My ex-boyfriend is on a path to platonically breaking my fiance's heart similarly to the way he broke mine, possibly because of me. How can I stop this, mitigate it, or support him through it? Is there any way I can give insight from my previous relationship, or is that too weird?
Some years ago, I had a mainly long-distance relationship with Ex, who was a decent friend but terrible boyfriend. The relationship broke up mainly over his inability to be responsible and to face hard choices and situations. Ex has severe PTSD: the last time he took responsibility, he made a bad choice and his men died. He copes by attempting to avoid all conflict.
After our breakup, we stayed long-distance friends, but his new girlfriend didn't want him seeing me or talking to me. Rather than face the conflict of either telling his new girlfriend he would still see me, or the conflict of telling me that he wouldn't see me because of his new girlfriend, he kept seeing me and talking to me, but lied to his girlfriend about it and also lied to me about the situation. He would go to great lengths to avoid these two clashing, including standing up both of us on occasions where he thought it was the only way to prevent us from finding out what was going on. I have vivid memories of being stranded at an airport, because (as I found out later) his master plan to sneak away from his girlfriend had bombed. (I should note, we were not having an affair in any way, though you would never know it from his crazy preparations.)
When his girlfriend and I both finally found out the extent of the deceptions, I stopped being friends with him. She kept dating him, but got significantly more paranoid on the subject of myself. She managed to justify it all by creating a narrative where he was the innocent party and I was all to blame.
Fastforward to now, where I am happily involved with Fiance. Fiance was "local guy friends" with Ex. When Fiance moved across the country to be with me, Fiance became long-distance friends with Ex. They talk on the phone, and when Fiance went back to Ex's location to deal with moving Fiance's stuff, Ex came over and hung out, helped him move, all kinds of jazz.
But now that we're living together and engaged, we spend a lot more time together. With limited vacation time, if we go out to Fiance's hometown/Ex's location, I'm coming with him, even if I don't go along on every outing. If Ex wanted to visit, he'd have to visit us as a couple.
Fiance and I are planning to visit that location again soon, and Fiance was really looking forward to seeing Ex. Ex assured him that he "might be out of town doing X thing" but would really, really try to find a way to see him. When Fiance called recently, Ex said that actually he'd "be out of town doing Y thing, just came up, what a surprise!" Fiance is disappointed at not seeing his friend.
Fiance also asked Ex to come to the wedding. Ex assured him that absolutely, he'd find a way to come, definitely! Fiance is completely convinced that Ex would never let him down by not coming. Fiance recently asked Ex to actually be one of his groomsmen (a step down from best man, which he had initially wanted) and Ex said he'd "try to make things work on his end." (For those who love backstory, this anonymous question
was me.) Fiance was disappointed he didn't immediately agree, but remains confident that Ex will somehow work it all out and come and be his groomsman.
But I have a different perspective. All of this behavior seems really, really familiar to me from when he was hanging out with me on the sly and not telling his girlfriend about it, especially down to the excuses and the funny way of their timing. I know that Ex's Girlfriend doesn't want Ex ever hanging out with me again, and I'm wondering either if this still applies when I'm with Fiance (even getting married, weirdly) or if Ex's Girlfriend has asked Ex to cut off Fiance as well, due to the fact that he's marrying me. I'm pretty sure this is not about how Ex feels about me, I think he's actually put down the torch. Fiance and Ex talk frequently about me-related topics and it seems to be fine.
Fiance really platonically loves Ex, and has said so on multiple occasions. I don't want to see him go down the road I did, where Ex makes more and more promises, because he thinks he can keep a master plan going where everything's fine and no one ever finds out about other things and there is no conflict. Fiance has a really high standard for the few good friends he has, and I'm afraid that when Ex lets him down, as I think he will, it will really hurt Fiance.
What do I do? What can I do?
Fiance already knows the broad scope of what Ex did in relation to me, but the way that Fiance has been able to still remain friends with Ex is by compartmentalizing "Ex as a Friend" and "Ex as a Boyfriend what hurt my Fiancee" Also, how to handle this in the long term?
Fiance keeps thinking that Ex and his girlfriend will break up and that will be the magical solution, but Ex and his girlfriend have been together on and off for two years at this point.