On Confusion, Misdirected Conversations, and Hurt Feelings

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  • #823627 Reply


    I tend to avoid asking for advice on advice forums, but I’d like to clear my thoughts out to see how reasonable they look on paper. And if anyone wants to respond with insight or advice, too, go ahead.

    So, I am in a baby relationship with a guy. We’ve only been official for a couple of weeks, and have only dated since the beginning of September.

    Well, the other day I told him about something that hurt me. I tried to frame it as “when [this], then I feel [this],” and not accusatory, just informative. I was hoping we’d grow from the conversation, as we hadn’t had a lot of conversations about our feelings and needs yet. I was hoping it might open the door to that. When I told him, he just said “Okay.” And that was it. A few minutes later, he came over and hugged me and said “Sorry you were sad.”

    I decided that was fine, I mean, maybe he wasn’t feeling it was necessary to talk about it, he apologized, and I figured we could always revisit the “needs in a relationship” convo later.

    I still wanted to have that talk because every two people are different, every relationship is different, and I figure you’re not going to know what is good for one person will be good for another, etc.

    However, today he said he wanted to talk, he “had an upsetting conversation” earlier. I said, “Yeah?” And he said, “Yes, I was talking with [ex-gf] and she thought it was very uncharacteristic of me to do that thing that hurt you, and now I’m throwing our whole relationship into doubt, etc, not sure what I feel, etc, why did I do that thing, etc, how I do feel, has something changed, etc.” Woof.

    For context, he and ex-gf broke up about a year ago. Have remained friends who talk daily since day 1 of the break up. They were together for five years. Also she’s on the other side of the country.

    I noted I didn’t think it was fair for her to throw any kind of judgment on our situation; she’s not here or a part of it. He quickly defended her as having no agenda, etc., and said nothing more than “that’s uncharacteristic.” Once after first telling her, and then after explaining that he just didn’t realize that thing would hurt me because of [misunderstanding]. Which is what I believed. Apparently she continued, “No, that’s uncharacteristic of you.”

    Do I think she has an agenda? I don’t. At least, it doesn’t feel that way to me.

    We had a long conversation and I told him perhaps we should take a break from each other/space for a few days to see what he feels after that. He said, he’d just take on night and sleep on it, and let me know tomorrow if he wants to have any time apart at all. I told him okay.

    He says he doesn’t want to break up, reiterated that it was not a break up conversation, he’s just worried he’s going to become a progressively worse boyfriend and he isn’t sure why he is being like this. We talked a lot more, cuddled, it was fine, then he went home.

    I fell asleep early, he sent me a text later that night when I was asleep to check in and say he hopes I am okay and get some rest, etc.

    The more that I think about that whole conversation here is where I land:

    1. I don’t like that he seems to have had a more emotional intimate conversation with ex-gf about my feelings than he has with me about me about …my feelings.

    2. I am not a jealous type, but I am seeing that he has a more comfortable / easier person to connect with and instead of connecting with me, hence talked to her more about how I was feeling than he talked to me about how I was feeling.

    3. Therefore, I am thinking I am going to have to say if we continue, there need to be boundaries around ex-girlfriend. I told him that I was hurt in confidence, and did not expect him to share it with her. Knowing he told her does not feel good for me.

    He claims he has no feelings for her, by the way, and I believe that, and vice versa, and I believe that, too. I don’t think they are going to get back together. I just think this kind of former relationship …well, I think it’s POSSIBLE that it is impacting our relationship because he wasn’t fully let go of that connection to be as open with me. I don’t know that for a fact, but it really feels like that.

    Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

    #823654 Reply


    From the my two cents gallery i wish you good luck collecting words from the peanut gallery

    #823660 Reply


    They were together for 5 years and you’ve been together for a matter of months- there is no way that you can be at the same point in terms of intimacy, trust and confidence. That takes time to grow. That being said i think I’d be bothered by my bf being that close to his ex that he talks about our relationship. But is it really that different to you discussing things with your friends or even with strangers on here?

    I think your expectations are too high for such an early stage in a relationship. There is nothing wrong with saying how you feel but there is also nothing wrong with him processing his feelings and using a friend as a sounding board. I think if you push for a change in the dynamic of his relationship with his ex you will lose at this point because you don’t yet have that bond.

    Take a step back and try and lower your expectations. 3 months is about the time that men start to decide on whether a relationship is going anywhere, if he perceives you as too pushy, over sensitive or as trying to put restrictions on him you may ultimately push him away.

    Also you don’t disclose what it was that he said that upset you. Knowing this will impact on the advice you get because if it was something petty it would change views on whether your response was as reasonable as it seems

    #823664 Reply


    Thanks. I appreciate the honest feedback. The reason I think it’s different is because I am anonymous and have no connection with any of you. You will never meet either of us. You do not know who I am. etc.

    #823672 Reply


    We kind of need to know what happened…

    It is weird that he & his ex still talk every day.

    #823675 Reply


    I told him I had a fever and the next day, for the first time, I heard nothing from him the entire day. I sent a few light, easy texts, with no responses.

    It turned out he was out of town in the woods, without reception. I felt hurt that he didn’t check on me, given I was sick, or even communicate his plans, but I already determined after talking to him I did downplay my sickness and he probably didn’t realize I was bad off.

    #823676 Reply


    Honest, the ex thing didn’t bother me at all until it sounded like she had any pull in our relationship/his thoughts about our relationship.

    #823679 Reply


    Too much involvement with the ex. I would just tell him my true feelings – that he is closer to the ex than me then I would let go of this guy and date someone better. I know that sounds direct but if this is the situation now it will not get better in a few months from now.

    Let someone else deal with this triangle.

    #823692 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I would be hurt if I told my bf I had a fever and he disappeared on me the next day without even checking in. Even if you’ve only been dating a short time, I would hope he’d feel some concern. Downplaying it or not, you were sick. I would think the least he would have done would be to text to see how you were doing & tell you he’d be out in the woods without a signal for the day. So I think that’s crappy.

    I agree with the point that you have been dating a very short period of time compared to his ex, & it takes time to build closeness & intimacy. But I also think he’s way too close to his ex. I wouldn’t be comfortable dating a guy who was this close to his ex.

    It’s fine to be on good terms with her, but talking every day & discussing his current relationship with her – to me that shows a lack of boundaries. I’m not saying there’s anything romantic between them but there is definitely an emotional connection that’s very strong. Too strong, in my book. How can he develop closeness & intimacy with a new girlfriend if he’s still clinging to her?

    Anecdotally I will add, I was very close to an ex boyfriend of mine that I dated for years. In a similar way, I would talk every day, & discuss my dating and relationships with him. But I realized that it was holding me back to be this attached to him. He was like an emotional crutch. I had to put some distance between myself and him in order to be emotionally free and truly open to a new man. So I did begin to pull away & put some distance. Right after that was when I met my current boyfriend of 2.5 years now. I definitely think I freed up mental space and energy that enabled me to really open up & fall in love with my current bf.

    I don’t know of a solution here. You can’t give him an ultimatum, that will most likely backfire anyway. But I personally would be super uncomfortable continuing to date a guy who was this close to his ex.

    #823711 Reply


    An update. We had a good conversation. We are continuing to go forward, with focusing on each other more and getting to know each other more. Thank you all.

    #825323 Reply



    So I had to let my feelings settle a bit. I decided it’s fine he used her as a sounding board, he was trying to get advice, and it doesn’t feel good still but I don’t think it was a betrayal of confidence. Something else I can’t put my finger on makes it not feel good.

    So, after our conversation, I learn something (he is not great at communicating updates and plans): His ex-girlfriend will be staying with him for an entire week. From out of town.

    Now, I am getting increasingly ill during this time. Turns out I have a viral infection (not COVID) and am on the mend. So I stay away — otherwise I was thinking about meeting her.

    Well, as I was catching up with my boyfriend this morning on the phone, guess what I learn? They’ve been sharing a bed.

    They’ve been sharing a bed.

    A bed. Together.

    They’ve only been exes for a year, and have slept together after breaking up, by the way.

    He seems completely naive here and I know she isn’t. Come on. Why is she even here? He only moved here two months ago and she’s already over here spending a week playing house with him? And sleeping in the same bed? Today, they are heading out to a cabin in the woods together, alone! (Her idea!) Where they will share a bed!

    I am just dumbfounded. She’s actively trying here, right? Not my imagination?

    He said, “It’s just sleeping. It’s just like sharing a bed with anyone else.” I blinked and was shocked. I didn’t even know how to respond. I am going to talk to him tomorrow.

    #825324 Reply


    I feel disrespected. Like, how can you say you respect your girlfriend? And share a bed with your ex-lover?

    #825326 Reply


    And tell me that was not intentionally planting seeds of doubt RIGHT before going to stay with him?

    I’ve been cheated on before. He knows this. I just…this might be too much to get over.

    #825327 Reply


    And I’m sick!!!!


    #825330 Reply


    I am so sorry. This man sounds like garbage. His ex doesn’t sound so great either. You deserve to be treated with love and respect, so break this off now. You didn’t lose anything. You are now free to find something good.

    I hope you have someone to look in on you while you’re sick!

    #825349 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    This is a no brainer. Don’t let this guy gaslight you into thinking this is somehow okay.

    Sharing a bed with an ex, going on an overnight alone with an ex where they’ll share a bed– and leaving you home alone while you’re sick! — this shows a major lack of respect for you & your relationship, at the bare minimum. She might be trying to get him back, she might not. To me that’s not even that relevant. Even if everything is above board & they really are just friends– he is completely disrespecting you & your relationship! How do you think he’d feel if the shoe were on the other foot & you had an ex come visit & sleep in your bed?

    Honestly I would end it with this guy immediately. Whether or not he’s “just sleeping” in the bed with her or not, is beside the point. He has demonstrated his total lack of respect for you & for your relationship. As I commented earlier, there’s something very “off” about how attached this guy is to his ex. He isn’t over her & he isn’t ready to move on. You will always be playing second fiddle to her if you stay with him. And yes, it’s possible he might cheat with her, but even if he swears he won’t, that’s not the point. So I wouldn’t even argue with him about that. He doesn’t respect you & he puts his ex above you. That’s why you should end it.

    #825366 Reply


    Oh. Hell. No.

    #825371 Reply


    This is absolutely disrespectful and it’s worst that he is telling you as if it’s no big deal. It is not appropriate to have your boyfriend sleep in the same bed with another woman let alone an ex who he has admitted he slept with after the breakup. I know you haven’t been dating long so unless your in an open relationship this is not the behavior of a couple who is exclusive and committed. You need to stop this relationship now and let him resolve his issues with his ex instead of stringing you along like a 3rd wheel. The ex knows about you and if she thinks your ok with this then she is as delusional as he is.

    #838470 Reply


    Update: I had my mind made up to talk and likely break up. The next day, I fell so ill I ended up in the hospital. They made me stay for almost a week. I was so down and out I didn’t even have the energy to deal with any drama, and then never did.

    In summation, my dumbass stayed with him for almost two more (uneventful, at least) months until he unceremoniously dumped me. 😂 I was like “shocked pikachu face.” Women: run when you know the running is good.

    #838472 Reply


    He had the audacity to ask me, “Does this give you hope?” when we were discussing the break up. Hope. He had the audacity to ask me if our relationship inspired hope in me finding a good partner.

    #838473 Reply


    Actual picture of us when we were together:


    #838476 Reply


    not gonna lie though, i’m gonna miss him. (this is what makes me also a clown.)

    #838488 Reply


    Girl, run, run as far as you can. I feel angry just by looking at the words. Its not only the ex girlfriend that is problematic, the guy is a total garbage. We don’t need people like that in our lives.

    I’ve dealt with a similar situation and I’ve been in your position. It’s definitely painful but then once you decide to move on, you feel relieved because you are no longer with a person that eats your soul and radiates you with insecurity, doubts and negativity. Be a high value woman, know your worth and what you deserve.

    One approach I always advise my friends who are dealing with heartbreaks and betrayal – make a list of “What he misses out from walking out of the relationship” (e.g. a girlfriend with humour, confidence, empathy, kindness, shared values etc) and a list of “What you certainly don’t miss from this relationship” (e.g. insecurity, gaslighting, lies, anxiety from out of reach etc). Your head will be clearer and you will feel a lot better.

    #838566 Reply


    Love the list idea. Thank you!

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