Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Male seeking advice(109 Posts)
Hello all. I've no idea if I'm an outlier here, but I am looking for advice from women and I hope someone can help.
I'm currently in a relationship with a woman. We've been together a while, and I love her very much. She tells me she loves me.
She has an ex-boyfriend, much wealthier than I am. She tells me their relationship is platonic. Although they split up at least two years ago, he continues to buy her jewellery for occasions such as her birthday, and I happen to know she prefers the jewellery he buys her to the jewellery I buy her. And she often wears it for long periods, as well as items that he bought he bought her when they were together. In addition he takes her out to high-end restaurants as a matter of routine when they go out.
On one recent occasion when she went out with him, I saw her later that night. I remarked on the freshness of her make-up and perfume (which is unusual for her so late in the day). She joked that she had been 'dolled up' to meet 'someone'. She later told me it was another friend. Having checked her phone I know that she lied about that (but I recognise this may be because she is nervous about telling me when she sees this ex- and genuinely doesn't want me to think there's anything untoward going on; in fact, I happen to know that she regularly lies about when she sees him).
Believe it or not, I have no reason to think that she is sleeping with him.
What if anything should I read into the above?
Does she know that you check her phone as a matter if routine? Does she know that you think she lies to you about how often she and ex meet?
So she goes for dinner with her supposed ex and he buys her jewellery , I wouldn't be happy with that from my husband but then it depends what stage your relationship is at.
If you find it unacceptable then you don't need to accept it in a relationship.
Where did op say he checks her phone as a matter of routine? Not saying he doesn't but can't see where it states he does. Having read loads of posts here where females check their oh phone rarely are they admonished. . Just saying
I would not feel comfortable accepting jewellery from an ex and i would not feel comfortable in your shoes either. What does she say about it? does she not find it odd? It's like keeping him in reserve or playing you off against each other.
You shouldn't have looked at her phone. Although I'm guessing you know that. But I can kind if understand why you did it.
Tbh if your relationship has got to the phone checking stage I think your in more trouble than you think (with regards to the relationship)
It doesn't sound over tbh. There's no need fir lavish dinners and jewellery from the ex. She needs to make up her mind and stop stringing you both along.
It's not that I check her phone as a matter of routine, it's that having done so I discovered (although I already suspected) that she lies to me as a matter of routine about whom she is seeing.
And no, she doesn't know I've done it.
As for what's acceptable and what's not, I just don't know. I don't want to try and control her. I want her to enjoy her life and be able to see her friends.
But is he an ordinary friend?
Seems to me that buying jewellery is a romantic gesture. I don't know for sure that he knows I exist.
At the very least I suspect that she is keeping him in reserve. At worst, although I don't think she has slept with him since they split up, I suspect she is being less than honest with both herself and me.
As regards the lavishness of the gifts and the dinners, it may just be that because he is wealthy he thinks little of it and she, knowing this and knowing that she is not interested in him any more, also thinks nothing of it.
I'm trying not to blow it out of proportion, but I'm finding it very difficult.
See, I think your already on your way to explaining it all away.
She's accepting gifts from her ex
That alone is behaviour that seriously impacts on the trust in a relationship. Doesn't matter what the lying is about or if the ex can afford it.
If your not living together or married I'd walk awY now before it gets any more complicated
Imo she is taking you for a ride, sorry. Cake and eat it spring to mind.
In your shoes (and I'm a bird, not a bloke, but still) I would be looking to end the relationship calmly and politely.
She is behaving very oddly and also lying to you.
no matter what else is going on, if you know you're being lied to and accept that, you must be prepared to accept that your relationship is a counterfeit.
I think you know what you have to do. Don't get nasty or try to play games. Just say that you feel uncomfortable with certain aspects of the relationship, and would prefer to be on your own for the time being.
I am great friends with a few exes. I wouldn't go out on a date with them when I had a dp...
Which for me is what this sounds like. Wouldn't accept jewellery (or any quality) either.
This guys lifestyle is probably very different to mine but regardless it is very odd.
Does she know that you are comfortable with this arrangement?
Dinner is a bit intimate.
Well Edward you need to work out at this stage what YOU want from a relationship before things get more serious. Some couples are happy for their other halves to have friends of the other sex , if it makes you uncomfortable then you need to discuss it with her.
I wouldn't be happy, if they were just good friends then she has no reason to lie, but the fact is if the relationship is innocent she's is making an issue herself by lying about it iyswim
Why can't she tell you the truth? Does she know its wrong to meet an ex? She obviously knows it will hurt/upset/anger you so why does she carry on? Does she feel guilty? Or is it she is playing away? Id ask her outright all of the above
Thank you all.
What if she's lying to me, though, because she knows that I'm sensitive on the subject of her ex- and his wealth, and she sincerely sees nothing more to him than a friend and is simply trying to shield me from something she knows (because only she knows her mind) I would wrongly blow out of proportion?
Again your exhausting her behaviour. Do you honestly think she's thinking about you and your feelings at all?
Please get out now. Your clearly being sucked in and made to feel like it's all your fault.
You know exactly what's going on.
I realise in being harsh but if you can't trust her (and with good reason) then eventually it will be the "well your going to accuse me anyway so I might as well do it" crap which not only manages to allow her to cheat but silmultaneously makes it "your fault"
Is there any reason you have not talked about this with her?
Excusing (dam iPhone)
Then communication is a problem between you. But frankly she is probably lying to make life easier for herself or because theres more going on. If your gut tells you somethings wrong, it probably is
Ed - you're making excuses for her. At the v best she is being massively insensitive, at worst something else. You talk of loving each other. Loving couples don't do this sort of thing. IT sounds like you are simply not on the same page commitment wise, and you are scared of losing her as you know she won't take your sensibilities into account - at a push she will choose the jewellry and swanky meals over you. These unpleasant feelings are not good.
<bloke her fwiw>
She sounds like she is confused, and you do not need agirlfriend who is confused about who she wants to be with and with whom her loyalties lie.
And there is never a good reason to lie to the person you are meant to be closest to.
Not about who you are spending time with.
That's just shitty.
also, why settle for someone who treats you like your feelings don't matter, and like you're a bit stupid, when there are some brilliant lovely girls out there who will want to be properly with you and not arse around like this one seems to be?
I hope you can find the strength to remove yourself from this less than ideal situation because, in the words of Bobby Dylan,
'If something ain't right, it's wrong'.
Perhaps you should suggest you all going out to dinner? You haven't met and you don't even know if he knows you exist.
If I was still friends with an ex I wouldn't necessarily be excited to meet their new partner if I hadn't got a new one myself but I would do it. If I was still friends with an ex I might buy them a present if it was to help out like I would another mate or something small because I know they collect fridge magnets for instance but no matter how rich I was I would not buy them jewellery for no reason.
I think you should give her an ultimatum and be prepared to finish the relationship. or just go straight to dumping her. Sorry.
Ahh the old 'I lied to you because I knew you would be upset'.
Sorry what that means is I lied to you because I know what I am doing may be unfair or is taking the piss (romantic meals & gifts from an ex) but I want to do it any way so do.
At the end of the day she sees nothing wrong with lying to you whenever she feels like meeting this man.
Do you really want to stay in a relationship where your partner has this level of respect for you?
Or a relationship where you are reduced to checking her emails? How shit does that make you feel? Both seeing the lies there in black and white and that you are reduced to this level by a 'loving' partner.
I would let her go back to him and look for someone you can have an honest relationship with.
You aren't living together, and you haven't said how long you have been an item. Not v long?
Mostly when people ask these questions about relationships they already know the answer. It looks like you know the answer and are clutching at straws. Ultimatum won't work as she will resent you for it - controlling someone else is pointless. Gather your dignity.
Thank you all, again. The general thrust of your advice is as I expected it would be.
I have tried to talk with her about her ex-, but she clams up.
She made it clear to me at the start of our relationship that she still sees him and of course I didn't want to try and tell her what to do. As time passed, I found that (for example) he had sent her a gift of flowers. My reaction to this was real shock. Likewise when I found out where she goes for dinner with him. Up to that point, she was relatively honest about whom she was seeing and when. From then on, the clamming up started. So, yes, I may wrongly be excusing the unacceptable. And it may also be the case that I pushed her into this.
You need honesty and trust to make a relationship work. Regardless of who's in the right or wrong here, it doesn't seem like your relationship has either of those qualities.
You haven't pushed anyone into anything. You aren't that powerful here. She makes her own choices, and you're not the main factor here at all.
Sorry to be blunt but that v much appears the way it is. Find someone who respects you and your feelings.
We don't know the dynamic of your relationship.
The fact is you feel uncomfortable with her behaviour around her ex.
She thinks it is acceptable - generally - and has decided to lie to you because she thinks you are unreasonable in expecting it to cease.
or she knows it is unacceptable and is lying to you in order to continue doing it anyway.
Either way, you are not on the same page regarding this sort of stuff, and my feeling is that most people would not be Ok with the level of intimacy and contact they are having, let alone the lying.
So I think that your relationship with her is ultimately destined to fail regardless of the acceptability/not of her actions.
I would cut her loose.
Pan, we more or less live together, have done for a few months. We've been together for just over two years.
Why is she still accepting gifts and expensive meals from her ex?
Why did they split?
I understand why you checked her phone and people on here suggest people do it to check they're not being cheated on all the time on here. I can see why you did.
She's not being very thoughtful of your feelings. She's also lying to you. Deal breaker?
Have you suggested meeting him? What sort of reaction do you get? I certainly wouldn't have a problem with a partner meeting a male friend ( I have neither but have in past)
Meeting him is a pretty good idea, but I'm not sure I have the stomach for it. Or the money!
She has a couple of neat response re anything regarding my sensibilities: 'you're too sensitive' - ie. I'm a pansy for raising anything, and 'I don't think I would care'.
I keep quiet about it most of the time but, yes, it's got to the point where I'm checking her phone which, incidentally, she is almost surgically attached to, has a code, and which she often switches to the home page when I approach so I don't see what she's up to.
But I also know that she genuinely likes to keep herself to herself.
They split because his personal circumstances made their relationship very difficult. I happen to know that one of the two main impediments to their continuing together has now been removed.
So, he was married when they were together before ? And now he is not, or soon won't be ?
Really hope it's useful to get all this down Ed. I useful trick is to read your own posts as if someone else had written them, and draw the sane conclusions that you can't when you are in the thick of it.
I don't like the sound of this edward and I pretty much agree with whats already been said. What are you going to do about it though have you thought about your options? Unless this comes to a head this is going to eat away at you until you become a shadow of the person you were.
If there is anything untoward happening between them your character will then be used against you as justification for her behaviour as in 'you are paranoid, needy yada yada yada' however remember that behaviour didn't come from nowhere
At best she sounds unkind and uncaring.
At worst, well...
Please don't settle for this. You deserve better.
It's not so much the dinners and gifts as the fact she won't discuss it with you that would worry me in your shoes. This and her responses (you're too sensitive") make it sound like she doesn't care about your feelings at all.
I'd be thinking about ending it. You can do better.
You've all been very helpful. In the same way that I kind of knew what I was going to find when I looked at her phone, I knew pretty much that what was going on was unacceptable and what would be the likely responses on here.
I'm inclined to tell her that I think she is confused about whom she wants (she already knows I think that, but has brushed it aside), that I think at best she is playing us off against each other and that we should not see each other for a while to give her time to think about what she really wants.
Assuming she says it's me she wants, I may confront her with what I know, and even how I know it (which by itself may end things, I don't know).
No, he wasn't married. Can't really go into more details, though.
I wouldn't bother second guessing what she wants. Just concentrate on what you want. Surely it's not the situation you are in now? Tell her it's off and mean it.
You sound like a very lovely and sensitive man Edward. Whatever her reason for lying she's lying. It's dishonest and for me personally if I can't trust my partner then there is no relationship.
I wouldn't be able to accept such gifts from an ex for fear of hurting my dp. I wouldn't accept being told who I could and couldn't be friends with but I would be sensitive and not have such a relationship with an ex.
I hope you find a solution to this but don't let your niceness be your undoing. X
As Drasticpark says , don't tell her how she feels or even try to guess at how she feels. You don't know and she can just deny it.
Talk in terms of how YOU feel.
Think about what YOU want, be clear about it and stick to it.
She's not with you, she is with him. Does he know about you?
If it feels wrong it probably is wrong.
I suspect that she is tempted back to him, but doesn't want to make the break just yet, so she's lying to/deceiving you. Not nice. I venture to suggest that if she really cared about you, she would be sensitive enough to see how her continuing to see this guy is hurtful to you, so she'd either stop it, or modify the contact to include you - which means no swanky restaurants, flowers, jewellery. As it is, it looks like SR, F, J mean more to her than your feelings. Not nice.
Edward you are not being "too sensitive", she's being massively insensitive. No way would I accept "romantic" gifts of flowers and jewellery from an an ex if I wasn't interested in him romantically. And definitely not if I was in a relationship with someone else. Add the fact that she lies to you and is cagey with her phone and I think you should leave her to consider which man she wants to commit to.
His wealth is not the issue here though is it, it is her meeting him secretly and accepting gifts from him. Don't confuse the fact he has more money than you with the fact that she is lying to you - that is the issue here isn't it?
I think she is probably keeping her options open and doesn't want to lose you until she's certain she can make things work with him. She may also feel that by being with you she is unattainable and that makes her more attractive to him. Hard to tell without knowing her character but that's my take from what I've read.
You seem like a nice guy, you deserve better. Just be honest and calm with her and walk away, if she decides she wants to commit to you properly she may well come back, and then you can make the choice yourself. Don't settle for sharing her, she won't respect you and you'll gradually lose your confidence and self respect. Good luck.
Edward if someone tries to deflect an accusation ( yours) by saying it's you who is at fault in some way, ( overly sensitive etc) that rings alarm bells.
What's important here is not whether this ex buys her dinners at the Ritz of MacDonalds or jewellery from Cartier- but it's how you- as her long term partner- feel about the contact and the gifts and how she reacts to your discomfort.
If she really cared for you then she could quite simply tell this OM that his gifts and extravagant dinners were causing an issue with the man she loves ( or we assume she does.) She could return the gifts as being inappropriate, now she is in a relationship.
Who knows if they are really an item or not. Maybe they are and she is hedging her bets and stringing each of you along.
But her behaviour is - at best- selfish and inconsiderate.
I think you should sit her down - choose your moment- and tell her again how you feel, and don't be deflected by her saying you are over-reacting.
It may be time to call this a day if she really can't see any of it from your point of view.
I wonder if I should show her this thread!
No, people trying to help posters generally hate it when that happens
Don't use this thread as a way to tell your wife something you are not able to...it is weak and won't help at all
I, for one, always immediately hide a thread when I feel my responses are being used as some sort of fucked up 3rd party intervention
We'd only be dismissed and it would be used against you.
Well, that's unanimous. I shan't embarrass any of us by doing so.
You know, nobody needs evidence or 'reasonable cause' to end a relationship. Okay, we can often be doubtful about our own feelings and want some definite reason to end it ... when you think about it, that in itself tells you what you needed to know about your feelings!
Can we help you weigh this up? How does the loveliness of your relationship balance with the dishonesty & mistrust?
She's still involved with him, and she doesn't care if you know.
You're either okay with that or you aren't. That's up to you.
I'm sorry but I think she is just playing you off against each other, and she will continue to do so until you bow out of the relationship. Maybe she likes the attention, or maybe it's all about keeping control/the upper hand, who knows? She may justify it to herself on the basis of "just being friends", or "just wanting to keep everyone happy", but basically it's all about her and her own shortcomings. Whatever, it's not nice, she's not nice, and it's no basis for a relationship.
I am usually friends with ex's but this would never involve intimate dinners or expensive gifts. You are right to question this.
Expensive gifts & intimate dinners aren't the stuff of 'friends'-certainly not if they are an ex.
You need to cut your losses with her.
No need to explain, she is taking you for a ride so you need to walk away.
You don't trust her and she may not be trustworthy. You've sunk to checking her phone behind her back. I'd say the relationship isn't working and you should probably sack it off.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
If my husband needed to lie to me to protect me, he'd only need to do so to prevent hurt he'd have caused from doing something he knew full well I wouldn't be ok with.
Which begs the question, if he knew his actions would hurt me, why would he do it? Answer, because his wants are more important than my needs. I'd deserve more and I'd not be able to trust him fully ever again.
OP, just to put the jewellery issue into perspective, I also have an ex I'm good friends with, who once gave me a necklace which I liked very much and wore pretty continuously when we were together, and often afterwards. I haven't even contemplated wearing it since I met my current partner, even though he and the ex have met and get on ok, and he knows there are absolutely no residual feelings on either side. It just wouldn't feel right to wear something that another man had given me as a romantic gift.
I also occasionally meet said ex for lunch as we work very near each other and ALWAYS make sure DP knows, precisely to avoid any misconstruing of the situation!
I'm a bloke if that's any relevant information to you, personally I feel she is taking advantage of you and would be looking to end it as soon as possible.
She's playing you for a fool my friend.
And the longer you just suck it up, and find excuses for her behaviour, the less respect she'll have for you.
Until eventually one day she'll gaily walk off with Mr Moneybags and leave you a crumpled mess.
I think accepting jewellery is fairly inappropriate from an x partner but so would be other gifts except probably chocolates or similar. It is also strange she hides this from you but when I talk to my Xs I do not discuss it with my DH. I think while jewellery is a strange gift it could be that he gives her her favourite gifts. If he is rich then it does not matter to him. Simon Cowell treats his Xs well: holidays, parties etc. Sending flowers also sounds romantic but it could be that this is how he knows her. Was it send on her birthday?
I think you could or even should talk to her. You could say that you aware of her regular meetings ( i would not tell her about checking her phone) with her x. Also that you find it hurtful and inappropriate to receive gifts from XPs especially jewellery, flowers. Ask her if she would like to separate to be with him. She might be still in love with him. It will hurt you but with time you will find someone who really loves and respects you. Happy New Year!
Well, I confronted her. Asked her if she thought jewellery etc was an appropriate gift from an ex-. She strenuously denied it. Told her I knew the truth, and that she was lying, and that I also knew she lied about meeting him. She denied that, too, and got quite upset. Told her I didn't trust her. She made to leave, continuing to deny everything, forcefully. So I dropped my nuclear bomb, and told her how I knew. Tears, apologies, and a continued insistence on leaving since, she now accepted, I couldn't trust her. Told her I wanted to understand, not end things. She said - and time may prove her right - that I would never again trust her, so we might as well end it. Told her I wanted her to be honest and open with me. Was very hurt by her behaviour. Saw jewellery and the dinners as romantic gestures, not ordinary friendship. She insisted he knows about me. Not convinced of this. If he does, his behaviour is out of line. She said she didn't want me to be concerned over nothing. I said if he had another girlfriend, she wouldn't be happy about him treating his ex- in this way. Her response, predictable as the rest, was that in the shoes of such a hypothetical woman she wouldn't mind because she's not a jealous person. She saw nothing wrong with the gifts. She insists she loves me which, given the point in the conversation when she said it (she had no need to, continuing to insist we couldn't survive this), I believe.
That was a day ago. I think she's agreed to be more open and honest. I don't know what will happen about the presents, past and future. I suspect she may still be lying about one of the previous ones.
In the meantime, we are barely talking. She's very, very reticent. Not sure if it's because she now resents me, or feels ashamed, or what. I feel like I'm doing all the work to try and rebuild bridges.
She's really not a horrible person and, as one of you wisely remarked above, you cannot know all the internal dynamics of our relationship. So I've been fortified by the nearly unanimous eyebrow-raising from commenters here, but also cannot just walk away.
I still want us to succeed. It's early days. It's very, very difficult.
This sounds terrible. Please, I completely agree with her, you should split up. What you've described here is all kinds of wrong.
I'm sorry she is continuing to treat you so badly. You need to stop being the one doing the running around trying to make things better...that is for her to do. She should be trying to re-build your trust, not trying to make you feel bad with her PA comments about not being a jealous person.
I think you need to start thinking of yourself and not be giving her free reign to walk all over you.
You sound like a really good guy, Edward. And I think you deserve better than this. She may say she loves you, but look at her actions - not only did she go behind your back and lie, she's also letting you do all the relationship mending work.
Seems to me that her wounded ego at being caught is more important to her than trying to make things work with you.
One thing is she wants to eat a cake and have it. Another thing is diamonds are her best friends. Is her jewellery expensive? Really strange situation. I think I would spy. I cannot imagine receiving gifts from my x-partners except something like a box of sweets or a book.
Someone may have already said this, but the most worrying thing to me is that you are not entirely sure that her ex knows about you. I have lots of close male friends; some of them are ex's. however I would not feel comfortable accepting jewellery from them, and would only meet them for 1:1 dinners if I also met them for dinners which included my husband...
My thoughts, and I am pretty darn open minded: set boundaries which are clear and communicate to her what is and is not acceptable in your view. If her behaviour changes, great. If it stays the same, get out. Fast.
The jewellery isn't hugely expensive, a few hundred per item, I'd say - decent mid-range stuff. And he's a high-roller, quite a bit older than both of us.
I recognise the sense of what everyone here is saying. Please don't think I'm dismissing it by - for the time being, at least - staying.
Sorry but I don't like the sound of her. She sounds like a user
It's not so much that you're dismissing it by staying but that at the very least you have incompatible ideas about what constitutes fidelity and boundaries. The relationship just sounds toxic and the most recent fight sounds awful and irresolvable. She doesn't want to give up her ex and she wants to split up. I think you should do that. This relationship will only turn you into a bad person, sneaking, mistrustful, controlling and possessive. Please just cut your losses now.
I mean come on she's basically telling you she'd rather give up you than him. Imagine what staying with her will do to your self esteem knowing that?
When someone says "you will never trust me again so we may as well end it" they're telling what they want you to feel...
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'd be taking umbridge too if someone cut off my jewellery supply...if only!
Edward, grow a pair mate and end it.
I think the jewellery etc is a bit of a red herring, it's a trust thing. Ex partners really are an issue even in the best of circumstances- i.e. when people are scrupulously honest and fair. This involves her lying, denying lying and then apparently being a bit sulky about being caught out. Personally, it's the lying/omission that I couldn't cope with.
It doesn't mean she is sleeping with him at all, some women like attention and maybe she enjoys it. It has nothing to do with him being wealthy (I think this is your own hang up) but It does mean she is disrespecting you. I would lay my expectations on the table and if -she won't meet them find someone who does.
You seem like a nice guy...if she's like this now it will get worse and not better.
She sounds like a gold digger (or a prozzie). Sorry. Going out for expensive meals and accepting expensive jewelry, lies and deceit is very unattractive traits in a woman.
In your shoes I would end it.
Dinner dates and accepting expensive jewellery? That's your job now, not the ex's.
She's either a rinser or just isn't that into you.
Let her go, she doesn't seem to want you.
Don't be a pawn in her game. If she's using someone else to make her ex jealous then don't let it be you.
Tell me, would you buy nice jewellery for an ex-girlfriend if she had a new partner ? Basically you would still have to be fond of her and want her back, yes ? Meals out too, same reason ? (Apologies to the people on here who don't like the word meal.)
I don't like to wear jewellery that I got as presents from an ex even though I've been married nearly 20 years. That's just me though.
I agree with manabouttm - is she trying to get you to ramp up the gift giving etc to compete with the financially better off ex ?
If you continue to be her stooge, then, sorry more fool you.
"I mean come on she's basically telling you she'd rather give up you than him"
That is it in a nutshell. Watch what she does, not what she says.
If you carry on now, when she has effectively refused to give him up and is cold shouldering you rather than trying to make up, then you need to be very clear you are no more than a FWB.
Sorry, but honestly is absolutely fundamental to me in a relationship. I don't care if the truth will hurt a bit, but if my other half lies to me, I lose trust completely.
I am sorry you love her, but you are better off cutting your losses now before getting even more involved.
that should have been "honesty" rather than "honestly"!!!I can never type properly in this forum!
She has a couple of neat response re anything regarding my sensibilities: 'you're too sensitive' - ie. I'm a pansy for raising anything, and 'I don't think I would care'.
What she is saying with this argument, is that your feelings don't matter, because in her opinion you should not be feeling this way.
She's denying you the right to feel the way you feel, just because it's inconvenient to her.
It worries me that you think these are "neat" responses. These responses are not "neat", they are very selfish, and suggest that she doesn't really care about you all that much.
If she tries these lines again, tell her that it's irrelevant whether or not she agrees with your feelings. You feel the way you feel, and that's it. If she truly loves you, she will hate seeing you in pain and will try to help you feel better. Instead of trying to make you think that you are in the wrong for being unhappy.
I think you know that she is taking you for a ride. Leave her.
She isn't going to stop seeing him or accepting expensive gifts, am sure if you weren't with her she would be with him. Best you bow out gracefully and find someone who treats you nice and is honest with you. Otherwise you will spend every day with her insecure and doubting yourself. You deserve so much better than that surely?
Don't make the same mistakes I did.
I once had a girlfriend who was seeing a "friend" (not an ex in this case). She insisted it was platonic although it was obvious to me that he was after her. Eventually he made it abundantly clear that he wanted her so that she could no longer deny it. She "didn't want to hurt his feelings" so she continued to see him and accept gifts from him, telling me I shouldn't be getting upset and that I was being over-sensitive. Things came to a head when he gave her Christmas present that went way beyond something you would give a friend. She finally accepted this was too much stopped any contact with him. But it was only for a few months. Later that year she re-established contact with him behind my back and ended up leaving me for him. After 3 months she got fed up with him. I foolishly took her back only for her to again start seeing him behind my back, eventually leaving me for him again.
Then stupidly I did it all again with my next girlfriend. When I started seeing her I knew her ex still stayed with her on some weekends. She led me to believe their relationship ended months before we got together. Had I known it had only been over for a couple of weeks I might have had the sense not to get involved. As it was I accepted the situation at first but felt increasingly uncomfortable with it as our relationship grew, especially since he refused to meet me, bought her presents he couldn't afford and was acting the handyman around her house, doing jobs I was intending to do myself. She did eventually stop seeing him completely but only for a few months. She then started contacting him behind my back and ended up going back to him. You would think I had learnt my lesson but I'm a glutton for punishment and I took her back 6 months later. We married. Biggest mistake of my life. Within months she was again seeing him behind my back. I don't think she ever got back together with him but our marriage was effectively over soon after.
I could have written your "Well I confronted her..." post myself about both of these relationships. In both cases I was terrified of losing my partner and desperately wanted the relationship to work. I believed them when they said they loved me. I was wrong.
Based on personal experience I agree completely with other posters on this thread. Get out. Now. Don't make excuses for her. She does not love you. I know she says she does and you want to believe her but she doesn't. She wanted you to tell her you could carry on despite her insistence that the relationship was over. She wanted you to believe that she loves you. She may even think she does. But she really doesn't.
No, I don't know all the internal dynamics of your relationship but you sound exactly like I did at certain points in my life. And you seem determined to make the same mistakes I did. Having been there myself I understand where you are and I expect you to ignore my advice. But you really should get out of this relationship before it does you any more damage.
prh47bridge, that sounds a horrendous thing to go through.
OP, I dont think I could really advise you without knowing the dynamics of your relationship but I do know that in some cases it is possible to remain properly friends with an ex for a life time and I have done it. (That was with a massive gap where the man I married, who turned out to be a total twunt, refused to let me even send a Christmas card, but we are back to being able to communicate now and he recently sent me a wonderful letter after my DM died.) The friendship we have retained is as a result of the total respect he has always given to me and my partners and also to his own partners. This isnt something we ever really discussed except early on. It is because he is a totally decent man and it comes naturally to him. He would never meet me "in secret". He has on occasion given me presents but nothing that would ever have caused offence. I cant see that you are getting any respect on this from either your DP or her Ex. That stinks.
Thank you, all, for your thoughtful responses and insights. You're all strangers to me, but you've been kind with your time and your thoughts.
As for she and me, well, we're on probation. A day at a time. It could end at any time, or we'll get through it. I don't know. But I think I now have the strength to see it end, if need be.
What is she doing to prove to you that she even wants to make things work with you ?
I'm not sure you have! WTAF does she need to do for the relationship to end for you? I'm all for people being able to determine their own boundaries within their relationships and for her if this relationship with her ex IS above board and she thinks it is fine how she has behaved then the only answer is to break up because you have different boundaries.
However, it is highly unlikely this relationship is above board and in any case she has clearly told you she is not willing to give it up, she would prefer to break up with you.
What probation is there to be had here? Surely this is an intractable problem, you want her to be exclusive and open, she wants to be unconstrained and feels she can't be honest about it. It is not going to work.
At the very least you, at the moment, have different needs from the relationship. At worst she is deliberately exploiting you both - him for excitement and you for stability. What can you rescue out of that?
I'd be willing to hazard a guess that the person you think you love does not really exist.
Unless you plan on sucking it up and letting her dictate your boundaries or forcing her to accept yours, which given she has demonstrated dishonesty she will likely only pay lip service to or you'll drive yourself insane checking, I can't see in what way you're going to move forward.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Sorry, I'm feeling particularly abrasive over the Christmas period this year.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
What Lazyjaney said up thread. Don't listen to what she says, listen to what she does. Actions speak far louder than words ever can. When she speaks, she just dismisses you. You sound too nice for her and should find someone that appreciates you. I was going to put 'more' at the end of that sentence but 'at all' would be a start!
Edward, are you taking the piss now ?
You've had your answer, you've confronted her and you seem to want to get right back to square one.
Interesting post from prh, who has been there before.
You are being very respectful of your GF but respect is a two-way street and you aren't getting any respect back that I can see. How is this relationship going to move forward if the ex remains in the picture?
Is she still going to see the ex and accept gifts from him?
This woman made it plain that she wanted to end it when you confronted her. She didn't hesitate. Look at what you wrote.
But you clawed your way back, begging more or less, for some sort of a relationship with her.
She's done the classic 'oh I wouldn't be jealous if the boot was on the other foot'- which is a rubbish way of defending her behaviour.
What's happened is that you have said how you feel, then back pedalled when she's fed you a line or two.
she's now happy to carry on seeing both of you- god knows why. what does she get out of it with you- great sex? Good company?
sorry to sound harsh but you sound weak and it's clear she's using you. wake up.
Join the discussion
Please login first.