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Hi everyone,

 

I'm in a bit of a weird place mentally and would love some outside advice/opinions to get things straight in my head.

 

I'm married (for two years) to a wonderful man who has honestly treated me better than anyone I've ever met. He's sweet, caring, funny and just amazing. I feel totally comfortable being myself around him and know marrying him was a good decision.

 

Back last April, my ex from 10 years ago contacted me via LinkedIn (he doesn't use any other social media platforms). When his name popped up, my heart sank. I knew responding was opening a can of worms but I did anyway. We had a fairly amicable chat about life and our jobs. He gave me his number to stay in touch and when we did talk it was friendly banter and sending each other memes. I didn't feel anxious anymore because he seemed to have moved on and just wanted to salvage the friendship.

 

A couple of days later he asked if I was seeing anyone and I told him my situation which he seemed ok with and said we can just stay friends.

 

As time went on though, he would sometimes send very risky/flirty messages about how "if I wasn't married he'd be over mine right now" (oh, this guy has a girlfriend too!), said he has sexual thoughts about us and how he still loves me and I was his 'first love that he'll never get over'.

 

It's so clear to me by typing this out how scummy and messed up it all is. I can see it. The thing that messes with my head is that he was also my first love, and I've never felt the way I did for him for anyone else - he's totally not husband material but alluring and interesting and hearing these things made me feel butterfiles again like I had when we were together. So I had to delete him from my phone.

 

The flirting continued when he would text, and I'd ask "are you not happy with your girlfriend?" which he'd say "yes I am" to but wants me and loves both of us?

 

I just want to know what he's after as I can't figure him out. Wanting to be friends is fine, but he's essentially admitting he'd happily cheat on his girlfriend? I've shown my husband everything he's sent me and he thinks I should get rid which I agree with. I just don't know why these feelings are coming up again and why he hasn't let go in all this time?

 

Any help would be appreciated :(

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This guy doesn't want to be 'friends'. What he wants is to keep you on a string as backup in the hope that you'll finally cave in to his desires. Yes, he would happily cheat on his girlfriend. He's a scumbag. That's all you need to know. This isn't about you or her, or what a romantic relationship you had that he's never been able to forget, but about the fact that he can't stay faithful to the person he's with. It's about him. It's about how he's got the morals of a cockroach and would have no qualms about breaking up your marriage.

 

My ex husband tried this sort of rubbish on with me; he'd been with his partner (wife by then) for ten years, but he kept phoning me up and saying that he hadn't appreciated me when we were together, that it was so difficult being married when he still loved me this much... all the rest. I told him he didn't love me, but that he was in love with a fantasy based on who I was nearly 20 years earlier - whilst he was just repeating his old pattern of not appreciating the person he was really with. I told him that his wife was the best thing which had ever happened to him (she is - she's a wonderful person who I like very much!) and to stop being such a t***.

 

That did the trick, I can tell you! I suggest you employ similar tactics unless you really want to mess up your life for someone who really isn't worth it!

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Thanks for the input! It's so obvious to me how scummy it is but always good to hear from others that it's the same to them because it helps to validate how you feel about it all, if that makes sense.

 

In the past before I was married Id've done anything for this guy (and did, for little in return most of the time!), and when I ask why he could never commit to me properly he always said it's because he was battling depression or going through a hard time. I've been through hard times too but wouldn't ignore him or ask for help with something then blank me. I ended up cutting contact for 4 years before the LinkedIn message because almost every interaction with him turned sexual and I started to feel pressured.

 

He hated me moving on and being with anyone else but when I was alone he hardly acknowledged me. It's so weird. All the while I was totally smitten and fell for all the "I love yous". :(

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He hated me moving on and being with anyone else but when I was alone he hardly acknowledged me. It's so weird.

 

He's a "Dog in a Manger". When you're available, he doesn't want you - but he regards you as his property and doesn't want anyone else to have you either. This is not about love, and please don't tell yourself it is!

 

when I ask why he could never commit to me properly he always said it's because he was battling depression or going through a hard time.

 

Having depression or going through a hard time is nothing to do with commitment; in fact for some couples going through a hard time together and coming out the other side will really strengthen their relationship. He could never commit to you properly because he can't commit to ANYBODY properly... including his current girlfriend.

 

I have to say, the ones I feel sorry for are your husband and his girlfriend, who risk being hurt through no fault of their own.

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I agree. Always did find the "oh it's because I had depression" excuse sort of strange, especially because he was seeing other girls during that time too (though only for a week at a time or until he got bored of them).

 

I understand you saying this about his gf and my husband. It's why I've shown him everything. I confided in a close friend about it too and he was gobsmacked that, on WhatsApp, this guy's profile picture is of him and his girlfriend (who only appeared as soon as I told him I was married btw hah!) and yet there he was saying he'd had inappropriate dreams, loved me, and would drive up to see me if I wasn't married.

 

He also said he doesn't trust being around me because he'd be 'naughty'. :icon_sad:

 

I wish I wasn't so besotted by him in the past, would've been much easier and less time wasted.

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You need to set up relationship boundaries so that nobody is allowed entry to destroy your primary relationship. You liked the ego boost and butterflies of the exes messages more than you cared about hurting your spouse and the integrity of your marriage by letting this go on.

 

You should be looking inward instead of at the ex to get to the bottom of things. People who are lacking in self esteem subconsciously think they deserve a crappy person and seek that dysfunction, and sabotage a relationship with a decent person, because it just doesn't feel right that a decent person would like undeserving me.

 

Stop the communication with the dirtbag asap. Vow to never again communicate with anyone who will interfere with your marriage. And then work on adding a spark to your marriage and improve the emotional connection. There are so many ways you can do this. Look at Cosmopolitan magazine online to get tips on adding spice to the marriage. Take up a new hobby together. Try tango lessons, the most sexiest of the types of dance. Go to a couples store to pick up new bedroom toys. Good luck.

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You need to set up relationship boundaries so that nobody is allowed entry to destroy your primary relationship. You liked the ego boost and butterflies of the exes messages more than you cared about hurting your spouse and the integrity of your marriage by letting this go on.

 

You should be looking inward instead of at the ex to get to the bottom of things. People who are lacking in self esteem subconsciously think they deserve a crappy person and seek that dysfunction, and sabotage a relationship with a decent person, because it just doesn't feel right that a decent person would like undeserving me.

 

Stop the communication with the dirtbag asap. Vow to never again communicate with anyone who will interfere with your marriage. And then work on adding a spark to your marriage and improve the emotional connection. There are so many ways you can do this. Look at Cosmopolitan magazine online to get tips on adding spice to the marriage. Take up a new hobby together. Try tango lessons, the most sexiest of the types of dance. Go to a couples store to pick up new bedroom toys. Good luck.

 

You're right re: the self-esteem bit, I've always felt low about myself and this guy had so much charisma and charm when we were dating and I felt undeserving of someone like that. He was outgoing, outspoken and handsome but incredibly relentless. I broke it off because I didn't feel 'good enough' and always worried that he'd cheat on me, which is ironic...

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I just want to know what he's after as I can't figure him out.

 

From what you've shared, it sounds like this has always been the case with him. Part of the frustration, part of the allure, part of the charge. A certain elusiveness, an edge of danger. Part of what made being with him so consuming, if ultimately unrewarding and unsustainable.

 

In other words, none of this is mysterious. There is nothing to figure out. He's being who he is. Just as he could never quite be a proper boyfriend, he can't be a proper friend. He's someone who likes to dance in that middle ground, where there's a lot of heat but nothing is quite real. Makes for an interesting character in a movie, but not a good man in reality.

 

Anyhow, you've really handled this well. Most of us have a person or two from our past who will always have the ability to trigger a complex brew of feelings: excitement, butterflies, curiosity, sparks. That damn charge that fires up against all logic. No need to feel ashamed. Yeah, you cracked that can of worms a bit, probably wanting a little hit of the sparks while also being curious if, hey, who knows, maybe we can just be genuinely friendly after so much time. And you've realized that, no, not possible. Not his intentions. Not even yours, not quite.

 

Bravo for telling your husband. That speaks volumes for your character—for all the awesomeness inside of you that your ex couldn't see and that being with him suppressed—and the strength of your marriage. Stay that path—that's the good one, the truly fun one, not this shallow riddle of dude. Cut this guy off, for the same reasons you cut him off four years ago, and this will just be a little blip.

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It would be best to affirm your boundaries that you are married. Remove him as a LinkedIn contact (he won't be notified). Unless you worked together, ex lovers don't belong in a list of contacts all your other contacts can see. Also send a final text emphasizing that you are married and it's getting inappropriate and uncomfortable. Then stop engaging him, block and delete him.

 

Make an appointment with a therapist for some short term therapy to explore why you wanted all this attention and what kind of void you are trying to fill. A sleazeball who wants to get into sexing, has nothing to do with "not letting go". Perhaps reflect on what a bullet you dodged.

-Back last April, my ex from 10 years ago contacted me via LinkedIn

-he has sexual thoughts about us and how he still loves me and I was his 'first love that he'll never get over'.

-I had to delete him from my phone.

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From what you've shared, it sounds like this has always been the case with him. Part of the frustration, part of the allure, part of the charge. A certain elusiveness, an edge of danger. Part of what made being with him so consuming, if ultimately unrewarding and unsustainable.

 

In other words, none of this is mysterious. There is nothing to figure out. He's being who he is. Just as he could never quite be a proper boyfriend, he can't be a proper friend. He's someone who likes to dance in that middle ground, where there's a lot of heat but nothing is quite real. Makes for an interesting character in a movie, but not a good man in reality.

 

Anyhow, you've really handled this well. Most of us have a person or two from our past who will always have the ability to trigger a complex brew of feelings: excitement, butterflies, curiosity, sparks. That damn charge that fires up against all logic. No need to feel ashamed. Yeah, you cracked that can of worms a bit, probably wanting a little hit of the sparks while also being curious if, hey, who knows, maybe we can just be genuinely friendly after so much time. And you've realized that, no, not possible. Not his intentions. Not even yours, not quite.

 

Bravo for telling your husband. That speaks volumes for your character—for all the awesomeness inside of you that your ex couldn't see and that being with him suppressed—and the strength of your marriage. Stay that path—that's the good one, the truly fun one, not this shallow riddle of dude. Cut this guy off, for the same reasons you cut him off four years ago, and this will just be a little blip.

 

wow this is such a good way to look at it! :O

 

One of the reasons I decided to post about this here is because all but one of my friends can't stand the dude. I needed an outsider's POV to figure out this mess and it's really helping to talk about it with you all and honestly thank you all so much for your replies.

 

The bit that got me is the "it's not quite real". That's so true. We almost got back together about 5 years ago before he started pushing for intimacy that I wasn't ready for (which is why I legged it again). It's like...in your mind it's all so whymsical and butterflies and memories, he's the one guy I struggle to have a coherent conversation with on the phone because I stutter in his shadow. It's so pathetic. But when you get "real" about it all, you see it for the unhealthy mess that it is.

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It would be best to affirm your boundaries that you are married. Remove him as a LinkedIn contact (he won't be notified). Unless you worked together, ex lovers don't belong in a list of contacts all your other contacts can see. Also send a final text emphasizing that you are married and it's getting inappropriate and uncomfortable. Then stop engaging him, block and delete him.

 

Make an appointment with a therapist for some short term therapy to explore why you wanted all this attention and what kind of void you are trying to fill. A sleazeball who wants to get into sexing, has nothing to do with "not letting go". Perhaps reflect on what a bullet you dodged.

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

 

I'll remove him this evening. I noticed when I deleted him from my phone (and consequently whatsapp, my profile must have stopped being visible to him) he looked at my LinkedIn page.

 

I'll be interested to see if this relationship he's in now pans out. They never usually do.

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It is not "pathetic" at all. It is simply human.

 

We are fragile, and in our fragility is our beauty, even our truest strength. But some people, and some relationships, simply exploit that fragility: testing it rather than celebrating it, weakening our preciousness rather than strengthening it. That some of these people can be extraordinarily compelling, and that some of those relationships can be extraordinarily consuming—well, that's the forever rub, the thing that can make brain see a mess as something worth exploring.

 

Sounds like this guy had the ability to make you feel very, very good, though the price of that goodness was always steep: it was because he could also make you feel really, really bad. Wobbly. Unsure of yourself. Stuttering in his shadow and, by extension, a shadow of yourself. And so affection from him, when you could extract it, when you could "figure it out," helped shade you back in.

 

Consuming stuff, that. Also not healthy.

 

Is all that connected to some simmering self-esteem issues, some insecurities? Yeah, sure. And we all have a pit of those inside of us, no matter how much meditation and/or therapy and/or whatever paths of self-exploration we walk to shore up our self-confidence. The key is to kind of recognize that fragile pit—oh, hey, I see you, and I'm strong enough to look at you straight on—and recognize that some people simply have a way of stirring it that is unhealthy.

 

Those are the people we keep out, to protect the fragility, so it can manifest in healthy ways rather than guide us down the wrong paths.

 

Which you've done, for the most part. Which is the opposite of "pathetic." Take a moment to remember that, because that's true. That's you. That's "real." Go give your husband a big old kiss.

 

Probably part of the appeal in engaging with him, at this juncture, was to test your strength. To test your own evolution since those wobbly, stuttering days. To see if he'd lost his "power" over you, while also, yeah, kind of wanting to feel that "power."

 

And you realized that, dang it, dude is still kryptonite. That's not because he's mysterious and powerful, but because—and remember this—he's kind of just a lost soul. Lost souls suck people in, because they need that energy to feel found. That's his weakness, you see? His insecurity, the dark pit inside him that he's too cowardly to look at straight. No, not mysterious, not at all.

 

That is what is pathetic, not you. Make that the lesson of this little hiccup and you're back on track.

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It is not "pathetic" at all. It is simply human.

 

We are fragile, and in our fragility is our beauty, even our truest strength. But some people, and some relationships, simply exploit that fragility: testing it rather than celebrating it, weakening our preciousness rather than strengthening it. That some of these people can be extraordinarily compelling, and that some of those relationships can be extraordinarily consuming—well, that's the forever rub, the thing that can make brain see a mess as something worth exploring.

 

Sounds like this guy had the ability to make you feel very, very good, though the price of that goodness was always steep: it was because he could also make you feel really, really bad. Wobbly. Unsure of yourself. Stuttering in his shadow and, by extension, a shadow of yourself. And so affection from him, when you could extract it, when you could "figure it out," helped shade you back in.

 

Consuming stuff, that. Also not healthy.

 

Is all that connected to some simmering self-esteem issues, some insecurities? Yeah, sure. And we all have a pit of those inside of us, no matter how much meditation and/or therapy and/or whatever paths of self-exploration we walk to shore up our self-confidence. The key is to kind of recognize that fragile pit—oh, hey, I see you, and I'm strong enough to look at you straight on—and recognize that some people simply have a way of stirring it that is unhealthy.

 

Those are the people we keep out, to protect the fragility, so it can manifest in healthy ways rather than guide us down the wrong paths.

 

Which you've done, for the most part. Which is the opposite of "pathetic." Take a moment to remember that, because that's true. That's you. That's "real." Go give your husband a big old kiss.

 

Probably part of the appeal in engaging with him, at this juncture, was to test your strength. To test your own evolution since those wobbly, stuttering days. To see if he'd lost his "power" over you, while also, yeah, kind of wanting to feel that "power."

 

And you realized that, dang it, dude is still kryptonite. That's not because he's mysterious and powerful, but because—and remember this—he's kind of just a lost soul. Lost souls suck people in, because they need that energy to feel found. That's his weakness, you see? His insecurity, the dark pit inside him that he's too cowardly to look at straight. No, not mysterious, not at all.

 

That is what is pathetic, not you. Make that the lesson of this little hiccup and you're back on track.

 

Thank you! I've never fully understood why I get so tongue-tied when I talk to him, even now, years later...we could be talking about something on TV and I'd just end up giggling and uggh...it's like being permanently 17, which is the age I met him...

 

It is consuming because like you say, when you do extract any affection it makes you feel so good in a way I can't describe. When we broke up (I ended it because he wanted to join the army and I felt second-best, he didn't ask my opinion on it), I was gutted within a week. Kept calling him and getting the cold shoulder. When we did start talking again we would act like we were together, but it was never made official ever again. It's like unfinished business. I was so infatuated with him but also tentative and scared because I knew what he was like underneath the charm and charisma. Even to this day nobody makes me laugh like he does, he not only knows what to say but how to say it...

 

Ugh.

 

I need to get back on track. Definitely noted.

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I just don't know why these feelings are coming up again and why he hasn't let go in all this time?
The feelings are coming up again because its human nature to be titillated when being pursued by someone we are attracted to in someway. Just because we are in a relationship it doesn't mean our normal routes to sexual stimulation/excitement is suddenly cut off to anyone but our partner. That is why you're sliding down a slippery slope to emotional cheating (and possible physical cheating if you let it go far enough) when you keep on allowing him to contact you with his pursuit of you.

 

He's doing it because "it" works on a whole lot of people who don't have the personal boundaries and good sense in place to immediately cut off the supply of stimulation that is coming from someone other than our partner.

 

If you and your husband agree on "getting rid" then why is he still able to text you? Have you not blocked and deleted him?

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Sometimes after a break up, we leave something behind. You mentioned your feelings for him and even while trying to reconcile, he just didn't seem to reciprocate. It's as if you gave up a little of your self esteem in those moments and he's had it ever since.

 

Talking to him now fills that hole he left behind. It's almost as if after he left, you were at 90% and now with his contact, even as smarmy as it is, you get back that 10% Those `what was wrong with me?' moments were healed when he reaches out.

 

But that's all it is. You are entirely two different people and his intentions are no where near good. He gets the ego boost he's seeking and you get that little piece of your self-esteem healed.

 

So, now be done with it because if you continue, someone will get hurt.

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I read your other posts about this ex and it made me wonder why you would want to risk your new marriage talking to this guy at all. You do realize you are talking to a guy you used to love, that treated you very badly, strung you along until you finally dumped him for good and now he contacts you because he wants to get into your pants. It is that simple and deep down you know that is what he wants and yet you continued to chat with him after the sexual talk started.

 

How do you think your husband would react if he found those messages? Once trust is broken it takes years to rebuild and most of the time it is never the same.

 

He is an ex for a reason and you are married. You should have never accepted the request.

 

I wonder how you would react and feel if your husband was chatting with his first love behind your back.

 

Marriages are tough enough without this kind of nonsense. Most of us veterans on this forum have seen plenty of threads where an ex just wanted to "friends" and stay in touch and then it was meeting for coffee or lunch and then a weak moment turned into a kiss and then sex. Playing with fire gets people burned...

 

Do the right thing and NEVER speak to this guy ever again and learn from this.

 

Lost

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So what if he was your first love, clearly this guy is a sleazebag and you are willing to risk your marriage over it. What is wrong with you?

 

I cannot fathom why you responded in the first place. Really disrespectful to your marriage.

 

He does not care about you, he simple wants a sex.

 

Do right by your marriage and block this creep.

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OP...Not to sound harsh, but obviously the only person you're fooling is yourself. You're dancing on thin ice, and if you seriously want this to end you'll find a way, if not, you'll find an excuse.

 

Of course, I'm aware that this is not something you're in favor of hearing.

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Ive been almost there (all the same, but not with an ex).

The attention is awesome, but you are damaging your marriage.

Wanting to be friends isnt fine.. you still have some feelings there, and so does he. It has to be a clean break.

Does your husband know? How would he feel if he found out?

DO NOT text him anymore, unless you are choosing to end your marriage.

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After you showed your husband all of the messages between you and your ex, what did the two of you (you and your husband) decide to do?

 

Did you agree to delete all of your ex's messages, your ex's number from your phone and block it, and remove him as a "connection" on LinkedIn? And if you agreed, did you do so?

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Hi everyone,

 

Thanks again for your advice. Yes, my husband does know. He's seen all the messages, I don't keep anything from him. He knows my past with this guy. In fact, the two of them used to be friends.

 

I told my ex I was unhappy with the way he was texting me and if he wanted to stay friends that's fine but not to treat me any differently to any other friend, and vice-versa. Usually we just send funny stuff we find online (memes, etc). Anyways, he went quiet with me for a while so I said "Look, we clearly can't just be friends and it's time for me to break contact. All the best". He immediately replied, saying things are tough for him right now, mentioned something about his car breaking down (?!) then said things with me are "too intense"?

 

I've no idea what he's talking about. He wouldn't elaborate, and said he'd talk to me another time.

 

Some things don't change.

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