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



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.

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  1. 41

    yeah, I’ve been irritated because I can’t just copy and paste selected text from this blog – why is that?

  2. 42

    Re: closure. It’s been helpful to me a couple of times in the past when the man wanted to reassure me that the problems in our relationship were his fault and had nothing to do with me. But I wasn’t seeking HIM out in order to get closure. And it didn’t enable us to get back together.

    In DC’s case, it seems she has never openly grieved the loss of her child, and never speaks of it to anyone, including her current boyfriend. Not only did she lose her baby, she lost the man she loved too, both devastating events. Now the ex is back in the picture, stirring up long-buried and unresolved emotions. Someone else mentioned professional counseling and I also think it would help her.

  3. 43
    Venting Can Be Healthy

    I know this is long and I apologize, but I just wanted to say this for all people who want closure and are reading this wondering, “WTF?!” every time someone acts like A. They don’t realize maybe this woman wants closure, not reconciliation, and B. Speaks of her attempting to get closure, like it’s a terrible idea, rather than something that should be given consideration, based on her needs, desires, and expectations.

    IF this woman wants this guy back, THAT is a prob., BUT if she truly just wants closure, which we should consider as a possibility, then no one should so much as discourage her from that. The ex sounds like a jerk, and after what they’ve been through, if she takes him back I think we should be concerned about her possibly having low self esteem, being drawn to really negative relationships and men, etc. Also, it would be a shame to abandon a good relationship and man you care about for a bad relationship that might fall apart all over again, with someone who did you so poorly. BUT wanting closure is a totally diff. motivation, and it’s PERFECTLY natural to want closure, and no one- including her current bf- should mind her trying to get that.

    Everyone keeps saying that the reasons he did what he did doesn’t matter, she should just move on, etc. It’s not that easy. You can move on with your life, and you can heal quite a bit, but you carry wounds with you from things like this. She’ll prob. always have a certain amount of scars, but lacking closure could make this even worse.

    Diana said, “Regardless, the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what his reason is. You owe it to yourself and your current boyfriend to continue living the good life, and to not do anything to tamper with your happiness. It’s not about revenge. It’s about your emotional well being.” And Ronnie says, “What I tell my dating coaching clients is this: There’s no such thing as closure. Women often want closure to ‘understand’ what happened. Truth is you don’t want to know what he was thinking. Whatever it was made him leave you. Knowing more detail won’t make you happy. It won’t settle or clear up anything. And it could be very hurtful. Forget closure its not real. DC has already moved on so why look back?”

    Okay first off, this woman never said she intended to get revenge. I didn’t get that feeling from her letter at all, though it is a possibility she wants it. I just don’t see it written into her letter. If she simply wants closure, closure doesn’t have to have anything to do with revenge.

    She doesn’t owe it to her boyfriend to not seek closure. It’s not wronging him in anyway if she wants to ask this man why he did what he did, if she wants to see if she might get an apology, or if she just wants to take the opportunity to unload on him and tell him exactly what she thinks about his behavior, how it has affected her, etc. He should support her in doing so, but if I were her, just to make sure he didn’t find out about it and misinterprit things, I think I would explain to him that my ex had hurt me very badly, I felt I didn’t have closure over what he did to me, and I just wanted to talk to him and help myself to reach a better understanding or some greater degree of closure. I have a situation (not involving an ex, though) in which I want closure and people encourage me to get it. They don’t tell me I owe it to them to never be able to get this off my chest, to never be able to hear or say what I need to.

    Diana say it’s about this woman’s emotional well being, but the truth is, sometimes, attempting to get closure HELPS people to heal. I understand Diana’s saying she shouldn’t let him upset her emotionally or her life or relationship if she can help it. However, it’s possible that he’s been upsetting her even when he wasn’t in the picture because he has prob. really wounded her on a very deep level, and those wounds don’t disappear because the jerk isn’t in her life anymore. That’s the thing about these kinds of wounds. These people don’t have to be in your life to be disrupting it or to be hurting you. There are prob. wounds there that have been hurting to one degree or another, ever since he left, and ever since she lost her baby.

    I have a situation in which I REALLY want to be able to ask a particular person, “Why?” Ronnie says this is about understanding. I admit, part of it is. It’s confusing in my situation and I do want to understand because being confused about the reason someone did what they did in situations in which they hurt you, can be very frustrating and upsetting. So, yes, that’s part of it. But the truth is, I think I might know the reason why already. I know I have my theories, and they are hard to accept, but I can’t figure out another explanation really other than the ones I’ve settled upon. And part of me understands those reasons, and part of me doesn’t. It doesn’t make everything okay, but I honestly believe that having understanding would be less painful than having painful ideas and painful believed explanations, anyway, with all this uncertainty added to the mix, too. I still have the pain of thinking I know what this person was thinking and what their motivations were. But not only do I have that painful possibility there in my head, I also have the frustration and dissatisfaction of not even knowing. She has a right to an explanation. This woman knows his reasons can’t be an excuse. The answer will be painful. The situation is painful. The reasons she prob. already has in her head are upsetting, I’d venture to guess. Maybe she still needs that clarity.

    I know if the individual in my situation, backs up my suspected reason, I still might not understand completely, but it could help me understand. It could help me to be more certain, that I do understand. I want to know if what I believe to be the case, is the case. You say we don’t want to know the truth- yes I do. What do you think we believe the truth is? How likely is it that this woman thinks, for example, that he was abducted by aliens, but he really loved her and the baby and respected them? That he’s been emotionally distraught at the thought of having hurt her and at being kept away from her by these e.t.’s? I doubt she believes anything fanciful like that. We know the truth will be ugly when we seek these things out, but we need to understand and we need clarity and surity. We need an explanation, and we need the truth- we need to be able to believe it- and we need it from the perps mouth. If I KNEW for 100% positive why he did what he did (my situation), I still want to hear him say it. I don’t know why, but I feel the need for that.

    And I want to be able to tell him all these things I’ve carried around because of our situation. I know this woman prob. has a lot she has been holding inside. In my case, I am able to express myself to loved ones, but I need to tell him. I need him to know, I need him to hear what I have to say. Imagine how much more she needs to say these things to him, when she hasn’t been able to ever say them to anyone else. He should know what he’s put her through. He might not care, but he should have to hear it at least, and she should be able to have that release. She deserves that opportunity to express herself to him. If she sends him away, she might never get this opportunity again. This isn’t about him. It’s about her getting as much closure as she can.

    Ronnie says closure isn’t real or possible. I will agree with this to an extent. I don’t believe in total closure or healing. People heal to large degrees and they go on with their life, but somethings leave scars there, or never completely heal. They improve, but they’re never “like new”. Some will leave wounds and scars that are always there to some extent, while others act up every once in awhile like old physical wounds you think you heal, but on occasion, your body reminds you that once upon a time, you twisted your ankle, dislocated your shoulder, etc. I know this won’t make it all miraculously better, but do I think it could help me somewhat? Yes. And if I had an opportunity, I would not turn it down, because I might not have it again. Will it help her heal or make her worse? I don’t know. But if she understands the risks and STILL feels like she needs this or like it might help somewhat, then she should go for it.

    I know if I get to talk to the person I want to talk to, it won’t be perfect. I’ve went through the negatives in my head already. 1. In my case, this person might not be as willing as this lady’s ex and he might run away or refuse to listen to me. Letters might be shredded, etc. 2. Even if he listens, he might not respond. 3. If he responds, he might lie to me. Might try to make things seem better than they were, might even blame me. 4. If he tells me the truth, although I think I know it already, it will hurt to hear it. 5. It won’t change the reality of things. 6. It won’t make everything better. I will still be hurt. And I will still be confused. 7. To do this, I will have to make myself emotionally vulnerable- be very open- in front of a man that apparently has no respect for my feelings. 8. My feelings during the confrontation might be more intense than I expect and it might rip the wound wider at first, but I believe it will help me overall to heal more. Not completely, but more than I am at this stage, or would be otherwise.

    Would I take him up on a conversation if he called? Heck, I’m thinking of contacting him myself! Some of us need this. It’s not about revenge, it’s not her doing something wrong to her boyfriend, and we aren’t expecting to feel healed. I’m not, anyway. I am surprised that so few seemed to understand this, and I’m also confused as to why the article seems to suggest that the likely scenario is that she will cheat on her current guy with him. Perhaps she’s too bitter towards this guy, or something to that affect, to even want him back after how he treated her when she needed him most. Why should we assume she even wants him back? Having unresolved feelings about what he did doesn’t mean unresolved feelings for him, AND having unresolved feelings for him is not the same as having romantic feelings left for him, AND even if she had romantic and sexual feelings left for him (which she never said she did) they might not be very strong and regardless of their intensity, when tempered with negative feelings associated with him (which I’m sure she has), possible neg. feelings she might have towards cheating, and the way she feels about her current bf could mean that she still wouldn’t take him up on sex or a relationship. Also, she knows how he did her last time, and she might suspect he’d do her that way again. Some women would go for it anyway, but why assume this lady would? Really, it’s pretty presumptuous.

  4. 44

    Why is everyone asking, ‘What was he thinking?’. The answer to this qusetion is written all over the letter. It’s obvious. The ex left because he didn’t want what the relationship had become (it had become complicated and serious). He wanted something else, anything else. He was thinking: ‘Get me out of here!’ As Evan says, simple, simple, simple! He did what he could do, not what was difficult. As for what Evan wrote above – don’t ask why the f-er left… ask yourself ‘What’ left? (Answer: a totally lousy human being left). Perhaps DC should ask herself what SHE is now thinking about her current relationship. It is getting serious and she is possibly going to complicate it. Is she thinking: ‘Get me out of here!’…. hmmmm???

  5. 45

    To Venting Can Be Healthy ~ my comment about revenge wasn’t intended to say that I felt she wanted to be vengeful or that she should have revenge. I do not think along the pathways of revenge. It was my, albeit, roundabout way of addressing the comments that others make about how having a happy life now is the best kind of revenge.

    While she states that she wants to know why he did what he did, she already has her answer. Maybe what she truly wants to know is how, how could he have done such a horrific and hurtful thing to her, especially during a time when she needed him most. Full acceptance of the ugly truth about him will help to give her closure.

    Only what lives in DC’s heart can lead her; not the well-intentioned advice of Evan and others. These letters are difficult at best to comment on, as there’s so much of their stories we never know about. I don’t know how Evan does it week after week! 🙂 I think DC needs professional help in dealing with the loss of her daughter and any unresolved feelings she may have for her ex, rather than possibly subjecting herself to more pain.

    Think about it. If it’s to try and rekindle their flame, how do you think that’s going to make her feel when he adds insult to injury and doesn’t bother to address what happened? If it’s to try and make amends and say leaving her was the biggest mistake of his life, how will this make her feel? If he wants to see her to simply say, “I’m sorry,” it’s possible his contriteness and belated sympathy could trigger unresolved romantic feelings she may have for him. The situation is fraught with peril. The truth is ~ she wants to believe he may care, whether about her or what he did, or she wouldn’t be having this dilemma. It’s clear she still cares. This is why therapy would help.

  6. 46

    To Venting Can Be Healthy –
    Why don’t you track the guy down who hurt you, listen to his “explanation”, give him an earful about your feelings, and report back on how satisfying the closure of doing this was?

    Honestly, you’ve really covered this from every possible angle, and nothing in your lengthy post seems to indicate a positive outcome – except perhaps an underlying desire to “tell the bastard off.” And while I’ll admit that can be a release – it isn’t closure. I think you will find it still leaves you feeling unsatisfied. Which is why I believe in what Ronnie wrote. And also what I wrote, “Genuine closure comes with time and comes from within.”

    But I’ve been there and done that.

    Maybe you need to confront your *perp* to prove the closure theory to yourself.

  7. 47

    I’m all for having nothing ever again to do with people who treat me badly. I am someone who tends to move on and continue leading the good life, and my life does tend to get better and I tend to get happier. In some instances it has been quite satisfying to run into someone from my past, someone who treated me badly, and see that they are still where they were, or even worse off. You know, less attractive, obnoxious, still poor or in financial trouble, in some awful relationship, etc. Really puts things in perspective–how lucky you are not to be saddled with THAT person anymore. But it’s better if you run into them by accident rather than seeking them out or responding to their attempt to have some kind of contact.

  8. 48
    Karl R

    Venting Can Be Healthy said: (#43)
    “We need an explanation, and we need the truth- we need to be able to believe it- and we need it from the perps mouth.”

    I understand what you’re saying, and I believe you. You need closure from “the perp”.

    And that’s why “the perp” still has power over you.

    He has the power to withhold that closure. He can refuse to talk to you. He can lie to you. He can twist the blame back onto you.

    Do you want to leave that power in his hands?

  9. 49
    Karl R

    anette said: (#36)
    “I don’t seem to be able to quote on this blog, not sure how you are doing it”
    sayanta asked: (#40)
    “how are you quoting?”

    I copy, paste, add quotation marks, italicize the quote and bold the person’s names. There’s not a specific function.

    Selena asked (#41)
    “I’ve been irritated because I can’t just copy and paste selected text from this blog why is that?”

    That occasionally happens to me (maybe once a month). I’m not sure why it occurs.

  10. 50
    Sam P.

    @ Ava
    So is the ex really a bad guy, or just an average one? Should we expect this kind of jerky behavior from all men, because boys will be boys? Partly, I ask this question in an attempt to understand the male mind

    A guy who isn’t the best to you might be incredibly loving and attentive to another woman, depending on how much he values you. If a man really loves a girl – like I do my current girlfriend – there’s nothing he won’t do for her, but if a guy is less enamored he’ll resist those requests for time, declarations of love, gifts, and deeds.

    In my opinion, the thesis of “He’s Just Not That Into You” is correct. If he loves you he’ll do anything for you. Men are naturally less picky than women, so it’s possible for a boyfriend to love his girlfriend a lot less than she loves him. When that happens you will have jerkiness and denials of the most reasonable requests.

  11. 51

    that’s the thing- when I hit “copy” by right-clicking after highlighting the quote I want, it won’t allow me to do it- I used to be able to do it on the old blog though. weird.

  12. 52

    @50: There’s a difference between not being into someone and treating someone badly. A decent person treats everyone decently, whether “into” them or not. A jerk might treat someone he is into well (loving, attentive, however you want to define it) and treat people he isn’t “into” badly.

    It does make you feel special when someone who is otherwise a jerk drops his bad behavior for you; but a smart woman knows that this is only a reprieve till he gets what he wants.

    That is why it is very important to observe how an enamored man treats waitstaff, taxi drivers, coworkers, family members, children, animals–and to find out how he treated the women before you that he wasn’t “into.” There will be times in a relationship when he isn’t “into” you. Do you want to be on the receiving end of the behavior he displays when he isn’t “into” someone?

    The guy in the letter was a jerk, plain and simple. He doesn’t get a pass because he wasn’t “into” her or because he’s a guy. It’s called being a decent human being.

    1. 52.1

      Couldn’t agree with this more!

  13. 53

    “Badly” and “decently” are somewhat subjective…

  14. 54

    There is a code that is in the blog to prevent copy+paste functionality, to make it harder for people to steal Evan’s content. We have it on our blog, too.

    I bet Karl has an apple or something that makes him immune from the troubles of us Microsoft mortals :0)

  15. 55

    Ah honey…thanks so much- u explained it. 🙂

    Man, I need a macbook.

  16. 56

    Thanks also Honey. I’ve been perplexed by this since I used to be able to cut and paste. So much easier when responding to previous comments using the poster’s exact words.

  17. 57

    Joe #53 – exactly what I was thinking… so often things behaviors get interpreted as “jerky” or “bad” that could be interpreted as decent (or at least neutral) in a different context.
    I got honked at and flipped off today on my way to work. I wasn’t being a jerk – certainly not intentionally, anyway – but it certainly got interpreted that way 🙂

  18. 58

    RE: Honey’s #54

    There is a code that is in the blog to prevent copy+paste functionality, to make it harder for people to steal Evan’s content. We have it on our blog, too.
    I bet Karl has an apple or something that makes him immune from the troubles of us Microsoft mortals :0)
    Unless Evan or his folks just changed their HTML code then this is not necessarily correct as I just copy and pasted Honey’s text and I use a PC.

  19. 59

    I respectfully disagree that it matterts why a man goes *poof*, disappears, etc. If he does it, and I treated him with kindness and respect, then its his problem and I will move forward and not look back.

    That having been said, DC, it sounds as if you have a kind and generous heart that has seen a lot of pain. Do not let your heart grow cold, but set firm boundaries. Your ex made his contact and his curiosity was fulfilled, now let it go. You are with the right guy. You were given a very real and very painful glimpse of your ex’s character – or lack thereof – and the best thing you can do for yourself is move on to a bright future with your current bf.

  20. 60

    From Karl R’s post, #48.

    Okay, that comment you quoted of vents, is different than how I feel about it. I don’t need it from the perps mouth.

    I need the “why a man does what he does” explanation, from a man that I trust.

    I have a very good friend, who is a relationship councellor, and whenever I’m confused about a mans behaviour, I ask him. I know he will tell me the truth, wether i like it or not. (And he uses analogies that as a woman, I can relate too, which is brilliant…he speaks a womans language, bless his heart!!).

    I just cannot see the reasons for a mans behaviour, because…well, I’m not a man!!! haha 🙂

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