She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
So basically my ex contacted me out of the blue about how much he missed me and wanted to meet up. He texted me every day, taking long walks down memory lane, and got me thinking about how good things were. Things previously ended between us because I was focused on school and I couldn't give him the attention he needed.
We got into the habit of chatting and being in contact again. I started snooping on Facebook and found that he was in a relationship. I was pissed and stopped speaking to him. A week later he sent me a long message about how he broke up with his girlfriend because he wants to give us a real try. Long story short, he changed things on Facebook to have the appearance of being single, but my detective skills were on point and I found out that he was lying about that too before things got too deep. I have kept a record of all the bullshit he said to me, and I'm trying to figure out if I should let his girlfriend know.
I'm so pissed that he came into my life again and got me to that place where I really wanted to make things work this time around. I feel like if I were in his girlfriend's shoes, I would want to know, but at the same time, I feel like it's not my place.
What do you think I should do?
One thing is abundantly clear: Facebook has done you a huge favor.
Where there was confusion about your ex, there is now clarity. Your Facebook detective work has revealed his weak character, and that is all the reason you need to cut ties and move on with your life.
Your ex is one of those people who wants all bases covered, all options available. As you mentioned, your relationship had ended because you couldn't give him the attention he needed (I feel smothered just reading that!). Whether that comes from a place of narcissism or fear of being alone really doesn’t matter. Because it’s a big mess either way and you are FAR BETTER OFF without him in your life.
Let’s address the girlfriend issue. I hear you; I would want to know if I were her, too.
That said, telling her should not be prioritized over your emotional well-being. Because telling her may keep you entangled in this guy’s mess. Before you do anything, take a moment to take stock of what you are feeling and how reaching out might affect you.
Should you decide to let her know, I would do so via email. You don’t need to go into great detail. Rather, tell her that he had been pursuing you while with her and you thought she should know, as you had previously been unaware that they were together.
If you tell her, keep the focus on him. Should she respond with animosity towards you, just let it go. Don’t continue that dialogue, because she may not be ready to see/hear what you have to say.
Sometimes when we have to deliver shitty news like this, the recipient may misdirect their angry or hurt feelings on the wrong person, because that’s easier to do than confronting the person who betrayed them.
Whatever you decide, put self-care in front of everyone else’s drama. Take some time to get clear about what you want from your next relationship and what it was that attracted you to your ex (because in there you may note an unhealthy pattern that you’ll want to avoid).
The future is bright. Leave this mess behind you.
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