Advanced search

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.

Need a rant

(30 Posts)
Cakedoesntjudge Mon 29-May-17 22:40:14

Have been seeing my soon to be ex boyfriend for 5 months. We'd been friends and colleagues for 3 years before so it's moved fairly quickly. We've been exclusive officially for about 3 months but in reality since we started dating. This was something he pushed for, not me. He stays at mine 3 times a week and I've already met his family (again at his insistence). I had been single prior to him since ExDP left 5 years ago. I've been on the odd date but never wanted to take it further as I couldn't face going through getting heartbroken again and building myself back up. He knew all this and spent a lot of time reassuring me at the beginning that this was worth it, he was different yada yada yada. And for the most part it has been amazing.

There has been one issue since day 1: his 'ex'. They broke up only a month before we got together. They were together 3 years and engaged although they didn't live together and only saw each other once a week (he is younger than me, almost mid twenties, she is early twenties and both still lived at home. I am 27). She cheated on him and he decided that they'd grown apart so split up with her. She didn't take this well at all. He maintains she knows we've been seeing each other (I'm no longer convinced this is true) and yet she shows up at his house unannounced, has been getting him to help her with her photography projects for uni because she doesn't feel 'safe' on her own (despite having tonnes of friends she could have asked instead), she made him the other name on her discount card at her new job, texts him constantly and says inappropriate things like "I can't wait until you realise us breaking up was a mistake. By the time we're 30 we'll be married with 2 kids and a pug" hmm

He's always maintained that they went through a lot together so he wanted to find a way for them to be friends but he's been firm in reminding her that they won't be getting back together. I've said it's his business who he's friends with but I do think she crosses a line and it does annoy me.

Recently I've begun to get suspicious that everything isn't quite as he said. Things like him tilting his phone away from me and being on it a lot, blowing hot and cold, insisting he had to be home at certain times so he could do 'housework' (he doesn't drive so he was relying on me for lifts). Also, despite being very active on social media and having lots of things up there about him and his ex, he has always been against pictures of us being on there. I also started to think that no woman would show the lack of dignity his ex was according to his version of events.

Tonight he 'had' to be home around 8 to 'do bits at home' - nothing specific but was very very adamant he had to be home then. After dropping him off, my friend called me as I was turning the corner so I pulled over and took the call as she's had a lot going on recently. We were chatting for about half an hour when guess who drives past me? The ex.

Before anyone says it might be innocent and she might just be 'showing up' like she has before - we have two rules
1) complete honesty - this specifically involves him telling me when he sees her (this was his idea to make me more comfortable with how she was acting. It's been a couple of hours and he hasn't messaged me to let me know she's turned up)
2) no cheating

He's meant to be coming over tomorrow. Ive messaged him and said I need some space to think so I don't think tomorrow is a good idea. I haven't mentioned the ex or said why. But I don't know where to go from here! I'm absolutely furious for a number of reasons:

1) I've let him be around DS who has grown attached to him. I normally have a rule of a minimum of 6 months dating before anyone meets him (so he is the first person I've introduced) but this was a bit more complex as there's a group of us who halve always regularly done child friendly things outside of work so DS already knew him and got on with him. It would have been weird for him to stop seeing him because we were dating.
2) As mentioned, we work together. I feel like a complete mug and now I have to put my big girl pants on when I go back to work on Wednesday and pretend it doesn't phase me and keep it professional because we work together (and I know, this is why people say you shouldn't date people you work with).
3) we've been good friends for years!! I find this so disrespectful! I can't believe he's so ready to throw away a friendship over this! I had multiple conversations with him about a month in when I became aware of the ex being how she was saying if he regretted it and wanted to try again with her I'd understand and just to let me know. I even said I'd back off for a bit because I thought it was too soon. He was adamant he wanted to be with me and wasn't happy with the idea of us cooling things off and convinced me he was 1 million per cent sure.

I just don't understand why he was so insistent on introducing me to his family and telling all our friends and why he's so into discussing our future and all his plans if he's been carrying on with his ex. Who does that?

But anyway, rant aside, I wanted advice. I don't know whether to have it out with him and risk being made to look like the jealous girlfriend or just say "thanks for a lovely few months but I don't see this going any further". I feel like option 2 means I get to keep my dignity but I'll have to front it out at work and carry on being friendly with him because I won't have given him any reason for why I shouldn't be!

Sorry this is so long.

JK1773 Mon 29-May-17 22:46:12

I personally think you deserve an explanation but asking for one is a bit undignified I agree. Tough call when you work together. He's definitely lying to you so I'd be ending the relationship. Sounds like you are anyway. I don't know the answer but I do feel for you x

Cakedoesntjudge Mon 29-May-17 23:01:04

Thanks jk I do feel like I deserve one but I just think if he's lied so much so far he's unlikely to be honest now. I don't know if it's just prolonging the fall out of this. There's no explanation he could come up with that would make it ok so it feels a bit like what's the point? The only thing that could make it better is if he could go back and undo it which he obviously can't do.

I do feel quite sorry for them both. They didn't have a healthy relationship at the end and I think they're both clinging on to something that's long gone. He's said to me multiple times that he loves 'us' because it's just so easy and fun. He's given up on something that could have been good for something that hasn't been for a long time which is quite sad.

I've got through worse so I know I'll be ok I just wish I could skip this feeling shitty part. I debated booking the week off of work but again, I think that just prolongs it.

Boiing Mon 29-May-17 23:04:00

Wow that really sucks. Good luck whatever you decide. Giving yourself some time to calm down sounds like a good idea. Personally I don't think it is reasonable for him to continue to see, at all, an ex-fiancee who wants him back. You've obviously been very generous and non-jealous up til now and you haven't been treated very well by either of them, sounds like the sort of situation that could drive anyone bonkers! Be careful though to get to the bottom of what's going on before you break up, just in case there's any chance that it is innocent. I think that's more important than dignity. After some cooling down time, could you have a talk with him in which you say the situation as it is isn't working for you, in that staying in touch with an ex as a friend is one thing, but hanging out alone with an ex who wants you back, if it's more than a one off, isn't fair to any of you. Ask him how he'd feel if you had an ex-fiance who wants you back hanging round loads. Tell him that the situation as it is, can't go anywhere good. It encourages her to hope, it's stressful and disrespectful to you. Some part of him must be loving the attention from 2 women and being chased by a woman who wronged him. You deserve better but don't let them cast you as jealous. You are not. You can say 'Look, I'm not jealous, I feel bad for you that you got cheated on and for her that she was a cheat and now is trying to turn you into one too. But this situation can't continue, it's become ridiculous.' Or if he admits he's deliberately seen her secretly then just dump him asap. Good luck xxx

JK1773 Mon 29-May-17 23:04:02

Yeah go into work and keep busy. If you stay home you'll be dwelling. It doesn't sound like they will have more success second time round but I'd leave them to it. He's behaved like a total shit. I'm sorry you're having to go through this x

LexieLulu Mon 29-May-17 23:13:20

Go into work, look amazing, contain yourself and act like nothings happened to others, and that he's no alive when one on one.

If he approaches you tell him this discussion isn't for work environment and say no more.

Be strong, you've got this xxx

Cakedoesntjudge Mon 29-May-17 23:41:03

Boing I have been making a massive effort to not be jealous. I've been quite upfront that I don't like her due to how disrespectful she's been towards me but said I don't have to like all his friends. I have already pointed out to him that I don't think he's being fair on her and I've tried to explain that no matter how many times he says that they aren't getting back together, as long as he keeps messaging her back instantly and meeting up with her, it's going to give her false hope.

If I was being kind to him I'd say that I don't think it's that he doesn't care about me, I think he's just not fully ready to let go of the good memories of them either and he feels a bit stuck but then I've given him multiple chances to say that and he's maintained that's not how he feels.

Jk you're right, I'm just going to have to adopt the "fake it till you make it" approach and whack a big smile on my face. I should be able to avoid seeing him too much as although we're on the same department we're on different floors (retail) so I only really need to see him during delivery and I can go eat my lunch in the car.

He replied asking if I was ok so I replied saying why don't you call me and we can chat about it. The only innocent explanation I can think of is that he knows it stresses me out so maybe he thought it would be kinder to not tell me but my gut instinct tells me it's not innocent at all. Especially since I've never kicked off about it just maybe pulled the odd face.

His reply was "give me 10 minutes, I'm just in the middle of something" - more like "give me 10 minutes I just need to find somewhere my ex can't hear me" sad

He called while I was writing this. He's claiming the reason he wanted to be home at 8 is because he wanted to hoover his room before his parents went to bed (not particularly out of character because he loves cleaning but!) and that when he was hoovering he found a memory stick of hers that she lost last time she came over (which I knew about) so he text her saying he'd found it, she'd just finished work so said she'd pop by on her way home since she lives fairly far away rather than making a special journey for it another day. I think it all just sounds a bit too convenient, especially since he's off work tomorrow so could have hoovered in the morning. When I asked why he didn't tell me he said "I just didn't think, I'll hold my hands up and admit I fucked up in not telling you but it just didn't seem like a big deal so I'd have told you when I saw you tomorrow."

He says she only stayed for half an hour where she watched tv and had a catch up with him and his mum and then she left. The psycho part of me quite wants to drive over and see if her car is still there but I know that's not really reasonable and I'm probably just clutching at straws.

He admitted it looked dodgy but said he doesn't know what I expect him to do when it was 'entirely innocent'. I asked him to put himself in my shoes and he said well I trust you so I'd be ok with it. I think that's much easier to say when he's not in my shoes. It's making me massively second guess myself now but a big part of me thinks that that's just because I don't want my version of events to be true. He said all the right things (I love you/why would I want to mess this up/everything with you is perfect blah blah bla) and asked me what I wanted to do and I have just said I need to think and I would speak to him tomorrow.

Cakedoesntjudge Mon 29-May-17 23:47:56

Lexielulu that in theory would be great but I'm not sure I ever pull off looking amazing 😂 i could try though!

We've not argued at all since we started seeing each other. It's been so lovely and easy but if I feel like this after one argument a few months in it doesn't seem overly worth it sad

I've been taking a deep breath with everything ex wise and just worked along the lines of once she meets someone else then their friendship would be a more normal one. I do feel for her because her cheating was a stupid drunken mistake. They were trying to make it work while she was at uni and he wasn't and that was what made him feel that, ultimately, their lives were too different now. He was her first relationship and I remember how hard it was to let go of mine. When you're that young and you've never been through a break up and it's all new it's hard so that's been my take. But now I'm wondering if I've just been a complete mug about it all.

CookieMonster54 Tue 30-May-17 00:11:45

Look, sometimes people over-complicate things.

I was your boyfriend once. Trying to have a relationship AND trying to be nice to a clingy ex (who, when I look back, knew exactly what she was doing). The poor idiot might be trying to keep everyone happy and making you very unhappy in the process. The missus gave me an ultimatum - it's me or the ex. I chose. We never looked back.

If I were you, I'd give him that ultimatum, and give him a few days to either remove her from his life, or get out of yours. The fact that you've spent time with his family, etc, would seem to indicate that he is actually serious about you. I wouldn't imagine he's cheating with this woman. He probably feels some responsibility towards her, and there's a fair chance she's exploiting that.

Just my 2c. If you want to ditch him, you certainly have cause to do so. If you think there's something worth salvaging, then give him a choice and tell him to make it within a set timeframe.

CookieMonster54 Tue 30-May-17 00:16:26

By the way, if you do choose to give him an ultimatum, here's a tack to take that I promise you will work.

He's being very cruel to both of you if he's telling the truth about his intentions. If he wants to be with you, but is trying to keep her happy, then all he's doing is giving her false hope. Every time she sends him a message that says "we'll be married one day" that he doesn't reply to with a firm "Sorry, no we won't, find someone else and stop contacting me" he is giving her hope. And he's also sowing doubt with you. And that's very cruel.

I think there's a chance he's doing it because he thinks he's being kind (I did) but he's not. She can't move on if she thinks there's a chance she can get him back, and you can't move on if you think there's a chance she can get him back. So he has to choose.

Or, you can ditch him. But if you do, do the guy a favour and point out exactly what I just said.

I know the male perspective isn't always helpful around here, but this is a situation I can speak on with some authority, having once been that poor dumb fool that your boyfriend is being right now.

UnicornSparkles1 Tue 30-May-17 00:29:47

Poor you, it all sounds dodgy AF. She shouldn't be watching tv at his house and catching up with his mum. That's not what you do with an ex. Especially an ex who insists that you'll get back together one day.

I'm with CookieMonster, tell him he's not being a decent/respectful boyfriend to you by constantly texting/meeting up with his ex and that he needs to decide who he wants in his life. There's no way he'd be happy if things were reversed. No one would!

Bringmewineandcake Tue 30-May-17 00:30:56

^ what cookiemonster said

Cakedoesntjudge Tue 30-May-17 00:57:22

Cookie Monster to be honest, now I've calmed down I think your version is more likely (plus I like your version better than mine).

We have talked before about what we'd do if someone made us choose (it was unrelated, I was talking about ExDP who made me pick between him or my friends in general - I picked him and regretted it). We both said that if someone made us choose, the person who made us choose would lose out. So if I give him that ultimatum it wouldn't be me he picks. If I'm at the point where I can't deal with them being friends then my choice has to be to walk away I think.

I do agree though sad he is a kind person who goes above and beyond and I hope that's what it is but I 100% agree with you that it isn't kind. I have said to him that if I were in his position, I would be giving it some time before I tried to be friends with her. I have exes I get along with when I see them at weddings or the odd evening out but we weren't friends from the off. I think the lines get blurred when you try that and it takes a very particular kind of couple to make it work - namely one that agrees they shouldn't be together.

As I said, I've given him my opinion on it towards the beginning but I left it up to him. I don't want to have to force him to choose me. I feel like it should be an easy choice really. To put it in perspective, a friend I lost touch with recently got back in touch and sent a pretty suggestive message. I told him I was happily in a relationship but asked how he was and said it was nice to hear from him. He carried on being inappropriate so I stopped talking to him. I just think it's a question of respect.

I've said to him I think instead of coming over tomorrow we should go for a walk and talk face to face, I hate sorting stuff out over the phone and I'd rather it was sorted one way or the other before we're back at work on Wednesday. I think I'm decided that I'm not happy to carry on with the way things are, it makes me feel like I'm being one of 'those' girlfriends getting paranoid and reading into everything and I hate that. My ex cheated on me 4 times to my knowledge before we split, so I don't know if that's making me over sensitive but he is aware of this and knows how important honesty is to me. I honestly don't mind them being friends. He helped her through something awful a couple of years back and is the only person who knows so he doesn't want her to feel like she has nobody to talk to about it. I understand that. But I am going to say to him that if he wants this to go forwards there has to be much clearer boundaries (i.e. She doesn't just pop over whenever - for a start, it would be incredibly awkward if I was there! It's only been pot luck that I haven't been so far) and he needs to make it clear to her once and for all that he won't tolerate inappropriate messages going forwards. I'm a bit worried that sounds quite controlling but I think it's a fair compromise. If he won't agree to it then I'm going to walk away.

Sorry again for all the essays - apparently I'm rubbish at writing concisely blush

CookieMonster54 Tue 30-May-17 01:13:40

Yeah people always say that thing about if someone made them choose, they'd lose out, but what do you have to lose? If he chooses her, he chooses her, and you weren't enough for him. You'd sooner find that out now than in a few years, right?

So don't tell him it's an ultimatum. Tell him that the current situation just can't work for you and because you love/really like him you're giving him a chance to see if it can be fixed.

I think the thing you have to get through to him is that by trying to be kind, he's being so very cruel. Use his fondness for his ex to get him to see sense. Take her side.

If he feels you're attacking her or that you're motivated by jealousy, his natural instinct will be to defend her and his own actions. Instead, tell her straight out that he is giving her false hope and preventing her from getting on with her own life and being happy and that the kindest thing he can do is force her to move on.

Also, when talking about yourself, use words like respect. Tell him you love him, but you can't be in a relationship where you have to compete for his attention with someone else. Tell him it's nothing personal, but that's just a deal breaker for you.

One way or another, you'll get your answer. Good luck, OP.

UnicornSparkles1 Tue 30-May-17 01:17:32

Have you met her? Since you've been together? Just musing that if you've met his parents then surely you've met his friends? If she's a friend now then she should be introduced to you as such, and you should be positioned firmly as the girlfriend. If he's keeping you both apart, but claiming that she knows all about you and is just a friend, then why keep you both separate?

I also think that it's very different to be asked to choose between your partner and all your friends (controlling) and your partner and their ex fiancée who oversteps boundaries and isn't getting the message (common sense).

Cakedoesntjudge Tue 30-May-17 09:03:55

Thanks cookie your post makes a lot of sense smile - with regards to the respect part I do think that's the main issue. I feel like at the moment he's showing me a complete lack of it with this.

Unicorn I haven't met her but that's not really raised a flag for me. I've met most of his other friends but she never liked his friends. She always refused to come to the things organised by us (as in the group of people from work I mentioned meet up fairly regularly) and never wanted to socialise with his other friends as they weren't from her background hmm. The only time I've seen her in the entire time they were together was when she once picked him up from work. So if I didn't really see her then I'm not expecting to see her now. She had a massive problem with anyone who was female and friends with him so she's never liked me anyway. To meet her now would be odd as it would involve him just inviting the two of us to do something and since I'm well aware of her feelings towards me that would be bizarre I think.

One of my main concerns is that she has no idea about me. He's told me he's told her but I really don't think he has. It's the only explanation I can think of as to why he's making sure we keep everything off of social media as it's the only way she'd know other than him telling her directly. She's also fairly immature and possessive, he didn't tell her straight off the bat because he said he knew that she'd go nuts about it and he didn't want her giving me a hard time. I understood that since it was all so raw for her at the time but months down the line I have said if she doesn't know (and I've had no indication from her she does) then it's a pretty rubbish foundation to build their friendship on.

I'm not seeing him until later today so it gives me a chance to have a think about what I want to say.

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

LexieLulu Tue 30-May-17 09:12:16

He really should put something on FB, surely his friends must think it's weird?

Has his mum said anything to you? Like she knows both of you are getting played to some extent? Surely she would have a word? X

Cakedoesntjudge Tue 30-May-17 12:44:29

No lexielulu she hasn't which is another thing that has crossed my mind. I know she doesn't know me well and he's her son so she owes me nothing but she's always been friendly towards me and I'd like to think any mother would give the women involved a heads up in a situation like this. I know I would be if DS ever tried pulling anything like it under my roof!

I'm off to meet him now. He's been very quiet today so we shall see.

SparklyMagpie Tue 30-May-17 14:32:11

Hope it goes well OP

Cakedoesntjudge Tue 30-May-17 15:58:04

Thought I'd come update you all on how it went. I'm not really sure yet how to feel about it.

I blagged it a bit and told him I knew (rather than suspected) that he hadn't been honest with his ex about us. That it explained why he was being so secretive on social media and why he wasn't dealing with her saying inappropriate things. He got a bit defensive and then admitted that he'd only told her we'd been on a couple of dates, he hadn't told her we were a couple or that we were getting serious because she's struggling to get over their breakup still and he didn't want to hurt her.

So then I said what cookie said basically. I said that all he was doing in trying to be kind was hurting us both. I said that I think she deserves to be as happy as we've been together (obviously excluding this massive blip!) and that he's preventing her from being able to move on and giving her false hope whilst making me second guess his commitment. I also brought up how completely disrespected it made me feel and how neither of these things were things I was willing to put up with.

I told him that if he wants any chance of us going forwards he needs to be completely upfront with the ex and make very clear to her that there will be boundaries with them and if she breaks them then he will cut ties. That she can't just keep showing up unannounced and messaging him at all hours of the day expecting instant replies and that she does not make comments that are disrespectful to our relationship. The secretive stuff stops and he needs to be upfront with me about her meeting up with him in future (I'm still not entirely sure this is a reasonable thing to ask. I wouldn't expect him to tell me about every time he meets up with other friends but I just think this is different since she's made her motives clear).

He agreed to all of it but we will wait and see. I'll know soon enough because he did quite miserably admit that once he's honest with the ex she'll be furious. I said I wouldn't be surprised if she was at first and I'd feel quite betrayed in her position purely because he's been giving her hope for months but I think she'll calm down and come around eventually.

He was a lot more upfront with me. He admitted that I'd probably been right at the beginning and he did rush into things because he'd known how he felt about me for a while and he didn't want to miss his chance (I did ask if that meant he wanted a break to sort his head out but he said that wasn't what he wanted he just thinks retrospectively he should have done that in the beginning). He said I'm a lot more mature than anyone else he's been with and that the kind of relationship we have is new to him and he's trying but he's fully aware he's messed up, has spent the whole time since we spoke last night feeling miserable about losing me and he's worried about messing up in the future.

I said that it was a massive deal for me even meeting up with him to give him a chance to explain and that if my friend was coming to me with all this I'd be advising them to cut all ties. I've also said with regards to him being worried about messing up in future that no relationship is perfect and there will always be things that need working on but this has become a deal breaker to me and if he doesn't do as agreed or anything dodgy comes up again regarding his ex I will be walking away without a discussion.

As I said, I'm not sure how I feel about it. He's said all the right things but I feel like I'm having a battle between my head and heart (and yes I'm aware that sounds cringy and cliched) - a big part of me wants to think this is it sorted and that it's going to be ok but my head is telling me that I need to read the signs and that, at the very least, I shouldn't be involved until the ex has backed off. I'm leaning towards giving him a second chance but I don't think I'm going to be able to help feeling a bit wary for a while and I don't think that's an entirely bad thing given the circumstances. I'm a big believer in not having to live with the 'what ifs' and if I walked away now without giving him the chance to put this right I think I'd always wonder what could have been.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Tue 30-May-17 16:17:39

Wow. I just wanted to say well done for handling it so well. I hope things work out for you in the future, but even if they don't, I have a feeling you're going to be just fine. flowers

weatherbomb Tue 30-May-17 16:33:59

Cake it's sounds as though you handled this brilliantly. Great advice from the cookie monster.
There be a few rocky weeks ahead no doubt, but you've been honest with him so the balls in his court. I hope it all turns out well for you.

CookieMonster54 Tue 30-May-17 21:08:24

Well done Cake.

I think you have a real chance of making this work. But be prepared to walk away if he shows no sign of changing.

Good luck!

rizlett Wed 31-May-17 05:50:13

I think you rock, cake. grin

You are so wise and are handling this so well. You have stated exactly what the position is - made your position very clear and its now up to him.

If he doesn't sort his act out he's not right for you but I hope he does because you sound perfectly lovely.

Cakedoesntjudge Wed 31-May-17 17:55:48

Thank you so much everyone blush I was second guessing how I'd handled it but you've all made me feel much better about it! Fingers crossed 🤞🏻

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: