{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Am I overreacting? My boyfriend and I have been dating for 5 years, and before me he dated his ex for 5 years (he was single for ~1 year in between). He had a rough time after they broke up (thought she was the one, didn’t understand why she broke up with him, etc), but has told me he’s over her and I’m the only one he wants to be with, and we’re discussing getting engaged soon. He also never talks to her anymore.\nHis friend is getting married in a few months and he just found out his ex (cont)", "post_id": "628bb117f8a8c50024fcfdca", "reply_count": 59, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Am I overreacting? My boyfriend and I have been dating for 5 years, and before me he dated his ex for 5 years (he was single for ~1 year in between). He had a rough time after they broke up (thought she was the one, didn’t understand why she broke up with him, etc), but has told me he’s over her and I’m the only one he wants to be with, and we’re discussing getting engaged soon. He also never talks to her anymore.
His friend is getting married in a few months and he just found out his ex (cont)

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Trust your intuition. Sometime the facts don't matter as much as what we feel inside. Security is important, especially when it comes to making such a big decision like marriage. Deep down you don't 100% trust his feelings for you. Before you walk down the aisle, make sure every concern is addressed, no matter how big. Do not ignore red flags.

I personally think that a man would not be bothered by bumping into an old ex they no longer had feelings for, especially when they are with their heartbeat aka their love. If he's so bothered by it, there's a reason. Could it be love? Could it be unresolved feelings? Whatever it is something is there that you should not ignore. You feel something is awry. Don't ignore your senses.

Have a chat with him about it. If he cares for you, it should be his job to show and prove to you that you are his ALL, and to explain to you why your perception is wrong. Watch his actions, don't merely listen to his words. A woman's intuition is hardly wrong. A shock while dating is so much better than a shock later on in marriage.

likesmart

100% agree

Hey OP - I understand that you would feel weird and these situations are never easy. It sounds like your main sadness is that avoiding her is more important that his good friend’s wedding. While I get that is a tough pill to swallow, it really may be for the best. Id have a heartfelt convo with your BF from a caring position. Something like you were put off when he no longer wanted to go bc of the Ex and her Bf, but that is coming from a place of fear that his bond or unresolved feelings are strong. You just want to make sure that whatever he doesn’t want to deal with doesn’t change how he feels about you or leaves him with doubt. Let him know you don’t need the details of how he is processing it but are there if he does need to talk. For him, this is probably no longer even about the Ex but reconciling a past version of his life. Seeing the new BF may open up the comparison game of what he is vs your BF. Not bc your BF wants his ex back but it’s human nature to compare. It’s important to remember that you can have emotions toward an ex without it meaning you wish you had them back. Sounds like he is choosing you and not disrupting your current life with an awkward situation. Let him know that if you guys are engaged you want to be there to help him through life events even if they are uncomfortable for both of you.

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Oh wow surprised at the responses. I’d feel the same way OP, especially since he was cool going until he was going to see her with another man. But I guess just go and look your best and have the best attitude you can! See what happens. If nothing else this may be a good test for how he truly feels about you vs her. :/

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I agree. The fact he committed to attending and spent a lot of money to do so, but now wants to cancel because his ex’s bf will be there is odd.

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Very surprised at the reactions here. I would feel the same way as OP. Especially because he’s close to the groom. It’s odd that his feelings towards his ex outweigh his friendship with the groom. It’s weird.

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Yeah if this was a distant friend I wouldn’t care, but to suddenly change your mind about going to a good friends wedding because you’ll see your ex with someone else is what’s throwing me off

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You sound really insecure. I don’t know why you want to press on him to take you to a place where both of you would feel uncomfortable.

likefunny

I think to OP’s point, if he wasn’t close to the groom why spend upwards of $1K on tickets and lodging? I don’t spend a dime on people I’m not that close with. So I understand why with the financials it’s strange. Also agree with the fact that the BF is coming will make him feel insecure. Like others said he hasn’t properly dealt with the loss yet. Maybe you can still go to the wedding and have a good time!

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For me, I think I could feel and act very similarly to him without having aaaany romantic aspirations with my ex. Seeing someone at a wedding feels worse than seeing them at the grocery store. Going to an event wholly focused on love and commitment where you’ll see someone who you wanted that with at one time but was rejected by sounds mad awkward/hard/emotional no matter the years since the break up and your own happiness with your new partner. Wedding guests go because of their friendship or familial connection to the betrothed but it’s more a party than anything else. You barely talk to the bride and groom, but you’ll probably awkwardly bump into the ex at the bar getting cocktails or on the dance floor when that friend group’s song comes on. It’s just really intimate and awkward in my mind and doesn’t need to be any threat against the health and stability of your relationship to him.

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Yes I think the point that makes the difference is that he was okay with going when it was just the expect, spend lots of money on lodging and flights only to all of a sudden not be close to the groom when new information about a boyfriend was in the picture. If he had already committed money knowing those details I may feel differently but he was comfortable booking all that when he knew just his ex would be there.

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I think this reflects more that he hasn’t dealt properly with the grief of the loss. In which I mean it’s not actually his emotions for his ex but his non acceptance of the loss. I’m currently working on something similar for myself

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And her bf will be there, now suddenly the wedding is too far, he’s not such great friends with the guy anyway, and all over he just doesn’t want to go anymore. I confronted him about it because it’s obviously about seeing his ex, and/or seeing her with another guy that’s having this effect, and it saddens me that he still has this reaction to her 6 years later, to the point where he’s willing to skip one of his best friends’ wedding to avoid seeing her (and her bf). Am I wrong for being upset about this? Idk what his feelings are, and he admitted he “just doesn’t want to deal with it”, but I don’t like that she still has this effect on him and makes me think he still has some bond or something to her?

Anyway we are going after all and now I’m nervous about his he may react when we get there :(

likesmart

Solid advice D2! That’s my plan!

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I agree this is not as bad as him showing more desire to go to see her. As uncomfortable as it is, the bond between your bf and his ex is there, they are a part of each others story but the past is the past! I would approach this by being your true self and a strong confident woman! As a couple say hi it’s great to meet you/see you again (introduce yourself if you have never met), do not make her feel like she is this magical creature that you are intimidated by. Once you get past that awkward barrier it will be a relief for you and your bf!

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Great advice, thank you!

One of my favorite expressions is “don’t borrow trouble.” It sounds like you are trying to find a way to catch him with feelings for his ex. Maybe he worries that adding her new SO contributes to a potentially awkward situation and he just doesn’t want to deal with it? I REALLY don’t like being around my ex’s wife - and it has nothing to do with my feelings towards him. She’s petty and just ratchets up the awkwardness. If it was just he and I, it would be fine - but add the new partners and the whole thing becomes an event and a possible “moment.”

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Story time from the perspective of the new GF who attended a wedding with her BF for one of his old friends, who had also invited the ex girlfriend (and her date). My BF was not looking forward to going and seeing his ex, but was also still willing to attend the wedding of his friend. However, for me, it was incredibly awkward. At one point, another wedding guest who knew my BF, but not his ex, struck up a convo with me in the bathroom to be nice. It was sweet of her, but little did she know the ex was standing right in between us at the hand dryers while me and this girl discussed her ex boyfriend. I don’t know if she cared or not, but it was awkward for me and I also would not have wanted to be in her shoes.

I wouldn’t look at this like he doesn’t care if she’s there, but cares if her new BF is.. I would look at it like he cares if she’s there but can get past it.. and the BF coming is more like the straw that breaks the camels back. I would let this one go.

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Thank you for the kind words! I hadn’t considered the comparison angle and that it may be natural for him to wonder “what does this guy have that I didn’t have?” and not necessarily that he is worried about seeing her with someone else.

I wouldn’t have a similar response to any of my exes and their new gfs and certainly wouldn’t skip an event because of it, but also never dated anyone else for as long, so perhaps a convo to understand his POV and have him understand my concerns is overdue!

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I would just give him space and grace on this one OP 💕 I’ve been happily married for 10 years and today I still wouldn’t want to be at an event with my ex of 4 years 🤷‍♀️

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I definitely see why it’s hurtful to you. From his end, I can also see reasons why he wouldn’t want to see her that don’t reflect potential issues in your relationship. Sometimes I think people hurt us enough that we just don’t want to be reminded of that. It doesn’t mean he still loves her, it could just mean he’s not in a place to open himself up to that hurt again.

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I think you are overreacting. I would not be upset with my husband if he wanted to skip a wedding where he would have to see an ex. Just let him navigate his own relationships with his friends, and show up and support him however he needs you to.

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Out of curiosity had he seen his ex at all since the break up? Because I totally get that if it was the first time being nervous/feeling weird about it no matter how much time had passed. But totally agree with you it shouldn’t stop him from going to a close friends wedding.

My ex and I ran into each other in the subway multiple times after we broke up, the first time was a week or so after we broke up so it hit me hard, but after it happened a few times it was desensitized and I stopped caring. I get that if this is the first time for him or in the first small handful of times it’d be weird.

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So fair - I’d encourage him to mull it over for a week before any final decisions. I’d even encourage him to talk it out with a friend since he might feel weird discussing it in depth with you (not that I agree with the behavior but I know I’d rather talk to my girlfriends about matters related to an ex, rather than my boyfriend). Once he’s decided I’d probably ask my SO share a bit more on how they came to that decision and then drop it. It sounds like you already gave him your opinion, so you’ve done all that you can

There are so many reasons why your boyfriend could be acting this way. The worst thing you can do is make assumptions and create a narrative in your head based on your speculations of his feelings and his intent. We usually create stories that match our narrative or core beliefs about ourselves and others.
I will say lean into your intuition and if something doesn’t feel right, and you can’t pinpoint exactly what it is but you feel off, listen to that voice. I will say our intuition is always on point and i would definitely not ignore it.
To answer your original q your feelings are valid! Super valid. The question now is can you be open and honest w him about how the situation is making you feel without jumping to accusations or assumptions, and is he receptive, comforting and understanding. Being vulnerable with each other about uncomfortable feelings brings us closer together as long as each person is open and understanding and compassionate. I think this is a good test for how y’all deal w more uncomfortable situations down the line

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I think this is something to discuss with your boyfriend. You’ve been together long enough that he should be able to openly speak with you about this.

I agree that it’s a very sudden and strange reaction to finding out his ex and her bf will be there - but you don’t know exactly what’s going on until you at least ask. Just don’t accuse or assume anything in that conversation.

Best of luck!!

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I have no romantic feelings towards any of my exes but still wouldn’t want to see them at a wedding with their new SO. Plus all the whispers from people awkwardly looking back and forth between exes to see their reactions. I understand his hesitation. I understand your feelings as well but I would leave this one be.

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Id be conflicted to about him doing a 180 just because of her. Hopefully its a good time and he just wanted nothing to do with her even sharing the same space with her.

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