I’m having relationship problems, or at least I am. Can’t say my boyfriend sees there is anything wrong. I want you to know I’m a really nice and sympathetic person. I’m not some kind of heartless monster. However, I’m getting sick and tired of my boyfriend of two months catering to his ex.
See my boyfriend’s ex apparently is going through a lot right now. According to the ex, his dad almost died because of diabetes he didn’t know he had. The ex’s dad had been touch and go for a few weeks not sure he would make it, but he turned a corner and is slowly starting to recover. Plus, the ex claims that his sister is in an abusive relationship with the father of her kids. In the midst of all the issues going on in the ex’s life, he has been blowing up my boyfriend needing to talk and someone to lean on.
While I understand my boyfriend and his ex were together for over five years, they’ve been broken up for about a year. I don’t get why his ex is constantly coming to him when things come up. I feel like the ex is still leaning on my boyfriend like he’s still his man, and that bothers me. I want to say something to my bf, but I don’t want to sound like some selfish nasty person. But the longer I remain quiet, the more I find myself being shady to my boyfriend, causing him to keep asking what’s wrong. I haven’t told him, because I don’t want to sound insensitive and come off uncompassionate. So what do I do? Say something to my boyfriend? Or swallow my feelings and pretend nothing is wrong with me, and have my boyfriend feel my anger boil up? What would you do if you were in my shoes?
-Real Deal Jones
Dear Real Deal ones,
Thanks for writing to me. I’m just going to jump right in here with my advice. I may not know you from Adam (not to be confused with Adam for Adam), but I’m going to take you at your word that you’re “nice and sympathetic.” I’ll choose to believe that you are a person that has compassion for other people. In this instance, it seems you’re just suffering from a touch of jealousy. And that’s completely understandable.
Most people in your position would probably feel some type of way about their boyfriend being so close to an ex, regardless of the circumstances. Those same people wouldn’t be able to help but question if their boyfriend and his ex are still in love, and if they are sneaking around. And while these concerns aren’t always warranted when such is the case, in quite a few instances when two exes are constantly involved in each other’s life, things happen (this directly relates to my belief in why exes usually can’t be friends, but friendly).
Although I think your feelings of jealousy are completely justified, I can’t pretend to be ignorant of the problems your boyfriend’s ex is facing. If the ex loves his family as much as I love my family, all that he’s going through is probably weighing heavily on him. He’s just in need of someone to be a sounding board for him and to hold him up, as he tries to hold up his family. And for five years of his life, it sounds like your boyfriend was that person for him. He’s leaning on your man because it’s comfortable and your boyfriend more than likely knows his family. Now I don’t know what the ex-boyfriend’s friendships look like, but it’s possible he may not have a ton of close friends if your boyfriend is the ex’s go-to despite the breakup.
Suggestions going forward.
- Take a moment to speak to your boyfriend about how you’re feeling. Yes, the ex has a lot going on. However, you’re entitled to have a conversation with your man and get reassurance that you have nothing to worry about. Get some clarity that your bae is committed to only you, and that he’s only providing temporary emotional support.
- The following suggestion may sound a bit unorthodox, but I think it will allow you to kill two birds with one stone. If after your conversation with your boyfriend you feel reassured, then have your bae invite the ex over for dinner or out to dinner. Yes, a meal with all three of you. Not only will the gesture and actual meal be a wonderfully kind thing to do, but it will also be a slight reminder to the ex you’re still in the picture. On the chance the ex is too busy with his family to meet, have your boyfriend give the ex a small gift on your behalf.
- Now you didn’t say, and I didn’t ask, but I’m assuming your boyfriend and his ex didn’t stay in regular contact with one another prior to this series of family emergencies. But, if I’m wrong in my assumption, then you have a more complex issue at hand. If the ex is a constant in your bae’s life, then he’s in a relationship with you, with a foot still in the past. And that’s problematic. But again, I’ll go with my previously stated assumption.
As always nothing but love,