Girlfriend emotionally attached?

Hi guys, this is a long one but I would appreciate any feedback.

My girlfriend and I have been together for a little over a year. Her ex-boyfriend lives overseas and I know that they text/FB message occasionally. Her ex has been a big part of her life, to my knowledge they had been off and on over the last decade before we started dating. In fact, right before we started dating she had just taken a month long trip overseas to visit him. He has never been an issue over the past year, I am aware and fine with occasional texts/ FB messages. Just recently, he has been back in town visiting family for a couple weeks. They got in touch and met for dinner and a movie. She told me about this before it happened and asked me if I was fine with it, and I was. I appreciated that she seemed very open about the matter to me. The next day I was working and she called me again saying that they had spoken about meeting up to go shopping in the city together for the day I was working. At this point I started to feel a little uncomfortable. At first, I thought it was fine that they meet up once to catch up, although I internally questioned her judgment about a dinner/movie. Two consecutive days of hanging out though bothered me a little bit and I told her. I told her I didn’t have a problem with them catching up but that it did bother me a little that they had plans to casually hang out. She resisted a little, claiming that their relationship was strictly platonic and that I had nothing to worry about, this led to a minor argument but ultimately she decided to not hang out with him because it bothered me. I thought that was the end of it but fast forward one week and she then tells me that she had been thinking a lot of this whole subject and that she would feel like a bad friend if she didn’t hang out with him more while he was in town. She said that during their dinner/movie he told her that he hadn’t been doing so great in school blah blah and that she felt bad if she wasn’t there for him as a friend given that he had been there for her so much in the past. I’m not going to lie, this bothered the crap out of me. However I didn’t tell her this directly at the time. I honestly was not in the mood to argue over this subject again so I told her that I had already told her how I felt on the matter and that she chooses her own actions, not me, if she feels that that’s something she needs to do in spite of what I told her then so be it. She took it as a an ok and is going to hang out with him.

Now I trust that she won’t “do anything” with her ex but it greatly bothers me that she has decided to actively pursue hanging out with her ex in spite of how I told her I felt about it. She would say that it’s only because he’s in town for only a couple weeks and that he’s having a hard time. I just don’t completely buy that. Am I being insecure by being irritated by this? Should I just trust her and allow her to hang out with her ex at her discretion?

I know that I can’t choose her actions but I can choose mine and because of that its been making me think of what I want in a relationship and it is a woman who is not emotionally attached to her ex, regardless of whether or not anything sexual is there. Is this a fair statement? Am I over-reacting?

Thanks for any input

She has a strictly platonic friendship with a guy she recently was hung up on for 10 years? That’s bullshit. She’s lying to herself and/or to you.

I don’t think you’re overreacting at all. I would wonder why she put his feelings ahead of yours.
You stated your feelings and she made the choice to go anyway. This would be red flag area for me. I guess the big question is, what is her emotional attachment to you?

Relationships are messy, whether romantic or platonic.

You cannot expect a romantic partner of one year to abandon a friendship of ten years simply because it makes you uncomfortable. It is naive to assume assume a single conversation expressing this discomfort is the “end of it”.

You are the new person in her life; you do not yet know all her entanglements and obligations. If you want a healthy relationship, you cannot expect her to change these over such a short time. Whether she makes sufficient room in her life for you over the next few months or years is a good indication of whether staying together is advisable.

It’s possible, but somewhat hard to do. My best friend is a woman I used to date for almost 5 years - we had a mutually agreed on breakup and decided we worked much better as friends. My (now) wife loves her as well, she was part of our wedding just a few weeks ago. We both moved on to new relationships which is a different situation than the OP.

So it’s possible, but I’m not sure if the OP is in that situation. Have you ever spent time with the two of them? Would you be welcome?

While you’re think about it, I wonder if “The Favor”(1994) is something that you could rent from Netlix…?

relationships at what happen in the past stay in the past …

if he comes into town, i would recommend him to find other things to do than calling on her …

or do you think that, there is more to it than just meeting up …??

just my opinion …

That’s what I’m wondering.

When my GF has old friends come into town and she wants to go spend time with them, she invites me, and usually I go with her. Not because I don’t trust her, but I want to meet her friends and I like that she includes me and wants me to meet and know her friends.

You (the OP) may be overreacting, but based solely on the one-sided story we’ve been provided, I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong. Has she offered to include you in this friendship? Have you met this guy? That’s your test right there. If you ask to meet him and she gets squirrelly, you may have cause to be more suspicious.

She has no respect for your feelings. She will continue to make you feel like you are being a possessive pice of shit boyfriend who is insecure.

Of course you are insecure - she is dating her ex and asking your permission.

Plenty of people act like this is normal.

I don’t get it - it isn’t just making you “uncomfortable” - it is causing you pain. Pain that many would feel in your situation.

Do you really want to spend the rest of your life battling for someone’s attention who can’t seem to understand or appreciate this?

Of course if you want to keep her - you are going to have to suck it up - or lay it on the line. She will probably pick him over you.

I think you should invite yourself to participate in their hanging out. If this guy is going to continue to be a part of her life, then you should get to know him.

You owe her an amount of initial trust. My wife has an ex-boyfriend, that she still talks to. He’s married and has kids now. When she and I were dating, the three of us would meet up for drinks etc. He’s actually a nice guy. Not all situations are like that.

Your GF’s ex is the one I would be most concerned about, as you know him the least, and is the least deserving of your trust.

Maybe not, but I expect to be included. When my old friends come into town, I invite my other half. People need to understand we are a couple now. He may not come, but he’s reassured that there’s nothing sketchy going on.

If she had gone to dinner or whatever and then decided to hang out with him again, and invited the OP, I’d feel better about the whole thing. As it is I’m a little skeeved out by the fact that she went to visit an ex for a month. But then I am one of those people who do not remain friends with their exes.

I agree with the other posters. If it’s strictly platonic between the two of them, then you tagging along should be no problem at all. If it is, then you know.

We don’t know the dynamics of the relationship. The OP did not have an adequate conversation to discus the dynamics. He said he was uncomfortable, and that was the extent of his conversation.

The girlfriend seems to be upfront about it being a sensitive issue, involving difficulties her friend was going through. The friend might not be comfortable discussing this in front of a stranger, such as the OP. Further, the OP dismissed this as “blah, blah”, which is not exactly an attitude conducive to being invited in the first place. He even admits he shutdown and didn’t discuss it more when she tried to bring it up.

The OP needs to accept that his girlfriend has other responsibilities. He should be open to learning about them, and be willing to discuss how or if their relationship can accommodate them. The OP’s current attitude to is to hope the problem just goes away by itself…

She was not dating the OP when she visited. However, I remained close to an ex who was going through a hard time.

I cannot imagine a situation more exquisitely uncomfortable than tagging along as a third wheel with your s.o. and his/her ex. Who in their right mind would want any part of that?

Furthermore, unless they have a child in common and this is related to their co-parenting arrangement, why are they even talking?

Are they best buds because they just couldn’t bear to be away from one another post break-up? How great for them. Me, I’d be questioning my sanity for getting myself into that sort of situation in the first place.

There are better options in life than spending time and energy trying to understand this dynamic, or worse, having to explain to your s.o. what’s wrong with this picture in the first place.

I have a sinking feeling of foreboding in the pit of my stomach reading this. Don’t go house-hunting with this girl anytime soon…


If you trust her, why on earth would you be uncomfortable with her spending time with someone you acknowledge has been a big part of her life for over a decade?! Someone who she says is going through a rough time. Except that you “just don’t completely buy that.” So you think she’s lying to you.

You had a problem with her spending time with an old friend while you at work. So she wasn’t even taking time away from you, you just wanted to restrict the amount of time she was spending with someone else she cared about.

But you didn’t approve and, out of respect for you and your feelings, she gave in and compromised.

When she has one last chance to see her friend again before he’s out of her life for who knows how long, what do you do? Do you compromise? No, you do this shitty passive-aggressive thing where you refuse to discuss it and say, “You already know how I feel, but you’re free to do what you will.” Classy and mature.

Fact: exes remain friends with exes all the time. It’s a sign of maturity for people that have decided that they’re not boyfriend/girlfriend material to not throw away all the other positive associations they have. This is healthy behavior.

Unless she’s given you cause to not trust her, you’re not only being insecure but selfish and controlling. If you decide that you have a problem and feel the need to restrict her from spending time with other people who are important in her life, you should break up with her and she will be good to be rid of you.

I’m with some of the others - is there a reason that you haven’t gotten drinks with the two of them? Either way, it’ll clear this all up PDQ.

Your reactions and feelings seem normal to me. Obviously your girlfriend is very attached to this guy and he to her.

If you are going to be a part of this girls life and she plans to continue having a close relationship with her ex boyfriend of 10 years then you better jump into their bonding time and start getting to know her friend. I personally wouldn’t bother doing that though - many people still ascribe to the belief that it is not necessary nor healthy to maintain close relationships with former lovers.

Lots of people. My wife is now extremely good friends with my ex-gf/best friend. So much so that my wife wanted to make sure my ex was one of the readers at our wedding. They’re both great people, I’m thrilled that they are such good friends now.

Because many adults can break up romantically and remain good friends. In my case we were friends before we became a couple, and we remained friends after we broke up. I’ve managed to stay on good terms with all my ex-gfs.

I really don’t know how common it is, but I have lots of friends who remain on good terms with their ex’s. I also know folks who can’t be in the same area code as their ex, so it goes both ways. But there’s no blanket rule about it.

There will be, when I am elected Emperor of the World. :slight_smile: