What’s your love and relationship problem?
Ask Meredith at Love Letters. Yes, it’s anonymous.
I broke up with my partner of a year because he refused to put a boundary in place with his ex-girlfriend, but now I’m worrying I might’ve acted too hastily.
We had a lovely connection, great sex, and adored each other’s families, and this was the only real issue between us.
He was with his ex for four years (no kids), and broke up only three months before we met. Since the breakup they had remained close friends, seeing each other weekly, texting and talking on the phone frequently.
About three months into our relationship, she became more clingy, texting him often and suggesting they reinstate their regular catch-ups (I wasn’t invited). He assured me that there was nothing romantic between them so I said it was fine if they wanted to catch up every now and then, but I would prefer if they were not constantly texting, and that I would like to meet her. He said it was too soon.
From what I could tell, he was still her go-to person for emotional and even financial support, calling him to talk through her problems, regularly borrow money, or use his car. For his birthday, she sent a gushy, emotional letter and gift, saying she would “never meet anyone as special as him” – with a dropbox link to all their photos and memories. I felt it really crossed the line, but he staunchly defended her. Soon after, she was in a play and he didn’t invite me to go with him because it would “make her feel uncomfortable.”
At the end of my tether, I approached him about it and asked if he could share their communication with me and also if he would be willing to put some boundaries in place. He was cagey about it and didn’t want to hand over his phone, and said he didn’t think boundaries were necessary as they were just friends and also he didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
So I did something I’m not super proud of and snooped. They were messaging multiple times a week, reminiscing over memories, using old pet names and saying “love you, miss you, thinking about you more than I’m allowed to.” He was also telling her about my personal issues, regularly lending her hundreds of dollars, and downplaying our relationship.
I was fuming and ended the relationship. He also had a history of cheating and I felt there were just too many red flags for me to feel safe.
I have since confessed to him that I snooped and said he thinks I’m overreacting about the texts and he was just trying to be a good friend to her.
Am I overreacting, Meredith? People seem to recover from much worse than this… but he made me feel like I wasn’t his priority. And that’s not a good recipe for a long- term relationship.
– Second guessing myself
Couples do recover from more than this, but you don’t have to.
It sounds like he has a second partner. She’s not a best friend or a member of his family, yet he prioritizes her like she is. He gives her money, time, and secrets. He has no plans to demote her or phase her out.
My guess is that he coupled up with someone new before he was ready, or that he’s someone who needs a lot of attention (maybe that has something to do with the history of cheating). The why of it all sort of doesn’t matter. What does is that you were at the point where you were snooping and demanding access to his private messages. The relationship was a frequent source of stress and unhappiness.
He sees no problem with what had become the status quo. Let me remind you of something you said about the status quo: “He was also telling her about my personal issues, regularly lending her hundreds of dollars, and downplaying our relationship.” Yikes to the status quo!
Being single is better than staying coupled like this. Let go and trust your gut. You’re not overreacting, you’re taking care of yourself.
Readers? Reasons to reconsider?
They’re not finished with each other. You did the right thing by moving on. Now just keep moving.OutOfOrder
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