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Red flag trigger in my new relationship

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Nycountrystrong posted 3/25/2020 19:08 PM

So I am just shy of 2 years into a relationship with my fiancee. Overall we have a great relationship where I feel valued and appreciated and honestly treated much better than I have ever been in my life. At the start of our relationship we were open and honest with each other about our pasts in all aspects. What we had been through, and who some of our ex's were.

About three months into our relationship her one ex from 2 yrs prior she had remained distant friends with, decided he had made a mistake and actively started to try to persuade her to mess around with him. She shut him down, immediately, and repeatedly and made sure he knew in no uncertain terms that that would never happen. She told me immediately and showed me all the messages. Every few months he would try again and she would do the same thing, shut him down, and let me know. I told her after the 3rd time this repeated itself that she needed to remove him from her life. From being cheated on I just cant have her be in contact with someone who has repeatedly tried to get her to betray the trust in our relationship. I told her it was a deal breaker for me and that I could not have him in her life, and continue to try and build trust, and a life, with her.

She apologized and agreed with me and blocked him on Facebook, messenger, and his phone number so he couldn't contact her. This after telling him she could not be friends with him anymore as he obviously could not respect boundaries, and that it was disrespectful to her, and me. I as well messaged him and said to stay out of her, and my life. I told her that if he tried to contact her again she needed to let me know... Well he tried again. After a year of no contact. He found another method to contact her.

What made this such a huge trigger / flag for me is this... she didnt tell me this time. I only found out by accident when I went to use her phone to look something up. I stumbled on messages he sent her through Instagram. Him trying to get her to reminisce about when they were together, her shutting him down and talking about me.. nothing inappropriate on her end.. but she never told me..

I stewed on it for over a week before I confronted her. I told her how much of a red flag this is for me.. something I cant ignore. But I dont know if she truly gets how much this one act damaged my trust in our relationship. This was how my XW started her betrayals. How my XW went down the path to her destruction of our marriage in just this way. By not shutting pursuers out of her life.

This one act, it took me right back down the rabbit hole of self doubt and wondering what I did wrong you know? I flat out told her no more contact. She doesn't know how I knew.. or that I saw the messages in their entirety. Now I'm periodically looking to see if there was any more contact and if there is.. I'm honestly done. I will get out before I can be hurt so catastrophically again. I told her before how damaging him being around was, now I wonder if she truly gets it, and if I'm a damn fool all over again.

BearlyBreathing posted 3/25/2020 19:28 PM

Hey NYCS. Iím sorry that you are feeling those old feelings again.

How did your fiancťe act when you confronted her? How has she been since then?

phmh posted 3/25/2020 20:06 PM

I told her it was a deal breaker for me and that I could not have him in her life, and continue to try and build trust, and a life, with her.

This, what you said, says it all for me. Is it truly a dealbreaker? You teach people how to treat you, and if you stay, by your actions, you are tacitly allowing her to lie to you. And that can only mean big heartache for you down the road. I'm glad you're not legally bound to her. Dating is a try-out and she failed, from what you've written.

WhoTheBleep posted 3/25/2020 20:44 PM

I'm so sorry this happened.

What bothers me most about this is that she responded to him AT ALL, along with the not telling you part. Why did she engage with him? Why did she feel he deserved a response and an EXPLANATION after how clear she (and you) were last time? All while keeping you in the dark. She should have responded to him with crickets, immediately blocked him on Instagram, and told you all about it.

She did none of these things.

What is your plan?

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 8:45 PM, March 25th (Wednesday)]

StillLivin posted 3/25/2020 23:09 PM

It's time to bounce.
You should not have even had to tell her in the first place to go NC with him. That should have been something she should have had the sense to do on her own.
But now she's keeping secrets. Even if she were never to cheat on you, you cannot trust her because she doesn't make smart choices.
Almost every woman since time began has had an ex reach out. The only time we allow the continued "unwanted" contact is when we actually want it because it is flattering g to our ego. When I have been done, I was done. If a man ever disrespected me by actually proposing I cheat/dump my SO, I would not be flattered, my ego would not be boosted, I would be highly offended. But, I have a healthy sense of self worth and self esteem. I don't need an ex to come back into the picture and stroke my ego.
Reverse the situation and you'll see I'm right. How would you handle your ex proposing you cheat and dump your girlfriend the first time she reached out? Would there even be a second time?
I'd probably take out a restraining order if there was a second attempt. But I'm a B like that. I don't have time to be playing stupid games with stupid people.

Nycountrystrong posted 3/25/2020 23:20 PM

When I first confronted her she started to get defensive. Making sure she stated that she was not my ex, and she would never do the things to me she did. Well... I never thought my XW would do the things she did either. The discussion was a little heated towards the end but I managed to set her back on her heels and get her to really think about her actions by explaining it to her this way. How would she feel if the roles were reversed?

My first relationship after my divorce failed. I called it quits on that one when she became distant and her actions were not matching her words. 4 months later I met the woman I am now engaged to. My previous girlfriend tried to talk to me after I had moved on and all she got was crickets. I let my fiancee know immediately, showed her the message, and blocked her new number as well. So I asked her "how would you feel if I began talking to T again for any reason?" "How would that make you feel" she became really quiet after that. I left for some time to clear my head and for her to have time to think. When I came back she apologized and we had a long discussion about everything, and why I felt the way I do.

She says she's truly sorry. She did delete her Instagram account after that. And told me she knows she screwed up. And Hope's we can rebuild the trust she damaged. I told her no more. No more secrets, no more lies by omission. Any further doubts and I'm done. I think she gets it , but I've been burned before.

For now I'm silently watching, and aware of everything about us. Like I said, any further flags and I am done. And I told her so. I refuse to blindly go down that road again. It just sucks because I thought I had laid having to have these doubts in a relationship to rest when I ended my previous marriage, and relationship.

Marz posted 3/26/2020 04:53 AM

Itís never a good idea to have an x in the mix for any reason. She shouldíve known that.

This is how it can happen.

Her actions especially knowing your expectations are disturbing.

Lack of trust is a killer.

Proceed with caution. Past history is the best predictor of future actions.

Under the circumstances she knew better but.....


Marz posted 3/26/2020 04:53 AM


Duplicate

[This message edited by Marz at 4:53 AM, March 26th (Thursday)]

WhoTheBleep posted 3/26/2020 06:20 AM

It just sucks because I thought I had laid having to have these doubts in a relationship to rest when I ended my previous marriage, and relationship.

I hear you, friend. My first real relationship after stbx ended about six weeks ago. Turns out he was wayward and was trolling for his next girlfriend on OLD. Planned to monkey branch from me to the next one. Naturally I knew nothing about this. He was still very good to me and his behavior didn't change at all. I found out because an acquaintance received a message from him.

You'll never know what your significant other is going to do, and you have no control over it. The only thing you can control is your reaction. The only person you have to truly trust is yourself to handle and get yourself out of any situation that is not working for you.

As Marz said, proceed with caution. Keep your eyes and ears open. Trust yourself to be able to handle whatever comes. I truly hope she pulls her head out of her ass and is worthy of you from here on out.

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 6:23 AM, March 26th (Thursday)]

Okokok posted 3/26/2020 07:11 AM

I just wanted to chime in here, as I went through some similar things in my last relationship and I really feel these triggers and pain. Not exactly the same, and some things I haven't shared here yet. But similar.

I'm agreeing with the "proceed with caution" sentiment here.

First of all, fuck this guy. What a complete asshole. Who does that??

Second: as written here (I realize there is so much more nuance in real life), it seems to me like your fiancee did everything right and then one thing wrong. This one thing is certainly NOT ok...but I can imagine a person trying to do their best and not schooled on the ways and triggers of infidelity could think, in the moment, that this is a situation best left unspoken-about. She did nothing wrong initially, and HE contacted her...this wasn't an action she went out and did on her own. I could imagine her thinking that she shut it down and that was it, and she knew how much the situation triggered you, so she kept it to herself thinking that was best for you.

We all know that is NOT ok and is exactly the OPPOSITE of what would be helpful and healing, but on some level it *is* conventional wisdom to the masses. You know, to people who don't really understand infidelity. To be clear: *any* whiff that she was engaging him in any positive way, and I'd feel completely different here. Treading lightly with this analysis, and again understanding that I certainly don't have the whole story or perspective.

What's much more concerning to me, and what would be most triggering and concerning to me personally, is the fact that she still had him as an Instagram follower/followee. She was supposed to have him blocked and removed from her life. Why was that still a thing?? Didn't you both agree to a complete shut-out of him from her life?

So she knows now that not only does she need to NOT engage the man at all, but she needs to keep you in the loop for your own security and safety if he ever contacts her. Every time.

I think it's possible for you to move forward with this woman. But yeah, with caution. Again, I'm still just so concerned that she still had him as an Instagram buddy. Hard for me to believe that she wasn't conscious of that.

[This message edited by Okokok at 7:12 AM, March 26th (Thursday)]

HeartFullOfHoles posted 3/26/2020 11:08 AM

My ex's affair partner was an exBF who's wife was in the process of dying. I'm sure she initially thought she was just being a supportive friend. I knew she was in contact with him, but as I found out later she hide most of the details and hugely underrepresented the amount of contact. He was trolling for a new wife while his current one was dying .

On the flip side I have a friend whose GF is in regular contact with her ex and co-owns a house with him that their kids live in. She seems to balance this well, so I don't know if regular contact with an ex should always be a red flag.

NYCS, in your case where he is pursuing her like what happened with my ex. That would be a huge red flag for me. Because as you know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Marz posted 3/26/2020 16:54 PM

On the flip side I have a friend whose GF is in regular contact with her ex and co-owns a house with him that their kids live in. She seems to balance this well, so I don't know if regular contact with an ex should always be a red flag.

The problem with these situations is you are walking on a ledge so there is potential to fall off.

If your not on the ledge you canít.

HeartFullOfHoles posted 3/26/2020 21:30 PM

Would you be safer with an experienced climber at the ledge or someone who just wanders up to one and doesn't realize exactly what or how dangerous it is? Of course if they are dancing on the ledge, well that's just irresponsible.

I completely get your point, it's just there are ledges everywhere and if you don't recognize one and know how to be safe around one sooner or later you're going to find yourself looking over the precipice.

I personal think this is what happened to my ex. She found herself in a bad situation and then her wayward tenancies and mental issues kicked in.

Okokok posted 3/27/2020 05:07 AM

On the flip side I have a friend whose GF is in regular contact with her ex and co-owns a house with him that their kids live in. She seems to balance this well, so I don't know if regular contact with an ex should always be a red flag.

Sounds to me like they're 1) coparents and 2) have a shared asset from their prior relationship. Many divorced (or otherwise broken-up) people have these arrangements. My exWW and I, for example, are in regular contact because we have kids and co-own a house. Pretty standard stuff, and valid reasons to be in contact with an ex.

Completely inexpert opinion: there are 3 reasons to stay connected to an ex:

1) kids

2) shared assets (house, business, etc.)

3) Maybe, just MAYBE, the "ex" was a childhood relationship, and they truly and really are a childhood/family friend from a long time ago. In that case, MAYBE it's ok to be peripheral friends on some level. Like fb friends. Not bffs.

I'll admit that even #3 can stir up low- or high-grade negativity in future relationships. #1 and #2 are really it for me.

No kids, and no business reason to be connected? That's a different story.

Westway posted 3/27/2020 15:54 PM

NYCS I appreciate your bold move to protect the relationship from an interloper, but I think you give your GF way too much credit. Personally I don't see too much about her that impresses me. She should have never put you in this situation to begin with. If she were serious about your relationship, she should have come down hard on this asshole. But she didn't. She hemmed and hawed and looked for you to tell her what to do.

First of all...you are not her husband. You cannot tell her what to do, and you shouldn't be giving her ultimatums. That never works. All it does is make you look like a controlling asshole and that is not what you want. That sets a bad precedent for any kind of long term relationship. It sets a bad tone. And now since she hid the last contact from you, you have to ask yourself if she did it out of fear of what you would do. You don't want her to be afraid of you. You need to provide her with a safe opportunity to be up front with you.

What you do is you tell her what you are going to do if the situation between her and her ex does not change. You gently tell her "Look, I love you and I think we have a shot at something good, but I'm not going to be a part of a three person love-triangle. I will step away from this situation and go my own way. You do what you need to do and let me know. But my participation in this three-way ends today."

And that is how you handle that.

phmh posted 3/28/2020 11:22 AM

Westway- he already did tell her that he won't stay with her if she behaves this way. From the first message:

I told her after the 3rd time this repeated itself that she needed to remove him from her life. From being cheated on I just cant have her be in contact with someone who has repeatedly tried to get her to betray the trust in our relationship. I told her it was a deal breaker for me and that I could not have him in her life, and continue to try and build trust, and a life, with her.

And she agreed, promised to not contact anymore, and then went back on that promise. And then got defensive when he confronted her. So NYCS has shown her that there's really no action behind his words. She can have all the contact she wants with her ex and there will be no consequences, other than possibly a conversation.

Nycountrystrong posted 3/28/2020 15:45 PM

I had a second conversation about this with her last night. She told me why she had talked to him when he reached out. That she wanted to know he was doing alright as he had been suicidal years ago. That she wanted to know he was doing alright and told him she hoped he would find his one someday. She does have a big heart, but unfortunately has struggled with not letting people abuse her friendship by taking advantage of her.

I told her why I triggered so badly with this. That the first hard evidence that my XW was cheating was with someone we were helping out through a hard time. Similar circumstances to this asshole who wont leave her alone. That she had a decision to truly make. If her distant friendship with him was more important than our life together, then I would step away now. That I refuse to open myself up to the doubt and pain that this could cause me further on.

Shes said she's committed whole heartedly to us, and that between me and him it is no competition. We will see. If I see any wavering of her actions not meeting her words I truly will step away from us. It's one of the reasons why I set such a long engagement time before our marriage date. So I could truly observe her. And make sure this is the one I truly want to spend my life with.

Marz posted 3/28/2020 19:51 PM

She told me why she had talked to him when he reached out. That she wanted to know he was doing alright as he had been suicidal years ago. That she wanted to know he was doing alright and told him she hoped he would find his one someday. She does have a big heart, but unfortunately has struggled with not letting people abuse her friendship by taking advantage of her.

The path to hell is always paved with good intentions.

She knows better but does it anyway? So the reality is this meant more. Or she would have cut it off wouldnít she?

[This message edited by Marz at 7:52 PM, March 28th (Saturday)]

Marz posted 3/28/2020 19:53 PM

The other thing is this isnít controlling.

Youíve been there done that before.

Itís your life.

hardtimesinlife posted 3/28/2020 20:08 PM

and that between me and him it is no competition

I feel like she lost the point here.
No, there is no competition.
Because if it were a competition that would mean that every man she has contact with is a potential competitor.

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