Understanding why an ex would want to bring you down?
November 9, 2011 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Understanding why an ex would want to bring you down?

My ex and I had a falling out, after a two year relationship, as I have posted before. He is a very controling and an insecure person. I played into his controling ways which now I can see were not healthy. I loved him unconditionaly and never cheated on him. But things changed in his life, him being young and me older, he said life was to serious and felt like we were married. He said that nothing would change between us as far as fighting etc (which happened in the last three months of our relationship). He moved on to a new relationship with out ending ours first. It has been four months and his new relationship seems to be going good and I am still working on moving on but just recently had a set back. The random contact I have had with him since the breakup has been nothing but positive on my end. He knows i got healthy (physically, mentally etc) and I am not in the same place I was when we were together. He called out of the blue yesterday and wanted to share how great his life was and how in love he was but he was extremely scared that this new girl was going to hurt him. The new girl has two kids, 3 years old, and my ex is 22 and she is 23. He said he was totally insecure and did not know that if what he was doing was right. That the new girl was so great but she comes with bagagge and a baby daddy and he didn't know if he wanted that for the rest of his life. He lives with her now but they are getting their own place in January and he is back to working fulltime and has grown attached to the kids. Before our relationship at the age of 18 he dated a girl with kids as well and she of course cheated on him and left him for an older man. Question here is why contact an ex to tell them how great you are doing and you are scared in this new relationship? Also why ask how my life is going and continue to blame me for why the relationship went bad? I know it takes two people but why try to bring someone down if you are happy? Also at 22 why would you want to bring kids into your life and take on a whole family when you had some one with no bagagge? I know he does not love me anymore but still contact to tell me about it and look for support?
posted by Dee123 to Human Relations (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
he thinks he has a friend? does he? can you be a friend without having feelings for him or your feelings hurt? if you can't, cut off contact. he sounds selfish and unaware.
posted by elle.jeezy at 10:13 AM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know how close you two are these days, but this sounds totally inappropriate to me. What the heck does he expect you to do? If he bailed, then he doesn't get to jump back in for free advice whenever he sees fit. I don't expect that he would be very happy to get a call at his new girl's home for relationship advice. Ignore.
posted by Gilbert at 10:14 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stop asking why and start saying no.
posted by jamaro at 10:14 AM on November 9, 2011 [23 favorites]


...why contact an ex to tell them how great you are doing and you are scared in this new relationship?

Also why ask how my life is going and continue to blame me for why the relationship went bad?

Because you're a controlling asshole who wants to make sure a person they technically wrote out of their life continues to feel the way they want them to feel. He's fucking with you from beyond the grave; he wants the comfort he had in the previous relationship with you except, you know, not take on any of the responsibilities otherwise. And because you take pleasure in seeing people squirm in the way you most certainly are right now.

Also at 22 why would you want to bring kids into your life and take on a whole family when you had some one with no bagagge?

Because you lied about why you left in the first place. Or you changed your mind. Or the cards just fell the way they did and that's how things ended up. Also, it is flattering to think so, but no one lacks baggage; we all just have different kinds and they fit together in different ways and that's basically what compatibility is, essentially.

Don't pick up the phone for this guy anymore, he'll just give you grief.
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on November 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


He called out of the blue yesterday and wanted to share how great his life was

you shouldn't have answered. Don't answer the phone, cut off contact. Don't try to get into this person's head. There is no value in it and nothing for you there.
posted by sweetkid at 10:15 AM on November 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


I remember your last question.

You need to re-read the answers you got last time, but I want to quote part of miss_kitty_fantastico's advice: "Bottom line: he is irrelevant now. His life has no impact on yours anymore, and his actions are in no way any reflection of your worth or value as a person. Ditch the dead mental weight and move on to a brighter, happier place."

Why did he contact you? Why did he ask you how your life is? Why does he still blame you for the relationship going south? Because he's a controlling asshole. Stop talking to this guy!
posted by Specklet at 10:16 AM on November 9, 2011 [17 favorites]


Oh jesus my reply is a mess of pronouns. Most of those "you"s refer to him, not you, OP.
posted by griphus at 10:17 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Question here is why contact an ex to tell them how great you are doing and you are scared in this new relationship?

Because he wants to be an ass and is still playing those controlling games. Do not accept his phone calls.

Also why ask how my life is going and continue to blame me for why the relationship went bad? I know it takes two people but why try to bring someone down if you are happy?

Because he is being an ass and his insecurity is pushing him to blame others so that he can feel better. Do not accept his phone calls.

Also at 22 why would you want to bring kids into your life and take on a whole family when you had some one with no bagagge?

There's no telling why. But it's not your question to ponder. That decision has nothing to do with you, and he's being an ass if he's somehow making it about you. Do not accept his phone calls.

I know he does not love me anymore but still contact to tell me about it and look for support?

He is not looking for support from you. He is being an ass and controlling you by making sure he is never far from your thoughts and emotions. It's not your job to reassure him about his choices nor to support him in his new relationship. Do not accept his phone calls.

Do you see a pattern here? It's all about control. Don't let him control you. YOU take control by refusing to communicate with him any further.
posted by MultiFaceted at 10:18 AM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


My ex (I broke up with him and was relieved to do it, he was probably more hurt in the situation), he likes to IM every few months to tell me about how awesome his life is. I let the chat box FILL with his stories, every once and a while I'll interject an "mmhmm" or a "that's nice" but mostly I just go about my day while this is happening. Then he invariably "has to run", I'm sure to go off and do one of those other super exciting wonderful things he does now that we are broken up. Then I laugh to myself about how pathetic he is that he feels the need to do this and I, once again, feel great about myself for finally getting up the courage to get out of a horrible, controlling, emotionally abusive relationship.

If you can't feel that way, then you need to just cut off all contact.
posted by magnetsphere at 10:21 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Question here is why contact an ex to tell them how great you are doing and you are scared in this new relationship?

Because he's looking for a quick ego boost, and he used to get those ego boosts by putting you down.

Also why ask how my life is going and continue to blame me for why the relationship went bad?

Because he used to get ego boosts by putting you down.

I know it takes two people but why try to bring someone down if you are happy?

If he really were happy he wouldn't be doing this. He's not happy. He's trying to get an ego boost by putting you down, the way he used to.

Also at 22 why would you want to bring kids into your life and take on a whole family when you had some one with no bagagge?

Because he thought they'd be new people to put down.

I know he does not love me anymore but still contact to tell me about it and look for support?

Because he is used to getting ego boosts by putting you down.

The real question you should ask yourself is: "Why am I putting up with this asshole?" And the proper answer is, "I have no idea," and then you block his numbers, delete his emails, erase all his voicemail messages and never acknowledge his presence again.

He is used to making himself feel good by using you as a punching bag. He will only do that if you allow him to. You don't have to.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:23 AM on November 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


A long time ago - lord, such a long time ago - I was dumped by someone who then proceeded to call me every month or so to let me know they were sleeping with someone new. That sounds insane on paper, I'm aware, and they always claimed that they were just trying to call me to vent or talk to someone or whatever. Yet they only seemed to call me when they wanted to let me know who they were sleeping with.

Eventually I figured out what I will now tell you: It seriously doesn't matter why they're doing it. They chances are pretty good that they themselves don't know why they're doing it, or that the reasons they tell themselves are not the real reasons. It doesn't matter. Just tell him not to contact you again. He doesn't need to know why. This person is a toxic presence in your life and as long as you're letting him treat you like shit, your chances of not feeling like shit are much, much lower.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:26 AM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not. Your. Problem.

Seriously!

This guy didn't even have the basic respect for your AND your relationship to end things before starting a new one? You have moved and it sounds like you've been giving yourself the time and space you need to acknowledge what happened and move forward with your life. This is healthy. Starting a new relationship without ending one that is having issues first is not healthy.

He is calling you because his is controlling and manipulative. He probably felt out of control of the situation when your relationship with him went south, therefore, running scared away from the situation and starting a new one to validate his opinion of himself that he was not the one to blame. Now that his new situation is getting complicated, he's probably realizing that he's in way over his head. By not giving your situation closure is probably giving him a green light in his head that he can call you out of the blue and tell you inane things like how wonderful his life is.

My advice is to NOT ENGAGE with him. I had an ex like this and by not engaging, it actually gives YOU control over the situation. Do not call, email, talk, meet for coffee, fax, pony express...none of it. I would however, save his voicemail messages that you do not answer, his texts that you also do not answer, and have his emails that you also are not responding to diverted to their own folder, just in case.

This guy is toxic and dangerous. Ignore him. He didn't even have the decency to end your relationship, you don't owe him anything and any interaction you have with him, I guarantee he will try to use against you for his own intentions. Manipulative people contact their exes like this.

Just keep going on being your awesome self and rock that independence. You don't need a scab like this.
posted by floweredfish at 10:31 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know the joke about the guy who goes to the doctor and says. "Doctor, my arm hurts when I do this." and the doctor says, "Well, stop doing that."?

If it hurts you to talk to this guy, to hear about what he's doing, then stop talking to him, and take him out of your facebook friends list, etc.

Forget why he is doing it. He might be innocent, he might not, but the only thing that matters is that it hurts you. Stop letting him hurt you.
posted by empath at 10:33 AM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


What everyone else said; also, to triangulate you and his new GF so he feels like he has options, can play you off against each other, etc etc.

It's totally inappropriate, and No Contact is justified here as he's obviously calling you up to hassle your emotions. Block that Facebook, filter those emails, rename him in your phone contacts list to "Spam", and go your way rejoicing.
posted by tel3path at 10:37 AM on November 9, 2011


You think you'll figure it out. You're wrong.

It's been 20 years. 20 years. And the controlling ex who wants to bring you down is still the same person. Forget trying to understand it, some people are just controlling jerks.

Like you, I thought I could understand it. Figure it out. Nope. Some people have just become the way they are, and their behavior will be controlling and not make sense and you'll just think "why would you do that? It makes no sense!"

You can either do what everyone is telling you to do, which is stop trying to figure it out, and just let it go, or be a sucker and keep talking to this person.

Don't be a sucker. More importantly, don't waste your time. It's a big world and you have a lot of great people to meet. Don't miss out, messing with this person any longer. Life is too short (because doing meaningful things takes a good amount of time) to waste it on people like this.

Take a few deep breaths and move on with your life. No, I mean that - literally take 4 or 5 deep breaths and resolve to move on.
posted by rakim at 10:45 AM on November 9, 2011


It's been 20 years. 20 years.

just a point of clarification, I think it's been two, not twenty.
posted by sweetkid at 10:47 AM on November 9, 2011


He said that nothing would change between us as far as fighting etc

Take him at his word. He will never change.

Stop contacting him. I too have dealt with similar people, and it's the only thing that works. The great thing is, it really works excellently. The hardest part is to say, "I don't want to talk to you any more," and the first few times you ignore his calls, text messages and emails trying to make you feel guilty about it.

Then you're golden. In a year you'll feel so much better, you will not regret this. To the contrary. You will be in a much happier state of mind. Go for it! Leave him to the life he's chosen!
posted by fraula at 10:54 AM on November 9, 2011


He called out of the blue yesterday and wanted to share how great his life was and how in love he was but he was extremely scared that this new girl was going to hurt him.

That's really not something he should feel comfortable sharing with you, even if you are friendly exes. And it's not something you have to tolerate hearing, and no that doesn't make you a bad friend. He needs to get other friends to talk to about this, or a counselor. If he won't respect your boundaries, minimize contact with him.
posted by hermitosis at 11:01 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


He does these things to hurt you and make himself feel better. Why? Because there's something wrong with him. You can't fix it, you can't "help" him, you aren't qualified and it's not your problem.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:06 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't talk to this guy anymore.
posted by mleigh at 11:57 AM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry - to actually answer the question:

He's doing it more than likely because he's insecure about the decision he's made. It probably seemed quite fine at the time, but now he's probably panicking.

When faced with fear we often return to what is 'safe' or familiar - so he turns to you.

Effectively, you're to blame for this situation that he has found himself in.

This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him and his lack of responsibility for his own actions. I suggest you don't talk to him again because it will both upset you and drag you into unnecessary drama.
posted by mleigh at 12:02 PM on November 9, 2011


I also remember your last question.

Why do you keep talking to this narcissistic child?? Stop ascribing the motivations of a mature adult on to this person. It isn't appropriate given his behavior.

Grow up yourself. You still sound a bit like you are in highschool.

Move on. Maybe think about some therapy. You seem addicted to drama. I'm worried because there is no good for you where this guy is concerned, yet you can not see that. Move on. Therapy.
posted by jbenben at 2:02 PM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the sooner you cut of all contact with him, the better you will feel. He is purposely trying to make you feel bad. The reason is not relevant. The outcome of you feeling bad after talking to him is the only relevant issue. I've driven myself crazy before trying to determine the motivations of people who have hurt me. When it comes down to it, it usually doesn't matter why they hurt me. Ruminating about their reasons only keeps you attached and feeling bad. I recommend writing him off and stopping all contact. He's not worth the anguish you're putting yourself through.
posted by parakeetdog at 2:18 PM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


The reason is not relevant. The outcome of you feeling bad after talking to him is the only relevant issue. I've driven myself crazy before trying to determine the motivations of people who have hurt me.

Yes, all of this. Actually it was my therapist who got me to stop thinking this way. I'd ask him about these motivations, thinking at first he'd be all, "well, typically in the psychology of dating" or something and give me some insight into the human mind, whereas he was usually just like, shrug, "who cares? who knows why people do what they do?" And now I've internalized that, and I think you should, too.
posted by sweetkid at 4:01 PM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why call you to talk about this? Because you answered.

Your reaction to this is pain because you're not over it and haven't moved on. Stop taking his calls. Don't talk to this guy.

I don't know if you're still talking with this guy because you're trying to be the bigger person and be friends or what, but you're not friends and you shouldn't have interactions that cause you pain. Cut the cord.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:39 PM on November 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Agree with above.

Just HANG UP.

If you have ABSOLUTELY HAVE to because you're a nice person, be polite and say you can't talk. Then block that number. Rinse, repeat every time he calls you. Do NOT engage.

Better yet, JUST HANG UP.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:01 PM on November 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because he is a vindictive, manipulative arsehole.

Don't speak to him again - he's a tool. Block the number, hang up on him if he manages to get through.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:09 PM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Yes I think talking to him is more damaging to me at this point. I don't need to involve myself in his drama or be apart of it and I think talking to him has helped me move on. He may not be sure about where his life is going. Yes I do love him still and was able to give him friendly advice but it is not good for myself. It is completely unhealthy to hear how happy, inlove and how she is the best thing that ever happened to him. I can't stay out of their relationship if he is going to pull in me into it and ask for advice. It is a very controlling move on his part and to show LOOK at ME I am DOING GREAT.
posted by Dee123 at 8:50 AM on November 10, 2011


I don't want to sound dismissive, but, honestly, inexplicable behavior from a 22-year-old doesn't require further analysis/explanation. It's often just a symptom of being 22. I know I did some stuff at that age that seems baffling in retrospect, some of which ended up hurting people who didn't deserve it.

It sounds like you're making the common breakup mistake of spending too much time trying to figure out the motivations for his behavior. Repeat after me: "fuck that guy." Who cares why he's acting the way he's acting? It's not your problem any more, and thank God for that. Seriously, fuck that guy.
posted by Ragged Richard at 12:29 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is completely unhealthy to hear how happy, inlove and how she is the best thing that ever happened to him.

He's saying that? Wow, I could be a jerk at 22, but that's just terrible. Sorry, OP, just stay away.
posted by sweetkid at 12:42 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


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