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Another thread about a boyfriend being best friends with his EX

(18 Posts)
LauraLiz1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 11:51:14

I found this forum doing a simple internet search.

Before I start, I want to make it clear that I am not controlling nor determined to make my friend end all contact with his EX but I AM very confused and feel like I'd like to hear other people's opinions.

I've just turned 30 and I've been single since age 21 (9 years) - due to living all over the country and postgraduate research etc/issues with depression. I joined a dating agency and I met a really lovely man and he pursued me (we'd email 6 times a day). When we met we got on really well. We seem to have a bond/chemistry - feel at ease with one another even though we haven't known each other long. We have slept together and I spend weekends at his house (I have lodgers at mine so it's easier).

Two weeks into the relationship he told me that his EX came around sometimes and they were friends. I didn't mind so much because it was early days. She left him 3 1/2 years ago and had her own boyfriend for 2 1/2 years - they grew apart because he wasn't into clubbing and her lifestyle.

He was getting ready for work - he asked me to go through his emails to help him (work account) - yes, REALLY. I wasn't snooping. Eventually I arrived at one from someone called Sophie. Basically he was telling her about me and she was saying that his new 'girl friend' (ME) had caused her feelings for him to resurface. However, they did end it saying 'how could two people get on so well but not survive a relationship' - He said, yes things with me where going well and he was pleased. He would always have 'nice' feelings for her.

I comforted him 2 weeks later (a month into relationship) because my feelings had grown. He said they emailed 5 times a week. She came for her dinner every Wednesday (to his house - on their OWN). I am amazed her boyfriend doesn't mind.

He also said she was going to work abroad for a year with new boyfriend and would be leaving his stuff at his.

I really don't want to be abused and called jealous and pathetic. BUT I really don't think this is all right at all. It feels very inappropriate.

p.s when I got sad about it and upset (bad day) he drove 40 minutes to my work place and left my favourite chocolate bar on my car with a message - 'save me some' - so he does care.

I don't like this girl - particularly since he is 11 years older (wants a family - hence younger girl, never married). She is the same age as me. It makes me compare the relationships.

I know I haven't known him long and we are both sensible - but I do (like him) really want to settle and have kids. I am surprised he would risk what we seem to have over someone who left him plus seems quite irresponsible and appears to want to have her cake and eat it - e.g. have a boyfriend our age for fun and use him for storage space etc. He seems to have given her a lot in the past (e.g. benefits having a career and house bring). He told me he doesn't have many close friends and fears being lonely. I wonder whether she is just using him.

Thanks - please don't judge me

LauraLiz1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 11:53:13

edit 'her stuff at his' even

Allergictoironing Wed 12-Dec-12 12:58:01

I was very "shall I, shan't I" about responding to this, as I do understand that there could be an issue here but on the other hand there may well not be and I'm too new at posting here to want the fallout of other posters!
A guy who's one of my closest friends who used to be my boyfriend many years ago, in fact we broke up then got back together a couple of times over the years, and I was heartbroken each time. Those feelings are gone now, I have no desire to get romantically involved with him any more and neither has he, but he's still one of the most important people in my life as a platonic friend. We go through phases of seeing more or less of each other depending on what's happening in our respective lives & how busy we are, could be a couple of times a week or not for months, but when we do see each other it's big platonic cuddles & completely at home with each other - exactly the same as when I see my female best friend.
He uses my garage for overflow storage & even has keys to my house, I used to have his but no point as I only go to his place if he's in & he needs access to mine if he's working in my garage (loo, hand washing etc).
This close friendship is exactly that, similar to very close siblings, no question ever of any hanky panky whether either of us is in a relationship at the time or not, so it IS possible that a man and a woman who used to be involved can stay good friends without anything else going on or being thought of - though my very jealous exP had real issues as he was of the old school type that assumes that any friendship with the opposite sex = sex!

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Wed 12-Dec-12 13:05:20

I think it can be possible to be friends with an ex, but only if there is no romantic feelings on either side.

What would make me uncomfortable is that she has expressed romantic feelings for him.

Have you spoke about the email from her telling him this?

What did he say?

LauraLiz1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 13:07:10

Thanks for posting. It makes sense. I was kind of OK (ish) about it until I saw the email about 'feelings resurfacing' and as much as it appears to mean little - I think he could have been more definite about putting her in her place. Feelings resurfacing isn't 'platonic' - though, it comes across as a little jealously after she had her own boy friend and him too for 3 1/2 years. It might be natural to feel something when someone else comes along. Even so, I still find it odd given that she has someone new.

LauraLiz1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 13:08:33

He said that he'd stop seeing her own his own at the house to put me at ease (stay friends). Then since things got a little heated (he seemed sad) I decided not to mention it for 2 weeks. Now I am wondering what the situation is to myself.

LauraLiz1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 13:09:34

sorry that was unclear - he promised they'd stop meeting at his house (weekly) on their own. This was 2 weeks ago. Now I wonder what has happened. Feel awkward about raising it.

Allergictoironing Wed 12-Dec-12 13:16:30

I would be guessing from your first post ("He would always have 'nice' feelings for her") that he has no romantic feelings any more for her but still likes her as a person, and doesn't want to be unnecessarily unpleasant - if he still likes her as a person he wouldn't want to slap her down hard?

LauraLiz1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 13:19:40

Thanks for that. Yes he is quite a considerate person and people often tell him he is too nice for his own good, so that is the type of thing he'd say

squeakytoy Wed 12-Dec-12 14:01:55

You shouldnt have read the email. You were wrong for doing that in the first place and had no right to do it.

You are also wrong for telling him that he shouldnt be friends with her, it isnt your place to do that either.

Allergictoironing Wed 12-Dec-12 14:04:42

Squeakytoy read the OP - he ASKED her to go through his work account emails!
She doesn't say anywhere that she wants to tell him he can't be friends with her at all either.

LauraLiz1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 14:50:49

Yes I haven't told him not to be friends with her. He did ASK me to read his emails.

Plus I don't think that your tone was very nice nor necessary (if I might add) - these things are difficult for people and it's inevitable that feelings may get hurt. I don't think responding like that is helpful.

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 12-Dec-12 17:11:13

OP Fact is that they are friends. None of what you have said is inappropriate, imo. It is in yours.

It really depends on what he is willing to do for you. Personally I would not have given up a friend for someone I had known a short while, nor would I stop seeing them.

Whether she is using him or not, is really not your concern at the moment. Just be there to support him if she is.

I think you are 'villianising' (don't think that's an actual word) her to make yourself feel better. You think very little of someone you don't really know.

One piece of advice though op. I get where squeaky is coming from. He asked you to go through his emails. Did he really ask you to read each and everyone?

I read it as though he had asked you to have a look for something and you decided to read the email in full.

You can not tell anyones tone from a post here, having a go about people being unkind is not going to help.

You have posted on a public forum and asked for advice. Some of it you may not like. Its a fact of life. You may think a post is written in one tone and its not.

Squeaky is correct in her assessment that you shouldn't of asked him not to be friends with her. you have made it clear you are not happy about it and he has stopped having dinner with her. On some level he has felt like he has had to choose. So while you haven't delivered an absolute ultimatum, he has had to make a choice.

I don't think its an ideal path to go down. Yes tell him it bothers you then work on how you can stop it from bothering you.

I am not sure how you will take this, but it isn't meant to be unkind.

BlameItOnTheChoirOfAngels Wed 12-Dec-12 17:16:40

I dont think squeaky was at all harsh confused you will need a thicker skin than that around here!

but onto the op. My ex is one of my very best friends. His ex hated me because of it, and dh doesnt like him. but we are friends, and that wont change. however, I would be uncomfortable about her declaration, that said, he rebuffed her. nicely, but that sounded like a brush off to me. the rest of it doesnt sound at all inappropriate though.

have you met her?

3mily Wed 12-Dec-12 19:46:02

Can you not all have dinner together (Her partner too)? I think if you see how they interact it could make you feel better. It is easy to imagine the worst.

In my friendship group there are a few people who used to date. Their new partners are now part of the group. My DP's ex and her DH are often out with us and she is lovely. In fact we have been on holiday with them twice!

squeakytoy Wed 12-Dec-12 21:40:10

You were asked to read his WORK emails. It is fairly obvious I would have thought that once you realised it was a personal mail you should have closed it and not continued to read it.

I am still friends with a couple of my exes. They were a part of my life long before I knew my husband and they pose no threat to him or our relationship.

Also from what I can work out, you have only been seeing this man for just over a month? Hardly long enough to really know him, and certainly not long enough to make judgement on his choice of friendships. And sorry, but yes, you do sound jealous and a little insecure to be so worried about this.

suburbophobe Thu 13-Dec-12 00:51:22

I found this forum doing a simple internet search.

Plus I don't think that your tone was very nice nor necessary (if I might add) - I don't think responding like that is helpful.

Welcome to Mumsnet! grin

You won't get fluffy answers here but you will get the honesty of people's thoughts. (Much more preferable IMO).

AnAirOfHopeInAManger Thu 13-Dec-12 01:13:18

So your new boyfriend is friends with his ex for 3.5 years - thats great he is a nice man and can have a mature relationship with a member of the oppersite sex.

You told him your concern and he accepted them and comprimised - thats great. He listened to you and responded in a mature way.

A friend has asked to leave her stuff at his place so she doesnt have to pay for storage and he is letting her - great he is a good friend.

You have a problem because she fancies your new boyfriend. Its not about how she feels its about how he feels and he drove 40 minutes to give you a choclate bar (if you dont want him i will take him lol)

He sounds nice stop trying to be self destructive. Its ok to love someone and its ok for that someone to love you.

Stop bragging and relax and enjoy.

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