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Help with Understanding Ex Boyfriend's Behavior


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Hello. I am reaching out for some helpful advice and I ran across this forum. I will try not to write a novel here, but I think it's important to put the foundations out there of what all has been going on. I would appreciate anyone that can help me to comprehend some very out of character behavior. I'm terribly confused and hurt. I'm OK, but I just don't understand and that bothers me.


I was married once for 28 years, very unloving and miserable marriage. I was co-dependent with an alcoholic at the time. I've been divorced 16 years, had several serious relationships, and now find myself in a very awkward place. I met my current (well..now EX boyfriend since Friday) 3 1/2 years ago. He was married for 31 years, for the most part a happy union, until his wife started an affair while in nursing school. They had two small children at the time and he was the nurturing parent (so he says). He cooked all the meals, fixed the little girl's hair, drove them to school, all of the things that his wife had no time to do because of her hours and schedule. He heard a message on their phone with the wife telling the man "I want you right now." He replied, where is your husband? She replied " the dork is outside picking up sticks from the yard."


He was getting ready to mow. He was terribly shocked and hurt and even called the guy and had him over, got the wife in the kitchen and confronted them. He admitted to the affair but the wife never did, she said it was an "emotional" affair. So, he picks up the pieces, forgives her and along they went. Meanwhile (from what I understand) the son is now 16 the daughter is 12 and the son admits to being molested by a neighbor. They go to family counseling and it comes out that the son also molested the daughter. The son had to live separate from the family, so there were some very major and serious dysfunction going on in the home. The son moves out for good, the wife decides to leave and the daughter leaves. None of whom ever came back, even for their things. Not knowing about all this, other than the wife leaving him, we date for a year and a half and I move in.


I live there 2 years, my stuff in boxes as there was no place for me to put any of my things. My clothes were in her closets (full of clothes), my furniture was not used as her furniture was everywhere. I was injured on one of the horses and laid up for 3 months and was finally released to go to work. I've been working for 2 years and saving my money. During this time, it became apparent that his lifestyle did not coincide with mine too well. He is a recovering alcoholic/addict with pain meds and alcohol is his drug of choice. He is 8 years sober and attends three AA meetings per week religiously. I completely support his dedication to the fellowship, although I do not attend the meetings, unless it's a special thing. I found that to be the only "alone" time I could get. He was controlling to a certain extent, he would let me do things with my friends and my kids, but he did not like it.


I asked him repeatedly to please find a place for his Ex wife's things so that I could have my stuff in "our" home and not wake up to "her" all the time. He seemed to understand but nothing ever changed in two years. My things are still in boxes, even to the point of forgetting I had them. So during all this time his daughter has demanded that he not contact her, if he does she will call the police. There was one legal issue with a car that he needed a signature for and you would have thought World War 3 had started. She has not seen him or spoken to him in over 4 years. The wife left and he has not ever seen her since. He is a very loving, doting, thoughtful man. He was very dedicated in his marriage and also in our relationship.


Recently his son has been coming back around and that is a good thing, so we were so hopeful that the daughter would come around too and rekindle their relationship. We have prayed about that for so long and it just seems to get worse, every time things start to look up. Six weeks ago, I told him that I had not been happy in a while and that I had been battling thoughts of getting my own place. I explained that I needed a place I could call "home", a place that was home, that was my sanctuary......his house is a ghost house of family horrors and constant reminders. I finally told him I wanted to move. So, for the last 5 weeks I have been painting and getting my place ready to move into. Meanwhile, about a month ago, his Mom passed. There were some problems there too. He seemed to be doing OK, even helping me move, put things together and paint, not to mention moving me and finding a washer and dryer, just a lot of help.


So along comes the one day of the year that I emotionally dread. Father's Day. I knew what was going to happen and about a week before, I offered to cook a big dinner and have him, his son and his girlfriend over for Father's Day. He said "NO", his son was going to take him to eat. So right before the weekend (I hated to ask this) I asked if everything was on for Sunday and was he sure he didn't want me to cook. He was adamant, almost mean about it, and said that he wanted to spend Father's Day with his son. Alone. OK, works for me, I'm still painting everyday, so that was fine and he had my blessing...and prayers. So Sunday rolls around, his son comes over to help him with his truck, and then his son left. He left, and nobody was going to lunch. So BF comes in and I asked him if they were still going to lunch, he hung his head and said "NO."


So, I asked if I could take him to lunch. Now, here comes the real drama. He goes to get ready but he's always on Facebook. He comes in, he's not dressed, and once again he had been stalking his daughter's Facebook with a fake profile. Obviously he stalked the Ex wife's FB account and I guess he stalked the Ex's Boyfriend's account as well. He sits down he starts crying and he says "Michaela has me blocked. So I used my secret FB account and looked at her page, and she has friended my ex-wife's boyfriend, who was the guy that has the affair with his wife 18 years earlier. So, I'm shocked and upset that he stalked them and said he shouldn't be doing that and I tried to explain to him that maybe it wasn't the way it looked. Maybe he had just recently friended both of them, and my EX was freaking out thinking the affair went on for all these years. I did not know how to react to all this news. I just didn't say anything.


I was upset that he still stalks his EX wife. I've asked him not to do that and he said "well I know they're still seeing each other because it say's he's divorced." So to him, the daughter that he loves and misses and for some reason doesn't want to have anything to do with him, has blocked him. He can't communicate, he can't see her and this guy is her friend? All the emotions started flowing, he was LIVID with me because he said I didn't "support him in this crisis". I told him I was very sorry that happened to him but if he didn't go looking for trouble, he wouldn't have been hurt like that. So now I go to his house to get some of my things and he is VERY MEAN to me. He wants me OUT and he wants me out NOW. He knows I have nobody to help me move and I had to pay hundreds to have it done and it was one load going 30 miles.


He said I couldn't see our cat, he said he never wanted to see me again because of what I did to him over the weekend. Now the way I look at it, I did what I should have done and I took him to eat lunch, and didn't discuss the horrors anymore. Now he is in some kind of meltdown and very out of character behavior. He has never raised his voice at me and when I texted and asked would 4:30 be OK to drop by to pick up my saddle, he called me and literally screamed at me. I'm scared to go get the rest of my stuff, and of course I am hurt as well. My question is, did I do something wrong under these bizarre circumstances? He's recently lost his Mom, I'm moving out, his son shunned him on Father's Day, and his daughter hurt him to the very core. Is it me or is it emotional meltdown on his part? Please forgive me for making this so long.

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You may still have the option to edit it, which will allow you to press return a few times and create some line breaks.


That said, I've read this. To answer your question simply: This is not your doing, but something of a meltdown on his part. Honestly, it sounds like an extension of a meltdown that has been occurring for many, many years, and has made this relationship a pretty tough one to be in. If there is any behavior of yours that I find concerning it's that you've stayed involved with him for so long, while getting so little.


Let's back burner the recent events for a moment, and focus on your reasons for moving out. He's living in the past, among ghosts, among his ex's belongings. Not cool. Not healthy. I can certainly understand sympathizing with all the events of his life that led him to this station, but sympathy can quickly veer into enablement, as I think it may have here. When you commit to someone you essentially validate who they are, not who they might become, and in this case I think you've spent a few years validating the state of emotional paralysis he's been in since his marriage fell apart.


As for the recent events? I can imagine you're in a world of hurt and confusion, but in the above context they seem almost inevitable: what was long simmering has now come to a head. He is not a stable person, in a stable place. This was true before you met him, best I can see, true for the bulk of your relationship, and has become a truth impossible to ignore now that life has thrown some curveballs, as life invariably does.


In your shoes right now? I'd take refuge in your new home and give yourself some time to process all this. Instead of focusing on him, and the events of Father's Day, ask the bigger question: Is this how you want to continue spending your life? He refused to move his ex's stuff to the point where you moved out, and is now off the deep end. Not a great trajectory all that: two people becoming less stable, rather than more, in their union over time.

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Yes, that's correct and very, very well said. Thank you so much. He is still acting very angry but I truly don't believe that it's my fault about his Father's Day. I'm just at a point where I'm getting my stuff and keeping my mouth shut. I'm polite but I get and go ! LOL

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Sorry to hear this. Good luck in your new place. You dodged a bullet. Get a peace officer to accompany you to get your stuff, he can not legally bar you from collecting it. Don't look back or make excuses for him, be glad you got out. Focus on the practicalities of severing any ties and collecting your belongings.


Make sure you change All your passwords and address on All your accounts, have your mail forwarded asap and sever all ties. Be sure to delete and block him and all his people from all your accounts, social media and messaging apps.


You made the right decision to move out. He has way too much drama still going on from his years of alcoholism, drug addiction. His kids and the mess he made with them are his and his ex's problem, not yours.

I've been divorced 16 years. I met my current (well..now EX boyfriend since Friday) 3 1/2 years ago.


He is a recovering alcoholic/addict with pain meds and alcohol is his drug of choice.


I have been painting and getting my place ready to move into. I'm scared to go get the rest of my stuff,

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What you did wrong is get involved to the level that you did with someone who is deeply messed up. The rest, the explosion was bound to happen. What draws you to toxic men and toxic relationships exactly?


Also, did nothing in your head ring a bell that the story he is telling you of being a victim doesn't add up with how his children treat him?


His house sounds like Bates Motel.....what possessed you to move into that in the first place and how on earth did you manage to live like that as long as you did? These are some serious questions you need to explore for yourself. Your choices aren't just toxic but could be dangerous to you. There are 4 billion men on this planet, you pick the most rotten ones over and over and can't seem to grasp any red flags smacking you in the face from day one.

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You made the right decision.


The only thing you might have done wrong in the relationship is lived with this situation for this long and enabled his issues. Good for you for sticking up for yourself and having your say at the end. It takes a lot of courage to split off and move to a new place on your own. You'll keep looking back and that's only natural. I think it's natural too for you to wonder whether you've done the right thing.


It'll take time. Don't force all the answers. Be around people who love and care about you. Don't go down the psychoanalysis road and if you do, there's no point communicating that to him. You are not his psychiatrist or his therapist. Stay out of his life from now onwards and start looking more at your own and your own future. It doesn't hurt to talk about your experience or find an outlet somehow either.


I agree with Wiseman about protecting yourself and your accounts and passwords. Make sure you're the only one with a key to your new place. Take care of yourself from now on.


As for your other things, if you can have them replaced, replace them. They are just things. I know some things have sentimental value or are expensive but take a time out from all this even if just for a few days and think about whether you really need any of it to begin with or is it just one reason to have a hold on this relationship.

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