I feel insecure about my boyfriend's relationship with his ex. What should I do?
I've been dating my boyfriend for six months. He's still friends with his ex-girlfriend whom he dated for about two years. I've never met her, and he says that he hasn't spent time with her since they broke up less than a year ago, but he talks with her very often via text. He's a great guy and I can see myself getting very serious with him, but I worry that as long as he continues the kind of contact he has been with her, I won't be able to be happy in the relationship and will end it.
I feel insecure because he and I will text frequently throughout days we're not with each other, and it seems that he texts her as often as he does me. He will reply to her texts in my presence, and for some reason I can't understand, I hate this. They are also friends over facebook. I got so tired for her "liking" every single thing he posted on there and posting such silly stuff so often on his page that I took him off my friend's list so I wouldn't be tempted to look at his page and get angry. He also has a picture of the two of them that he hasn't taken off his facebook. In the beginnings of our relationship, he asked me if I wanted him to remove it. At first, I didn't know for sure if it would bother me, so I said no, it didn't bother me and it was ok to leave it there. He admitted that he was a little bothered by the fact that it didn't bother me, if that makes sense. Since then (after realizing that I don't really like it there), I asked him to take it off, but he hasn't, saying that if he did take it off, her feelings would be really, really hurt.
He assures me that he has no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and truly believes that I am a better match for him. He's done nothing to ever make me question his honesty, so I believe him 100%. He's said he's made it clear to her that nothing will ever happen with them again, and is just confused as to why I'm so jealous over benign messages over facebook that aren't anything but platonic. He's right; they are platonic, but I just see the quantity of messages and "likes" and think the attention she's giving is a bit too much.
He also mentions her to me fairly often in conversation. She apparently had a horrible childhood with an abusive family, and he will bring up how she was molested and no one in her family believed her claims, how she would self-mutilate when she was younger and how he worries that if he ignores her completely, she'll commit suicide. I feel terrible that anyone would have to a history like that, but I also feel like my boyfriend is trying to sell his ex-girlfriend to me for some reason, perhaps hoping we can all be friends with each other, or to at least justify to me why he never intends to stop being friends with her.
I know that a lot of people are friends with their exes. I chose to never be friends with any of my exes for one reason or another, and I just don't understand why he would still want to be friends with her. Sometimes I feel like my boyfriend is a pompous ass for thinking that he had such a profound effect on someone that they'd actually kill themselves if he never talked to them again, but then again, she's apparently has suicidal thoughts before, so I can see why he'd worry.
Basically, if I tell him to cut things off with her, he'll resent me. It honestly sounds like he's one of the very few rocks this girl has, so him cutting things off would be pretty unwise for her sake. I want to believe that since I'm his girlfriend now, I deserve some respect. I don't think I'm getting it as long as he talks about her to me and texts her right in front of me. I feel like a guilty jerk sometimes because I feel this way, but if it wasn't for her being such a presence around here, I would be so much happier with him. They dated for only two years and never had children, but I feel like she's the ex-wife who's still in the picture because of joint custody of the kids, and is still bitter about the divorce (he broke up with her and admits that if he hadn't, they'd probably still be together as she would have never broken up with him). I know I could very well coming across like a selfish bitch right now. Does anyone have any advice for me on how to rationalize all of this? Do any of you think my boyfriend is acting inappropriately from what I've told you? I'm asking because as someone who's never been a friend with an ex, I think he is being inappropriate, but I can see how my emotions can make me more of an insecure, jealous dragon lady right now. I'd love your input and advice on how to handle this situation! Thanks.
- Asked by Female, 29-35