Being in contact with ex's - is it appropriate?
I am new here, and have read through some threads. This is going to be very long because of the history, I apologize for that, but greatly appreciate if I could get some sound advice here. Obviously every situation is a little different though there are similar themes. I would like to share mine to get some insight and learn how to handle myself better. I will give a brief history before we got together because it seems relevant. Before I go on, we call each other husband and wife though hold no certificate of marriage. Also, we have a 12 month old baby boy.
We met while in graduate school, in fact at the time she was engaged to M. On a side note I just thought of; the first couple months we didn't talk that much, but she had flirty smiles (IMO). I had no idea she was in a relationship let alone engaged. She gave off the vibe that she was available. Perhaps this should have been a warning but I figured she was just with the wrong guy.
She broke off her engagement during spring break. Shortly after, met a guy who she had a fling with for a few months, we'll call him T. While they were 'dating' (not committed) he left to travel for a few months. While he was away she sent an email breaking up with him, something she didn't have the guts to do while he was in town because he was "too intense". While he is away is when we hook up. She lets me know there was nothing serious with T, it was a fling to occupy herself while she processed M (ex-fiance). We got hot and heavy in a hurry and moved in together after 3 weeks. This is the first woman I ever chose to live with. It seemed like we wanted the same quality of life, foods, children, life experiences, interests, etc.
When we had been living together for 3 weeks T gets back from traveling. My wife has some of his belongings at her old roomates place she wants to give back to him. I say, there's no need for you to go he can get it on his own, but I trust her so really it doesn't matter to me all that much if she meets with him. She does, gets back, and I ask if how it went and she replies it was nice but that he wouldn't get out of her car he just kept smoking cigs. I ask if anything happened. She said he kissed her. I say, on the lips? She says yes. I'm not happy about this but she says it was like a friend kiss like they would do in europe. I don't understand why he even needed to be in the car and she has an odd answer. I say that wasn't appropriate, and she says she couldn't get him out of the car she she had to give him the kiss. This was appalling! I reacted very upset; and for me, trust had now been questioned. She thinks I over-reacted (true as I should have stayed calm) and still to this day she thinks she did nothing wrong. She says nothing more happened so I believe her.
Now the crazy thing is that while I had been very careful with every previous relationship; caution went out the door. We were having sex like we were trying to make a baby. No protection, hardly ever. Low and behold we end up pregnant after being together for just over 2 months (discovered after over 3 months).
Fast forward a year. Now our beautiful baby is 3 months old. To be fair I will tell my part in this. We were not very connected; she had unrealistic expectations of me (for many months, of which after some good heart-to-hearts she realized I do way more than any husbands she knows and yet she still expects more!) So I was pretty miserable. In my view she was constantly upset and no matter what I did it was never enough. Anyway, at my boy being 3 months old I was at the neighbors playing video games and smoking a lot of pot in the evenings. Though I was still holding down my graduate program quite well (I have blessed genetics - or unlucky depending on how you look at it).
One day I went onto FB and it was logged into her account. I had a gut feeling to check her messages and did so (though I am not proud of snooping). I found a message to her first love from highschool who she hadn't seen in over 10 years, we'll call him J. It was very flirty. So flirty that even though her relationship status on FB said "in a relationship" he asked in the reply if she was in a relationship; as "he didn't want to step on any toes." so he left his number for her to call. I have no idea if she called him. Anyway, I'm not the type to sit on information like this. I was incredibly hurt. She complemented how good looking he was among many other overly flirtatious comments. I called her on it and she got pissed for me looking through her FB, and claimed she did nothing wrong because I was at the neighbors so much and when she sent it was at 1am and I was still at the neighbors so she was hurt so she sent the message blah blah blah. 3 months later she goes out of town to her parents and I stay back because while she has graduated at this point, I am still in school and can't be gone during the week. 3 months later she is having a moment of honesty while lying in bed and says ~"want to know something I never told you?" This was kind of a weird question but of course I wanted to know. She admits to seeing J for coffee while out of town three months ago! She makes an off hand comment that I didn't need to worry because as soon as she got there and saw his missing front tooth she knew there was no need to still talk to him after the meeting. I replied that it sounded like she was open to there being something, of which she responded that she can't tell me the truth or I twist it. Well, in my defense I like things to be very specific and I take words at face value. Based on the words she used it was a pretty simple conclusion. She thinks she did nothing wrong. I will add she saw him because while in highschool he moved out of state, and had just recently moved back (right before her flirty private message). At this point I don't handle my emotions like I should have, and get upset. I am hurt. this was the guy she had just sent an incredibly flirty message. Though when we would talk about it later she didn't think it was that flirty. I said we should look at the message together so I can show her the flirting, but she won't do that. for a reference the meeting with him was this last march, and we have as of today been together for 2 years.
she likes to keep in contact with M, her ex-fiance. Well after all this fiasco we decide that I am 'ok' (i wasn't but this was the compromise) with her being in touch with her ex's as long as she tells me about it. Well there was two or three times this past year where she met with M, who lived in town, and told me a few days or a weekish later. Of course I have no way of knowing when she actually met.
She says there is no way she could cheat on me because she doesn't have time and I know everything she does. I respond that she had time to meet with M and not tell me until later. Though I tell her I believe her she hasn't cheated on me (though I never actually accused her of this). She keeps saying I'm being jealous for no reason and I am making her out to be this awful, terrible person. Of which I have never once said. I have simply said that I don't think its appropriate and it hurts me.
We recently moved to a smaller town (than a big city), and right before we moved she called M to tell him because she had moved to the city we were leaving with him. She didn't tell me until a month later, even though she claims she told me right away but this is something I would have remembered. This was two weeks ago she told me. Also, two weeks ago she FB private messaged her ex, D, to get advice on networking with Dr's as he was a "very successful pharm rep". I asked to read the message, but she didn't want me to. Well I snooped again, and found a little flirt, not bad.. they met while studying abroad in a spanish speaking country. I finally get her to let me read the message. I kept saying, if you have nothing to hide then I should be able to read it. She keeps saying she did nothing wrong, but when I ask if there is flirting, she asks what is flirting? I say its a case by case basis, but its usually pretty clear. She gets nervous and won't let me read it (even though I already have I don't let her know)
She starts the message with "Tu es Loco???!" (are you crazy?) and then talks business, and asks about his his business is and how he is etc.
He replies with "Tu es loco!!" (you are crazy!!). he gives his business advice. doesn't respond to how he is doing or his business. but at the end says:
PS You are driving me crazy!
The messages are nothing compared to the one I had read before, but still doesn't make me comfortable because he is an ex and they lived together and they are using something from a shared past to flirt with.
We are talking about actually getting officially married. We were going to apply for marriage license, and I realized that this would not be true to my values, as I am uncomfortable with her being friends with her ex's. She doesn't talk to them all the time, but all three major ex's (in love with); M, D, and J had all been in contact more than once each year (of 2) we have been together. M the most, her ex fiance.
I know deep in my heart I won't be happy with this as in my opinion it is leaving the door open for trouble. I believe in not putting yourself in a situation where you could more easily make a poor decision especially if weak. So I tell her I cannot marry her unless she cuts ties with her ex's. She glares at me, belittles me, and is pissed off. She defends her being able to be in contact with them, and is super pissed at me for asking such a thing. Any time I ever brought up that I was uncomfortable with her being friends with them she is immediately fired up. (she is also FB friends with all of them).
Finally after a day or two of this I am on my knees, in tears, begging her to let them go. She still belittles me and disrespects me.
The hard part is, I would have been gone awhile ago if it wasn't for the family. Being able to be around my son every day and be a part of his life is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. But I also feel like I have never been so disrespected before.
This last week it has been every day. She is rigid and unwilling to change her behaviors. She is very upset at me for continuing the conversation. She says it "doesn't matter what I say". But yet it matters incredibly what she says. She says I am trying to control her and control who she can be friends with. I say the only thing I am asking of her is to let go of past lovers. She says I just need to trust her. She has repeatedly said "I haven't done anything wrong!"
One night when it was really intense and I thought we were going to break up she kept saying I was breaking up with her. I told her no I, I am giving you the option; its me, or them. she kept repeating that I am the one breaking it off. at one point she thought I said that unless she would cut her ties it was over; and she was willing to walk away from the relationship right there. She threatened taking the car (because I sold both of mine to pay for our living expenses after my boy was born). I sacrificed much to make our lives happen. for example when we were 7 months pregnant and deciding where to live. I wanted to live in a more affordable apt because she wanted to be able to stay home with the baby for 6 months. She forced her way and we got a house we couldn't afford, except for me to take out extra student loans for cost of living. I sold 2 cars, took out extra loans, and worked extra so she could stay at home and not have to work. In fact she didn't work until our son was over 7 months old. And she threatens to take all the money and car etc and leave! Worse, we are now in an even crazier and worse financial situation (due to landlords lieing about some crucial things) so even if we did break up we couldn't live apart or really truely break apart our lives.
Am I being unjustly jealous? Is it ok for her to be in contact with her ex's? I finally stood to my guns and said she couldn't even be FB friends with them if she wanted to be my wife. At one point she was willing to give up D and J but not M (ex fiance). She keeps saying she has done nothing wrong, and I just need to trust her.
I feel that trust has been broken, but she won't even let me bring up the situation of her very flirty email or secret meeting with J because "we already talked about that and dealt with it" and she still doesn't think she did anything wrong there.
I will absolutely not marry her with this behavior, as I think it is setting herself up for disaster. But I feel that she has no respect for me, and as such am trying to decide if I even want to be with her at all. Since I fully made my mind up about her not being in contact with them to be my wife I have been more calm and content. But its hard, because she has been downright rude in regards to this issue.
Oh! Also; in our entire relationship she pretty much never feels comfortable with me talking about my ex's, so I haven't hardly at all. Yet she has talked many times about all of her ex's. In fact in the past couple weeks there have been convo's at least 15 to 30 min long about each of them and their lives together and other stuff. She finally once let me talk about my latest ex. But her uneasiness about me talking about my ex's but too much talking about her's makes me wonder if thats coming from her filter; in other words she has inappropriate thoughts about her ex's and therefore can't handle considering that I could have those thoughts thus will not listen/doesn't want to hear about them...??
Since I never accused her of cheating, and she so many times said she never did so I shouldn't be worried; makes me concerned. At one point during the worst fight two nights ago she said she wished she had cheated to make it worth all the fighting we've had over her contact with ex's. Obviously this was a heated moment... Anyway the way she has treated me, and her unwilingness to let go of ex's, makes me very concerned.
Just tonight she said she thinks I should be more worried about people who she wasn't in a relationship with ever because when you haven't been with someone before you are more curious than if you have already been with them.
Wow! I just unloaded it all. I'm sorry it is so incredibly long...
I'm hoping some advice can be given to put my concerns to rest; perhaps it is no big deal? Or that some light can be shed on what is really going on here... because I don't know what to do. My gut tells me she is hiding something and to get out. My heart wants to stay and make it work for sake of the family.
Thanks for your responses!
Last edited by myvalues; 11-15-2011 at 04:38 AM.
Reason: add info