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I can't accept my boyfriend's friendship with his ex, even though she's a lesbian now


tati
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Hi! Please, nice comments only. I just want to know if anyone has been in a similar situation or has any advice.

My (24f) boyfriend (25m) and I have been together about 2 years, and up until last winter, his ex-girlfriend was still in love with him. They had a messy break-up and, even while me and my boyfriend were together, she was constantly texting him and posting about him on insta, twitter and facebook (in a platonic way, but it seemed like a lot to me). He admitted to me that they they were co-dependent in their relationship, and she placed a lot of pressure on him, twisting his arm in many situations. During the pandemic, my boyfriend and I moved across the country, far from both our friend groups. Her requests for phone calls and info about his daily life caused him a lot of anxiety, and he opened up about that often to me. I provided too much support for him about this particular issue, since it impacted me personally so much. He kept me secret, from her and from his friend group, for a long time, because he imagined a bad reaction from her. It hurt me. I never felt jealous; it's not that I feel threatened by her, since it's always been clear to me that he isn't interested in her romantically. But, I was made to feel invisible even though my relationship was great.

I discovered an email she sent him last October, which was clearly a love letter. She said she wanted to be there if his circumstances with me changed. She said she didn't expect her feelings for him to go away. I questioned him recently about this email without letting on that I'd read it, and he honestly hadn't interpreted it as a love letter (ugh... men). I'm still upset about how forward she was, and I'm upset by how he stayed friends with her despite her unreciprocated feelings.

Well, here's the thing. She has a girlfriend now, as of early this year. She got over my boyfriend, and now they are able to be friends without any stress or hard feelings. He doesn't hold it against her how much pressure or anxiety she used to cause him. But I'm still upset. I can't get over how hurt I was by her disregard for our relationship, and the way it made me feel invisible. It feels like I'm just supposed to move on, now that they have. 

Besides this one issue, I wouldn't change a thing about my relationship with my bf. We are very communicative about this. I've told him exactly how I feel, we discuss it frequently. But nothing changes... he says he doesn't know how to make this better for me. I won't ask them to not be friends for my sake, especially given how their friendship is completely reasonable now and she's with someone new. He tells me he wishes he would have handled the situation better and kept it separate from me so that I didn't feel this way. His ex has no idea I feel this way.

I met her and her girlfriend for the first time in a group setting a month ago, and I expected to feel a sense of resolution, but I didn't feel it. I just don't know how to move on. I don't know what to do, and each day, I get more and more angry that they go on being friends, even while my boyfriend knows how it's not working for me. Can anyone relate? What do I do/ask him to do? Thanks in advance.

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I think you are angry and frustrated because she is not supportive of your relationship - is there really any indication now that she wants to get to know you, and to make amends? Also yes she might have a new partner, yes, she might have now discovered she is a lesbian, but my sense is if this relationship does not work out she will seek out your boyfriend as a source of support and "rediscover" that she still likes him - even if she's a "lesbian".  No I don't buy her sudden about face given how long she chased your boyfriend.

The problem is him.  He's continuing a close friendship with someone who very recently was completely trying to undermine his relationship with you  - I can see where he might want to be cordial acquaintances with her as needed but close friends? What is he  getting out of it and why does he want to be close to someone who never gave a darn about your feelings?

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5 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

The problem is him.  He's continuing a close friendship with someone who very recently was completely trying to undermine his relationship with you  - I can see where he might want to be cordial acquaintances with her as needed but close friends? What is he  getting out of it and why does he want to be close to someone who never gave a darn about your feelings?

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I don't think she asks about me that much. She was very polite when we met, and very in love with her girlfriend. I don't know how she lives with the fact that she used to go behind my back and tell my boyfriend she's in love with him. I used to assume that he would stop being friends with her because it was so negative for him. I was wrong, I guess. I think it's crossing a line to dictate who my boyfriend can/can't be friends with. But even after we talk about how this bothers me, he doesn't do anything. Lately, I feel like I want him to confront her about her previous behavior. I thought about doing it myself, but it seems cringe. We've never spoken. 

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When seeking out a partner they should meet our most important criteria. If not having exes hanging around is an important criteria for you then he should have met that criteria from the get go or he is not the person for you . She isn’t the problem, he is. 

Edited by Seraphim
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I don't think the problem is really that she's an ex -she's a person who has chased him and tried to exclude you from the get go -this change is very recent.  It doesn't matter even if they ever dated  -he's close friends with someone who has been unsupportive of his partner and relationship for a long time. You don't control who he is friends with -you simply tell him - based on how she treated you in the past and based on how he refused to cut her off you're done with having to deal with having her in your lives to this extent - so if he values a close friendship more than you then that is his choice.  You have no idea from meeting her once if she and her partner are committed or in love.  Same as if you saw a photo of them on facebook or some nauseatingly gushy post about their true love.  Could be, could not be.

You cannot make him confront her.  It says a lot about him that he wants to be close to someone like this.  Now, if she were family - I could see a sense of obligation in not cutting off a person depending on the circumstances.  She's not - it's really odd he still wants to be close with her.

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Yeah it's not that she's an ex. I like your point that I don't control who he's friends with, and I don't make him confront her. The thing is, she's not part of my life anymore except for the fact that I know they text often, even though it's about totally random and meaningless daily things. We never have to see her and he doesn't talk about her. I'm bothered by the idea of them being friends basically. I wonder if I would feel differently if he did confront her. Like, is that a good compromise? "I would like this to be something you address with her if you're going to be friends with her." Or if I should just tell him how I feel again and say I wish they weren't friends. I think he just has a problem with cutting people out. We're just different in that way. 

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18 minutes ago, tati said:

I should just tell him how I feel again and say I wish they weren't friends. 

You can't keep nagging him. He doesn't respect you, never has and never will. He's the problem, not his bisexual exgf. You need to end it if you want a happy relationship without a neurotic BF

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Everyone accepts different things. If it's a healthy friendship with proper boundaries I think it would be OK. You on the other hand are going through some mental strain over this. For some people this would be a deal breaker. I suggest ending the relationship. Sounds like it's not going well anyways. Your energy is better spent punting him to the curb. He's just not worth it.

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The problem is your boyfriend, OP. 

So confronting her is pointless. The issue is him and his utter disrespect of you and your relationship. 

I think you've been playing mental gymnastics with yourself to make it not his fault, but it is his fault. She could never have caused issues without his tacit permission (by keeping you secret and refusing to set appropriate boundaries.)

He's not a good boyfriend, not matter how much you don't want to see that. 

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3 hours ago, tati said:

I wouldn't change a thing about my relationship with my bf... But nothing changes...He tells me he wishes he would have handled the situation better and kept it separate from me

So you don't want change, but complaining how nothing changes?

And why is she more of a priority than you? Doesn't matter if she has a girlfriend or not...he repeatedly chose her happiness over yours.

I would say, "I don't find your friendship with her is good for ours."  You should be his priority, not her.

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4 hours ago, tati said:

She said she wanted to be there if his circumstances with me changed. She said she didn't expect her feelings for him to go away. I questioned him recently about this email without letting on that I'd read it, and he honestly hadn't interpreted it as a love letter (ugh... men). I'm still upset about how forward she was, and I'm upset by how he stayed friends with her despite her unreciprocated feelings.

Okay, this he should NOT have done.. do you know why he agreed as friends with someone like this?  Is always best to cut all ties, so both can work on accepting, healing etc.

 

I feel she has continued because he enabled it.  He could have blocked/ignored it all and been well on his way by now.. Is he overly sensitive, too weak to just say No More?

 

4 hours ago, tati said:

Besides this one issue, I wouldn't change a thing about my relationship with my bf. We are very communicative about this. I've told him exactly how I feel, we discuss it frequently. But nothing changes... he says he doesn't know how to make this better for me.

He can't 'make it better for you',, fact is, you have been damaged by all of this..stress. 😕 

 

His actions & ongoing acceptance of his ex has affected you now in a negative.  No idea why he let any of that go on like he did?  Selfish act if you ask me! ( I feel, IF he was fully into YOU, she'd be long gone).

You can consider some prof help in this maybe, to work through your experience and/or just get out of it and move on away from him & and his drama filled life... Because I think, no matter what, you cannot or will not heal with the negativity that will never go away.

 

 

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4 hours ago, tati said:

He admitted to me that they they were co-dependent in their relationship, and she placed a lot of pressure on him, twisting his arm in many situations. During the pandemic, my boyfriend and I moved across the country, far from both our friend groups. Her requests for phone calls and info about his daily life caused him a lot of anxiety, and he opened up about that often to me. I provided too much support for him about this particular issue, since it impacted me personally so much. He kept me secret, from her and from his friend group, for a long time, because he imagined a bad reaction from her.

I think he seems a bit delusional and possibly still codependent. You are just the next in line. You feel sorry for his situation and are inclined to help someone like this for some reason or "support". There are no boundaries and the reasons for contacting him seem over the top. It wasn't as if it was a birthday or special occasion to wish congratulations or the odd message here and there. She was actively professing her feelings to your boyfriend and you were supportive of this problem of his. 

If he can't seem to find his way to a solution solving simple problems like this with a clingy, inappropriate ex, how are you to expect him to fulfill other responsibilities as a partner? Do you intend to have children with this person? I ask as you both just moved across the country together. Also, for what purpose? Was it for family or work?

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24 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

I think he seems a bit delusional and possibly still codependent. You are just the next in line. You feel sorry for his situation and are inclined to help someone like this for some reason or "support". There are no boundaries and the reasons for contacting him seem over the top. It wasn't as if it was a birthday or special occasion to wish congratulations or the odd message here and there. She was actively professing her feelings to your boyfriend and you were supportive of this problem of his. 

If he can't seem to find his way to a solution solving simple problems like this with a clingy, inappropriate ex, how are you to expect him to fulfill other responsibilities as a partner? Do you intend to have children with this person? I ask as you both just moved across the country together. Also, for what purpose? Was it for family or work?

Truly great advice and right on point.  Look inward, I agree.  He doesn't have a problem cutting people out of his life -he has a problem cutting her out of his life because if he wasn't incredibly attached to her it would have been a no brainer - why be this friendly with an ex who acted this way and who now is in a committed relationship?

Has he suggested that the 4 of you get together? No I wouldn't have an issue at all -if I were you -if the contact was limited to a happy birthday on Facebook or if she "liked"  a photo of your dog, your home, your vacation the two of you took.  If she liked something supportive he wrote about you on social media or about an accomplishment he had like a promotion, finishing a marathon etc.  That sort of level.  Not incessant personal texting which continues the close friendship they had while she was doing everything in her power to try to undermine the two of you.  

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She wouldn't be contacting him if he didn't want her to. There are too many ways to get people to stop. I had an ex who wouldn't leave me alone so I sent him a message telling him I did not want to receive any form of communication from him and then I blocked him. Easy.

But your boyfriend doesn't want to.

So you're left with two choices; accept that she will be in his life and they will continue to communicate, or leave the relationship. The magical third option where he chooses to end contact with her all on his own doesn't seem like it's going to happen, not after this much time. WYSIWYG

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OP you've got to stop lying to yourself and bs'ing yourself about how great this guy is. The ex is not the problem, the guy you are dating is the real problem. She didn't keep you a secret, HE did and not just from his ex but also his other friends. Come on, OP.

You call him sensitive, I call him callous and selfish. A kind and sensitive person would have cut off their ex firmly and definitively so she can heal and move on. That would be the kind thing to do. This guy strung her along and invited her e-mails, pleas, and professions of love and no, he is not that stupid, OP, he knows what he is doing. Also, no she is not so psycho that she just kept at it uninvited. Again, come on OP, stop fooling yourself. He also played you by presenting himself as this poor victim of a clingy ex who just won't let go while you supported him. Step back for a hot minute, OP, and think on just how absurd that was - he has another woman chasing after him and you are holding his hand through the "ordeal"...poor poor man who just can't find a block button and he is just soooo codependent........ Excuse while I roll my eyes.

Bottom line is that you are angry and can't get away from that anger, because deep down you know that he is treating you like trash. The whole time, it has been three of you in your relationship and as you well know - three is a crowd and one too many. Nothing has changed either. They are still deeply connected and talking daily and you are still second, a leg in a triangle. He loves two women competing over his greatness and you are the current sucker and loser in that competition.

OP, never stoop so low as to compete for a man's love and attention. If he is still stuck on his ex, let him go and don't drink the bs about him being a victim. Everything comes with a block function. I think you need to get it together, get your exit plan rolling and find your block button on him. He is demonstrating to you something important - one woman in his life is not enough and if you carry on with him, you'll always deal with third parties in your relationship. He has shown you that he is not loyal to you and that alone is enough to end things and you should have ended them a long time ago, before even moving with him.

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6 hours ago, tati said:

He kept me secret, from her and from his friend group, for a long time, because he imagined a bad reaction from her.

You should have kicked him to the curb right here. 

I imagine there was overlap between you and her, and he didn't want her to find out in case she exposed it to you. I don't buy that he was worried about her reaction for another reason. They were probably still involved when he started dating you. I would put money on it, actually. 

This dude is shady, OP. 

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14 hours ago, tati said:

Yeah it's not that she's an ex. I like your point that I don't control who he's friends with, and I don't make him confront her. The thing is, she's not part of my life anymore except for the fact that I know they text often, even though it's about totally random and meaningless daily things. We never have to see her and he doesn't talk about her. I'm bothered by the idea of them being friends basically. I wonder if I would feel differently if he did confront her. Like, is that a good compromise? "I would like this to be something you address with her if you're going to be friends with her." Or if I should just tell him how I feel again and say I wish they weren't friends. I think he just has a problem with cutting people out. We're just different in that way. 

He is basically emotionally cheating on you with her. Why do you put up with it? He's not a victim, he chooses to put her first and disrespect you!! I would have been gone yesterday

 

I know it's hard because you love him, but you need to love yourself. Do it for your future and for your mental health. He is not it. This situation makes me mad and very sad for you. 

Edited by Honeycomb8
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