Help me understand my boyfriend's reaction to this relationship issue. While you're at it, help me figure out mine. I'm desperate.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've spent a lot of time Googling the hell out of this, searching for advice, which lead me here. Apparently things are bad enough that I'm willing to pay to ask a bunch of strangers. Anonymous in case he reads this site.
I tried to make this short, but there's a lot of info.
My boyfriend's ex is back, and I'm concerned. Hear me out, though. They dated many, many years ago. At the time, she was taken. She was going to break up with her boyfriend, but kept putting it off. She finally said she'd done it, but she was lying. She dumped him, and went back to her boyfriend. They agreed they couldn't be friends, mainly because of the boyfriend. Her boyfriend forgave her, and now they're married with children
Now all of a sudden she's back in the picture. She got in touch with him and admitted that she didn't know why (maybe something to do with the fact that two of her own exes showed up recently professing to still have feelings for her?) and she wasn't sure what she wanted from him at this point. Oh, and her husband doesn't know they're talking again, because my boyfriend is still a sore subject with him, and she knows he wouldn't approve. Not cool.
My guy agrees it's a red flag, and has suggested she tells him. But they're still talking, and I'm struggling to understand. He's open to being her friend again, despite the fact that her husband wouldn't approve. As long as he knows.
I have some reservations, though. Among them, her history of lying, cheating, and crossing boundaries in her friendships. In his words, she goes beyond the boundaries of friendship and makes guys fall in love with her. I thought these were legit concerns, but I wanted to make sure I went about it in the right way. I wanted him to know I wasn't telling him what to do, or acting out of spite. I stayed calm and told him that it seemed like there was a good chance she was looking for more than friendship with him, and that I was a little worried about her history of ignoring boundaries. That I trusted him, but her track record isn't exactly clean.
He didn't see it that way, exactly. He thought that I should be okay with it because he told me if anything happened he would say no. And then? Give her a chance to prove she could control herself around him, he said.
So, even if she made it clear she still had feelings for him, or if she actually tried something, he would still want to be her friend? Yes, he would. I was upset, and he told me I as being too sensitive and obsessing over hypothetical situations. Then he said he felt like I was trying to guilt trip him into not talking to her, which was exactly what I was trying to avoid! All I wanted was to be heard, but he wouldn't even acknowledge my feelings. Instead of addressing the fact that I had a problem with it, he just kept insisting I shouldn't.
At this point I started questioning things. Like, was I really being too sensitive about this? What does it mean that he's willing to ignore any red flags for the possibility of fostering a friendship with a woman who hasn't been part of his life for years? Why is chance to reconnect with her really so important. She must be pretty important to him. And similarly, what does it say that he was so ready to dismiss any fears that I had, without even addressing them first?
The next day he said he'd given it a lot of thought, and decided that I was right, after all. That he was only fighting me because I was pushing so hard for him to see my side. Honestly, I'm not sure he's not just saying this to put an end to the discussion. It's obvious she's important to him and I'm not going to understand that. If anything, I feel like I've put him in the position where he's even less likely to be up front with me.
I keep thinking I've really hurt our relationship, but all I did was express myself. Am I out of line here? It's not as if I accused him of anything, or demanded he take my side. I was calm and rational when I explained myself. I just want him to be happy, but now I'm miserable.
Am I being totally unreasonable here, or is this something to be concerned about?
If it matters, we've been dating for a little over a year, and it's serious.