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Working for an ex?

Hobbyist posted 4/19/2019 11:07 AM

I'm processing some events from a relationship that recently ended, so be gentle :).

Now-ex gf cheated on her previous husband, so I sort of view things through that lens. I don't know a lot of details, it seemed like she worked through it, but then I started to wonder about that.

She was looking for a job, and an old high school boyfriend posted a job listing. She messaged him and was talking to him about the job, which would have been a fairly long commute away, btw. The thought of her taking the job definitely bothered me and my imagination went to the worst possible situation - she has an affair with old boyfriend because she's far away and building a relationship with him and yada yada yada.

She was adamant that "I shouldn't have a problem with this", and in fact told me that before she even told me the story - so I sort of felt like I was being told how a healthy person should react, or at least being told how she wanted me to react, before being able to process my own feelings.

I'm in IC and still learning what good boundaries are for a partner. Personally, I have good boundaries, but I'm learning what boundaries are acceptable for the person I'm with (ie, I don't want to squash their spirit by being overly sensitive to any interaction with the opposite sex).

So, I guess the question is - would you have an issue with your partner working for an ex, also keeping in mind that the job is a long commute away?

ohforanewme posted 4/19/2019 13:53 PM

So, Hobbyist

Given your question, I think each response you are going to get will be the very personal perspective of the person that responds. Mine certainly is.

For starters, I am not sure that I would ever be comfortable being in a serious relationship with someone who had cheated.

If it were very clear that she had done the work, was now whole, and was driven by a passion for making the world a better place for everyone whose life she touched, then maybe.

But if she were that person, then she would have proactively known that a situation as you described would cause you severe anxiety and she would not have entertained even for a moment, let alone expect you to be comfortable with it and berate you if you are not.

So my answer to the question "Yes, absolutely I would have an issue with it!"

Hope this perspective helps in some way.


Hobbyist posted 4/19/2019 14:47 PM

Thank you, I am learning the hard way. Now I know that prior cheating is always not going to work for me, no matter how much I try.

And I appreciate the affirmation that it's ok if I had a problem with this. I wondered if my overly sensitive brain was making healthy choices on what to have a problem with.

JoyfulMourning posted 4/19/2019 21:25 PM

Sorry about your recent break-up. Please believe that the best is yet to come because you are becoming your best self.

As for her possible career choice...Yes, I too would have a problem with it, but I would own it as *MY* issue and deal accordingly.

Personally, I am of the mindset that until I'm married I will function as a single person. Single people are totally responsible for themselves and aren't really required to answer to anyone regarding their life choices. Even if they're dating someone exclusively.

If a man I am dating includes me in his decision making I consider it an honor and a privilege not an entitlement. However, I do know that the choice is ultimately up to him and that he's not obligated to consider my input or insight. If his choice shifts the dynamics of the relationship in a way that I'm not comfortable with or can not support him, then I will opt out and wish him well.

Unless people are married to a person or they've decided to commit to being life partners, and acted it on it by melding lives, they're technically single.

This line of reasoning is very helpful to me as a single woman because I'd been living as part of a married couple for so long. You get used to operating a certain way, one body: two heads; one life. The single life, even in a committed relationship, is two people: two heads; two lives. The boundaries, rights, entitlements and obligations are different.

I hope you find something helpful in my response to your dilemma. Peace to you.

[This message edited by JoyfulMourning at 11:04 PM, April 19th (Friday)]

Hobbyist posted 4/19/2019 22:14 PM

Joyful, that does help, quite a bit. Especially the bit about her choices shifting the dynamics of the relationship - and before saying "I do" we still have a choice if it's something we want to take part in.

I'm going to stay single a while and get used to being happy on my own before trying anything different. I feel much more in control of my life, and that, well, makes me happy.

Marz posted 4/19/2019 22:56 PM

If there was once a spark there they can reignite.

IMO with her attitude about it I think I'd just quietly let this one go.

Beware the warning signs here.

[This message edited by Marz at 10:58 PM, April 19th (Friday)]

ohforanewme posted 4/20/2019 03:37 AM

I am glad that I could help a little.

Also, what Joyful says.

Have always loved those lines from the poem, "grow old along with me, the best is yet to be".

And boy, has that turned out to be the truth for me.

bookworm19 posted 4/20/2019 05:21 AM

Since you say "ex-gf" but still ask what others think, I see that you need just a little confirmation. And yes, I would have a huge problem with my partner working with an ex, the commute information is irrelevant for me, but in your case even a bigger NO-NO.

You actually answered all your questions yourself and are obviously doing great in boundaries and healthy relationships department, seeing trough manipulative crap like this:

She was adamant that "I shouldn't have a problem with this", and in fact told me that before she even told me the story - so I sort of felt like I was being told how a healthy person should react, or at least being told how she wanted me to react, before being able to process my own feelings.

If you are able to see through this and stand your ground in my eyes you just graduated summa cum laude.

Your plan staying single for a while is really good.

Phantasmagoria posted 4/20/2019 07:55 AM

Being told how you should feel and react is a red flag in and of itself. Itís a narcissistic trait, a controlling mindset. Yuk!

Hobbyist posted 4/20/2019 08:51 AM

Her ex was/is a narcissist, and though I don't get that vibe from her, sometimes she does things that makes me wonder if she picked up that habit from him. Or maybe, picked up that habit while learning to deal with him, and now is using it on me (unconsciously).

bookworm19 posted 4/20/2019 09:10 AM

I'm still chewing on that:

so I sort of felt like I was being told how a healthy person should react, or at least being told how she wanted me to react, before being able to process my own feelings.

You actually did react as a healthy sane person, in my opinion.

There are a lot of other possibilities for her than to be a narcissist but they are equally scary.


Hobbyist posted 4/20/2019 11:11 AM

She's definitely not a narcissist, but may have picked up a few bad habits from her ex. I do appreciate the affirmation that my response was healthy. I don't think she has ill intentions, her boundaries just aren't compatible with mine.

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