“My Boyfriend Won’t Quit Working with His Ex!!”

I decided to take a break from a six months relationship with my boyfriend. We did not establish any term or rules regarding the break, and he didn’t ask me how long the break would be. He said that he wished I would have told him the reasons for the break earlier as he would have done something about it. The reason for the break is that he sees his ex-girlfriend at work every day. He admits that this is a problem and that if it were the other way around (me working with my ex) it would bother him as well.

I am not being a completely absurd person here. The job he has right now is one of those “going nowhere jobs” — something you do during college, not a career — and he’s been saying that he was going to look for a real job since we first started dating (without me even asking him). I don’t want him to quit his current job because of me, as I wouldn’t want the possibility of him resenting me for it in the future. What I wanted was for him to find a new job without us resorting to the situation we’re in right now. I love him very much I’m scared of losing him, but at the same time patience is not one of my virtues and I’m beginning to resent him.

My questions is: how would you deal with this kind of situation? Is taking a break in this situation an irrational thing to do? — It’s Not Working

When you’ve only been dating someone for six months — during which there’s been an unresolved issue that has relentlessly bothered you the whole time — you don’t “take a break.” You break up. You say you don’t want your boyfriend to quit his job “because of you,” but by going on this so-called break, that’s exactly your motivation.

You want him to be so upset at the thought of losing you forever that he finally quits that job and finds somewhere new to hustle himself. I don’t know how to break this to you — oh, there’s that word again! — but manipulation isn’t exactly a winning relationship strategy. If that’s how you plan to get what you want from your boyfriend, you might as well MOA now because things between you are pretty doomed.

And you know why else things are doomed between you? Because you don’t trust the guy. If you did, then the idea of him working with his ex wouldn’t be tearing you up as much as it is. Obviously, you’re threatened by her — threatened by their history together.

You can move the man from the job and the ex, but you cannot erase the jealousy and distrust that threatens the basic fabric of your relationship. Unless you address those issues, it doesn’t matter how much distance your boyfriend gets from his ex — your relationship will still be doomed.

Manipulation, jealousy, resentment, and distrust after only six months? What’s the point in trying to salvage things now? MOA, sister, and save yourself a shitload of drama.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. The LW sounds like a real winner.

    1. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

      I think it’s spelled “w-i-e-n-e-r”.

    2. 10 ppl don’t get sarcasm

  2. Wendy nailed it. You guys are both young and this is a lot of optional drama. You both know this job is just temporary, he hasn’t given you any reason not to trust him (right?), and yet it’s still the biggest problem in your relationship. And if you can’t get past creating this drama now, you still won’t be able to get past it in three months or however long until your boyfriend gets another job and comes crawling back. It’ll be that they’re in the same class together or he still has her number in his phone or they’re still friends on facebook but it will always be something to you.

    Just call it a break-up, take some time to yourself, have fun with your girlfriends, and if the opportunity to date this guy comes up down the line (waaaaaaaay down the line) under different circumstances, consider it then. But you both need some time to grow up a bit.

  3. Although my boyfriend working with an ex would bother me, it’s not something you should resent him for. It’s his JOB. If he were hanging out with his ex then I would get your frustration and jealousy, but finding a full time “not collegy” job right now is really hard. You need to realize that a ton of couples meet their significant others at work, or at the building they were in. People don’t have the ability to quit their job just because they broke up with someone, especially during these economic times when finding even a dead end “collegy job” can be difficult in some areas. You were dumb for not telling him what was wrong before you went on this break (adult couples COMMUNICATE about problems before breaking up). This break needs to be permanent.

      1. watch…we’re going to get an entire update on this scenario which will completely change our advice…

      2. JennyTalia says:

        Future update: “Ok I left some minor details out. He has cheated on me with his ex multiple times, and I’m pregnant with his or someone else’s baby.”

    1. Amen about the economy. I also wanted to point out that jobs are really hard to find right now – even entry level jobs, even when you’re looking full time – so quitting for him might not be an option, especially if there are bills to pay. Asking someone to abandon their means of supporting themselves just because of a little jealousy is pretty out of line.

  4. Do you even know if he’s willing to get back together with you? Maybe he resents you for breaking up with him and not even having the decency to tell him why until after the fact?

  5. LW,has he given you reasons not to trust him?If he hasn’t,you shouldn’t have had a problem with him working with his ex.In this economy,people are very lucky to have jobs and it would be unfair for you to insist he quit because of your insecurity.

    LW,this is not “taking a break”, this is a “break up”. I’ve never understood the whole “we’re just taking a break,not breaking up, we want to be together still” because if you wanted to be together,you wouldn’t be on a break,you’d be working with your SO to make things better.What would make more sense is to say, “We broke up,but maybe we can fix things in the future”. You need to figure out what about your boyfriend you didn’t trust,then act from there.And this is assuming he will want to get back together with you

  6. Turtledove says:

    Yeesh. He goes to work to work. He comes home to play. With any guy and with any office there’s going to be something– whether it’s his ex, the hot chick in accounting who loves to flirt, or the weird girl in the next cubicle who’s decided she’s madly in love with him. There will always be something and a you can’t expect someone to jump from job to job to escape it. Especially right now when jobs are few and far between.

    This woman is an ex for a reason and neither one of them has given you any reason to suspect them of anything or you’d have said so. If he wanted to be with her, he would be. This isn’t about him. This is about you. So make the break permanent and work on ways of managing your jealousy.

    1. She’s actually probably safer with him working with an ex (like you said, they broke up for a reason…) than with a new hot chick in the office. He will probably always work with other girls – including attractive ones – which is why trust and communication is so important.

  7. You’re being totally irrational, LW. And totally selfish.

    What happens if he quits his job, and can’t find another for YEARS? This has been the case for millions of people, and it’s a completely miserable thing to wish upon someone.

    Also, there’s no such thing as a “going nowhere job”. A job only goes “nowhere” when you have a shitty attitude about it. The current CEO of Enterprise started his career washing rental cars. Sounds like you’re putting your boyfriend down because of your own crazy, unwarranted insecurities.

    Please do this poor guy a favor and break up with him. You don’t say a single nice thing about him in your letter. He deserves a girlfriend who isn’t a jealous, classist wench.

  8. I’m gonna say that unless your BF and his ex are making porn … I’m not so sure I see your issue with him working with his ex.

    Seriously, he is WORKING not hanging out, texting, talking, blah blah blah.

    How do you even know that they talk to each other at work? I’ve had jobs where there were people I couldn’t stand so I make a point of avoiding them. No eye contact in the hall, please don’t walk up and talk to me if you need something send an email, never ever sit by them in meetings, etc.

    So I think you are making way big of a deal out of this than it needs to be. I’m going to ask you to do me a favor and remain broken up because you really really really need either some growing up time or working on your self esteem time. Either way, girl you got some shit to figure out before you can be in a healthy, HAPPY relationship.

  9. I realize that people can make deep, meaningful connections after 6 months sometimes, but I feel like if you’re “taking a break” for reasons that you didn’t even properly communicate to him, that this isn’t one of those situations.
    It sounds to me like you need to grow up a little bit before you try to have a real relationship again.

  10. Doesn’t sound like it’s worth the drama. LW, you are really insecure about his ex. Maybe it’s founded, and one (or both) of them are still invested in their relationship, or maybe it’s just you being insecure. Either way, that’s not a good place to try to build a relationship. Pulling out an ultimatum (which “we’re on a break until you stop working with your ex” sounds a lot like) 6 months into a relationship is just a recipe for disaster. Just break up, it’s not worth it.

  11. Not only is taking a break in this situation an irrational thing to do, it is also irrational to take said break without telling him your reasons. Really LW – how is your boyfriend supposed to know you have a problem if you don’t tell him? A relationship involves two adults talking about their problems and making sacrifices accoringly – you can’t FORCE the sacrifice to take place by manipulating your relationship status.

    Furthermore, why would you want your boyfriend to quit a job he currently has when he doesn’t have one lined up to take it’s place? Is it because his ex is working there? That’s not only impatient of you LW, it’s also extremely sad an insecure. I think you need to MOA from your relationship with him and work on the relationship with yourself.

  12. LW lists no reason to assume bf hasn’t moved on from the ex. If he has moved on, then the random young, unattached woman at whatever job he goes on to from this one is more of a threat to her than the ex. She’d rather have an unemployed bf than a bf working in the same business as his ex. In this economy? She’ll be the first in line to call him a lazy bum if he quits this job to satisfy her and doesn’t find another job within the next month or two. Then again, he’s likely moved on from LW. That would certainly be the wisest thing for him to do.

  13. If you truly “don’t want him to quit his job because of you” then don’t all-of-a-sudden take a break with him because of his job! I hope you are 18-20 because you sound really immature! Have you not noticed the climbing unemployment rates in this country? Do you not realize it’s not so easy to find a job these days? It sounds to me like you don’t give three shits about “bettering his future” you’re just hung up on the fact that he works with his ex. Is that his choice? Did he specifically pick that particular job after having a plethora of options just because his ex works there? I didn’t think so… Why do you think he didn’t ask so many questions when you suggested “taking a break”, probably because he’s sick of your incessant whining & complaining about something that’s not exactly in his control. Do you think that just because you’re taking this break he’s going to quit his job & go begging for your forgiveness? NO! Even if he DID find a new job, he’d have to be sure it wasn’t going to be something that he would easily get cut from because he’s the newest one. THAT would make me feel awful.
    Seriously, if you can’t act like an adult & get over this then please, don’t go back to him. Find someone else that doesn’t work with their ex. If you really care about him & genuinely want to make things work, then grow up.

    1. GingerLaine says:

      Amen, sister. This sounds like someone with effed up priorities.

    2. The whole “something you do during college” comment leads me to believe that they’re mid-20s at least.

      1. Yeah you’re right. That makes it even worse, honestly.

  14. I’m really confused why you never told your boyfriend that this was an issue for you when it was apparently was bothering you enough to cut off all contact with him. What do you want him to do in this situation? You say you don’t want him to quit his job, so if you’re not going to be okay with him having this job, you need to just move on. If you do want him to quit his job, I don’t understand why you didn’t just talk to him about how you were feeling and see if he was willing to put a little more work into finding a job elsewhere to make you feel more comfortable. I kinda think you screwed this one up pretty badly, at this point.

  15. Landygirl says:

    I wonder if he’ll go to a strip club and get a lap dance????

  16. The letter writer wrote “he’s been saying that he was going to look for a real job since we first started dating.” Has he been applying for other jobs or not? The letter’s not very clear. If he hasn’t made the effort to apply for other jobs as he said he would, I think the letter writer has a point. If he’s making no effort to improve his career or get away from his ex, that’s a problem, and I think most women would have a problem with that, honestly.
    It really just seems like the boyfriend didn’t see this issue as seriously as the letter writer did, and he’s kind of blindsided by “the break.” However, it’s important to realize that it may take months (even years, in this economy) for him to find a new job — even if he applies for jobs every day! So what’s the alternative? You have a boyfriend who quits his job and can’t pay his bills? I’d say that’s worse.
    Bottom line is you have to be realistic about this situation. I’d almost compare this to a guy who has a child and he still sees the ex on a regular basis. It’s not as if he’s seeing her because he wants to see her, he seeing her because they have a child and he needs to. And it’s like that with this guy, he’s not seeing his ex because he wants to, he’s seeing her because he has to pay his bills.
    You lnow, I understand where Wendy and other posters are coming from when they say you have a trust issue. But I think the majority of women would be hard pressed to say they’re “cool” with their boyfriend seeing their ex every day. Even if I had full trust in another person, I’d still have some reservations. And if you’ve only been with the guy 6 months, you haven’t really had time to build full trust yet anyway.
    Bottom line is, you can’t make him quit his job. Either you learn to live with it as he applies for other jobs, or you make a clean break.

    1. She also allegedly didn’t tell him why she was upset and forcing this break, so though they may have casually discussed him changing jobs, he may have no idea how big of an issue it was in her head…

  17. sobriquet says:

    Oh god, another doozy. Do you not realize that starting a new “college” job is a pain in the ass, if you can even FIND one? My guess is that he waits tables at a restaurant- a job that he has had for quite awhile now. You get comfortable at the restaurant you’re working at. You know the system, you know the tables, you know the menu, you know the regulars, you know your coworkers well enough to call when you need to switch shifts, the managers know you’re reliable and trust you… I could go on. I could probably say this about retail and every other “going nowhere” job out there, too.

    Obviously, I don’t know anything about this boyfriend or how much effort he’s put into finding a “grown-up” job, but job searching is tedious and often takes months. You realize the economy is in the shitter, right? A LOT of people are LUCKY to wait tables at an Applebee’s (the worst job I ever had) just so they can pay their rent.

    I think the relationship is pretty juvenile, but if you choose to stay with him, cut the guy some slack. Realize that he is literally getting paid to be in close proximity of his ex and that he would not see her otherwise. If he wants, help him with his career search by looking out for job listings in his desired field and forwarding Craigslist posts (but ONLY do this if he’s okay with it, otherwise it will seem extremely passive-aggressive). Being supportive goes a long way.

    1. Painted_lady says:

      Agreed! Waiting tables is one of those things you can go into with the intent of paying the bills for a few months and then “accidentally” end up doing for years simply because the quick money is so easy to get dependent upon, the lifestyle drains you of your will to go elsewhere, and also, it’s sort of like a gambling addiction simply because you think you’re in control of what you make and yet a lot of it is out of your control (less than gambling, but still). It’s like, “Okay, today I made $60, but if I do better tomorrow, I bet I can make $200 and then there’s rent for the month…okay, so not $200, only $120, but TOMORROW will be better!” My boyfriend is still waiting tables while he’s in school but finally started looking for hospital work (he’s in radiology school, so something tells me it’ll be more useful). It was seriously like talking someone who’s in the throes of a winning streak out of going back to the craps table.

  18. Holy Hera on a crutch. Talk about a whiney, wishy-washy, POS letter. (note: I’m in one helluva a mood right now)

    LW – It’s obvious you aren’t past 25 and you are immature. Why? Because you sound like a fucking teenager. “OMG, I don’t like him working with his ex-girlfriend even though I can’t list one reasonable thing to say about WHY I don’t like it” (i.e., cheating, flirting, stalker-behavior, etc). This is about YOUR insecurities. Then, instead of talking to him about YOUR insecurities, which I’m pretty sure he sort of figured out, since he hinted that he wanted a different job and hinted that he wanted to get away from the ex, which was also a HINT that she isn’t a threat to you and your relationship with him – you go and tell him you want a break – indefinitely. From the sound of your letter, it doesn’t even seem like you really gave him any heads up. Just a surprise “I’m done for now”. Like a little kid taking her toys home because she’s mad.
    Grow up a bit. Get over yourself. He WAS dating you, not the ex. Of course, now with an indefinite break, he may just go find consolation with the ex. You screwed the pooch on this one.

    1. I like your responses even better when your in “one helluv a mood” 🙂

      1. I try to be “nice” when I’m not in a mood. Once the pain gets to be too much, forget it – the censor doesn’t work as well anymore. I just got crutches on Monday and we went Back-To-School shopping for the kids last night so my shoulders are locked up. Not helping my neck much. I hate taking muscle relaxers at work. I have to chug a ton of caffeine in order to stay awake, so I’m sleepy AND jittery. And I can’t jiggle my normal jiggle foot (it’s in a cast).

        I know I’m ready to go home, prop my feet up, cuddle with the youngest while the cat gives me dirty looks for stealing the couch (and the fleece blanket) and watch something mind-numbing. Probably Scooby Doo since that seems to be the new “favorite” of the youngest.

      2. I hear ya! well I dont have any pain and I am very sorry to hear that you do. I can relate on the back to school shopping. Today was my 6 year olds first day of first grade! so exciting 🙂 oh and my kitty hates it when I steal HER couch too lol. We need to connect before I move up to AK next month!

      3. actually, I have a lot of questions about anchorage. Can you email me? Here is my SPAM email address (because I dont want all these pissed off women with nothing better to do to have my real one lol) and if you email me at this one I will send you my real email address 🙂 butterflykisses916@yahoo.com

      4. Emailed.

  19. bittergaymark says:

    By all means he should quit that job immediately! The economy has never been better. Heck, he can probably land a six figure job in five seconds flat. Surely the ONLY thing keeping him at that dead end job is his ex girlfriend. It’s not like there’s some big, manufactured global economic crisis where both the Tea Party and Obama have inexplicably banded together to hopelessly fuck us all…

    1. I want to thumb up for the sarcasm, but want to thumb down because of the T.E.A. Party reference. It’s not the T.E.A. Party’s fault that the economy is in the shitter. The T.E.A. Party advocates for fiscally responsible reduced spending. Cutting back on or getting rid of entitlement programs, cut back on unneccessary spending (do we really need to keep giving to charities in other countries when we can’t even pay off our own debts?), etc.

      I’m not a T.E.A. Party member, but to me – those things don’t seem like a bad idea.

      1. bittergaymark says:

        Um, yeah. Sure. The Tea Party folks are all just swell and charming… Never mind that they also might just want to stop me from getting married. Take away my civil rights. Make it legal to fire me because of who I sleep with… Gee, did I forget anything? Oh, right. The children! They want to save the children! So there goes me ever adopting kids. Oh, hell, lets be real here — they’d string me up if they could get away with it. Or maybe they’d just sent me to Michelle Bachmann’s husband’s state funded clinic for little “reparative therapy.” If there ever was a paragon of masculinity and abject heterosexuality it’s Mr. Bachmann… Oh, and as for all you women out there — say goodbye to not only abortions, but birth control, too. Keep voting Tea Party! It’s a brand new day!

      2. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

        You… you sound like a… BARBARIAN. Do you need some disciplining?

      3. bittergaymark says:

        The kind of discipline I need is probably exactly what Mr Bachmann would probably REALLY like… What a sad, sad man he is.

      4. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

        I’m glad you still have compassion left in you. I have so little left for women who vote for parties and candidates with anti-woman platforms and policies. Seeing Bachmann elected would be like a shotgun to the uterus.

      5. I vote for womens right, even for the rights of women who arent born yet 😉

      6. robottapocalypse says:

        Me too, just probably not in the same way.

      7. What about the ones who have to be born because women like you want to make abortion illegal even in cases of rape? Other womens’ reproductive choices are none of your damn business.

      8. Painted_lady says:

        I love that Dan Savage pointed out what a dead ringer for Liberace he is – it makes him seem far less awful and just ridiculous instead. Which doesn’t mean we should just let girlfriend go do his reparative therapy thang, it just makes his existence far less depressing.

      9. Not ALL T.E.A. Party members are like that. Just some of the more “vocal” and religious nut jobs like Palin (and I’m sorry she is even from my state, and even sorrier that I voted for her as governor, but trust me, she was the best we had that year, which says A LOT for that election year), Bachmann, etc.

        Trust me – I’m fiscally conservative and socially progressive (on most things). I am all for homosexual unions, adoptions, etc. I refuse to align myself with any political party because not a single one of them espouses my personal beliefs and all of them have come to insist on throwing religion into the mix, which is a huge violation of the “separation of church and state” clause.

        I don’t vote party line. I vote for the person who has the same political thoughts and opinions that I do. I don’t find many. And I speak with ALL local individuals running and in office. Luckily in AK, we tend to know everyone to some extent. Especially when you’ve got family who has lived here for a long time. Some of the old families are connected (my second cousin had an illigetimate child with the son of one of our state representatives back in the early 80s, who got busted in a corruption scandal a few years ago, that’s how intertwined things get) to the point of absurdity.

      10. bittergaymark says:

        Um, okay. Whatever… Nice try, I guess. But if you were REALLY for gay rights you simply would never stand with those who are so vehemently against them. And the Leaders of the Tea Party, meaning the people who actually get elected and thus will actually make decisions do very much feel that way. This isn’t some great conspiracy, I am espousing. No. No, it’s all right there in their campaign literature. It’s something they promote!! Look,I’m sorry if this seems hostile, but — seriously! — what the fuck? The audacity of even saying this to me… Why, it would be like me marching with the Nazi party in 1939 Germany all the while claiming to my Jewish friends, “Look, I so get what you are coming from about the camps and the genocide. But not all the Nazis like the camps. Many of us just tag alone for Hitler’s financial policies and tax breaks…”

      11. I know people who say things like, “I have nothing against homosexuals.I have homosexual friends.I just don’t think they should get married”. Seriously…WTF?!

      12. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

        or, “I vote for womens right, even for the rights of women who arent born yet .” Because we all know what you mean there.

      13. robottapocalypse says:

        Or sign pledges stating that black families were better under slavery…. while some of their friends even have black skin.

      14. Oh god,I can’t believe that was actually in the news.What utter bullshit.

      15. Yeah really…that statement is a complete oxymoron.

      16. PREACH IT!

      17. wow AKchic I love you more and more every time I see your posts!

      18. Britannia says:

        I would just like to say, everyone, that there ARE some Republicans out there who are not as illogical and rude as this one right here. We do not all band together and become one homogeneous mass who supports each other regardless of completely absurd personal beliefs. I am a Republican and I do not want to be lumped into the same category as this girl.

      19. fallonthecity says:

        Not that what you said should NEED to be said, but thumbs up from someone who isn’t a Republican, but usually votes Republican (well, when I’m not voting for the wacko Independents…) 🙂

      20. i would just like to say that when bad things happen, you have to blame everyone. if there was just one general party or person or whatever that was causing all the problems that countries face, they would get rid of them. if it was that definitive, if it was the “insert party affiliation here” party that put our economy (or whatever issue) where it was, they would be long out of congress/presidency/senate/gov’t in general. no, its everyone. everyone in politics sucks.

      21. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

        You can’t be too generalizing though. In the most recent house and senate elections, many dependable congresspersons and senators were voted out in a tide of generalized voter discontent. The new, junior lawmakers haven’t necessarily proven themselves to be better, despite their un-affiliation with the D.C. status quo.

        And despite the hope that voters would not vote in knee-jerk ways to the party affiliation, the parties themselves DO tow a party line. “No new taxes”? Totally unworkable in my opinion, but it isn’t both parties that are making that ridiculous promise.

      22. robottapocalypse says:

        So you don’t watch c-span much, do you? There are some winners in there, they just never get time on the news because they’re not sensational or crazy enough. Sadly, it’s all a ratings game and most Americans aren’t even smart enough to follow a game of chess, let alone politics.

      23. Teabaggers also think obama is a secret moslem kenyan, and osama is hiding in the basement of the white house

      24. what we really should be cutting back on is military spending…

      25. bittergaymark says:

        So true. So, so true.

      26. Britannia says:

        But… but… we need our toys!!!

  20. why cant women just be ok with the fact that their SO’s will actually have to come into contact with other women in the workplace (wow, what a concept!!!)? i just dont get it at all. at my boyfriend’s work, they are having an issue right now because two of the people are dating, and another new girl is getting trained right now, and the guy, Jay, has to train her on some things, and the girlfriend has gotten so mad that Jay has literally told this new girl she has to leave his area! she needs to be trained to do a job, and this girlfriend cant take it and so this girl just gets no training? and the worst part is Jay is going along with it!!! its just insanity.

    i say, new rule: you are not allowed in a relationship unless you have some self respect, trust, and communcation training.

    1. it seems like some people view relationships as new toys.they’re “entitled” to have one because “everyone else is in one too and i want a boyfriend/girlfriend”!!

      1. maybe thats it.. and then maybe thats why they feel like at any moment their SO will be taken away from them. new toys can be bought and traded at any moment, right? i just dont understand why women cant be comfortable with their men being in situations with past flames, or with just women in general. like what do you just want to keep them in a little bubble in your room that only you get to “play with” them!? ugh.

      2. seriously.men and women interact with each other on a regular basis, whether at work,school,social gatherings ect.if you’re THAT freaked out over your boyfriend/girlfriend being around members of the opposite sex,well,you shouldn’t be with them to begin with…

    2. Britannia says:

      About the new rule… that training USED to be called adequate parenting. SMH…

  21. LW: you are a stupid bitch.

    that is all.

    1. Elizabeth says:

      I always thought you were just a troll, but now I’ve seen you on this site several times. Must you be so childish?

  22. Painted_lady says:

    Here’s a story for you, LW: Painted_dude is in one of those dead-end college jobs because he’s gone back to school to get a certification that will net him more money than his fine arts degree. He finally – after breaking that weird gambling-addiction-slash-Stockholm-syndrome hold waiting tables can put on people – has started applying to medically-related jobs like crazy, but the economy’s shot and he’s having trouble getting his foot in the door because, well, he has no experience. So obviously, he’s still waiting tables. He got this job a couple of years ago through a FWB/girl he occasionally tried to date, so sort of an ex. He and all of his co-workers are friends, and he and the girl – Carrie, we’ll call her – didn’t have any real beef, so they stayed friends as well. Carrie’s one of those alpha-female girls, unfortunately, that all the boys adore and all the girls can’t stand, not because they’re jealous but because she wants all the boys. Doesn’t want them, precisely, just wants to know she can have them. She and Painted_dude had been done for awhile when we started dating – she was full-on seeing someone else, actually – but when he told her about me, she didn’t talk to him for awhile. And then she decided to start talking to him again, and started full-on treating me like the enemy – he would go out for drinks with ALL his co-workers and she would leave messages on his fb wall like “Good to see you the other night XOXO.” Or one time I went and hung out with all his work friends with him and she was calling him all these pet names – from across the bar table, which is where we were intentionally sitting. So this girl is ACTIVELY trying to bust up my relationship – not steal my boyfriend, mind you, just prove that she “wins” over me – and you know what? I don’t care. Would I prefer my boyfriend not be friends with her? Yeah, probably, but he’s a grown man and I don’t dictate who he gets to hang out with, plus it makes his work life way more awkward. Am I worried he’s going to leave me for her? Am I concerned he’s cheating on me with her? Not in the least. I trust him. I know he won’t cheat on me. And the thing is, he works with about fifteen really attractive women, any of whom he *could* cheat on me with, but NONE of which he actually will.

  23. I can sort of relate to you in that my boyfriend works with his ex. In fact, she got a job there because he worked there when they were still together. But they work in different departments of a busy store and have almost no reason to see each other. I know they still communicate cause up until a couple months ago they even shared car insurance. But he’d never get back with her. He’s the one who dumped her after 7 years (the last 2 being miserable). He in no way shape or form wants to date her because he knows exactly what kind of awful person she is. He doesn’t let any contact with her progress past cordial acquaintance, only because there would be so much drama for us to deal with if he went about it actively disliking her. I don’t let it bother me at all. Even when she texts him to let him know how her life is going and he doesn’t really care about her life.

    I know him well enough to trust him to do the right thing. If you’ve only been in your relationship 6 months and you can’t trust him, that’s a big red flag. Either he doing something to actively cause mistrust (like flirting or whatever) or you have a personal problem you need to deal with before getting into a relationship with anyone.

  24. bittergaymark says:

    It’s funny how nobody on here ever seems to have a boyfriend whose ex is merely some okay/normal person with whom things just didn’t work out with. Instead, it’s always that they are oh-so awful. A completely deranged bitch. A psycho. It really is illuminating how much women revile the ones that came before. Frankly, it’s kind of sad.

    This doesn’t happen nearly as much in the gay community. I have plenty of exes I am still friendly with. Even think fondly of. Things just didn’t work out. They aren’t all assholes or jerks in my world.

    But then… perhaps I am more secure than most.

    1. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

      Hey, my boyfriend briefly dated his BEST FEMALE-FRIEND. She lives very far away from where we are currently, but they keep in regular contact. I haven’t been able to meet her yet due to the distance, but I hope one day to, and I worry about meeting with her approval.

      1. bittergaymark says:

        See, now that actually sounds very, very healthy. I’m sure she will think you are just great. Seriously. I really do.

      2. Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich says:

        Thanks BGM, the feeling is mutual.

      3. robottapocalypse says:

        Don’t worry sandwich, you’re cool in her book.

        Most guys feel that they have to tell their new GF that the ex was crazy or something otherwise they deal with the abusive, low-self-esteem-related crap that people are always writing Wendy to brag…cough*cough* I mean ask for advice about.

      4. If everyone’s boyfriends/girlfriends have exes who are “psycho”…doesn’t that make their boyfriends/girlfriends really bad judges of characters?Because if your SO is really “crazy”,why would you be dating them? People don’t just suddenly become “crazy”, there are always signs.But nobody would ever want to admit that maybe their bf/gf just chose the wrong person to date…no.No that can’t possibly be it.

        Or the bf/gf was the one with the problem,but that’s a different story.

    2. Painted_lady says:

      Meh. I think the stories that get told are for illustration. I used the competitive not-quite-ex as an illustration of how I could be insecure because she’s an extreme example. It seems slightly less compelling to talk about the ex my boyfriend hardly ever sees due to distance with whom he catches up regularly and she and I are actually friends. It actually might have been a better example in some ways (she’s perfectly delightful and I don’t have any horror stories and we’re BOTH mature adults), but the situation is so similar to the nutjob Painted_dude works with and there’s greater cause for concern.

      Also, as far as the LWs go, I think it’s just the nature of what DW is all about – nobody’s going to write in with, “Dear Wendy, my boyfriend is wonderful and we have zero problems. I’m so happy. WHAT DO I DO???”

    3. This also applies to women’s ex-boyfriends.

      On every single women’s network on the web, the women always try to one up each other in their pity parties…

      “oh you think you had it bad? i once dated a crack addict, who took out a second mortgage on my house, and sold all the furniture for crack money”

      1. clearly these women were/are bad judges of character.not a quality to be proud of.

    4. I actually said something like this about a month ago,I was wondering why everyone’s boyfriends’ exes were all being called “psycho”…

      But then again I have a different experience,myboyfriend has two best friends,one of whom is one of his exes(she’s the only ex of his I know).I’ll go so far as to say I can understand why they dated…

      1. bittergaymark says:

        That was probably when I was up north in the woods for two weeks. Had I seem that post, I’d have chimed in with agreement surely.

    5. For the record, my boyfriend’s ex really was a phsyco. She punched him when he was breaking up w/ her & before that. every time he would try to break up with her, she would cry her eyes out & beg for a second/third/fourth chance. However, she’s never really done anything to me so I’m not really threatened by her at all.

      1. Did *he* tell you that? Yeah?

    6. SpyGlassez says:

      Except for his first girlfriend, all my bf’s girlfriends were normal. The relationships just didn’t work out and fizzled. A couple he is still FB friends with and gets Christmas cards from, one is still a good friend – none of that bothers me because I know they are in the past. He hadn’t dated anyone in the year and a half before we got together, so I realize that at ANY time he could have reconnected with one of them, and didn’t. Not everyone HAS to create drama, but it has been my experience that a lot of people LIKE to.

  25. I <3 Wendy! Great advice!

  26. Natasia Rose says:

    I think part of the reason gays don’t have this problem as much is because our community is so much smaller. Most of us stay friends with our exes and sometimes our friends date/marry our exes, so it’s better not to call them psychos.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      No, I genuinely think because we have perhaps been through so much more than most, we are simply more mature and actually know how to simply cut the bullshit theatrics that apparently plague straight people everywhere…

  27. So… there is a fucking economic crisis, with thousands of people unemployed and yet you expect your bf to quit his job and get another one, as if it was the easiest thing on Earth at this moment. And all because he works with his ex?


  28. Sorry but this is getting all stupid.
    First of all, a part of my letter was left out, the part where I said that my boyfriend did start to be successful in his field of interest. The fact that I was upset and vurnerable made me sound a little winy but the title of this column sure doesn’t describe how I feel about the situation. My boyfriend has had not one, but two other jobs aligned for quite some time and better ones in the sense that they have to do with the career he’s actually pursuing and much better pay. This is the reason I didn’t quite understand why he won’t leave that place already!

    While I am aware and completely understand the economic situation, this situation and this website for that matter have nothing to do with it!

    1. “The reason for the break is that he sees his ex-girlfriend at work every day”

      you did write that, right?

      1. Yes, I have and obviously I wanted advice on the situation I was finding myself in. I wasn’t trying to deny the fact that it bothers me. Taking a break was a mistake for many reasons but mainly for the fact that I don’t want the relationship to be over, but to just have a normal relationship with him and not feel like there is a 3rd person in it at times. Do I think too much of it (him working with his ex)? Perhaps. I don’t know anymore.
        I just felt like I was portrayed as this winy self centered bitch. I don’t feel the need to prove myself to anyone here, but I really just want advice that is based and given on the actual facts. I’m confused, hence the reason I wrote in..

      2. Well, even if some people were snarky others did give decent advice. Did you communicate that you don’t like him working with his ex? What were his reasons for staying in his ‘going-nowhere’ job if he has two others lined up with better pay in a field he actually wants to have a career in?

        I think the letter was way too vague for me to judge whether he has a ‘thing’ with his ex or not. I don’t know if they hang out together everyday and chat on the phone; I don’t know if they just do their job but her presence makes you uncomfortable. I think a lot of commenters assumed that if he DID hang out with her often, talk about her all the time, etc, it would have been mentioned, but even with the update I still don’t get that (aside from being a ‘3rd person in the relationship’–what do you mean by that?)

        Some people remain friends with their ex, the thing to do is communicate your feelings to you boyfriend. Maybe you do think too much of it? If you talked about it, maybe he would scale back hanging out with her everyday (or…whatever it is.) But you’ve got to let him know, since it seems like he’s in the dark and doesn’t understand what’s going on in your head.

  29. AndreaMarie says:

    LW- There’s things missing from your letter that make it hard to come up with the right thing to say. Is he giving you reason to suspect there is something going on with his ex? Or is it just the mere fact that he is working with her that bothers you? Either way, it’s only been 6 months and if there is this much build up animosity, and lack of trust, and general unhappiness, maybe it’s time just to move on.

    Also, in regards to the job, don’t want to keep harping on it, but times are bad. And even if someone is lucky enough to land a “grown-up” job, there is a real chance you could lose it. If your BF is comfortable and stable in his current job, and making decent money, I can understand his apprehension to leave it.

  30. My boyfriend left me for another girl. I needed him back desperately because i loved him so much. I became very worried and needed help. as i was browsing through the internet, I came across a website that suggested that Dr.mack can help get ex back fast, So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (return Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my boyfriend came back to me crying and begging for my forgiveness. Today I’m so happy and i want to recommend dr.mack201@gmail. com to anyone that truly needs an urgent solution to his or her broken relationships and marriage. ….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *