“My Boyfriend Won’t Stop Texting His Ex”

Long story short: I met my boyfriend a little over a year and a half ago. My parents had just decided to get a divorce that got nasty quick. We lived an hour and a half apart and the nights I couldn’t see him, we were on the phone for hours. After two months of officially dating we decided to move in together. I moved an hour and a half away from my family to a town where I knew no one but him. I got a job and everything was great. We talk about marriage and kids and houses and even tried to buy one but we didn’t qualify at the time.

I know he loves me, yet (sneaking while he was sleeping) I found he has been texting his ex. I know he’s done it before and he claims that she’s ‘crazy’ and won’t leave him alone and he doesn’t want to be mean and just tell her to stop because they were together for a long time. Needless to say, I am not OK with this. Especially because they talk about making a friendship between them work. Add on top of that, insecurities about my body and the comfortable weight I have gained, the decreasing amount of fun we have in the bedroom, and the fact that he works so much my family never gets to see him, I’m concerned. Do I bring it up? Do I not? How do you talk to a guy who doesn’t like to acknowledge problems? (Like the bedroom one, he has no idea why it’s changed…) Please help! — Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

What stood out to me the most in your letter was the brief aside in the second sentence about your parents’ quick and nasty divorce, followed two lines later by the admission that you and your boyfriend moved in together just two months after dating. Are these two items related? Do they have anything to do with your relationship woes now? Possibly. I’d even say probably. After all, you don’t mention your parents’ divorce again in your letter. I could have even edited out that line and the content of your message would have been the same … but the subtext would have been different.

You included that information for a reason, and I think the reason is to explain that you were feeling vulnerable and perhaps a little emotionally raw. You were looking for something to cling to — a bit of stability in your life — when the most stable structure of your formative years suddenly began crumbling. Your boyfriend provided that stability, but now, a year and a half later, you’re realizing that maybe he — and your relationship — isn’t the beacon of stability you saw it as in your more vulnerable state.

I’ve been there. I’ve been exactly where you are. I started dating a guy exactly two months after ending a four-year relationship with a live-in boyfriend — a boyfriend who provided a lot of stability and security through my mid-20s. Suddenly, I was untethered and probably a little uncomfortable being so — even if I didn’t realize that on a conscious level at the time. Then, I met this guy who was also recently single and the two of us quickly became an item. It wasn’t long before I, too, became suspicious of his ongoing “friendship” with his ex. He texted her quite a bit, and even had what sounded like a “lovers quarrel” on the phone with her one evening while I was over at his place. Like your boyfriend, this guy also referred to his ex as “crazy,” but seemed determined to keep a friendship with her, explaining that they had been through a lot together (beware the man who calls his ex crazy and yet cannot stop reaching out to her!!!).

This went on for months. As you might imagine — as you’re probably going through yourself right now — the situation took a real toll on my self-esteem. I felt out-of-control. I wanted to believe my boyfriend when he said he didn’t have feelings for his ex anymore and that I was just being jealous and crazy (there’s that word again!), but my gut screamed the opposite. And yet, I stayed with him. I was scared to be alone. Scared to re-build the unstable foundation below me and create a secure life as a single and independent woman. I guess I just didn’t have confidence that I could.

Luckily — though it didn’t feel so lucky at the time — my boyfriend made the decision for me. He broke up with me. We’d been fighting a lot lately and just weren’t connecting. He was finishing medical school anyway, and getting ready to start a residency in a different state, so the time was right to cut ties and move on. And, move on, I did. I spent the next year and change building my own life, creating my own stability, setting some boundaries for myself in terms of relationships and what I would and wouldn’t accept in a potential partner. Eventually, I met Drew and, well, you know the rest of my story. What you don’t know is this: that old boyfriend of mine? He eventually married someone else too. And guess who he married. Yep, the “crazy” ex who came before me. I guess my suspicions weren’t so off after all.

So, what does all this mean for you? It means for you to trust your gut. Listen to your heart. Pay attention to clues and signs from your boyfriend. Think about your motivation for being and staying with him. Are you truly in love, or are you hiding from something — avoiding a different kind of reality? If you aren’t happy with yourself right now — you talk about your “comfortable” weight gain, for example — it’s up to you to do something about it. If you’re not secure in your relationship, you need to talk to your boyfriend about the way you’ve been feeling (and if you can’t, that right there is a serious red flag). If you suspect he’s not as committed to you as you’d like him to be or you don’t trust that he’s truly cut the bonds with his ex, it may be time to consider moving on. Being in a halfhearted relationship can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. If you already feel things teetering in that direction, you have to summon the power to put an end to it. Really, the best gift you can give yourself is the opportunity to feel better than you feel right now. Unfortunately, you may have to feel a little bit worse first before you get there. But sometimes, that’s how you know you’re moving in the right direction.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.


  1. No man keeps a crazy woman in his life for no reason – no man keeps ANY woman in his life for no reason. If he hasn’t been honest with you about why she is still kickin around – it’s because he doesn’t want you to know.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      Wow. Women REALLY do seem to have a rather desperate killer instinct. That you and 19 others and counting are so insecure is just plain sad.

      1. for once, i actually agree with you.

      2. If you are hiding a relationship in your life from your significant other – there is a reason you are doing so. If the ex was a legitimate friend of his – he wouldn’t dismiss her as crazy to the girlfriend while secretly texting her about working on their friendship. I don’t see where insecurity plays in.

  2. I think Wendy hit the nail on the head with this one. It sounds like you replaced the heartbreak of your parents’ divorce with the emotional turmoil that an unsatisfying relationship provides. The fact that you’ve been living together for over a year and yet still don’t feel like you can bring up obvious problems to him is worrisome. You’re looking to him to be your emotional shelter, yet he isn’t there for you.

    I dated that guy too. And yep, he was a rebound after a very emotionally draining breakup. He was supposed to fix everything and make me feel better, but I just felt stretched thin when I realized that once again I was holding everything together while he didn’t see any problems. Needless to say, it didn’t last.

    So tell your boyfriend that things aren’t ok. Don’t be afraid to say what you’re thinking, but also be prepared that once again you aren’t going to get the response you desire…or sincerity or caretaking from him. And don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t feel that he’s adding anything to your life, but just making it more stressful. You might need some time on your own to return to your confident, independent self. That’s when you’ll find someone that complements you, and you won’t have to try so hard to make him fit.

  3. I have a rule that if any guy seriously refers to a woman as crazy, whether it be an ex or myself, I run the other way. I have found through dating many men that it is a word they like to throw at women to throw them off the trail of suspicion. “no I’m not cheating on you with my ex, she’s crazy” or “no I’m not cheating, you are crazy”. Every time a guy has thrown that word around ive been 100% right about his shady behavior. Trust your gut on this. If in your gut you feel your bf isnt over gis ex, then im almost positive you are right. Wendy is right that there is a reason why your boyfriend is trying to stay in contact with this woman so badly. You need to take off your rose colored glasses and take a hard look at yourself, your boyfriend, and your relationship to solve these problems.

    1. This is SO true.
      My ex had a “crazy” girl in his life. Granted, I think she became a little bit obsessed with him, but I don’t think she got that way on her own. Because he wasn’t that special… he expected me to believe that random women just threw themselves at him and tried to break us up because he is just so much of a catch she couldn’t resist? Right. He was going behind my back and encouraging her “crazy” behavior. And I just loved him so much I wanted to believe his lies.
      That “crazy” word is a HUGE red flag. Don’t ignore it.

    2. Shadowflash1522 says:

      I feel like “crazy” is relationship-speak for “butt the hell out of my life”. If your bf/gf says it to you or about you, it’s time to reconsider the relationship.

      1. VegasNative says:

        I respectfully disagree. Sometime’s someone CAN act “crazy”. There was a long period of time that my SO was constantly accusing me of cheating. Daily, sometimes several times a day. I’ve NEVER cheated on him in any way. After I’d had enough of the harassment and was tired of being interrogated every day my response to him eventually ended up as, you guessed it, “you’re f*n crazy.” If anyone should have been reconsidering the relationship at that point it was me, not him. After the baby was born the accusations died down. Though I did consider it, I’m glad I didn’t leave. But, just cause someone acts crazy, and you call them on it, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily hiding something. Sometimes the red flag isn’t someone calling the other crazy, sometimes the red flag is the one who is acting crazy.

    3. neuroticbeagle says:

      The problem is sometimes the ex really is crazy. My brother didn’t post his relationship with his girlfriend at the time on facebook because his ex is a psycho. The gf thought it was shady until the ex, using a key she illegally made, entered his apartment while my brother and the gf were sleeping and watched them sleep for a while. Eventually the gf wound up locking herself in the bathroom calling the cops to get rid of the psycho.

  4. silver_dragon_girl says:

    Sometimes relationships just aren’t right. I’m not going to comment on whether or not your parents’ divorce or your own insecurities had anything to do with moving in with this guy so quickly, because I don’t think I have enough information to draw that conclusion. What I do know is that you’re worried, you snooped in your boyfriend’s phone, things have been going downhill in the bedroom, you’ve gained some weight, and you don’t feel like your bf is trying to be a part of your family.

    So I just want to remind you that sometimes relationships just aren’t right. Sometimes things need to end, not because anyone did anything wrong, but because they just need to end. I think this might be one of those cases, because you honestly sound kind of lost.

    Your boyfriend is showing symptoms of this feeling, too, by talking to his “crazy” ex. I think he might be a little bored and complacent and lost, too, so he’s allowing the drama back into his life to get back that exciting feeling. It’ll probably blow up in his face.

    But, you do need to talk to him about all this. Have a good old sit-down talk about it…why it bothers you, what other things bother you, etc. Sort of a “state of the relationship” discussion. Don’t forget to ask him how he feels, too (I think a lot of guys tend to feel blindsided in talks like these because they feel like they’re being talked at rather than with). See where the conversation takes you.

  5. GatorGirl says:

    It’s surprizing to me how many people write in to say the “snooped through their BF’s phone” or “logged on to his e-mail because I was bored” and found something that was unsettling. People need to stop snooping and start talking to each other. And if the person you’re trying to talk to won’t talk or brushed you off- that’s a red flag. Good, honest communication is the only way any relationship is going to survive and flurish.

    1. For real! I am adding a new rule 1) if you’re snooping through his stuff, chances are your relationship is in deep trouble. 2) if you have to ask if you should MOA you probably better. It’s all along the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” even if he ISN’T doing anything shady, you’ve already cast the shadow of doubt onto the relationship and that’s really hard to reverse.

      1. GatorGirl says:

        Even when I’ve been in relationships that were in “deep trouble” I didn’t break into the BF’s phone or e-mail or FB. I confronted them and it was talked about- one relationship ended as a result and my current relationship is better than ever. And it is such a strong relationship BECAUSE we had an honest discussion about the issue, figured out why it was an issue, and how to fix it together.

        If you just talk to each other everything is so much easier!

      2. Of course you should talk it through, but by the time you’re snooping – that’s a sign of bigger trouble.

      3. I 100% agree. It’s hard to talk honestly and openly about emotional issues or relationship issues, but it’s the only way to make things work. For the first time in a truly open relationship, and it is so much better than what I’ve experienced before. I’ve snooped to find out what was going on before (he was cheating and I was looking for proof since he’d lied to me about it), but it only confirmed that the relationship was DOA. Good relationships depend on honest communication.

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      Its also one of those things where you found what you were looking for and now how do you feel? Not good. If you think you have to snoop, somethings already so wrong and that alone should be the red flag, not the ‘proof’ in the phone. Yesterday’s LW was pretty funny though…out of the blue, totally harmless and bored, I logged into the morning after his bachelor party. Come on!

    3. I’m not sure I agree. Well, I agree that it’s not right to snoop but I’ve had enough being cheated on experiences, (including dealing with my dad cheating on my mom,) that I would feel stupid not protecting my investment. If my boyfriend’s in the shower and his iPhone is right out there I have no reason not to poke around. And honestly, I don’t care. I never find anything, of course. Half the texts he gets he shows me anyway to get my opinion or if it involves me/ plans with our friends. But if I did I would rather find it myself, after months of secret keeping I would be kicking myself for not tryin to find the truth out on my own :>

      1. My girlfriend always leaves her phone out when she is in the shower or something, and I have no reason to go through her phone. I do have a reason to not go through her phone when she isn’t around, and that is trust. If it really is no big deal you should just be able to go through your boyfriends phone when he is around, and shouldn’t have to do it behind his back.

      2. I agree that trust is the reason you shouldn’t need to snoop. The other reason people snoop, though, is insecurity–the snooper has anxieties about their status, whether the other person has done anything or not, and the snooping is to confirm that everything’s ok. Not saying this applies to you, j. walker, but I have seen it. In that case the snooper needs to work on their own issues and self-image and then learn to trust their partner. But as people have said above, communication would solve a lot problems.

      3. I would feel beyond violated if I found out my boyfriend went through my phone or e-mail without my consent. Call me crazy but even though we’re “together”, I am still an individual who’s entitled to have personal/private thoughts that I get to choose “when” or “if” I want to share with him. I guess for me snooping is tantamount to rooting through another person’s mind without permission and unless you’re Sookie freakin’ Stackhouse, it doesn’t “just happen”; it requires effort and a conscious decision to trespass where you have not been invited.

      4. but the problem is his “personal” “private” thoughts were being shared with an ex. If her boyfriend is sharing deeper thoughts with his ex than he is with her then there are bigger issues in the relationship then the girlfriend going through his phone.

      5. GatorGirl says:

        I definitely agree with bagge72

        If you trust someone you don’t need to snoop or “try to find out the truth”.

  6. Shadowflash1522 says:

    My first take on this is the same as always when I see some variation on this line:
    “I know he loves me, yet (sneaking while he was sleeping) I found he has been texting his ex.”

    First of all, the fact that you doubt him enough to snoop through his messages without his knowledge should be sending up red flags, red flares, red bonfires of warning! For two major reasons:

    1. You, the LW. You do not trust your bf no matter how much you love him. It’s one thing if his phone falls into your lap and you happen to see his text conversation, but this is full-on espionage. You find yourself looking for justification for your lack of trust–hence the snooping–but even without rational justification, you don’t trust him. Therefore, it is unlikely this relationship will work out unless you decide he’s worth trusting on his own merits.

    2. Him, the potentially sleazy bf. These feelings of uneasiness don’t just pop up out of nowhere from the darkness of your mind. The mind doesn’t like to torture itself that way (unless you’re clinically paranoid) so it’s safe to say that your subconscious has probably flagged something that your conscious mind missed. He’s doing something that makes you uncomfortable, he even knows what it is, and refuses to acknowledge it (let alone stop). Meanwhile, the alarm bells in your head are still ringing. Why could that be?

    Personally, I would MOA. My gut says MOA. Then again, I decided freshman year of college that I don’t need an excuse to go with my gut (a fact that drive used to drive my friends/boyfriend crazy! They learned to hate the words “I don’t feel like it”/”this doesn’t feel right”). You don’t have to wait until the solid evidence floats to the surface to know that you’re done with this relationship, which it sounds like you are.

    Above all, have a conversation with him. Yes, I would bring it up; no, I would not avoid it; be as direct and straightforward as you can when talking to him. If he refuses to talk to you about it, then he has lost his chance to be part of your decision to stay or go. Good luck!!!

  7. ReginaRey says:

    Wendy’s response was perfect! To add on…Yes, LW, I also think that you’re using this relationship as an emotional shield – you can hide behind your parent’s divorce here, you can feel relatively “safe” and much less exposed than you might feel if you were single, and you don’t have to concentrate on your own worries and issues.

    But this relationship really doesn’t seem to be serving you well. You’re sneaking looks through his phone while he’s sleeping – You don’t trust him – and honestly for good reason. When someone wants to be with YOU, respects you, prioritizes you, they don’t spend time talking to “crazy exes,” and they certainly don’t spend time making up excuses to the girlfriend they’re supposed to prioritize about why they CAN’T stop talking to their ex. Any guy who refuses – and YES, the fact that he won’t stop IS a refusal – to part ways with his ex is a huge red flag. It means he doesn’t really respect you, he’s not fully into this relationship, and maybe he’s waiting for something else (or her…) to come around.

    No matter what, I think it’s time for you to MOA. Your boyfriend is more concerned about keeping ties with his ex than keeping your relationship solid – therefore the lack of excitement and interest in the bedroom. And PLEASE, don’t buy that line about him ‘not knowing why it’s changed.’ He knows exactly why – he’s bored with this relationship but he’s too comfortable and complacent to do anything about it.

    This is one of those relationships that will suck you down if you let it. Not because it’s explosive or super unhealthy, but because it’s preventing you from growing. I think being single, learning how to make yourself happy, dealing with your parent’s divorce on your own (and with the help of a professional, too), will do WORLDS of good for your self-esteem and confidence. And after that’s taken care of, you certainly won’t have the time of day for dudes who can’t stop talking to their ex-girlfriend – you’ll only be interested in guys who are interested in you.

    1. This letter reminded me of when I was in therapy and I would go to my therapist and complain about all these things that were wrong with my relationship and she would see right through me and get me to talk about the deeper issues that were troubling me in my life and it would make me so upset because she was totally right. Sometimes it’s easier to blame your boyfriend or your relationship for making you unhappy, when you’re really just unhappy to begin with.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        Yes, absolutely. I think we’ve all used relationships to mask bigger problems or unhappiness in our own lives. It’s really hard when you’re mired in it to see through and pick out what the real problems are…which is why it’s so beneficial at times to be single!

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      “Not because it’s explosive or super unhealthy, but because it’s preventing you from growing.” This is something people I think don’t always realize. It doesn’t have to be a horrible relationship to simply not be the right relationship.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        It took me a while to learn that lesson, too. My first boyfriend and I had a terribly unhealthy relationship. With my most recent boyfriend, nothing was bad. But it wasn’t amazing, either. He was great, but I just didn’t feel much anymore. Pinpointing that it’s not right when there’s no huge red flag waving in your face is MUCH more difficult.

  8. I’ve found that a lot of guys refer to their exes as crazy, even when they don’t see them that way. I don’t think it necessarily means anything in itself, but if he’s trying to maintain this idea that they aren’t speaking and he doesn’t want to talk to her, but is actually trying to be friends, then that dishonesty is a problem. Though, if all they talked about is making their friendship work, that doesn’t really seem that bad. Maybe talk to him so you guys can get all that in the open, and Wendy’s advice about your reasons for moving in, etc., makes sense.

    1. In some cases referring to exes as “crazy” just means we don’t want to get into it….I thought I have had some crazy exes…at least one actually was….but in hindsight they were fairly common problems that immaturity merely exacerbated….and they usually didn’t get crazy until they were trying to force a failing relationship to work.

  9. lets_be_honest says:

    Wendy, I thought your advice today and story was really great. I think it applies to everything too, not just relationships. I know I’m not the only one who needs a wake-up call or a good look in the mirror sometimes.

  10. I am so confused. One day we are saying that if a guy has issues with his gfs past bfs/lovers being friends with his gf that he is controlling…and the best this girl found on his phone after snooping is nothing more than “committing to make friendship work”…someone care to elaborate?

    Could it be she is out of line and he is using crazy as a descriptor to express that he isn’t interested and she has nothing to be threatened by rather than using that to deflect potential immaturity issues he has in relationships? Has he foregone sex with you (before you stopped)? Is he out late nights with no valid or sketchy reasons?

    Regardless of that I think Wendy was right to read into the emotional crutch aspect. But the lw talks about all these insecurities she has in herself and the relationship and maybe the friendship with the ex is just the hyper focus of insecurity….I completely agree they got ahead of themselves in the relationship.

    Personally I think spending hours on the phone a night when you lived nearby reeks of codependence…but I hate talking on the phone so I admit I am biased here.

    1. Gosh, I hate talking on the phone too. Just come over already!!

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      Good call Budj. It doesn’t seem to go both ways on here, but I like to hope that its just the specific examples that are the reasons we sometimes say ‘he/she’s controlling’ v. ‘this guy is bad news for talking to his ex.’ Hopefully.

      1. Well I’m not trying to claim double-standard at all – I just think it seems inconsistent and I was asking why people jumped to that conclusion in this case. Don’t get me wrong…I totally agree that a lot of times these situations spell bad news for the current gf….but….with that logic:

        If guys can’t pursue friendships with exes because there are assumed devious intentions then how can any woman have a friendship with an ex-bf and call it mutually platonic to their current bf?

        Are those saying they are “friends” with their exes more acquaintance-like friendships? So the constant texting is a red flag? I guess I just need some context for how this is rationalized.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        I think the problem here is the texting behind her back. Saying someones crazy and then talking to them semi-secretly? That’s the red flag. If he were open with the LW and said listen, I have this ex that I’m still friends with and plan to continue a friendship with and hope you’re cool with that, that’s one thing. Its an entirely different scenario if he says ‘oh she’s crazy,’ but not crazy enough that I don’t wanna text her constantly.

      3. i think that’s the difference here too. in this case if the bf wanted a friendship with his ex he should be honest and not call her crazy and say he’s only talking to her to be nice. that’s what makes it different for me. it’s fine if you want to be friends but be honest and open about it and don’t pretend to not like her but yet keep communicating behind my back.

      4. Ugh I had a really well thought out post that got lost in the internet because of an error when posting and I don’t have the time to think it out again…but…

        I didn’t read he was doing it behind her back initially. I read he was texting her in the open – LW told him to stop – ex persisted and he humored her without telling the LW because she already went the controlling route with it. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but I believe that this is an example of an incompatible relationship.

      5. hmm i read it as behind her back both times, i can see where it might have been in the open at the beginning now.

      6. Shadowflash1522 says:

        Here’s the way I perceive that it’s supposed to work:

        Persons A and B are in a relationship. Person B is doing something like this that makes Person A uncomfortable. A would be considered “controlling” if he/she forced B to give up the friendship, because neither one should be willing or able to force the other to do anything. On the flip side, B should give up the friendship freely and willingly out of respect for A’s insecurities, provided that they are reasonable. If A feels like they have to force B, or if B feels compelled by obligation rather than a sincere desire to make A happy, then this is a problem. B can be considered insensitive for maintaining a friendship despite A’s discomfort, but it is still not A’s place to *make* B do anything.

        Sorry if that got confusing, my point was that I think it’s more circumstantial and less gender-based bias.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        But what if B doesn’t want to give up the friendship? I was in this position once. My closest friend is an ex from highschool (I’m almost 30 now) and we’ve been friends since we dated way back then. Strictly platonic, best of friends. I had a boyfriend that this bothered a lot. I did everything I could to make him comfortable with it, even offered to only hang out with my friend with the bf was with me. Still, he couldn’t stand it and I’m sure would’ve been very happy if I said ok, hunny, I’ll end this friendship. I couldn’t though. Why should I end an over-decade long friendship with someone who has been an incredible person in my life just to make my bf happy?

      8. Then maybe that wasn’t the boyfriend for you. But I do think there is a difference between a decade-old friendship with a high school boyfriend and a recent ex where there might still be feelings involved on one or both sides.

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess you make the best point. If its something the other person just isn’t willing to end/stop doing/whatever, then maybe that just isn’t the right person for you. Sacrifices for SOs is important, but sometimes things are too important to sacrifice.

      10. yea, I picture that as the good bye handshake situation – mutual recognition of incompatability with no hard feelings.

      11. Shadowflash1522 says:

        I didn’t mean to imply that B is obligated to be the one making all the sacrifices here. However, B not wanting to give up the friendship (whether it’s b/c B is a two-timing douche or someone with long-term loyalties such as yourself) creates an impasse.

        Yes, it’s selfish for A to expect you to give up a long-held friendship. It would be just as selfish for you to ask A to just get over it. My point was that if B wants to give it up, as a gift to A, great. If A wants to learn to tolerate it for B’s sake, also great. But none of this should be forced or coerced, and the blame lies with the one doing the forcing/coercing.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        All very true.

      13. That is great analysis of the situation. Or any situation where compromise is involved in a relationship.

      14. bittergaymark says:

        Whatever. If somebody I date proves to be so needy and pathetic that he can’t handle me be friends with an Ex than I simply wouldn’t want to date him anymore. Frankly he wouldn’t be worthy of such a “gift.” I get tired of how guys on here are always accused of disrespecting their girlfriends feelings in situations such as these, but somehow the girls are never accused of disrespecting HIS feelings in the flipside. Why should he have to give up a friendship? Why can’t she just get over it. Frankly, demanding people terminate friendships smacks of psycho controlling behavior… But on here, if it’s a woman demanding it — all too often it’s “if he really cared about you, he’d do this for you… and blah blah blah.” Frankly, it’s a big load of b.s.

      15. Love this!! That’s exactly how it’s supposed to work. If you’re doing something that is making someone else legitimately uncomfortable and you care about that person, you should stop doing it. Because you don’t want to hurt them, not because they made you! I’m not sure why all these people have seemingly stronger ties to their exes than their current relationships.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        I hear your point, and somewhat agree, but hear me out here and let me know what you think–Don’t you think thats a little bit like, for example, a girl saying ‘oh no hunny, you dont have to get me anything for valentine’s day’ and then when boy doesn’t, girls all disappointed like he should’ve known. Seems a little mind-gameish. I agree with you if it were something not that important to the person giving it up, but lets say I love my dog and my boyfriends allergic. So I see him sneeze all the time, should I give the dog away?

      17. Shadowflash1522 says:

        That smacks of passive/aggressive coercion to me, which makes the girlfriend at fault in your first scenario. As for the second scenario, you will eventually have to decide which you want in your life more, boyfriend or dog. That’s a deeply personal choice, and no one here will fault you for going either way. Trying to have both will make you, your dog, and your boyfriend miserable.

      18. I think the idea is that there needs to be mutual compromise on both sides. And RESPECT is a huge part of that. My husband and I respect each other and take each other’s feelings into account all the time. We make each other our priority, and do things for the good of the relationship, because ultimately, that’s what’s important. And that’s why I said “legitimately” uncomfortable, because I definitely agree with you that you should never play mind games with someone you care about. I guess the types of situations I was referring to would be something like if I’m still talking to an ex and it upsets my husband/boyfriend, I should value him enough to put his feelings above a relationship that is over.

      19. lets_be_honest says:

        This is a great example of a relationship working correctly. Respect, fairness, each other being the priority.

      20. She did show controlling behavior though.

      21. A more thorough reply to your post – I think people completely missed that she told him to stop (she didn’t say it…but read the timeline of events and the context of his responses to her inquiries when he knew she was aware of it). That makes the context of his texting “behind her back” a lot different…

      22. I agree, instead of telling him to stop, she could have told him that it makes her really uncomfortable, and then she could have reacted from there. If he kept texting her she could have decided if that was an ice breaker, and if he stopped then everything is A OK!

      23. i think you can reach a compromise as well. i don’t think it always has to be as black and white as stop being friends or not. my husband has one ex who is a friend. she makes me uncomfortable. i’m not her biggest fan, but she is on of his friends from old friends from school. he knows she’s not my favorite person, he still hangs out with her but only in groups and has always been willing to include me in things they do. just the fact that he showed the willingness to make me comfortable makes me more comfortable with their friendship.

      24. oi vey, i meant to say she is one of his old friends from school, don’t know what i did to that sentence!

      25. That is definitely a healthy way to handle it – as someone that has issues with that I would be put at ease if that was the arrangement too and would appreciate my gf a lot more for compromising.

    3. Skyblossom says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Sometimes everyone is saying it’s good for a person to be friends with their past bf/gf and sometimes it’s a red flag. It can’t really be both ways at the same time.

  11. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:

    Wendy, thanks so much for sharing that story from your past. I think it really helps all of us to share the mistakes we’ve made, trials we’ve endured, and revelations we’ve reached as a result. And considering your strength and marital happiness now, it sure means a lot to understand the path that got you there.

  12. “Really, the best gift you can give yourself is the opportunity to feel better than you feel right now. Unfortunately, you may have to feel a little bit worse first before you get there. But sometimes, that’s how you know you’re moving in the right direction.”

    That is great advice, Wendy! I’m quitting smoking cigarettes today – getting ready to have my last one now : ) – & I think it’s going to be like a break-up…. Hard to build a new reality, but exhilarating in the opportunity to move toward a better life!

  13. lets_be_honest says:

    Wow! Good luck. Can I ask how you’re doing it? Do you smoke a lot?

    1. I actually read the book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr… It sounds gimmicky, but it was an amazing book. Through the logic of the book, I’ve also decided to stop drinking alcohol as well (though I don’t drink or smoke much, I find craving cigarettes or a drink during a stressful time to be a massive stress in itself).

      I found it very powerful & am very excited to be a non-smoker & non-drinker!

      That said, I think it could be kind of socially awkward to be a non-drinker… Especially in the dating world? I’m not sure, but I’m sure I want to stop. I have a date Friday, so I’ll see how he takes it when I get a tonic & lime : )

      1. At first it was smoking and drinking..then smoking and driving….then smoking when I’m stressed….fortunately I’m still a pack or two a week (american spirits are “additive-free” so I feel “less bad”), but it is a slippery fucking slope. I didn’t even start really smoking until last year either. GL! I’m not ready nor care to quit right now, but since it is obviously horrible for me I should probably get there soon.

      2. Well, I think you should buy this book & keep it around until you are ready. I have smoked on-&-off for 5 years (at times, heavily), but I know that I have just had my last cigarette ever. I am so excited! This guy went from 100/day to zero & says he “enjoyed” quitting. I know it sounds weird, but I’m enjoying it too : )

      3. bittergaymark says:

        You sure sound like you are going about this right. My friends who have successfully quit (I have never smoked) all say it’s mainly about the attitude. Desperately wanting to, needing to quit… and then simply the ability to stick it out when temptation strikes… A couple broke down and used the nic patches and had great success. But I’ve had friends do just fine without, too. Hang in there. You will FEEL so much better.

      4. I´m a non drinker (always have been, I have never liked an alcoholic drink though I´ve tried several). Granted I don´t live in the States, but I´ve never really had a problem not drinking when other people are. My husband occasionally complains about not being able to share a wine or a beer when we go out, but he´s used to it by now!
        A woman at my old job used to tell me that her divorce was in large part because she couldnt share a bottleof wine with her non drinking husband! (needless to say we didn´t get along terribly well!!!)

      5. Skyblossom says:

        I quit drinking when I was dating because alcohol just made me sleepy/groggy and did absolutely nothing else to me or for me. I never had fun when drinking, just fought to stay awake. I found it was easy to say no and order something else. No one ever cared and no one ever pushed me to drink. Occasionally someone would ask why I didn’t drink and I’d tell them but it was never rude or pushy.

  14. lw i think like wendy said there are some other serious issues going on in the relationship. you moved in together after two months?!? that is so quick. i admit that my husband and i fell in love quick, but at the two month mark moving in together was not on either of our radars. my husband and i have been together for 3 years and haven’t tried to buy a house yet! you’ve tried to buy a house with this guy after a year and a half? you definitely need to take a minute and stop what you’re doing and really think about where you are in life. have you dealt with your parents divorce? and not to bring the age thing up again but you sound like you are still very young. i think it might behoove you to give yourself some time to figure out what it is you want in life and like i said before deal with your parents diovce.

  15. AndreaMarie says:

    Ok, LW, there’s a couple points I want to make…let’s see if I can keep them all organized.

    1. I’m with Wendy on the whole corelation between your parent’s messy divorce and you moving in with your BF (to a whole other town). Maybe you were looking for an excuse to get away from the turmoil in your family? Also, maybe he did serve as a source of calm and stability. I always say everyone comes into our lives for a purpose. Everyone serves some form of purpose in our lives. Some are only involved for a short time. This could be your boyfriend. He brought to your life what you needed at the time and now that time has passed.

    2. Your insecurities and unhappiness within your self could be contributing to some of the tension in your current relationship. You mentioned you had put on some weight. It’s very possible you have turned to food to provide some sort of comfort to handle your feelings of depression, fustration, and anxiety in your relationship. Which leads me to my next point..

    3. Complete lack of communication in your relationship. You have been together for over a year and live together yet it seems clear neither of your are good at talking about your feelings with one another. You are unhappy and feeling insecure yet you don’t talk about it with him. You should be upfront and openly discuss things in your relationship. When it comes to the bedroom issue, maybe he truly doesn’t have a straight answer. Maybe it’s a symptom of the other problems in your relationship. The lack of communication, maybe he senses your insecurities and unhappiness. Instead of trying to pinpoint 1 item why not talk (and have some playful fun while doing it) about how to spice things up. But it’s obvious he has as much issue with communicating is emotions..which brings me to the Ex situation…

    4. Let me start off with saying I was once referred to as the “crazy ex”. I’m nto saying this is your situation but my BF of over 3 years and I broke up and he began dating someone a month later. He was still communicating with me and many times would be the one to be reaching out. If his Ex saw my ## on his phone he’d pull the whole “she’s crazy. she can’t let go” etc. One night I saw 17 missed calls ffrom him. I called back and she answered and then put him on the phone where he proceeded to yell “stop calling me!! You’re crazy! I don’t want you anymore, I love my girlfriend”. All while I was saying “ummm YOU called me 17 times!!!” Needless to say the whole “crazy ex” seems to stand for “ex that i haven’t completely moved on from but I’m happy with you and don’t want you to get upset when I talk to her I just need to work through my old relationship my own way”. In the end, he should just be upfront with you. Explain why he still talks to her.

    1. I totally identified with number 4! I dated this guy for a year and a half in college and on and off for another 6 months. He started dating someone else while we were still on/off, but whatever I let it go and tried to move on by cutting off contact and meeting new guys. He told all his friends I was crazy and I lost a lot of our good mutual friends during that period because of it. Well a year later when he tried to break up with the new girl she broke into his house in the middle of the night, he came home to find her in his bed, and he had to call the cops. All I could say to him and his friends was “see, you called me crazy, but I never broke into your house!!!”

      1. neuroticbeagle says:

        Did this new girl’s name start with B? She sounds like someone my brother dated.

    2. THANK YOU. Very well said and on point.

  16. This is one of those times when a range of male perspectives is bound to be helpful. I just read this letter again but imagined being the guy and assuming he’s not some jerk but taking at face value that he is as the LW says “considerate” and in love with the LW as stated.

    Again, I’m frustrated by how quick so many are to tell her to flush her marriage-bound love down the toilet with so darn little a) provocation or b) effort made to address the issue. That’s not good advice and I’m calling you out. You may well be right in the end but you are shortcutting and short-changing the LW.

    Age is really important too. Assuming they are sub 25. She just wants to know how to bring this up and whether to discuss it with him. These are vital communication skills for RESOLVING CONFLICTS people. Geez, we can’t just run from every misunderstanding or disagreement in life. Not everyone needs to be so darn judgy and fragile about every perceived sleight in life. It’s no show of courage to simply move on in life when things don’t go your way- it is the opposite.

    That’s it. I’m starting the “Resolve your problems don’t run from them” syndicate. 🙂

    In this case, isn’t it possible that this guy is genuinely considerate and wants to have a friendly relationship with this woman he used to date? Why not choose to be OK with that, so long as there are clear boundaries? Wendy’s story may have been a self-fulfilling one. Her discomfort fed the problem and as she says herself, as she developed better boundaries, her relationships improved. Good fences make good neighbors whereas distrust (like the LW’s) simply leads to distrust and dissolutions.

    The LW should just bring it up and put it on the line. But absolutely they should talk it out. “Listen, I was thinking about your friendship with Ex and I wanted to share that it makes me very uncomfortable and it’s important for you to know why.” etc. Then they can establish some boundaries together. Not everything has to be an ultimatum. If he breaks the boundaries they mutually set, then she has a different problem. If they cannot agree on boundaries, then THAT is the issue. She should go through this not around it. No wimping out.

    1. i think though that the letter definitely showed that there were other issues. him texting his ex is just one of others she listed. communication is a big issue but one that relates to multiple parts of their relationship not just the ex. and i think they moved extremely fast right after a traumatic time in the lw’s life. i think she needs to deal with her issues surrounding her parents divorce. do i think she should break up immediately, no. but, i think she’s ignoring issues of her own that are making the chance of this relationship lasting extremely low.

      1. bittergaymark says:

        I agree, too. I simply can’t believe how threatened so many are by a little texting… Especially when the most scandalous tidbit uncovered is “Let’s try to be friends…”

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      Very well said, and agreed.

  17. Natasia Rose says:

    I love Wendy’s response! It’s so thoughtful and personal. I hope the LW finds the confidence she needs and follows her instincts.

  18. bittergaymark says:

    Proof that America gets fatter and fatter by the day, lately every other letter includes the follow tidbit “I am insecure about my weight and looks.” You know what? If I am insecure about something… I actually do something about it! Go to the gym! Cut out potato chips! Eat better! Seriously… Why are so many people so resigned in their early twenties to being big and fat? I simply don’t get it. I don’t get it at all…

    I do agree with Wendy that she is using this relationship as a means of escaping bad feelings about her parents divorce. That is way too much pressure to put on ANY new relationship.

    As far as the texting, eh, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. Why? Well, mainly because she’s been busy snooping and the most damning thing she’s uncovered is that “they want to be friends…” Seriously, that is such a pretty pale red flag there, I don’t even know if it qualifies as pink… If you can’t handle your boyfriend being on friendly terms with an ex, then frankly I don’t think you are mature enough to handle a REAL relationship.

    PS — Wait, he doesn’t have much time to see your family? Why would he want to? Hello! They are in the middle of a messy divorce. Frankly, I wouldn’t exactly being dying to do family dinners with them either. Why? Those in messy divorces are almost always constantly trying to recruit people into taking their side.

    1. I can agree with you on all that – except why on earth would he call the ex “crazy” and still want to make it work out as a friendship? Who is he trying to protect? The obviously emotionally damaged girlfriend or the supposedly “crazy” ex-girlfriend? Why bother protecting either of them and just be honest with the both of them if it is the truth? If he were being honest with the girlfriend, then he’d be honest with the ex and save some drawn-out heartache. I don’t think he’s being honest with the girlfriend, and if he’s not being honest with her, can we expect him to be honest with the “ex”, and can we truly expect him to be honest about her mental stability (as the “crazy” ex)? No. What is the end-game for him? His modus operandi?

      1. bittergaymark says:

        Well, there could be several reasons.

        I’ve had friends dating people who were so insecure that my friends felt compelled to label all their exes crazy as a defense mechanism. Or to just give themselves far less of a headache. I don’t necessarily condone this behavior. But I have witnessed first hand how it be used avoid a fight. I was once out to dinner with a friend and his New Mr. Who Wouldn’t Last Very Long. We ran into an Ex. The Ex was very friendly. But in a casual charming way. The Ex was way more interested in talking to me as we had worked together on a film recently… The minute Mr Ex walked away the new guy was fuming. “Why was he so nice to you? I hate all my exes! Do you miss him? Do you wanna be with him? You can! He’s right over there…” It was odd. Mr. Insecurity kept on insisting that the Ex still wanted to be with my friend. (Not true. So not true.) Finally my friend blurted out, “Look, the only way that is the case is if my Ex is crazy!” “Oh…so he’s crazy. Oh. Great. Now I know what we’re up against…” The real irony here was that now the real threat to their relationship wasn’t the Ex. But me. As I swiftly dragged my friend to the men’s room where I could ask “Okay, what the fuck?” Exit Mr. DIDN’T Last Very Long.

        Also, how often did he call the ex crazy? The LW is vague. Frankly she seems so insecure that he very well could have found that the only way to pacify her was to tell her that the ex is “Crazy.” Not very admirable. But sometimes one is backed into a corner and does things out of desperation.

        Clearly the LW very much IS threatened by any contact. And it’s rather telling that the most damning info we have here is that “they talk about making a friendship work.” Clearly if he was still into the Ex…or was say obsessed with her and texting her numerous times a day, we would have heard about it. The LW clearly would have presented that info. Clearly it would have been there in the texts… Heck, they don’t even talk on the phone and I know this because you can be damn well sure the LW checked his call list as well… I’d bet my bottom dollar on this, too.

      2. parton_doll says:

        I agree with you that I think she is letting her insecurities get to her and she needs to work on figuring that out for herself. Then she can worry about the relationship.

      3. Skyblossom says:

        Her parents marriage failed and now she doesn’t trust relationships so she’s trying to protect herself by searching for evidence of a problem. I think she needs to work out her issues about her divorced parents and realize how that affects her attitude and belief about marriage. Since she’s just watched a marriage fail and before that the communication was probably poor she hasn’t had a good model for communication in a relationship.

    2. I’m with you, BGM. I think that the boyfriend talking to the ex is the LEAST of this girl’s problems. I don’t know why so many people get sooo bent out of shape about exes. SHE is the one who is insecure, and SHE is the one who snooped.

      And her question is about communication. My advice would be to get EVERYTHING out in the open, and see if they can work it out. They moved too fast, so their relationship doesn’t have a solid foundation. She says he doesn’t like to acknowledge problems, but she needs to let him know that this stuff needs to be addressed if they are going to make their relationship work. And if their communication styles are too different, or if they can’t come up with solutions that they both agree on, then maybe they just aren’t right for each other.

      But yeah… the lack of communication, fear around discussing relationship problems, general insecurity on her part, lack of a solid foundation, and bedroom problems all point to the “MOA” wayyyyyyy more than the ex texts.

  19. Sneaking = you don’t trust him = no relationship.

  20. Oh boy. Well… I am leery about any guy who calls an ex “crazy”. Why? Because I am part of the “Crazy Exes Club” that my first husband has. Any ex that leaves him and gets a restraining order against him thanks to his stalking, physical abuse and occasional gun to the head in order to convince the “crazy” female to take him back is labeled “crazy”, a “liar”, and “playing the anti-male criminal system” to get him in trouble when he talks about the incident to family, friends, and the next girlfriend (usually aged 16-20).
    Are you sure HE isn’t initiating contact with this female? That HE can’t let go of her, for some reason, and you just are allowing yourself to believe the lip-service he’s giving you because you want to believe? Trust me, we ALL believe at first. Then, we see the truth, feel horrible at the fact that we were duped, were blind/stupid to the truth that was staring us in the face (irregardless of our age/naivity, etc), and then we move on.

    Trust your gut. You moved way too quickly and you jumped out of your comfort zone to shield yourself from a messy divorce between your parents (I can understand not wanting to get into the middle of that, but thats why you stiffen your spine and set boundaries). You don’t know many people in this town – what happens if you stay and he starts harassing you?

  21. My ex had a crazy ex as well. It turned out she was not so crazy, and was actually his other gf. She lived on the other side of the country and he did a lot of business in that state, so what I thought were business trips actually turned out to be visits to her. In fact, I ended up being the other woman in that situation given that they were dating longer than he and I.

    1. Oh and when she found out (because I told her), he of course called me crazy and told her I made everything up. Despite the fact that I had tons and tons of emails, pics of us together, knew intimate details, had the same gifts he gave her (he bought us the same presents – disgusting), he claimed that I was batshit crazy and just jealous of their relationship. Not the best ending to my first love.

  22. parton_doll says:

    LW, please excuse me because I am struggling to communicate my thoughts coherently. Taking your snooping and his texting out of the equation for a second, I would like to ask you to consider if your boyfriend may feel that he is the source of your happiness. If so, it is a lot of pressure to carry that kind of responsibility for someone else. It goes back to what Wendy was saying about providing you with stability, especially after your parent’s divorce … maybe your boyfriend is feeling overwhelmed by your relationship.

    Is he working a lot to help save for your future house? Does your family dynamic make him uncomfortable and he doesn’t know how to handle the situation, so he doesn’t want to see them as often? Does he not know what to say or do to make you feel better about yourself (your body, emotions, security in the relationship, etc)? Did he feel that the decreasing fun in the bedroom discussion was an expression of your disappointment in his performance in your relationship? Thoughts like these could contribute to him not wanting to discuss problems with you … because he just doesn’t know what he can do, if anything to make you happy.

    I hope it doesn’t sound like I am blaming you for your problems or being critical, and I actually don’t doubt that you genuinely love your boyfriend and you let him know that. And I don’t doubt he loves you … it takes a loving person to support you the way he did during the beginning of your relationship. But I wonder if you need some time right now to figure out what your personal needs are so that you can help your relationship be stronger. I would recommend that you see a counselor and talk about your insecurities and concerns, separate from your boyfriend and work on building yourself up, without the constant support of someone else. You may see that your relationship will progress into something better for the both you when you feel more in control of you.

    Now if I have made assumptions about you that I shouldn’t have, please excuse me. But I do wish you the best. I sincerely hope that you will be able to work through your personal issues and relationship issues because I don’t think this situation has to be the end of the road for you.

  23. I think your own insecurities compelled you to snoop through his phone, not an ongoing suspicion you’ve been having with him or his actions. If these texts were not sexual or flirtatious in nature then I would say you really have little to worry about other than your own self-confidence.

    About the “decreasing fun in the bedroom” thing…You say you’re worried about your body and recent weight gain. This probably(definitely) comes across to your boyfriend during sexy-time. Constantly talking about how gross/ugly/fat you feel(of which you are most likely none of these things), can be a major turn-off for most men.

  24. I try to stay away from any guy who has crazy exes for 2 reasons:

    1.I start to wonder if the guy himself is crazy,not the ex
    2.The guy may be the perfectly normal one…who is just a very bad judge of character.And I don’t want to date someone who is a bad judge of character.

    1. neuroticbeagle says:

      If the guy has multiple crazy exes and was older when dating them I can see your point. However, one bad gf when the guy is/was young is just a stupid mistake that (hopefully) the guy has learned from.

  25. AnnieWalker says:

    What is “comfortable weight?”

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