Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Won’t Give His Ex-Girlfriend’s Key Back”

Golden key in keyhole

I have a great boyfriend of two years. He is adventurous, kind, caring, and intelligent. We have an amazing time together and I am very satisfied. My one dilemma is his ex. I am friendly with her although we had to establish some boundaries regarding their friendship in order for me to feel comfortable.

By the time we got together they had been broken up for two years (she cheated) although they had been casually hooking up on occasion before we met. In the beginning of our relationship they were hanging out on average a couple times a week to get a meal, work out, or watch TV. I told him that this was problematic and, if he wanted to be serious, he needed to make more room for our relationship. He did make more time for me, and a year later we moved in together at his request. Since then, his ex has texted him quite a bit, sending pictures of herself in dresses, asking for car help at least twice, and calling when she locks herself out of her apartment (my boyfriend has a key to her place). She has also told me on several occasions that she thinks my boyfriend still has feelings for her.

A couple months ago we all happened to be out at a show and she told him that she missed her quality time with him and she didn’t feel she could text him as much anymore since he has a girlfriend. She was intoxicated and hanging on him, and, when she asked him to buy her a drink, he did. I told him this all made me feel uncomfortable and that I felt she is a little toxic. The next day I told him that I felt like there may be some unresolved feelings between the two of them and the situation does not make me feel comfortable. He tried to reassure me although my gut told me a few things: 1. I cannot make him end his connection with her, nor would I want to; 2. I do think there are unresolved issues between them; 3. I am not feeling respected or comfortable.

I let it go. Then last week I got a text from the ex asking if I had a key to her place because she was locked out once again. I said no, I didn’t, but my boyfriend might. Well, he did still have the key to her place. I suggested that he might give it back to her because she loses it so much and I don’t think we should be responsible for rescuing her. He said he tried to give it back, but she insisted we keep it. I feel that on some level his boundaries are not clear with his ex, that she is being manipulative, and that it is not healthy for him to be doing favors for her or being so close with her. I have no problems with occasional texting or hanging out in a group setting, but I do not see why he should need to have her key or be her go-to guy for fixing things or rescuing her. Am I out of line? — The Key Problem

Well, no, of course you’re not out of line, but here’s what I don’t get: you say that early on in your relationship you had to establish some boundaries regarding your boyfriend’s friendship with his ex in order for you to feel comfortable… and yet, your whole letter is about a total lack of boundaries and your total discomfort with their relationship. You have articulated to your boyfriend time and again how uncomfortable you are with the lack of boundaries he has with his ex. And you have even admitted to yourself — finally, it seems — that there are unresolved feelings between them. But what did you do about that? Apparently you “let it go.” Those were your words. You said you felt there were unresolved issues between your boyfriend and his ex and that you felt disrespected and uncomfortable, and you just … let it go.

I guess I’m having a really hard time figuring out why you’re so obsessed about the unclear boundaries between your boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend when your own boundaries with him are so unclear. Is it really ok that he repeatedly disrespects you? Because that’s the message you are giving him when you “let it go.” When you don’t put your foot down and say “Enough!”, you are setting unclear boundaries. You are saying you’re ok with his being in his ex-girlfriend’s back pocket essentially — being her go-to guy when she’s locked out or when she has car trouble or when she needs an opinion on a new dress or needs someone to buy her a drink. You’re saying you’re ok with being disrespected.

If you want to be respected, you need to demand it. You need to say, “Enough!” You need to quit “letting it go” and quit sweeping it under the rug and quit accepting this total disregard for your feelings. Speak up for yourself and keep speaking up for yourself, and, if you aren’t being treated the way you want and if your feelings aren’t being validated and if your boyfriend isn’t making you a top priority — far above the ex-girlfriend who cheated on him, then you need to say “Enough” to yourself and MOA. Because, honestly, there’s something fishy about a guy who can’t let go of his ex’s key even when his live-in girlfriend firmly suggests it’s time.* The key is such a metaphor, and in this case it seems like your boyfriend is hanging on to it so that he can be let back in whenever he wants. It’s time for you to let him know that, if he keeps this up, he’ll be losing another valuable key — the one to your heart.

* Exception: A key would be understandable if they happen to have shared custody of children and/or a beloved pet.
***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

63 comments… add one
  • Portia

    Portia March 17, 2014, 9:22 am

    Is it just me, or did anyone else have the Frozen song stuck in their head?
    .
    WWS, if you stand up for yourself and he doesn’t start putting you first, time to let him go.

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 9:39 am

      Yes! I haven’t seen the movie but I know the song, and it’s definitely stuck in my head now.
      .
      I’m not sure I’d give the boyfriend a chance at this point when she’s been dealing with this for two years already, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt if she’s feeling generous. The ex sounds incredibly manipulative and the LW’s boyfriend seems disinclined to move on. I have no problem with male/female friendships (the fact that Mr. LP has several good lady friends is part of what attracted me to him in the first place), but this is so inappropriate.

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      • Portia

        Portia March 17, 2014, 10:07 am

        Oh I totally agree that it’s an incredibly inappropriate/manipulative relationship and she shouldn’t have let any of this stand. But if she just MOA’s without taking her life into her own hands (she hasn’t really stood up for herself at this point), what are the odds that she’ll just fall back into this relationship and dynamic? Cause I think they’re pretty good.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 10:15 am

        Agreed – there’s definitely a bigger issue here of being able to stand up for herself and set boundaries. LW needs to channel TOWANDA! and stand firm. Man I love Fried Green Tomatoes…

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed March 17, 2014, 10:16 am

        Love!

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      • Portia

        Portia March 17, 2014, 10:55 am

        LP, yes! We’re definitely on the same wavelength, and now I want to watch Fried Green Tomatoes and feel empowered.
        .
        Oh and I also have no problem with boyfriends having female friends (me and the boyfriend wouldn’t have made it if I did have a problem with that, as he might have more female friends than male). I think having healthy friendships with women can make them a more well-rounded individual, and more likely to treat their girlfriend well. This is not that case, as she obviously still has him on the hook.

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  • GatorGirl

    GatorGirl March 17, 2014, 9:26 am

    Ha no. Listen to Wendy. This isn’t normal (or healthy).

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  • avatar

    Lindsay March 17, 2014, 9:30 am

    Wendy makes a lot of good points. If this is what happens when you have boundaries, what was it like before?!

    You pretty much some everything up in the end. You feel disrespected, you can’t and don’t want to sever their ties, and you think there are unresolved things there. Those are all massive red flags. None of us can say whether your boyfriend still has feelings for her or just was really bad about making boundaries, but the fact is that he appears to be as close with her, if not more so, as he is with you. I mean, he’s clearly more concerned with meeting her needs than yours.

    I’d just move on and find someone who likes you better than his ex.

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties March 17, 2014, 9:42 am

    You should probably move on from this guy LW, there is no way this guy is getting over his ex anytime soon.

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  • avatar

    ktfran March 17, 2014, 9:51 am

    I have the perfect relationship, but….

    Ok, I’ll go read Wendy’s and the other responses now.

    My initial reaction is “SERIOUSLY? M.O.A.”

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  • Copa

    Copa March 17, 2014, 9:55 am

    So. I think Wendy gave solid advice. But I think I would just say to MOA — after 2 years, I don’t think you should be demanding respect after this long with someone, especially since it seems like you’ve re-visited the subject repeatedly during this time. I mean, yes, in general, you should be putting your foot down and demanding respect from people, but how many times does your boyfriend need to be reminded that you’re uncomfortable before it clicks with him that he should be putting your needs first in this situation?

    Who knows if he has unresolved feelings or not — but I do think staying so close to someone who cheated on you is fairly odd.

    I say trust your gut and move on.

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    • avatar

      Ella_ March 17, 2014, 10:44 am

      I totally agree. If they’ve been together for two years, the GF’s feelings should be more important than the ex’s on this subject. It isn’t a matter of the LW being demanding or unreasonable (I think), but the fact that the ex is unwilling to move on and keeps using the bf for emotional support, and he is willing to maintain that relationship even though he knows it makes the LW uncomfortable.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 17, 2014, 10:04 am

    Aw come on, LW. Are you that afraid of seeming insecure, that you won’t interrupt the status quo with a complaint more firm than “this is sort of problematic, can you make more room for our relationship?” Then when he doesn’t, you just infer (correctly) that there are unresolved feelings, & “let things go”?
    .
    Your gut is right that your boyfriend’s relationship with his ex is toxic. But what are you doing about it? Well, first, in the beginning, it seems that you decided becoming “friendly” with this girl was a better tactic than actually establishing boundaries. That’s you giving up right at the get, basically… like, you could already see that your boyfriend wasn’t about to let go of his ex, so your move was to monitor their relationship from a position of pretend neutraility? (I’m sure it wasn’t so calculating as my wording is making is sound, but from here, that’s what it looks like you did. I don’t blame you. But it was a weak move, & now you’re paying for it in multiple ways.)
    .
    So how to untangle yourself? Well, you could take a firmer stance & see if that knocks some sense into your boyfriend. It’s possible he’s just managing his leftover feelings towards the break-up poorly—in turn, allowing for some messed-up boundaries. Orrrr you could walk away, because (as you admitted in your letter) you realize you can’t ~make~ him end his connection with his ex. And if that connection is making you uncomfortable, then it’s sad, but unfortunately pretty legit grounds for MOA. Sometimes the timing isn’t right…

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    • avatar

      ktfran March 17, 2014, 10:17 am

      Your first paragraph is exactly what I was thinking, Fab. This LW wants to be the “cool girlfriend.” Like, hey, I’m awesome because I let my boyfriend and his ex hang out. Except, that it’s not awesome. There’s a difference between being walked all over and being the easy going one. Right now, LW, you’re the former. You need to stick up for yourself and your relationship and you can do so by still being a good girlfriend. I think you need to find that right balance.

      But at this point and this relationship, I would honestly MOA. I think it’s too late to fix things.

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  • avatar

    rachel March 17, 2014, 10:09 am

    Um, who gets locked out of their own house so often? Clearly she’s after your boyfriend, LW, and clearly he’s either too dumb to realize it, or he’s happy to be able to “help” her and get her attention.

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 10:19 am

      Seriously! And he doesn’t have to keep the key just because the ex won’t take it back. He can throw it out! Or incorporate it into a piece of sculpture, or melt it down and make cuff links, or give it to an age-appropriate niece or nephew to play with (kids love keys, amiright?), or bury it outside to see if a Crazy Ex Tree grows, etc. So many options!

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray March 17, 2014, 10:22 am

      Um, me! Well, not my most recent condo because I needed the key to lock the door behind me. But when I lived in my old apartment, it had one of those doors that lock behind you, so it got locked with my key inside All. Of. The. Time. It’s funny, I lose keys and pants all the time. (Pants?! Yes, pants. I can’t find my favorite jeans. Where the hell are they?) Yet, when I was packing last week, I ran across an old picture of a friend – her tee ball pic when we were little kids, that she had given me 25+ years ago. It was just there, floating around in my junk drawer. That picture survived countless moves, over countless years. Yet, my keys and pants I needed yesterday? Lost. So weird. All I’m saying is: I get it.

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      • Cassie

        Cassie March 17, 2014, 12:54 pm

        Yes… but then I would leave the key (maybe not so much my pants) with a trusted friend. One of the non-ex variety.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl March 17, 2014, 10:35 am

      I triple check each time I leave my apt and get out of my car that my keys are in hand/purse before locking the door. I thought this was normal, but I guess not? Getting locked out makes me anxious.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 17, 2014, 10:40 am

        What makes me anxious is the idea that a friend with a spare key will be out of town when I get locked out, so I give spares to multiple friends. … Why do I always seems to relate to the “other woman” these LWs write in about?!

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 11:13 am

        Poor AP! What you’re doing makes sense, but I’m suspicious of anyone who won’t “let” their ex give them their key back. I hope you find your pants. I wrote a haiku about them:
        Addie’s favorite jeans
        please come back, she misses you;
        hiding isn’t cool.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 17, 2014, 12:02 pm

        you’re the best poet!

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl March 17, 2014, 11:14 am

        Friend or ex boyfriend? I don’t think it’s weird for a friend or two to have a spare key. We keep meaning to give our friend who catsits a key, but keep forgetting.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 11:31 am

        I don’t think a friend (or, like 5 friends, as I’ve done in the past) having a spare key is a problem. And I don’t think helping an ex with car problems is inherently weird, especially if it was an emergency. It sounds like the LW’s boyfriend is a really nice guy. But the fact that the ex is telling the LW that she thinks her boyfriend still has feelings for her makes me suspicious of all the “friendly” behavior that’s going on.

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      • Copa

        Copa March 17, 2014, 11:46 am

        The one detail about their friendship that struck me as odd was the texts of the ex in dresses. Erm…

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 17, 2014, 11:43 am

        Friends, for sure. I do NOT like ex-boyfriends having a spare key, that’s just a recipe for disaster.

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      • Northern Mermaid

        Northern Mermaid March 17, 2014, 1:57 pm

        There are literally 10 people with copies of my keys…..I fail at adulthood.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 March 17, 2014, 10:53 am

      I don’t think she is doing this to get closer to the BF, because if that were true she probably wouldn’t text the GF to see if she has the key. My guess is that she thinks the key is just at their apartment so if she needs it either one of them could help her out, but in reality the BF keeps it on his key chain because he loves her, and wants to keep it close to him. I think that the ex doesn’t want anything romantically to do with the BF, but knows he still likes her, and he will do anything for her.

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      • avatar

        rachel March 17, 2014, 11:29 am

        Hmm, that is a good point. Well, either way, it’s definitely not a completely innocent dynamic between the two of them.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 11:44 am

        Or maybe she knew the LW doesn’t have the key and wanted to remind her that her ex does? This could go a lot of ways but I agree with Rachel that it doesn’t sound completely innocent.

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    • avatar

      Ivory March 17, 2014, 11:41 am

      Even if she legit locks herself out that often and it isn’t the obvious way to make her ex come to her apartment, maybe having to pay a locksmith to open her door would make her more likely to remember her keys.

      That being said, this girl is just waiting til she can get the LW out of the picture.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth March 17, 2014, 10:32 am

    I want to know what happened in society that people think their opinions aren’t valid and that their emotions aren’t valid. Sweeping them under the rug and “letting go” is gaslighting yourself. You are worth more than that.

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    • avatar

      SasLinna March 17, 2014, 12:33 pm

      Yes, it’s really sad! And this seems to happen particularly often with women. Ladies, you don’t have to accept a situation you don’t like just because your bf feeds you a line or comes up with some sort of bs justification. Seriously, have the courage to use your own brains!

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    • Portia

      Portia March 17, 2014, 3:03 pm

      Well said! “Letting it go” is for little things, like not putting the cap back on the toothpaste, not major relationship issues.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. March 17, 2014, 10:34 am

    I don’t know what else to say. The only thing might be to return the key to the ex (you do it if he won’t) and ask that he cut off all contact. Say that you need this in order to feel respected and that you are a priority in his life. If he won’t do it, MOA.

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    • Copa

      Copa March 17, 2014, 11:12 am

      See, I guess I just don’t understand why it should come down to an ultimatum. I’ve never issued a boyfriend an ultimatum before, and I’d like to think if I ever had to, it’d be my cue to MOA because it means we’re on waaaaay different wavelengths about something important.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. March 17, 2014, 1:19 pm

        Ultimatums should be used sparingly but they do work. Sometimes people talk too much. In this case, he’s been jerking her around for a while. She tried to speak nicely to him, he didn’t get it. Myself, I would walk away at this point, but since she hasn’t really asserted herself before, it might be worth trying. At least she won’t have to wonder what would’ve happened if she spoke up. Sometimes, people are just really dense. I’ve heard guys say, “Well why didn’t you just SAY SO if that’s what you wanted?” when I thought I did. Now she can be crystal clear so there can be no misunderstanding. Might be a wake-up call at any rate. She’d get her answer, one way or the other, and she wouldn’t have to wait for it. she’s waited enough. Time’s a-wastin’.

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  • theattack

    theattack March 17, 2014, 11:00 am

    Don’t give yourself to someone whose heart is already taken. If you feel that you’ve made your feelings known to him, then he’s already given you his answer. If you really want to, give it one last firmly assertive shot, but otherwise just leave.

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  • avatar

    Essie March 17, 2014, 11:05 am

    LW, rule one of relationships…….you have to be happy with your partner AS THEY ARE.

    What you have is a guy who maintains a very close friendship with an ex. Some women would be OK with that. Some would be extremely uncomfortable with it. You clearly fall into the latter category. And there’s not a thing wrong with that.

    But re-engineering his life to suit you just isn’t going to work. It never does. You might eventually convince him to stop contacting her, and to stop answering her texts and calls, but more likely, he’ll just become better at hiding it from you. Which is the last thing you want.

    And if he still has feelings for her, no amount of pleading, ultimatums, or threats from you is going to change that. Even if he finally gives up and stops contacting her to make you happy, you’ll still end up with a guy who has feelings for his ex. Is that what you want? I don’t think so.

    I see this as a basic incompatibility problem, not a boundary problem. Even if he has zero desire to have her as a girlfriend, he clearly wants her in his life as a friend. You don’t want a guy with a close relationship with an ex. Instead of forcing him to give up a friendship, or forcing yourself to ‘let it go’, why not just….go? Find someone whose life and friendships better suit *your* needs?

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph March 17, 2014, 11:20 am

    Semi-related story. I was an RA in college and we had SO MANY girls who would just go out on the town for the night and not bring their key because their teeny little dress didn’t have pockets or whatever. So at 2:30am when they got back, they would call at wake the RAs up to let them back in. It happened so frequently that we started charging $15 after 2 free lockouts per person. (this was actually always the policy but we didn’t enforce it very much because its not so much trouble to let someone back in… except after you’ve already gone to bed.) And guess what, everyone magically found a way to remember their keys after that except for a couple genuine lockouts.

    I don’t know if the girl is forgetful or trying to get with your bf or just likes having a safety net… but I do know that if your bf stopped bailing her out, she’d stop calling for lockouts. Next time, your bf needs to say “sorry, I’m busy, I won’t be able to come let you in” and keep doing that until she stops calling for him to let her in.

    Also your bf may have some weird white knight complex with this girl where he needs to rescue her. So first he needs to get onboard that he’s not her hero anymore. (If he can’t do that, then that- and not this girl- is your real problem.)
    You know how grownups fix their lockout problems? They call a locksmith. They call their landlord. They give a key to their neighbor. She’ll figure it out.

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    • othy

      othy March 17, 2014, 11:30 am

      At my school, our RA’s didn’t have spare keys. We had to call campus security if we locked ourselves out. And they were slow. So it was very unpleasant when I was in the shower, came back to the room wearing only my robe, only to find that my roommate had left and locked the door behind her. So I sat in our lounge for 20 minutes waiting for the campus security to come let me in. And they almost didn’t since I didn’t have my ID on me. I’ve never locked myself out of any room/house since.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra March 17, 2014, 12:23 pm

      Ohhh, I was also an RA and I HATED the lockouts. We had a similar policy but never had to enforce it to that extent fortunately because no one abused it. People were alway so thankful that we were able to get them into their rooms. Our key was stored in the basement of the building and I had the keys to get to that key. For security purposes we didn’t have a master key in our rooms. But it was so annoying because I was on the 4th floor — I hated having to hike down 5 flights of stairs just to hike back up again and get an “oh, my roommate just got back, I don’t need it anymore!”. That happened a few times. Or the 1 am lockouts. Ugh. The WORST.

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  • avatar

    Painted_lady March 17, 2014, 11:41 am

    So I don’t really have a whole lot to add, other than I have a friend who was in both of these positions at the same time – the ex girlfriend who kept calling her ex, and dating a guy whose ex kept calling him. I can’t even begin to tell you how insane it was. She was forever calling her ex to come fix things and let her in the house and take care of her dog and put together her desk and then would get angry at her new boyfriend when his ex would call in the middle of the night because her back hurt and she was worried she was having kidney issues or something else ridiculous. And then she would also get mad when her boyfriend and her ex didn’t seem all that crazy about each other. Which was also fucking nuts.

    Ultimately, she had to cut ties with both of them. It took her three years to finally do it, and her ex finally had to lie and say he lost her key…but she’s actually a grownup now. Finally. She calls a locksmith or a repairman instead of her ex, and she’s no longer caught up in the drama of “fighting” for a guy’s affections. And she’s been out a couple of times with men, and never felt the need to force them to be buddies with their exes.

    My point is, I guess, that you will probably have no perspective on how insane this situation is until you are totally out of it, either because your boyfriend quits this shit, or because you dump his ass. You don’t have to be the cool girlfriend. You don’t have to be friends with his ex. You don’t have to pretend to be okay with their relationship as is. It’s stupid and dysfunctional and toxic, and you can totally speak up and tell him this sucks and he has to stop or you’re out. Or you can just leave. But this situation is insane.

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    • avatar

      Ella_ March 17, 2014, 11:57 am

      I have a friend in a similar situation, except he is the ex who keeps doing stuff for his ex-girlfriend. Luckily neither of them is in new relationships yet but it is still sad because he goes over to her new apartment to take care of her dog or drives her somewhere if she needs a ride and helped when her radiator burst when she was out of town. It is sad to see him hanging on, but I think it’s a way to maintain that connection even after the relationship is over. But, she still sort of assumes he will do this for her, even though she broke up with him.

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      • avatar

        Ella_ March 17, 2014, 12:00 pm

        Ugh, does anyone else ever find that what’s in your head doesn’t really translate well to a written post on here? I swear, most of my posts sound like I am so dull and a little slow, and I swear that’s not how I come off in conversation. Guess I need to post more and work on that!

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy March 17, 2014, 10:43 am

    So, the first thing I’m going to say is that I only think this guy’s relationship with his ex is a little inappropriate (but seriously, who tells their ex’s current gf that she thinks the guy still has feelings for her, the ex? She was absolutely trying to plant seeds of doubt in LW’s mind). I am still this close with my ex. We have a good friendship and hang out pretty frequently. If he didn’t live half an hour away, I’d totally give him a key to our place. And we will always have a place in each others’ hearts. We just weren’t compatible as a romantic couple.
    That said, LW, if this makes you uncomfortable, you have every right to speak up. You’re not going to be happy if you keep letting things like that go. You’re just going to become bitter and resentful and jealous and suspicious. Do you want that? Of course you don’t. No one wants to turn into a crazy person. So set some boundaries, real ones, and if your boyfriend can’t stick to them, if he prioritizes his ex over you, then MOA and find someone who will, because you deserve respect and right now it seems like you’re not totally sure of that.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 March 17, 2014, 10:58 am

      I only think it is inappropriate, because it seems like the BF still likes his ex, and she is taking advantage of this. If they were truely just friends, then I don’t think what the ex is doing is really out of the ordinary of what regular friends would do. I do think that the LW in either situation would have the right to feel uncomfortable, but in this situation she has the right to ask him to stop, in situation of them being just friends, I would tell her to just deal with it or MOA.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy March 17, 2014, 11:02 am

        Yeah I will totally agree that it’s kind of a sketchy situation in some ways (namely, that she is clearly trying to plant some seeds of distrust in LW’s mind, and the hanging all over him while she’s around. Ex-gf is actively trying to exacerbate the tension so that LW will move on and she can have him back to herself). I just think the hanging out, and him having a key and helping her out is pretty normal.
        But I also have interesting definitions of normal.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 17, 2014, 11:15 am

        Oh no, I think that is stuff any friend would do too. My only problem is that this guy pretty much jumps when this girls says jump.

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  • avatar

    bethany March 17, 2014, 12:05 pm

    Look, LW, if you’re uncomfortable with the situation, you need to flat out tell him you’re uncomfortable. If you keep letting it go, this is going to keep happening.
    *
    Are you worried that if you tell him he needs to scale back the contact with her, that he’s going to pick her over you? Let me clue you in here- If that happens, you’re better off. So what’s the worst that can happen? Either he agrees to cut some ties, and you can have a healthy relationship, or he refuses and you break up, and you’re out of an unhealthy relationship. Sounds like a win-win to me.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana March 17, 2014, 12:41 pm

    So I am in a bad mood which may have something to do with my response:

    I love my friends but if I was getting called all the time by anyone to let them in to their place because they were repeatedly getting locked out, I would let them know that they really should work harder at not locking themselves out and if things still didn’t change and I was getting called weekly I would give the key back or ask them to give an extra key to a neighbor and call me only ICOE. It would just be annoying and stops being cute after awhile. Not to mention, it is just sort of rude after a point to rely on another person for something an adult should be more than capable of keeping track of. I am so incredibly forgetful and flighty about things but because of this I double/triple/quadruple check before leaving places so that I don’t leave things there or lock myself out of my car or house. I still forget things but if I did not do this I would soon become annoying to everyone because of my flighty forgetfulness. Also who has time to just drop everything whenever to let someone into their place? I get once every so often, even once a month but weekly (idk how often this happens but if its not really frequent I don’t get why you care at all)? Yeah, no. Tell your boyfriend to get some hobbies. Also it is not attractive to me for anyone to be at my beck and call, even my boyfriend. Your boyfriend is literally at another girl’s beck and call. How is this attractive to you? She is taking advantage of him and walking all over him and he is letting her and even facilitating it-try telling him that you find this behavior to be a huge turn off, because how can it not be. Yeah it is sexy to be a good friend but this goes above and beyond that. Also WWS. The boundary ship has sailed at this point. I feel like you have never let him know this is not okay, so give him the chance to respect you and put your wishes first above his ex’s whims and if he still won’t or doesn’t than MOA.

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    • Northern Mermaid

      Northern Mermaid March 17, 2014, 2:02 pm

      Grumpy muchacha is really to the point and I approve–except I hope you feel better soon!

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana March 17, 2014, 3:38 pm

        haha its because we got more snow here and it was like 70 3x last week and then dumps inches and inches of snow. UGH I know you are in Alaska so have no sympathy but yeah it led to grumpfest.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 3:44 pm

        NoMe, you’re in AK?! I’m from AK! I feel like we’re kindred spirits.

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      • Northern Mermaid

        Northern Mermaid March 17, 2014, 5:26 pm

        Yes! I’m in Anchorage. I <3 it here. I am originally from WA, but AK is totally home for me. Where are you from?

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 17, 2014, 6:46 pm

        I was born and raised in Anchorage! I miss it so much even though I haven’t been back in 10 years. Do you ever go to the Moose’s Tooth? I used to love that place. And Flat Top and Carr’s and Kincaid Park…

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      • Northern Mermaid

        Northern Mermaid March 17, 2014, 5:27 pm

        I feel for you. We finally got like 10 inches of snow. This has been a very mild winter for us, which actually makes me kind of sad. Sorry Lower 48.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle March 17, 2014, 2:20 pm

      No, this is a really good point & I think highlights the fact that what’s happening here is not cool. Like—if a regular, actual FRIEND was constantly calling because they locked themselves out, I think a normal response would be like, “dude, come on, you can’t keep doing this.” Since there’s zero of that happening, it’s definitely unquestionably an unhealthy, sketch dynamic.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana March 17, 2014, 3:39 pm

        yeah that was what I was trying to get across.

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  • sobriquet

    Sobriquet March 17, 2014, 3:24 pm

    I’m gonna take a different approach and say that it is possible that the bf is just a nice (and incredibly dense) guy. Think about it. He had a routine with his ex when he met LW. LW asked him to spend less time with ex and he obliged. Meanwhile, LW befriended ex and they all started hanging out together. THAT is when ex moved from ex-status to friend-status. Especially in bf’s mind. If my fiancé befriended one of my ex’s, I would assume it’s because he wanted to his friend. Couple this with the fact that LW has seemingly been unclear about her level of discomfort and I can see where the bf stands. Sometimes guys REALLY DON’T see inappropriate girl behavior that women are so highly attuned to. So it’s possible that a stern conversation could work. She’ll probably need the closure anyway.

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  • avatar

    MMcG March 17, 2014, 5:11 pm

    Why is it every time a LW uses the word “amazing” to describe their relationship it is anything but? Unless you are in the first few weeks/months honeymoon stage I feel like that type of description is just covering up reality… and reality often bites 😉

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  • avatar

    Wrenne March 17, 2014, 8:34 pm

    I had a very similar issue with a boyfriend and an ex of his. we must have had the “boundary” conversation 100 times. it was very difficult because i really liked him, but being undervalued and disrespected as a girlfriend was a dealbreaker for me. i finally broke up with him and 1 year later met my now-husband, who makes me feel completely secure and happy in our relationship. this is why it is absolutely critical for your future relationships that you make a clean break in a breakup. have one serious talk and if things don’t improve over the next month, start to look for a new place ASAP.

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  • avatar

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