Very soon after he introduced me to his family — about four months after we started dating — his ex began sending extremely inappropriate messages to him (after almost a year of silence) wanting to reunite. She made it a point to make comments about me, about how the length of our relationship was not long enough to not give their twenty-year relationship another chance, etc., all of which he selected to not respond to. With or without me in the picture, he has elected not to re-engage that relationship ever again.
Recently, one member of the family decided to tell me how his ex found out we were seeing each other. His sister-in-law, who was good friends with the ex, has been feeding her information. The family member that told me was perturbed by the situation and didn’t want to cause tension but thought I should be aware of what was going on.
The sister-in-law vocalized that she wanted my boyfriend and his ex to reunite and that she preferred his ex over me. While I know that she is welcome to her opinions, I do not feel comfortable being around his sister-in-law now, knowing that not only does she prefer his ex to me but also that she’s feeding his ex information about our relationship. If his ex didn’t seem to want to re-ignite the relationship, it wouldn’t matter, but she has continued to express to my ex that this is what her wishes are even though he doesn’t engage back.
Is it appropriate to confront his sister-in-law? Should I tell my boyfriend that he needs to be firm with his sister-in-law that her behavior is inappropriate? And is it really petty of me at this point to ask him to completely cut off any communication with his ex, i.e. block her number on his phone, even though he isn’t engaging back in the inappropriate conversation? I’m trying not to let my ego get the best of me, but I can’t help feeling like this is a direct threat to my relationship. — Threatened By the Ex and the SIL
Your boyfriend has totally disengaged from his ex and has made it clear to you he has zero intention of ever pursuing her again, right? Everything else — the ex calling him, the SIL feeding her information — is all noise that you can and should ignore, unless it’s happening frequently. Is it happening frequently? I mean, you’ve been dating your boyfriend for two years and you recently moved in together. Is the ex, and even the meddling SIL, enough noise that you’re losing sleep over this? Or, is this a case of your recently finding out about the SIL and feeling disrespected and wanting to get your hurt feelings off your chest? If it’s the latter, I’d seriously take a deep breath, avoid the SIL for a bit, and then move on. Don’t give her, or the ex, any more power; certainly don’t give them any reason to believe they can rattle you or make you feel insecure about your relationship.
If, however, the ex is calling your boyfriend regularly and you get the idea that your the SIL is meddling pretty frequently, then I think it would definitely be worth talking to your boyfriend about drawing some clearer boundaries — blocking the ex and completely cutting off communication, and telling the SIL to back off. But keep in mind that their intention IS to rattle you – to shake you up and create a crack in your confidence through which the ex might somehow wiggle her way back into your boyfriend’s good graces. I think you’re much better off never letting on that any such crack exists. Eventually, they’ll both tire of trying to shake the unshakable and they’ll move on.
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