to him that you will try your best to accept his friendship with her, but all you want is for him to acknowledge that it is HARD FOR YOU and upsetting? I find this annoying about men, they will not ACKNOWLEDGE our feelings, instead they write them off as silly. Sometimes we just want them to say they understand don't we.

 

I would be in two minds on this, I would be yelling one minute for him to have NOTHING to do with her, but seeing as his family is close to her, that will be difficult.

 

I think he is being quite mean in getting angry with you, how would he feel if the shoe was on the other foot - probably VERY insecure.

 

I would most probably want him to cut her out, but I would know that that was wrong.

 

I have acknowledged that my boyfriend had a couple of close girl friends who he would speak to regularly before we got together, but since we have been together, he has automatically withdrawn from them and is no longer close to them - maybe that's out of respect I don't know.... but it was something he did off his own back.

 

I think it's either ACCEPT IT (but he must agree to ACKNOWLEDGE its hard for you) or if you have to accept it and he doesn't acknowledge, then leave him as that would indicate that he doesn't care too much about your feelings.

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I agree with everyone else here - very tricky!

 

Is there any likelihood that your boyfriend could include you more in this part of his life? If there is nothing going on, then your boyfriend, and his ex should both be doing everything in their power can to welcome you into the circle and make sure you don't feel insecure. If they don't, then I would wonder.

 

My dearest friend in all the world is married to an ex-boyfriend of mine. Friendships come from the strangest of places. I'm not saying you have to be friends with her. Just that it might be a whole lot less threatening, if you and she have the opportunity to get to know each other better.

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I agree with everyone else here - very tricky!

 

Is there any likelihood that your boyfriend could include you more in this part of his life? If there is nothing going on, then your boyfriend, and his ex should both be doing everything in their power can to welcome you into the circle and make sure you don't feel insecure. If they don't, then I would wonder.

 

My dearest friend in all the world is married to an ex-boyfriend of mine. Friendships come from the strangest of places. I'm not saying you have to be friends with her. Just that it might be a whole lot less threatening, if you and she have the opportunity to get to know each other better.

 

That is great advice there! I think you should try this out. She may be a really nice girl. It's also a good indicator of what's going on, because if "they" don't want to include you, then I would walk away, because that is fishy.

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You're all very lovely, helpful people and I'm very grateful for your replies!

 

I'm VERY wary of being included in their circle. She has stolen him/he has left other relationships twice before to be with her. I don't think i'm in that danger (he's mentioned marrige, kids, etc) but I just want to steer WELL clear of her.

 

TBH I just want her outta the picture, but I'm not stupid and know that won't happen.

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oh, she's stolen him away from other women before??? yikes.

 

i think it's good if you feel secure in the relationship. that is excellent. i can understand why he has to work with her, but why does he have to drive her?

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have you actually told him, 'honey, how would you feel if i started driving my ex to work everyday?' or what if you started driving some other guy to work every day? how would he feel about that? i don't think you should go ' * * * for tat' but maybe something to bring up to him.

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I don't WANT to play games though, I'm not a silly teenager. But it does seem to be last ditch attempt thing to do... right? Talking calmly doesn't get through to him. Crying doesn't work. Me pretending it's all fine ends up with me on forums and sobbing in the loo.

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well, what are you worried about? do you actually think he will cheat?

 

it would bother me that he doesn't respect your feelings. i can understand if he isn't cheating with her, nor he intends to. but maybe driving each other to work goes beyond civil co-worker interactions.

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so, from his perspective, if he's not planning on cheating, he thinks you are probably being too insecure. surely there is a compromise? like maybe he can agree not to drive her because it upsets you. if he doesn't care that he upsets you, maybe time to find a new bf.

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While I don't think that the reaction that you have had is quite called for (crying and being inconsolable), I do think it would have been reasonable (and normal, not silly) for you to say to him "I feel uncomfortable about the lifts with your ex gf, do they have to continue?" and for him to then explain to the ex that because he is now in a new relationship its just a bit akward for his new girl to know that they spend x-time every day in the car together so it's just not appropriate to continue the lifts.

 

So I think your reaction is a bit extreme, but notwithstanding that, his response is not kind.

 

What do you do? I don't know. If you 100% don't want to leave over this then I think it's something you just have to accept.

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it would bother me that he doesn't respect your feelings.

 

Normally, I'd say this too. But in this case I wonder if the reason he's acting disrespectful of her feelings is because her reaction is .. disproportionate to what might be appropriate?

 

I just think if I can understand a "stop being silly" response (as unkind as it is) from a man whose gf was crying and inconsolable over something like this. It might be a reaction to the way you are handling this issue more than anything else.

 

I hope that makes sense.

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"have you actually told him, 'honey, how would you feel if i started driving my ex to work everyday?"

 

he says he wouldn't be bothered.... but I think it would be otherwise.

 

I know every guy/girl is different, but I wouldn't be bothered in the least. Honest truth.

 

so, from his perspective, if he's not planning on cheating, he thinks you are probably being too insecure. surely there is a compromise? like maybe he can agree not to drive her because it upsets you.

 

How is that a compromise?

 

I think the problem here is that he sees it from his point of view, which is that is is a simple platonic favour (for a friend? or coworker?), which to his mind means that there is nothing wrong with it and no logical reason to stop.

 

The fact is that guys (and girls) enter a relationship knowing that they must change (like sleeping with other people), and when something is asked of them that isn't logical and isn't something they thought they'd have to change, it becomes a big problem.

 

What you see as his disregard for your feelings, OP, may simply be his way of trying to get accross to you that there's nothing to worry about, in the hopes that you'll realise, and cease to worry.

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so, from his perspective, if he's not planning on cheating, he thinks you are probably being too insecure. surely there is a compromise? like maybe he can agree not to drive her because it upsets you. if he doesn't care that he upsets you, maybe time to find a new bf.

 

Painful as it is, I must agree with this.

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