How to maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-partner is a very complicated matter.
If the relationship ended amicably, it might not be so difficult to remain on friendly terms, even remain friends.
Then too, keeping one’s distance isn’t a terribly difficult thing to do should the relationship have ended on acrimonious terms.
It’s everything in-between that can be challenging, perhaps owing to lingering or unresolved feelings, or doubt as to whether or not the relationship should have ended.
The boyfriend of Redditor nothrowaway3000 remained in regular contact with his ex-girlfriend, something she told him to his face she was less than thrilled about.
Surprised by the way he reacted, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my boyfriend he likes attention.”
The OP first let readers know that in-spite of their being in a committed relationship for years, her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend remains a significant presence in his life, a presence she did not find remotely healthy.
“So my boyfriend (22) of 3 years has this ex girlfriend who is “harassing” him.”
“What I mean by that is she still talks to him in a creepy manner.”
“She sends him love gestures like they’re dating. “
“-She sent him flowers to his apartment.”
“-She sent him a long note about how much she loves him.”
“-In public sometimes she sees him and won’t leave him alone.”
“-She sends him expensive gifts (expensive headphones, new tv, something for his monitor) -all real examples.”
Despite the OP expressing her concerns about her behavior, her boyfriend failed to see anything wrong with his ongoing communication with his ex.
“The thing is, I don’t know about any of this until far after it’s happened.”
“Like I’ll ask ‘when ddi you get these headphones’ and his reply will be ‘Oh x got them for me last week. So weird right?’.”
“When I tell him that’s obsessive behavior and he should tel her to stop or get the police involved, he says it’s not that serious and he’s told her to stop.”
“When i asked what he said specifically to her, because I know he can be a little too nice about things, he says that he wants to drop it or he’ll say that he’s embarrassed of how rude he can get and doesn’t want to show me.”
But a recent encounter between her boyfriend and his ex proved the breaking point for the OP, resulting in a tense exchange of words.
“Recently he was at lunch with friends, and she showed up.”
“The story was, he was with his buddy ‘John’ and she showed up and saw them and sat down with them.”
“I heard this story from John and i confronted my boyfriend and told him like he likes the attention he’s getting from her.”
“He said I was victim blaming and being a b*tch about the whole situation when I should be there for him.”
“Afterwards I felt really bad about how I handled it and tried to apologize but he said he didn’t want to talk.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While just about everyone generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole, her situation largely left the Reddit community concerned and confused.
Several Redditors were convinced that the OP’s boyfriend was cheating on her.
“Why are you with him?”
“She’s clearly not an xbox and the stalking thing is his cover.”
“He’s cheating on you with the x.”- Key-Sheepherder3355.
“NTA, either he’s stringing her along for the benefits, or he’s still providing her with ‘benefits’ of his own.”- NannyBismo.
“RED FLAG ALERT.”
“Stop arguing and dump him.”
“This is not acceptable and is going too far.”
“It sounds to me like he might even be outright cheating, and she’s his side piece, but I don’t have proof of that.”
“And then he gaslights you about it.”
“NTA, but RUN.”- Shebalba64205.
“NTA…he’s still f*cking her.”-Dude-from-the-80s.
“NTA – I could see liking the free gifts, but joining for lunch?”
“He gets an ego boost from her, or something is going on between them and he’s painting it as though she’s being a stalker & it’s one sided.”
“(Just hard for me to imagine her spending so much on a guy who is not interested).”
“And why did he not tell you about the headphones?”
“He’s cheating on you babe, I’m sorry but dump his ass.”-ReserveOk7915.
“This dude does not sound worth your time.”
“Why would you stay with someone who’s obviously still got feelings for his ex, or is still seeing her, and calling you a bitch for being alarmed about the situation?”
“Girl, respect is the minimum.”- InterplanetaryJanet.
“NTA – OP your bf is still f*cking his ex, 100%.”
“Am a guy and a serial cheater, trust me, run.”- IAmTheOneWithThePlan.
Some even wondered if the OP’s boyfriend had even broken things off with his ex, wondering if the OP was in fact “The Other Woman”.
“INFO: are you sure they are not still together?”
“She treats him as her boyfriend and he doesn’t set it straight.”- Abeyita.
“He’s still dating her.”-No-Routine5222.
“NTA .. and sorry but I think your boyfriend is being shady af”-Runny_yoke.
“But, you’re the side chick and she isn’t the ex.”-bibbiddybobbidyboo.
“You left the GASLIGHT is on, check that.”
“There is another explanation, in which is she thinks they are still in a relationship, and you are the stalker.”
“Oh hun… they are still dating.”-YourMoonWife.
“You are NTA.”
“You’re also NTGF (not the girlfriend); she is and you’re being played.”-TemptingPenguin369.
“OP are you sure youre his gf and not his side piece?”-passyindoors.
“NTA but he certainly is.”
“Sounds like things never officially ended and there’s more going on than he cares to disclose.”
“Think you need to re-evaluate this one because I don’t think this behavior will change.”-jupiter0342.
“I normally would NEVER say to do this, but you’ve been with him 3 YEARS and she’s sending him notes and presents?!?”
“Find her on fb and get a hold of her.”
“See whats going on.”
“Don’t be weird (stay away from my man!)”
“Just be like hey I’ve been dating so and so for 3 years and you keep sending him gifts/ love notes.”
“Are you guys together?”-MacaronDeep1014.
There were those who weren’t sure if the OP’s boyfriend was, in fact, cheating on her, but they still found his behavior narcissistic, manipulative and toxic, believing the OP should seriously re-evaluate their relationship.
“NTA he obviously like the attention and he’s trying to paint it like she’s this creep who won’t leave him alone but i doubt he’s actually said anything to her”-0nly_0li.
“NTA but why are you with this loser?”
“Of course he loves the attention.”
“Dump his ass.”-Francie1966.
“He is clearly enabling the behavior and this isn’t victim blaming.”
“I don’t know how he expects you to be there for him when he clearly isn’t doing anything to stop her.”
“My advice would be to tell him this is bothering you and that it needs to stop.”
“She is crossing a hard boundary and he need to respect you being REASONABLY upset.”-Obvious-Result6853.
“‘Telling her to stop’ while accepting her gifts and attentions is obviously sending a mixed message.”
“Her behavior is WAY inappropriate and he knows it and either you’re right, he enjoys it on some level, or he’s a bit of a doormat about confrontations.”-B4pangea.
“He’s not taking this seriously if he’s keeping the gifts.”
“Some men are not as tuned in to what could become dangerous. “
“He should be returning everything and blocking her.”
“Run, end it.”
“I’m sorry because you obviously care but no self respecting human would accept gifts like this from an ex while in a relationship with someone they ‘love’.”
“You deserve better.”
“Go find it.”- justjess1217
Upon reading that so many of her fellow Redditors believed her boyfriend was cheating on her, The OP admitted that the idea was always in the back of her head, but hearing others suspect it all but cemented it for her.
“I appreciate all the feedback.”
“I always had this fear that he was cheating in the back of my mind, but not until i heard others (you guys) say it I didn’t take it seriously.”
“I’ll talk to him one last time, if he doesn’t come clean we’re done. “
“Thanks again much love.”
It does seem like the OP’s boyfriend enjoys attention to such an extent that he might not be satisfied with the love and attention he gets from her alone.
Something that could pose a problem to their relationship.
But here’s hoping that it is only “attention” he’s getting from his ex, in addition to all the gifts, and that he and the OP might figure out a way to better handle this situation going forward.