A final reminder to register for this. I will be there with books and dresses, and as far as I know, there will be food. Food.
Q: Hi Meredith,
I am a divorcee with children. The marriage was awful and went on way too long, but that's another story. I've been steadily seeing someone for a year now. He's a good guy and we get along great. Sounds like we are on track for what could be a great, long-term relationship, right?
The problem is that the boyfriend has an 'ex-sort-of-girlfriend.' They met online and it just didn't work for him, but they have remained friends. (Note: She was interested in him). I have friends both male and female, so I have no problem with 'friends'.
The issue is that she is relentless with liking and commenting on Facebook. Usually within minutes of him posting something. Like a stalker. They also text each other. After a few months of dating, I mentioned that it seemed sort of strange to me. He asked her to back off. I did NOT ask him to do that and told him it was silly because they text too, so what's the point. He has reassured me many times that it is just friendly talk, about kids, etc.
She was quiet for a month or so. Then one day I figured out, based on seeing a Facebook comment, that they had seen each other in person. I asked him about it. He said he did her a favor and met her briefly. He said he didn't think it was a big deal, but eventually admitted that he didn't want to tell me because he knew I wouldn't be happy. I felt that he basically lied to me by omitting the information and that he was being sneaky, not protective. I was very hurt.
After some arguing, I asked him to put himself in my shoes and asked him how he would feel. He admitted that he would have felt the same way.
We agreed to work through it. He said he wouldn't go behind my back again. He has assured me time and time again that he loves me, and only wants to be with me. Since they met that one time, she has taken to being a Facebook stalker again. I've tried to let it go, but I just can't take it anymore. I think it's time he tells her to go away.
I don't know what to do. If I bring it up, he gets mad at me saying to stop being jealous over someone who basically just exists on Facebook (not true - they text). If I don't, I'm stewing inside. This could be a deal-breaker for me.
Thoughts? Am I being too insecure? Does he need to let go of that part of his past now and say it's not worth throwing away his relationship with me?
I do not want to tell anyone what to do with their lives, but this is going to ruin our relationship.
– Too Bad Too Sad, Boston
A: I'm on your side, TBTS. The Facebook "likes" don't bother me so much, but the texting? It's inappropriate. I'm all for having friends, but he isn't treating her like a platonic pal. She's not someone who hangs out with you guys as a couple. She's hasn't done much to show that she acknowledges and respects your relationship. She's basically a secret pen pal, which is sketchy.
When you brought this up before, your boyfriend was capable of empathy. He admitted that he'd be upset if you lied to him about seeing an ex. Perhaps it's time to ask him how he'd feel if he saw you in a corner of the room texting a male "friend" who isn't a part of your lives in any other way.
I'd also ask him, without judgment, "How do you want your relationship with this woman to evolve?" Is he hoping that she'll become the kind of friend who can hang with you guys at a party? Or is he hoping that she'll disappear once she finds her own partner? He should consider his goals and then share them. You need to understand the plan.
He has to admit that it can't go on like this. He texts, you feel bad, and the cycle continues. If you tell him that you're looking for ways to break the cycle, he should want to help. If he doesn't, you can make decisions accordingly.
Readers? Why is he texting? Am I right to suggest that she ask about this woman's future in their lives? Do you think he knows what he wants from this woman? Does she have the right to ask the boyfriend to drop her? Help.
Recent blog posts
Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a new novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith here and on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.