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Is my ex being manipulative?


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So my ex-boyfriend and I ended things a while ago in good terms. We were bestfriends for 6 years before dating, so it was important for the both of us to keep the friendship. We took some distance that we both agreed that was needed. We talked frequently, but less, much less than before. 

But I felt like he didn't like me not even as a friend anymore. I felt our conversations were forced, like his answers were inertia. I only ever brought up conversation topics, and I barely knew anything about him anymore. Not only that - but he ghosted me incredibly often. I knew things would never go back to what we were before we dated. I was really tired of feeling like I was being the only one making the effort to mantain our friendship, like I kept holding on to someone who just didn't care about it or me anymore. So, as many friends adviced me when the break up first happened, I decided to stop talking to him. 

Two days ago, I saw he uploaded a picture on Instagram stories, where he had a really cool mask. I responded to it kindly, with the best intentions, that I really liked his mask and if he could tell me where he bought it. He didn't answer that day, but he did yesterday in the morning. "Hello" I saw this message and thought that he was just greeting me, as if he was going to answer the question that was the literal reason why he texted me. As nothing more came up, I thought he was just busy, so I waited. Later, he just replied if replying a hello back to him took me that much of an effort. I apologized and explained that such answer left me a bit confused. He said "I mean hello as in hi, after ghosting me and now talking to me out of pure interest. Like, I'm sorry but that really hurt. I didn't expect such a horrible behaviour from you, I'm disappointed." I was surprised by this reaction, but mostly mad. For a bit of context, during and after our relationship it was extremely common for him to ghost me. So I really felt it was not his place to confront about ghosting after he put me so much through that, never once apologized. As it was incredibly common for him to ghost me (and other people, too) I genuinely thought he didn't care about this.

I admit I made a mistake and I should've acted better and told him I would not answer him back. So of course I apologized. I said I never meant to hurt him nor I acted with bad intentions, but I was feeling tired of trying to keep together something that just wasn't like that anymore. I expressed my feelings, added that I know we do not need to talk 24/7 to keep being friends, and that I really needed time because I was feeling so bad about this. He said "But it was you who told me to stop talking to you so often. I wanted us to be friends, but I knew I had to respect your space. You could've just said it and leave it clear" I told him he did alright, but that I just in general really felt like he was just talking to me out of pity, of inertia. Once again I apologized. He said that he never answered me out of anyof those things, but if I felt that way I should've asked instead of taking it for granted. He also said that there was so many things he wanted to talk about, but he didn't know if he should or not talk to me because I had asked him for space. I told him that he could've asked that to me too. Then he laughed and said "But you told me before I should be apart from you." I explained once again that he could've asked me, as it was fine for him to tell me things when we talked. He started to ask me what did I expect him to think if I stopped replying, that what was the worst thing that could happen. I told him that I didn't feel good calling him out for stuff as I felt I didn't have the right, plus all the times I talk about my feelings with him I ended up feeling guilty, and I really didn't want us to have a fight or a misunderstanding. He then asked me what would be the best scenario if I had said it and I told him that this wouldn't have happened. He said "Exactly, we could've saved ourselves this misunderstanding. It was highly unlikely for bad things to happen if you had just told me directly, and now something bad happened because you didn't say it in the beggining. If you had told me you were going to stop replying as before, told me to not worry and that I could text you time to time about anything that would be okay I would have understood. Since the start I told you anything you needed I would've understood" Again: I apologized for my mistake and for hurting him and was honest with him. I didn't think it through. That I genuinely thought he wouldn't care about something like this. He hasn't contacted me since last night.

I have gone through a lot of emotions. Mad, worried, now I am conflicted... I feel terrible. Some friends told me he was being manipulative because he ghosted me all the time and now he's mad that I did once. That he didn't seem to be looking for an explanation, solution or  apology after he kept bringing it up and questioning me after I explained and apologized, but he wanted me to beg for forgiveness (which by writing this I've realized I kind of ended up doing because I apologized many times) That he could've tried talking to me again before confronting me like that.

I don't know what to think. I was sure of my decision of not talking to him anymire before, but now I feel conflicted about it. I never wanted to have him in a bad light, and I really don't want to judge him or be to harsh labeling him as manipulative because well, maybe I am exaggerating. I have very strong emotions, so I kinda don't trust myself in this, that's why I ask for advice.

Edited by StarLemonPie
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2 hours ago, StarLemonPie said:

I don't know what to think. I was sure of my decision of not talking to him anymire before, but now I feel conflicted about it. I never wanted to have him in a bad light, and I really don't want to judge him or be to harsh labeling him as manipulative because well, maybe I am exaggerating. I have very strong emotions, so I kinda don't trust myself in this

If you look at the whole scenario you will see how you were both going back & forth, due to emotions.

Which is always why it's NOT a good idea to remain 'friends' after a break up.  Emotions are too raw.

Maybe after a good while, down the line you may consider it, IF you both agree you can handle it, again.

Like you admit, all of your conflicted emotions now.

I don't see him as being manipulative, but pretty much the same as you are at this time... push & pull, avoidant, feeling a little awkward on what to say.. IF to say, etc?

Is maybe best to just leave it be now and don't expect anything from him. Vice versa.  You two need to have everything settle and do that on your own.

 

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8 hours ago, StarLemonPie said:

. We were bestfriends for 6 years before dating, so it was important for the both of us to keep the friendship.

Sorry this is happening. What was the breakup about? How old is he?

Are either of you in new relationships?

Unfortunately, you're not back to being "best friends" after the break up. You're just dragging out the breakup with bickering and games.

You need to step way back from this. You're both trapped in nonsense and that will stall you out as far as moving forward and dating again.

 

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I think after you started dating both of you should have know there is no going to being best friend before. Life is not "Friends" or "How I Met Your Mother". Where they frequently date within their friends group and then hang around like nothing has ever happened. In life, after you break up, things dont get back as they were before

And I think you are forcing this way too much. OK he ghosts you. Dont answer his IG stories and dont apologize so he would maybe talk to you. You still treat it like its some kind of relationship. While you should slowly accept that its over. In any way, relationship or friendship one.

Edited by Kwothe28
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It's time for you to both ghost each other and move on with your lives. 

There is no way you two can be friends again, let alone besties. That's a closed chapter now. You need to cut all contact, delete him from your soicals, and focus on moving forward without him in the background anywhere. 

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9 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

I don't see him as being manipulative, but pretty much the same as you are at this time... push & pull, avoidant, feeling a little awkward on what to say.. IF to say, etc?

Is maybe best to just leave it be now and don't expect anything from him. Vice versa.  You two need to have everything settle and do that on your own.

Totally agree. Are you typically attracted to drama, train wreck type interactions?  I did remain friends with certain men I dated and it was fine.  It really depends.  But from what you describe you never actually acted in a caring and thoughtful and respectful way toward each other - it was just drama and games as the main focus.  That's not a friendship.  

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This didn’t go over well. Just leave it alone and don’t speak with him. He’s not ready to talk and he seems angry and irritable. It’s not reasonable at all to be friends with an ex especially one who has a track record of “ghosting”. 

Maybe reflect a bit more on why you decided to contact him. Was it really about the mask or is it because you miss him? If it’s the latter be gentle with yourself. This was a mistake. Let go and carry on.

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On 1/26/2022 at 6:30 PM, StarLemonPie said:

But I felt like he didn't like me not even as a friend anymore. I felt our conversations were forced, like his answers were inertia.

During college we're socialized to remain civil or friendly with exes because we must cross paths with them until graduation. After school we learn that this isn't necessary--or even advisable--beyond the scope of sharing children.

You're learning why.

Most people find playing friendzies with an ex awkward and a setup for yet another breakup when either wants to take up with someone new. Nobody worth dating would involve themselves with someone who is still involved with an ex.

So based on what you've written above, you had already picked up that this guy was resistant to friendship. Asking him a question prompted him to feign offense over something stupid just to sabotage the whole frienzie deal.

Now is your time to move your focus onto more productive things. If your paths ever cross in the future, you can be kind, but I'd drop the idea of trying to revive a friendship that has run its course.

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