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His Ex Is Still Friends and Involved With His Family


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Old 28th December 2017, 2:12 AM   #1
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His Ex Is Still Friends and Involved With His Family

My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 months now. I'd like to say it's been blissfully perfect, but in reality it's been a lot of talks and working through things. This is our second go around. We dated last year for 7 months but according to him we were never boyfriend girlfriend then. He was still multi dating behind my back and ultimately broke up with me to reconcile with his ex.

I'm not going to get into details about how or why. Yes, I took him back. And he's been present and a good boyfriend. But he hasn't made clean breaks with his exes. I believe he is true to me, but keeping these connections is definitely a strain on us. I think part of it is his fear of commitment and keeping his safety net. Part he doesn't ever want to be the bad guy. And part just young naivity. (I'm 39 he's 30)

We went home to each other's folks for Christmas upon his suggestion. This was a big step in the relationship. He met my family in one state and I spent Christmas with his family in another. I really liked them and he said they really liked me. They were very welcoming and already talking our future... But I learned that he is still friends with his ex, the one he tried to reconcile with last year and she and the family go way back. Small town. She seems to be in regular contact with them. I'm not sure how much contact she has with him.

And I'm not sure how to handle this. I'm more worried about his friendship than his family's friendship. I'd like to hope that some day his family is just as loving towards me. But HIS friendship with her, to me, it is inappropriate. Even though she is supposedly engaged, I don't think HE is disconnected. I know he at least follows her life on FB, which means he is still emotionally invested/interested. Keeping interest in her means he is not making himself fully available to me. They had always had a tumultuous back and forth relationship. Every time a guy didn't work out, she went running back to him. She completely messed with his head and I don't believe that after only 7 or 8 months that he is emotionally free and clear of her. I don't see any place for her in our relationship.

He says he wants to be with me. He talks future and I know he's trying but like I said, he hasn't made clean breaks from her or others. I have laid it out that as long as he maintains connections with her and the others he is not emotionally making room for me. I know I can't force him to do anything, but if we're going to build a life together, they can't be in it right now. We're not there yet. He says he understands, but nothing changes. He is not a boundaries nip it in the butt kinda guy. He's more of a if I ignore it maybe the problem will go away kinda guy. But anyone with any life experience knows that not addressing a situation only makes it worse. I've tried to guide him with patience and experience but I'm exhausted. I feel like I'm being left with no other choice than to leave, but that's not what either of us want. I'm not sure what to do.
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Old 28th December 2017, 2:46 AM   #2
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I had a similar experience. Sitting him down in a peaceful armosphere, and explaining your concerns generally works out good. If he reacts negatively, then you have to make a decision that will make you happy in the end.

Please reply to mine
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Old 28th December 2017, 3:27 AM   #3
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I think it's fine to maintain some sort of friendship with an ex, but only after romantic feelings on both sides have completely faded. That definitely doesn't sound like the case here, which makes his friendship with the ex inappropriate. You shouldn't have to put up with that. It also sounds like he is a little immature - you mentioned that he has a tendency to bury his head in the sand rather than deal with problems. That is a trait that will affect other aspects of your joint lives, and you may want to consider if you are actually a good long term match with this guy.

If talking sensibly with him isn't working, then an ultimatum might be needed. "Her, or me - pick one".
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Old 28th December 2017, 4:57 AM   #4
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This is why I prefer people who had a bad bitter breakup's and don't speak to their ex anymore.
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Old 28th December 2017, 4:00 PM   #5
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This is why I prefer people who had a bad bitter breakup's and don't speak to their ex anymore.
Not me. I feel the complete opposite. I actually prefer my partner still be in contact with their exes. There are a lot of reasons why people break up and being friends with an ex isn't always possible, but I honestly never understood why people think it's 'normal' or even healthy to have a bitter resentment towards your ex and just never talk to them again. Again maybe that just can't be helped that that's the situation but I would much rather my partner still be friendly at least with an ex rather than have bitter resentment...If they're still friends clearly they were mature and adult enough to settle their differences and still be friends.

Now to address the OP: I'm sorry to say this, but if you both never agreed or consented to entering a monogamous relationship involving both you and him only, then he's right, you guys were never boyfriend and girlfriend and he had every right to see other girls (as did you other guys). I can see why you wouldn't want her in the picture. It probably feels like while he was going back and forth between you and whatever other girls he was messing around with at the time, ultimately he chose the ex over you. So you probably feel a bit threatened by her. Understandable.

Did he ever explain to you why they broke up in the first place? You said she messed with his head so that right there tells me she's a bit manipulative and probably a bit toxic, but yet he still values her friendship in some way for some reason. I would need to know some more detail on why exactly they broke up. It seems a bit weird to me as to why someone would want to still be friends with someone that 'messed with his head'. Messed with his head how? Can you provide some more details on that? When you say messed with his head, do you mean in the sense that she would keep leaving him and then coming back? If that's what you mean then eh...That behavior is a bit toxic and unhealthy for your bf to have dealt with, but I don't necessarily see that as reason for them to not be friends. Maybe he finally got to the point where he's actually okay with just being friends with her and nothing more? It's definitely not unheard of. I know a handful of people who stay in regular contact with their exes as friends and thats legitimately all it is: Friendship. AND it doesn't impede on their current relationships.

So again I would need some more details on why exactly they broke up. And most importantly, you need to talk to him yourself. You know your relationship better than anyone on here so even though we can provide you the best advice to our ability, you need to decide what's best for yourself. If you want my honest and personal perspective/opinion on this whole manner, I would straight up tell you that you're being insecure and that you should be comfortable with his friendship with his ex. That would have been my advice straight from the get go. But again, YOU know the story better than any of us.

So....TL;DR: My best advice to you would be to talk to your boyfriend. Tell him pretty much everything you told us in this topic and go from there. How he responds when you bring it up will provide you with some good insight I feel...The way I see it, it can go two ways:
  1. He gets defensive about it. If this happens, then chances are that he very well may still have some emotional attachment to her. IMHO I don't see anything wrong with still having a 'crush' or admiration for someone to the point that you 'potentially wouldn't mind something more' even if it is an ex. The only time I see it as a red flag is when the person still likes the person/ex in the sense that they're still IN LOVE with them. Huge difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. You're not in love with your mother, father, brother, or sister, are you? Maybe that's how your boyfriend views his ex. Just like a sister. I somewhat have that kind of relationship with an ex from a while ago. We don't really talk much anymore but when we do it's always a good experience and in my honest opinion, that's ideally how it should be.
  2. He listens to you and empathizes with how you feel and discusses it with you like a mature adult and hopefully you learn that there really wasn't and isn't anything to worry about ultimately.

As I'm sure you can imagine, ideally you would want situation 2 to be the outcome of all this. Don't be too quick to jump to conclusions. For all you know he could just see her as an awesome friend that he doesn't want to let go, which is absolutely fine. Genuine friendships to me are absolutely invaluable and I don't believe ANYONE for ANY reason should throw that away if the friendship is truly genuine and that person only grows more spiritually/emotionally/mentally as a person by being around this friend, regardless if it's an ex lover or not.

Good luck. Keep us posted please.
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Old 28th December 2017, 4:11 PM   #6
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He's still hoping for reconciliation and she's still keeping her foot in the door, not a good sign. If I were you, until he nipped it, I'd be dating around.
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Old 28th December 2017, 5:10 PM   #7
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It would bother me if my SO had an ex still involved in his life.


That's just how I am.
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Old 28th December 2017, 5:47 PM   #8
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. But I learned that he is still friends with his ex, the one he tried to reconcile with last year and she and the family go way back. Small town. She seems to be in regular contact with them. I'm not sure how much contact she has with him.

It's hard to completely break all contact when you live in a small town & have family history.


I am still in some contact with the family of one of my EXs. He actually passed away. I am friends with his sisters on FB & stop to chat for a few minutes when I see them out. I even get stuck having to be pleasant to his EX-W when I bump into her in our small community. He has numerous family members in my profession. I see them regularly. None of this contact is about the 2 years he & I dated. Most of it dates back to high school, where I went with him & his siblings (we dated in our late 30s); professional school which I attended with 2 of his cousins and my job which requires me to interact with his dad, his cousins & 2 uncles. These people would all be in the periphery of my life even if I never dated him.


My husband is aware of all this & is just fine with it. Even when we were first dating my EXs family was kind & gracious to my then BF, now DH.


You can ask that he sever ties with her which is non unreasonable but you & he can't control how his family who is there with her, act. If he's merely polite when in that state take that as a sign. If he's engaging in more pointed & deliberate contact -- especially him reaching out to her -- you may have a problem on your hands.
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Old 28th December 2017, 6:11 PM   #9
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How old is his ex gf?
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Old 28th December 2017, 8:36 PM   #10
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Hi All, thanks so much for your input so far. He is actually still back there in his hometown until next week. I had to be back at work...

Regarding his family and his ex, I can come to grips with their friendship. I loved his family and hope they treat me with the same kindness. So far they have been so welcoming and proud of me. His mother wants the whole world to meet me and know I'm with her son. It was one of the best Christmas' I've had in years...

We had a talk about other women (again) before I left there because we had gone out one night and ran into another ex lover. She never came up to us but she was hostile through text and began verbally attacking me. Instead of stand up for me, he handed me the phone to deal with. I have no problem standing up for myself but I was pisses to deal with it. These are his relations. we talked and he says he understands it should have been his place to stand up for me. I told him then I couldn't handle the drama. I'm considering moving there to go to school and I asked him point blank could we have a life there. He says he wants nothing more...

He always empathizes and understands, but it's on a case by case basis. I'm tired of dealing with it. His string of women seems endless... Regarding THE ex, I found out about their friendship at the airport as she had posted to his mothers page. She posted and liked every Christmas picture except the ones I was in. I don't know the depth of the friendships, but I having a feeling he is not over her. He never gave himself time to be apart from her and heal. He has talked about her on rare occasion and it's always been with anger, which tips me off there is still an emotional connection. He doesn't say nice things about her. He says she was a drunk that couldn't hold a job. He supported her and hated it. She was draining. I had the pleasure of speaking with her (sarcasm) when schit hit the fan a year ago. I found out about her and him through FB when he and I were together. She called me through FB drunk as could be. I knew from that 30 minute convo she was a manipulator and a crazy drunk. She just uses him when her relationships fail. It broke my heart. I was shocked to see they were still friends, and yes I am threatened by her. He is not free and clear.

I have sent him a long message in FB yesterday trying to explain to him why this is damaging. How never having clean breaks and staying interested in these women's lives keeps him emotionally involved with them and emotionally unavailable to us. I haven't said anything accusatory but it has been matter of fact...As long as he is tied to them he has not emotionally made any room for me. We will not have a future...

He has not read it. I've asked him to but he's avoiding. He has had limited contact with me except to tell me he misses me. I swear he reverted into a 20 year old as soon as we arrived to his mothers house. He is being avoidant and avoiding addressing any of it. I feel like he's backing me into a corner... I'm so furious with the childish behavior that I want to explode and walk away. I hate being ignored. I am so torn over what to say or do. I loved his family and I know he wants a future. But he is sabotaging us.
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Old 28th December 2017, 9:16 PM   #11
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You can't deal with any of this over FB or text. Mature adults have emotionally laden deep conversations about significant issues in their relationships face to face.


If he doesn't have the stones to tell her to bugger off & left that to you, I suspect you might have to tell him goodbye. He's not behaving like an adult who cares about your feelings.
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Old 28th December 2017, 10:00 PM   #12
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:30 PM   #13
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God, I accidentally dialed his mother. I apologized and told her I was looking for him. She immediately got in touch with him and had him call me. Uhg! Face Palm. I know that didn't go over well and don't have the greatest excuse. I have a bad habit of not programming people in my phone. It's ridiculous, I know, but I like to memorize numbers. Yes I should have had him in my phone. I'm not proud of this moment. I just hit the familiar area code and forgot about her number. He was a upset I don't have him programmed, probably rightfully so. Yeah I'm an a$$ for that and have apologized. I feel like I'm spinning out of control.

He is out with his best friend and apparently hating on relationships. His other friend was out with him and had to leave because of his girlfriend. He's had a few but is going off on relationships and commitment. He said with sarcasm we were just perfect...

I have some very important life decisions to make, soon. I've decided to go back to school and will need to move. By chance, one of my top program choices is a college 2 hours from his parents. Im trying to get started as soon as this summer. Where I am now is terribly expensive and I hate it here. He is the only happy thing about being here. It's tough that he's not here now. And I fear he just isn't ready for commitment. I know he doesn't want to lose me, but I don't think he's ready... I read that jobs come and go and college can start at anytime, but love is much more rare and harder to find. I'm feeling so lost and exhausted right now.
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:36 PM   #14
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Hi All, thanks so much for your input so far. He is actually still back there in his hometown until next week. I had to be back at work...

Regarding his family and his ex, I can come to grips with their friendship. I loved his family and hope they treat me with the same kindness. So far they have been so welcoming and proud of me. His mother wants the whole world to meet me and know I'm with her son. It was one of the best Christmas' I've had in years...

We had a talk about other women (again) before I left there because we had gone out one night and ran into another ex lover. She never came up to us but she was hostile through text and began verbally attacking me. Instead of stand up for me, he handed me the phone to deal with. I have no problem standing up for myself but I was pisses to deal with it. These are his relations. we talked and he says he understands it should have been his place to stand up for me. I told him then I couldn't handle the drama. I'm considering moving there to go to school and I asked him point blank could we have a life there. He says he wants nothing more...

He always empathizes and understands, but it's on a case by case basis. I'm tired of dealing with it. His string of women seems endless... Regarding THE ex, I found out about their friendship at the airport as she had posted to his mothers page. She posted and liked every Christmas picture except the ones I was in. I don't know the depth of the friendships, but I having a feeling he is not over her. He never gave himself time to be apart from her and heal. He has talked about her on rare occasion and it's always been with anger, which tips me off there is still an emotional connection. He doesn't say nice things about her. He says she was a drunk that couldn't hold a job. He supported her and hated it. She was draining. I had the pleasure of speaking with her (sarcasm) when schit hit the fan a year ago. I found out about her and him through FB when he and I were together. She called me through FB drunk as could be. I knew from that 30 minute convo she was a manipulator and a crazy drunk. She just uses him when her relationships fail. It broke my heart. I was shocked to see they were still friends, and yes I am threatened by her. He is not free and clear.

I have sent him a long message in FB yesterday trying to explain to him why this is damaging. How never having clean breaks and staying interested in these women's lives keeps him emotionally involved with them and emotionally unavailable to us. I haven't said anything accusatory but it has been matter of fact...As long as he is tied to them he has not emotionally made any room for me. We will not have a future...

He has not read it. I've asked him to but he's avoiding. He has had limited contact with me except to tell me he misses me. I swear he reverted into a 20 year old as soon as we arrived to his mothers house. He is being avoidant and avoiding addressing any of it. I feel like he's backing me into a corner... I'm so furious with the childish behavior that I want to explode and walk away. I hate being ignored. I am so torn over what to say or do. I loved his family and I know he wants a future. But he is sabotaging us.
Like I said earlier you know the story better than any of us so if you truly feel she is toxic to him, you, and the relationship altogether then it's fine for you to establish that boundary and communicate that with him. But yeah it's always best to talk about these things face to face. It's okay that you wrote a letter...honestly sometimes it's best to write things out first before actually saying it so you don't say anything you regret later...But once you've written it all down and had time to review what you wanna say to him face to face, that will be your time to do so. Good luck. Again keep us updated.
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:43 PM   #15
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God, I accidentally dialed his mother. I apologized and told her I was looking for him. She immediately got in touch with him and had him call me. Uhg! Face Palm. I know that didn't go over well and don't have the greatest excuse. I have a bad habit of not programming people in my phone. It's ridiculous, I know, but I like to memorize numbers. Yes I should have had him in my phone. I'm not proud of this moment. I just hit the familiar area code and forgot about her number. He was a upset I don't have him programmed, probably rightfully so. Yeah I'm an a$$ for that and have apologized. I feel like I'm spinning out of control.

He is out with his best friend and apparently hating on relationships. His other friend was out with him and had to leave because of his girlfriend. He's had a few but is going off on relationships and commitment. He said with sarcasm we were just perfect...

I have some very important life decisions to make, soon. I've decided to go back to school and will need to move. By chance, one of my top program choices is a college 2 hours from his parents. Im trying to get started as soon as this summer. Where I am now is terribly expensive and I hate it here. He is the only happy thing about being here. It's tough that he's not here now. And I fear he just isn't ready for commitment. I know he doesn't want to lose me, but I don't think he's ready... I read that jobs come and go and college can start at anytime, but love is much more rare and harder to find. I'm feeling so lost and exhausted right now.
Take some time to rest. You're caught up heavily in your situation right now and probably can't stop overanalyzing everything to the point that you feel you're going crazy...

I'm serious. I know it's much easier said than done but you need to find a way to make yourself relax so you can look at all of this with a refreshed point of view. Sleep on it. Don't make any rash decisions tonight. You just gotta calm down and give your mind some time to interpret everything, and that doesn't happen right away. Give it time and just rest. You'll know what to do when the time comes. Good luck.
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