My Ex-Boyfriend Recently Contacted Me, But I Am In A Serious Relationship.

Evan,

I have been with my boyfriend for a little over two years now. We live together, plan to have a house in the next year, and get married. But recently an ex-boyfriend got in contact with me that I haven’t seen in about three years.

What is very confusing for me is that I fell hard for my ex and everything was going fine and then he dumped me out of the blue. It was a pretty good, clean break, and I accepted it and moved on but there was one problem, I was pregnant.

Many people would say he was a typical guy, but he wasn’t. He lost his virginity to me, and that’s impressive seeing that he was well into his twenties! He told me he was afraid of what we would be and I believed him. He was obviously not ready to have a child, and apparently not ready to break a promise to himself that not many men make. I tried to talk with him until I lost the baby due to complications. Ever since then I try to never look back. I never talk about the daughter I once had and lost, even with my boyfriend now.

Basically, I have no idea what my ex wants. Why would he contact me out of the blue and ask for casual conversation? He hasn’t even brought up the fact that he basically left when I was going through all that horrifying stuff. It makes me hurt and I want to ask him why he did that. I’m also afraid that my current boyfriend will be hurt that I still care. Most importantly, does he really want to know what I am up to or does he want more? I’m afraid to ask.

-Definitely Confused

Dear DC,

Let me share with you that your feelings of confusion are normal.

Let me share with you also that your feelings of confusion are also highly destructive.

Read your letter again. It’s like you’re the poster child for bright, emotionally irrational women everywhere…

You live with your boyfriend, you’re buying a house, you have marriage on the horizon…and you’re seriously contemplating what to do with the guy who dumped you when you were pregnant?

Read your letter again. It’s like you’re the poster child for bright, emotionally irrational women everywhere – the ones who let their strong sentiments for a toxic man cloud their judgment so thoroughly that they seriously consider undermining a healthy relationship.

I could only imagine if my wife were the same way. After all, in late 2009, she got a call from her serious ex-boyfriend from nearly 15 years ago. (I think this one cheated on her; I’ve lost track). Anyway, he was just “checking in” to see how she was doing. This is not-so-thinly veiled code for “My life hasn’t gone according to plan, so please let me know if you’re still single, because if you are, I’d like to start sleeping with you as soon as possible”. And, in fact, as soon as my wife informed her ex that she was happily married, he didn’t see fit to continue the conversation much longer. So much for “getting back in touch.”

Your best revenge is your own happiness – not getting closure from some dick who couldn’t stick by you during your most trying hours.

Remember, guys are simple and guys are selfish. And if all it takes is a phone call out of the blue to make you second guess your entire healthy relationship, who’s to blame your ex for trying? Best case fictional scenario for you: the ex says that you’ve been weighing on his conscience and he wants to apologize for all the pain he caused you and wish you well in your new life. But that’s pure fantasy. A more realistic scenario would be the one in which he gets you to cheat on your boyfriend without actually leaving him (that way he won’t have to deal with those sticky commitment issues). And after a few rolls in the hay and after destroying your ability to trust yourself, he goes back to his old ways and disappears into the night.

Be smart, DC. Tell your ex that you wish him well but that you’re in a happy relationship and have no desire to see him again. Your best revenge is your own happiness – not getting closure from some dick who couldn’t stick by you during your most trying hours.

For your own sake, sweetie, let it rest.

4
0

Join 5 Million Readers

And the thousands of women I've helped find true love. Sign up for weekly updates for help understanding men.

I hate spam as much as you do, therefore I will never sell, rent, or give away your email address.

Join our conversation (142 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 61
    Selena

    @#58
    I just tried to highlight your post A-L and couldn’t do it without having everything written on the blog above it, header and advertising included, highlighted also. I can’t just highlight a particular sentence or paragraph.

    What’s the deal with this Evan? Why are some people able to do it and not others?

  2. 62
    Ava

    Reluctant Dater #57

    I hardly think that leaving your pregnant girlfriend high and dry could be misinterpreted as anything other than selfish and downright despicable.

    Reading these postings about closure makes me wonder if it is really “closure” at all that people seek. Sometimes it seems like a smokescreen for a second chance. If only the ex would tell you what you want to hear, could give you a reasonable explanation, something that makes sense, then you wouldn’t have to dislike him, and maybe could even reunite.

    Unfortunately, it just seems to open old wounds. DC admits that she still cares, and wonders if her ex “want(s) more”. Doesn’t sound like true “closure” to me. Is she truly happy with her current partner?

    Why would he contact me out of the blue and ask for casual conversation?
    Why did he run out on you in the first place? He’s not going to win any sensitivity awards.

  3. 63
    sayanta

    Hey EMK-

    Can’t you answer the copy/paste issue and solve the mystery for us?

  4. 64
    Steve

    I’m not on a Mac and I can copy and paste just fine. I use the free Firefox web browser. Maybe that is what people need to use in lieu of a Mac.

  5. 65
    Jennifer

    I can copy and paste and I use a PC and an IE browser. Just to throw another data point out there.

  6. 66
    A-L

    Re: Selena’s #61 and Steve’s #64

    I think Steve’s right. At home I’m using Mozilla Firefox and could copy and paste, but right now I’m at work and I can’t do it using Internet Explorer.

  7. 67
    Ava

    Can’t you answer the copy/paste issue and solve the mystery for us?

    On a mac, highlight text and hit command “c”. On a pc, I believe it’s control “c”…?

  8. 68
    Selena

    Re: Ava #62

    I agree – often when people say they want to talk to their ex to get “closure” it is really just a smokescreen for a second chance. True closure is indifference.

  9. 69
    Simone

    @53 and 57: Oh, please. Tell me in what “subjective” world you live that impregnating a woman and leaving her because she is pregnant (by you) would qualify as “decent” treatment.

    This I gotta hear.

  10. 70
    Sam P.

    @ Simone

    I think that what DC’s ex-boyfriend did is absolutely appalling and she shouldn’t even give him a chance at friendship.

    That being said, what I was trying to say is that a man’s behavior across time and across girlfriends will not be constant. If a guy really values a girl, he’ll do anything for her. A guy is capable to just staying with a girl out of inertia though and a guy is capable of staying in a relationship for sex, so don’t assume that a guy who calls you his girlfriend and who is even faithful loves you like you love him.

  11. 71
    Karl R

    Simone asked: (#69)
    “Tell me in what ‘subjective’ world you live that impregnating a woman and leaving her because she is pregnant (by you) would qualify as ‘decent’ treatment.”

    I would say that we lack enough information to be certain that it was indecent behavior. Definitely Confused was vague about the circumstances of the breakup.

    Here’s what she did say:

    Definitely Confused said:
    “He lost his virginity to me, and that’s impressive seeing that he was well into his twenties!”
    “He was [...] apparently not ready to break a promise to himself that not many men make.”

    Her ex-boyfriend made a promise to remain a virgin until marriage. I’m aware of a few women who have ended relationships due to that kind of guilt. It’s possible that this man did also.

    If a man is ending a relationship, it’s rare for him to reconsider just because his ex-girlfriend is pregnant. If he does stay with her, it usually is not a happy or healthy relationship.

    “he dumped me out of the blue. It was a pretty good, clean break, and I accepted it and moved on but there was one problem, I was pregnant.”
    “He was obviously not ready to have a child,”

    It’s not obvious whether the ex-boyfriend knew she was pregnant before he broke up with her. If that was the case, he didn’t leave her “because” she was pregnant.

    If he did know, it’s possible that they had a strong difference in opinion about how to handle the situation (i.e. if she wanted to keep the baby and he wanted to give the baby up for adoption). This kind of disagreement is often enough to end a relationship.

    In either case, Definitely Confused doesn’t claim that he left her because she was pregnant.

    “It was a pretty good, clean break, and I accepted it and moved on”
    “I tried to talk with him until I lost the baby due to complications.”
    “he basically left when I was going through all that horrifying stuff.”

    These statements don’t add up.

    If it was a clean break, and she had moved on, why did she continue to try to talk with him? If he left her and she had time to (unsuccessfully) try to talk to him until she lost the baby, how did he leave her “while” she was going through horrifying stuff? Doesn’t it sound like he left her before the horrifying stuff? If the two of them had a clean break (which is generally considered healthy), why would she turn to him for consolation after losing the baby? Wouldn’t it be healthier for each of them to turn to their separate support networks?

    I won’t claim that the ex-boyfriend was necessarily decent, but I don’t see how we can be sure he was a jackass.

  12. 72
    HRGoddess

    In my humble opinion, the only way to get to the “bottom” of this one is “through.” The poster states that she is afraid to ask why he is contacting her. The only way she is truly going to know is if she asks. We can sit here at spin our wheels until the cows come home. Nobody truly knows another’s heart and I don’t think we have all the information to make a determination on why he left. I believe the poster should muster up the courage to ask the hard questions or decide she does not want to go down that road and walk away.

  13. 73
    Selena

    Yeah this post is confusing – the way I interpreted it – he broke up with her “out of the blue”, but she accepted it. THEN she found out she was pregant. She tried talking to him in the weeks after finding out, he wasn’t particularly receptive, she lost the baby and they didn’t have contact after that. No reason to.

    There’s no reason to have contact now, but perhaps he’s curious about her. She’s obviously curious about him. Is this a problem? I guess so if she’s writing a dating coach. And I think Evan gave her good advice on the subject.

  14. 74
    Jamie

    @70: A lot of people don’t have to assume anything because they actually talk about how they feel. And they agree on what is decent behavior and treat each other decently, to harken back to what someone else said.

    If you don’t know what decent behavior is I feel bad for you. It’ll be a rough life, especially with women, if you think decent treatment is a malleable thing.

  15. 75
    Joe

    Simone, I was referring to your generic use of “decently” and “badly” in your first paragraph, not the specific letter-writer and her ex-BF.

    However: if the letter-writer had deliberately gotten pregnant, would you still say the ex-BF behaved badly?

  16. 76
    Sam P.

    @ Jamie

    I’m not defending how some men act, just giving an interpretation (my own interpretation, I admit) to a poster who said she wanted to understand how the male mind worked.

    If a guy is into a girl, he’ll do anything for her. If he’s not, he might still go out with her anyway, just drag his feet on doing anything out of the way for her and refuse to commit. That same guy, however, might worship the next girl he goes out with.

    Don’t you remember how in “When Harry Met Sally” Sally’s committment-phobic ex-boyfriend winds up marrying the next girl he dates? He wasn’t really a jerk or a committment phobe, he just didn’t love Sally enough. His treatment was indeed malleable.
    If you don’t know what decent behavior is I feel bad for you. It’ll be a rough life, especially with women, if you think decent treatment is a malleable thing.

    Please. This doesn’t relate to my own dating life at all, but women are always going out with men who treat them badly. Some women are more attracted to jerks than they are to nice guys. Evan wouldn’t have to write a post “Nice Guys Finish First” if women didn’t have a tendency to put up with, even seek out, bad behavior. I’m neither a jerk nor someone who can’t get a girl, but decent behavior has never been a requirement to getting a girl.

  17. 77
    Simone

    @75: Can a woman “deliberately” get pregnant without a guy “deliberately” putting his penis inside of her? What are you suggesting here?

    @76: Why do you go out with women who don’t expect to be treated decently? And do you still treat them decently, or do you lower your own behavioral standards just because you can get away with it? Do you go out with women just to see what you can get? Do you know men who don’t treat women well and are you still friends with them, perhaps going along or remaining silent?

  18. 78
    Sam P.

    @ Simone

    You have a good question. It’s personal, but I’ll answer.

    I have treated every girlfriend I have ever had decently. I’ve always called when I said I would, always given them a lot of time, been faithful, been reliable with keeping dates, and been very fair with going to see them as often as they came to see me (not every girl has accorded me the same courtesy).

    That being said, there have been girls I liked so much that I would do anything for them and girls I have had reservations about, and who, if they asked me to do something I didn’t want to do, like spend $60 a ticket on a musical, introduce them to my parents, or go all-out for Valentine’s Day I would resist. For girls I’ve really loved I’ve changed things like the look of my apartment, my wardrobe, what I say. I think though that if I neglect to clean my bathroom as often as a really-neat girlfriend wants me to or I wait for the parental intruction I still can claim to be more than decent to her.

    I’m not proud to have been in relationships with girls I had reservations about. Those relationships happened when I was in my early-middle 20s. I was only hoping my honesty would help some of the women on this site. I am now in a relationship with a woman I would do absolutely anything for and I see my previous relationships in a different light now.

    Bottom Line: If he loves you he will do anything to make you happy.

  19. 79
    Simone

    @78: And in the meantime he’ll just treat you like ****. That is a good lesson to learn. Add to that the lesson that somehow the woman is responsible for his bad behavior, that somehow she should just have “known” he was a jerk, that she must have been “seeking out” bad behavior, that perhaps she even “makes him” treat her badly, that she should just accept that “boys will be boys” and put up with it until some guy stops all that bad behavior because–tada! He “loves” her (for the time being, of course).

    Question: What do you think happened to all those girls you treated badly in your 20s? Do you think they just got over it, moved on, and should not hold you responsible in any way for your “former” bad behavior? Because you’ve stopped doing that, right–because now you “love” someone. Congratulations!!! It’s somebody else’s problem now!

  20. 80
    Jennifer

    Sam P. #78- I understood the point you were making.

  21. 81
    Selena

    Yeah Sam P. I understood your point as well and think you did a good job explaning it.

  22. 82
    Ruby

    #78, 79

    I get Sam’s point, but what about men who are still behaving this way well into their 40′s? I don’t think youth has anything to do with it. I’m a bit tired of guys getting a pass because of their gender.

  23. 83
    Selena

    #82

    But who’s giving these guys a pass because of their gender? Uh, wouldn’t that be women? If women refuse to be with men who treat them shabbily, wouldn’t those men soon get the message such treatment doesn’t work if they want a romantic/sexual relationship?

    As long as women choose jerks, and stay with jerks, (until said jerk dumps her), where is the incentive for the jerk to behave any differently? If the behavior works for him, gets him what he wants…

    We may not be able to change any particular individual or group, but we can certainly not engage with someone who treats us in a way we find demeaning. At any age.

  24. 84
    A Reader

    @Ruby #82 — Amen, sister. I’m with you. It gets really old to hear that men do what they want, men don’t change, and you just have to put up with it until you hit the jackpot and manage to push all the right buttons with a man and he becomes so besotted with you that he actually puts forth minimal effort toward maintaining his responsibility in a relationship. Gee, where do I sign up for this wonderful prize package? (Insert sarcasm here.)

  25. 85
    Joe

    Simone says
    @75: Can a woman deliberately get pregnant without a guy deliberately putting his penis inside of her? What are you suggesting here?

    I’m suggesting that it’s not unheard of for a woman to be on The Pill, and then to be deliberately off The Pill without telling her partner.

  26. 86
    Simone

    @82: Let’s explain it to them in another way. Let’s say that a white guy in his teens and 20s treated lots of black people badly. He yelled comments at them from his car as he drove by; he enjoyed films that objectified them and misrepresented their personhood; he socialized with them and partook of the good things that black person offered under the guise of “being friends,” let’s say, but then dumped that person without reason or warning; he made fun of their bodies or their intelligence or their interests behind their backs; he took advantage of the black person’s desire for acceptance and relationship to get things that he wanted without reciprocating; or worse, he outright lied and misrepresented to get what he wanted. But then, in his 30s, he decided that he really would like to have a life with a black person and partake of all the good things that such a person might offer. Is that black person supposed to be grateful that now he’s had a change of heart? Is that person supposed to accept that “white people will be white people” and that we’re just “wired” this way? Is the black person just going to swallow the “explanation” that black people seek out this kind of treatment, that there are plenty of good white people out there and if those black people were just “smarter” that their experiences would have been different? Is the black person going to forget about all of those mistreated black people in the white person’s past?

    But the kicker is this: Why would a black person believe that the white person has changed when that white person frames his current comments with the rationale, “I’m just trying to help black people by telling them how it is…”

    Food for thought.

  27. 87
    Karl R

    Ruby said: (#82)
    “what about men who are still behaving this way well into their 40′s? I don’t think youth has anything to do with it. I’m a bit tired of guys getting a pass because of their gender.”

    I don’t think youth has anything to do with it. Gender doesn’t have anything to do with it either. I’ve encountered similar behavior (to what Sam discusses) in women who were in their 40s as well.

    He/she just isn’t that into you. It would be nice if the men & women who weren’t into us were sufficiently self aware to recognize the situation and had the integrity to inform us as soon as they realized it. But it’s to my benefit to recognize when the woman isn’t into me … and leave.

  28. 88
    Ruby

    Karl R #87 & Selena #83

    Sure, women can behave badly, and yes, if a man treats you badly, then you have to get out. But certainly it’s considered more expected and acceptable behavior from men than it is from women. It’s messages like “boys will be boys”, and the whole “he’s just not that into you” phenomenon. And most dating advice for men is geared towards being a player, not how to make a relationship work – that’s still the province of women.

    Of course, not all men are that way, but it’s the idea that it’s expected and typical behavior that bugs me. I know, too, men want the sex first, and the relationship later, and it’s “wiring” and all, but there is a certain amount of bias and cultural conditioning at work here.

    Simone #83, I think you’ve hit on a good analogy.

  29. 89
    Evan Marc Katz

    @Simone

    So apparently, I’m the white teenager. To reiterate:

    No one has said that women should accept being mistreated by men. The only messageto come out of here is to understand that some men – no matter what you say or do – will mistreat women. And it’s YOUR job, as a woman, to walk away from that behavior when you see it. Trying to compare this to racial injustice is like comparing apples and oranges and is a very dangerous notion.

    When I say, “I’m just trying to help women by telling them how it is”, I AM actually just trying to help women by telling them how it is. Here’s how it is: Some men behave badly. I can’t change those men. You can’t change those men. I don’t excuse those men; I observe that they exist. You should, too. Cause they ain’t going anywhere.

    Thus, your ONLY solution to being mistreated by men is to stay away from them – not to complain that the treatment of women is tantamount to a pre-civil rights world. Seriously. In the 50′s, blacks had no options for fair and equal treatment. You do. Dump the jerk and he can’t mistreat you. It’s really quite simple.

  30. 90
    A Reader

    If I read Evan right (and maybe I don’t), along with the majority of comments by men on this blog, although not all men are jerks, the vast majority of men WILL jerk a woman around if she lets him. It’s the woman’s job to keep putting herself out there until she finds someone who doesn’t do that, maybe because he’s whipped. It’s the man’s job to be available if he’s not a jerk (or if he’s whipped) and to show his true colors if he is a jerk. Do I have this right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>