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“Boyfriend Hasn’t Told His Ex About Me”

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  • #852142 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    From a LW:

    “I am 30 y.o. and my bf is 40. We met 2.5 years ago while he was still living with his 7 year relationship. However, he was into me but both of us wouldn’t make a move due to his relationship.
    At some point after a period of cutting off contact, he came to tell me he broke up, so basically just 1 month after he broke up we started being together with ups and downs, he was not giving me exactly the attention I needed.
    Im sure he was and still is into me, but we had some attention issues. In any case we broke up for half year and since the last 6 months we are still together.
    My prob now is the following: He talks with his ex very often – almost on a daily basis. I thought they only talked to share info on the dog they used to share that now lives with her, but apparently there’s more than that.
    They update each other on their lives except one thing: their relationships. She doesn’t know about me and he doesn’t know about her relationship status.
    I have communicated this many times he always says theres nothing to worry about and if he wanted to be with her, he would be with her. When we are together he shows me he is in love, he is sweet and tender but this whole thing is killing me. I do understand keeping some contact like for special occasions, or in this case to arrange dog pick ups – which I find also a bit too much to be honest (dog sharing), but this is way more than that. And if they speak in just a friendly way, shouldn’t he share the info about me? I mean that’s what friends do.
    P.S. they broke up in a peaceful way, as for the last 2-3 years there was no sparkle.
    Appreciate your answer, many thanks!”

    #852148 Reply

    The first thing I noticed in what you wrote is that he had his replacement relationship lined up before he exited his last relationship. That’s never a good sign. A mature person will break up and then heal emotionally and then be ready for a new relationship. He jumps from one relationship to the next which probably means he is afraid to be alone and he keeps a back burner woman in place just in case.

    He is still emotionally invested in her. How many people have the amount of time to invest in a friend relationship that he’s spending on her. That’s a lot of time and emotional investment. That’s time and investment he isn’t spending on his primary relationship with you. It wouldn’t matter if she didn’t know about you if they weren’t so invested in each other. If they had split up and gone their own ways it would be irrelevant whether she knew the two of you were together.

    I’d tell him it’s a deal breaker if he doesn’t let her know he’s with you and if he can’t cut way down on the contact. He’s maintaining two romantic emotional relationships. He has to get over her or you should move on. If he can’t give up most contact for six months I think that tells you everything you need to know. If he needs to see the dog you could make that arrangement with the not so ex, ex.

    It won’t hurt to ask him what he is getting out of keeping you a secret. Why does he feel the need to do that.

    #852149 Reply

    Honestly, his contact seems normal, if their relationship was more of a friendship for the last few years then why completely break contact? They care for one another, just not romantically. I am friends with a couple ex’s and we don’t share our relationship information, but do chat.

    But none of that matters if this dynamic doesn’t work for you, and it doesn’t sound kike it does. you have nothing positive to say about this man, you don’t think he pays enough attention to you, he talks to his ex more then you’d like, he shares the dog, you have broken up and gotten back together at least once.

    MOA, this isn’t the relationship for you. you can’t force the chances that are going to make you happy.

    #852150 Reply

    The horror. Blandly friendly texts and dogsharing… Yawn.

    #852155 Reply

    And the hiding of current GF – all very normal in a friendly relationship with ex. Nothing to worry about.

    #852156 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ

    If I’m reading this right, the BF cheated on the ex with the LW. In that case, I think it’s plausible that, since he obviously wants to have a cordial relationship with the ex due to the shared dog, the BF is making a point to steer clear of either of their relationship statuses because he believes that bringing the LW into it will cause upset and drama. It’s childish on his end to try to hide it, but it seems to fit in with his apparent pattern of lying, hiding things and generally being unable to address difficult relationship situations head on.

    #852157 Reply

    It seems immature. If you are just friends who chat sometimes why hide your girlfriend? He’s getting something out of hiding her. He feels it is in his best interest to hide her.

    #852158 Reply

    I can’t think of one single good reason why he wouldn’t tell her about you.

    #852159 Reply

    If it was just him not telling his ex about you, but he knew everything about his ex’s new partner, I’d think this was weirder. Is it possible that to stay friends, they decided to simply not discuss current romantic partners? Because even if you break up amicably, it’s still weird to hear the details of your ex’s romantic life after you (especially if your ex moves on with the person he lined up while you were still together). Just a thought.

    In any case, I don’t think it matters whether or not this community thinks the behavior is off or not. What matters is how you feel about it, and if it is a dealbreaker for you. You can’t demand that he talk to his ex less, or stop sharing custody of the dog, or tell her all about you. You can tell him how it makes you feel, and you have. And he sounds unwilling to change even though he knows this upsets you. If this doesn’t work for you, I don’t think this is the relationship for you.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by CopaCopa.
    #852161 Reply

    Copa beat me to it.

    #852163 Reply

    This isn’t rocket science.

    He never grieved the end of his 7-year relationship. And he still hasn’t.

    So rather than actually work through that grief, he’s simply avoiding the triggers that would force him to confront said grief. Those triggers being knowing about his ex’s relationship status, and her knowing about his (i.e. you).

    A person who’s grieved and accepted the loss of a relationship is emotionally neutral about their ex, including their ex’s current relationship status. They don’t avoid the topic.

    Also, you and the ex are each other’s back-ups for your boyfriend because he is definitely afraid to be alone (so typical of many men).

    There, mystery solved. Can you live with all this? No? Then MOA.

    #852165 Reply

    If it were just that he was still talking to her often, I’d say, eh, depends on what you’re comfortable with.

    But I can’t think of any reason that he’d hide the fact that he has a new girlfriend. Except for the obvious, of course, he still wants to keep his options open with the “ex.” If she is an ex, that is. When you say he wasn’t paying enough attention to you, was it maybe because he was spending time with her?

    But, as others have said, the bottom line is that you’re not happy with this relationship. You don’t trust him. You probably should have stayed broken up.

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