Recently, he started calling me. The first call was a question he knew only I could help him with. The second call was just to catch up. The third, fourth, fifth, and many other calls since have been to discuss how things have been, how I’ve been doing, what he’s been up to, etc. etc., and he has mentioned his new relationship many times. He has even gone so far as to tell me that he dreams about me and can’t fall back asleep, that he wishes he could still protect me, and that he is sorry for everything he did to hurt me in our relationship. But then he quickly follows up with “…but I have a girlfriend.”
I asked him if his girlfriend knew we were talking like this. He said yes. Well, a few nights ago I ran into him at a bar and we were just talking for few minutes, and his girlfriend glared at me the entire time. Afterwards, she dragged him out into the parking lot and demanded it was time to leave.
This leads me to believe she does not know he has been contacting me. I am ready to rip my hair out. Should I tell her? Should I confront him? Should I just stop answering the phone altogether? I want to be friends with this man as he has been a huge part of my life, but I want to respect their relationship.
Looking forward to your response. — Seeking an EXplanation
I’m not sure why watching your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend drag him away from you led you to believe she doesn’t know he calls you constantly. If anything, it seems she probably does have some idea of the continued — and, frankly, inappropriate — relationship between you two or else why would she be so quick to pull him away? At any rate, your question isn’t really about her or even her relationship with your ex-boyfriend; it’s about you and whether you can have a friendship with your ex. And the answer is: not with the current state of things.
Your ex needs to want a friendship with you for the two of you to successfully navigate a post-relationship camaraderie, and it’s pretty clear that that’s not what he wants from you. If it were, he would be treating you with a lot more respect than he is. Because while you’re concerned about showing respect to the relationship he has with his new girlfriend, you seem to be missing the complete and utter lack of respect he’s showing to you. After a three-year relationship that was tumultuous enough to include at least one breakup, he’s going to not only move on to a new girlfriend less than two months after you end things, but continually rub your face in that fact (i.e. “… but I have a girlfriend…), while simultaneously making innuendos that challenge you to move on seamlessly. He sounds like kind of a jerk.
My question for you, then, is: why do you want to be friends with him? What do you get out of your interactions together? Is there any part of you that hopes for a reconciliation? Is there a part of you — and I’m assuming there must be — that is finding it difficult to leave the past in the past with such constant reminders from such an immediate and significant person from it? I say that the next time your ex calls you, you calmly and rationally tell him that while you wish him well, you are no longer interested in hearing updates from him or catching up with him on such a regular basis, especially given his girlfriend’s reaction when she saw you out. Tell him that he can keep your number and try you again in a few months after you’ve had time to properly process your breakup, but in the meantime you don’t want to hear from him.