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03-10-2020, 10:26   #1
Anxiousjohn
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Advice please - girlfriend's exes

Hi everyone.
I’ll try keep this as short as possible. I’m currently with my girlfriend 3 years. Most of the time we get on great and life is good. We’re both 38. The problem lies with me, or in me.
I struggle with insecurity a good bit. It has impacted our relationship and caused a lot of rows more in the past but still in the present.
My girlfriend has a lot of male friends, and she’s been with a good few of them over the years. She prides herself on being an honest person and I never think she’d cheat. It’s just not in her.
Most of the guys she’s been with that are still her friends, I have zero problem with. But one circle of friends she hangs out with there’s 2 guys out of 5-6 in it that are ex’s. They’re all friends since childhood.
Guy 1 - long term ex. Childhood sweethearts, lost virginity together etc. They broke up early 20’s, stayed in touch, got back together twice since, in the last 10 years for a couple of years each time. They’ve had a few hook ups too in between. It’s been 4 years but he’s still not comfortable around is and in my opinion not Over her.
Guy 2
My girlfriend says she is an extreme prude. Does not sleep around etc. Yet for guy 2 she broke all her rules. They didn’t have sex but they hooked up lots during her 20’s. Very good looking guy and a player. In my opinion, if you break all your rules for somebody, that makes them pretty significant. She says he wasn’t.
So far, any time she’s been out with them, we’re there as a couple. But she’s often said she wants to go out with them on her own at some stage. The thoughts of her out skulling pints with these guys makes me physically and mentally ill if I’m being honest. My stomach is in knots and my head is in a spin. She gets extremely annoyed when I say how uncomfortable that would make me. She calls it controlling and says I don’t trust her. Am I pathetic?
 
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03-10-2020, 15:42   #2
leggo
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I wouldn’t consider myself insecure or jealous at all, but that wouldn’t be for me either. Now, in saying that, it doesn’t validate that you’re right and she’s wrong, more that you guys may just be incompatible at fulfilling each other’s needs.

My own preferences (I’ll say because you sound similar) with stuff like this are healthy boundaries, openness and honesty, and being with someone who I feel secure with and to have that reinforced day to day. Those are all fair things to want. There’s no specific rules attached to them, I’m not saying a girl has to do X or Y whenever they see an ex or anything like that. I just acknowledge and respect that those are my needs and someone I’ll be happy with will tick those boxes, if they don’t then I’ll be unhappy and so will they as a result.

Your girlfriend doesn’t sound like she fulfils your needs. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong and have to change yourself, or that she does either. You’re just realising that you’re chalk and cheese in this respect. And the blunt truth is that neither of you are likely to ever change, and trying will just cause resentment and a feeling of being stifled/suffocated. What you can do, though, is put this all on the table. If you can both accept that you’re different, that neither is wrong and state/accept each other’s needs, there may be a compromise that enables both of you to be happy. But if you try butt heads, make it a battle or resist/ignore this...then yeah, it’s going to end up causing huge problems because these kind of differences don’t just resolve themselves in the long term.
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03-10-2020, 18:46   #3
tara73
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yes OP, I think you have every right to feel uncomfortable. why does she feel the need to go out with them without you ? what's her problem with you being around? the only answer for me is she wants to mess around with them, whatever that means, maybe just flirting but that's more than a no go with ex boyfriends if you are in a serious relationship. she's disrespecting this relationship big time and messing with your head.
ask her how would she feel if you tell her you wish to meet up with your ex girlfriends you had on-off relationships for years and you explicitly don't want her around on those meet ups.
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04-10-2020, 00:43   #4
Zebrag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anxiousjohn View Post
Hi everyone.
I’ll try keep this as short as possible. I’m currently with my girlfriend 3 years. Most of the time we get on great and life is good. We’re both 38. The problem lies with me, or in me.
I struggle with insecurity a good bit. It has impacted our relationship and caused a lot of rows more in the past but still in the present.
My girlfriend has a lot of male friends, and she’s been with a good few of them over the years. She prides herself on being an honest person and I never think she’d cheat. It’s just not in her.
Most of the guys she’s been with that are still her friends, I have zero problem with. But one circle of friends she hangs out with there’s 2 guys out of 5-6 in it that are ex’s. They’re all friends since childhood.
Guy 1 - long term ex. Childhood sweethearts, lost virginity together etc. They broke up early 20’s, stayed in touch, got back together twice since, in the last 10 years for a couple of years each time. They’ve had a few hook ups too in between. It’s been 4 years but he’s still not comfortable around is and in my opinion not Over her.
Guy 2
My girlfriend says she is an extreme prude. Does not sleep around etc. Yet for guy 2 she broke all her rules. They didn’t have sex but they hooked up lots during her 20’s. Very good looking guy and a player. In my opinion, if you break all your rules for somebody, that makes them pretty significant. She says he wasn’t.
So far, any time she’s been out with them, we’re there as a couple. But she’s often said she wants to go out with them on her own at some stage. The thoughts of her out skulling pints with these guys makes me physically and mentally ill if I’m being honest. My stomach is in knots and my head is in a spin. She gets extremely annoyed when I say how uncomfortable that would make me. She calls it controlling and says I don’t trust her. Am I pathetic?
I don't know OP, I'm finding it hard to believe that this is insecurity based on your personal belief rather and its insecurity knowing your girlfriend is friends with ex's and takes pride in this.

Taking pride in honesty and taking pride in being honest towards being with a couple of male friends and happily staying friends with them, tells me she likes the attention she recieves. She calls you controlling because she knows how uneasy you are towards her friendship with these guys and wants to go out with them on her own. I don't know. I'm gathering that she likes the fact she has a boyfriend but also likes the fact she gets male attention outside of the relationship. But I could be misjudging her completely.

I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot, she wouldn't be calling you controlling, in fact you would probably be called much worst and demands would be made. She would be feeling insecure and deflated each time you went out with female friends, knowing you went out with some of them.

I don't like to tell posters to "leave their relationship" or "dump them" but I'm heading down the lines of, this doesn't sound like a healthy relationship at all and she has no boundaries. I'm all for having female and male friends. I've plenty and so does my partner but to go as far as to say they are ex's, want to be friends and to hang out with them on our own, and then claim we are being controlling because of insecurities, no I'm sorry.

OP, you're only 38. You've still plenty left to give out there and to spend another 3 years feeling the same way and eventually could lead into more mental health problems. This relationship and this girl doesn't sound worth carrying on for the long run but if you truly love her, then talk to her. Tell her that this doesn't sit well with you and you feel like maybe being friends with ex's, considering histories, that you feel she's holding onto these ex's for reasons that are not appropriate in a relationship. She might give out and call you controlling and whatever follows with that but it will go to show that she's not willing to focus on her relationship with someone who genuinely does love her.
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04-10-2020, 01:23   #5
osarusan
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Perfectly natural for you to be uncomfortable with her going out drinking with ex boyfriends, even with you present, never mind her going without you.

That she can't see your position as reasonable is the worrying element here.
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04-10-2020, 05:33   #6
Idle Passerby
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Hmm i don't think there's anything wrong per say about people remaining friends with ex's. However I can understand why this makes you uncomfortable. The fact they are ex's wouldn't bother me as much as the fact that she seems to have hooked up with both guys on a number of occasions over the years. Almost like they are both on standby. That's something other than regular friends. I would expect that if there are remaining friendships with ex's that the boundaries would be far clearer. I think it boils down to a personality clash though because it wouldn't be healthy if you were to forbid her having certain friends.
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04-10-2020, 07:26   #7
Yellow pack crisps
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All you can be is a loyal, loving and trusting partner. You can’t stop people from cheating. They will or won’t, if you think she is not the cheating kind then just enjoy the relationship. If you think she will cheat on you then your relationship is already in a bad place and tbh based on her answers to you then it probably won’t last, you can’t control who your GF hangs out, but you can control the decision to not carry on the relationship based on who she hangs out with. Nothing destroys a relationship more than one partner not trusting the other, it just hurts both of you and that’s a pointless relationship. It all comes down to respect and trust. If you respect and trust her then learn to control your insecurities.
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05-10-2020, 07:54   #8
Anxiousjohn
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Op here again.

Thanks for all the replies. It’s a hard one. How can I ask her not to be around her ex’s but at the same time expect her to see her friends hassle free? I can’t ask that of anyone.
I genuinely believe it’s only friendship she seeks but at the same time, why am I so uncomfortable? At a recent event maybe a month ago we were all out. It was getting late and She asked if I could go home and relieve the babysitter (as it was her time to finish) and let her stay out with her friends until closing time. The fear and panic that went through my mind was extraordinary. I don’t want to feel like this
 
05-10-2020, 15:18   #9
Airyfairy12
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I cant speak for your ex but if it was me, I would feel like I was disrespecting my partner and the relationship by hanging out with and drinking with a group of ex's and people I slept with, what is she thinking?
Does she have many female friends or does she only hang out with these groups of men that include her ex's? Does she struggle to make or keep friends? It could be a case were she keeps them around because she doesn't have any real friends of her own.
Either that or maybe she likes the attention?
Regardless you have a right to feel insecure, any normal person would.
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05-10-2020, 15:50   #10
beenthere69
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I went out with someone like this before. No female friends, her best friend was her ex, all her other "friends" were guys who she had slept with before or had something going on, or guys that wanted more than friendship and had told her they loved her etc. We were in our 30s, not teenager stuff!
Some people keep exes and people who want more than friendship around them because they're more likely to do things for them and they like the attention.
It was a bit horrible really because I was supposed to be cool with all this, and if I ever brought these things up she made me feel like I was some horrible insecure person and that it was all normal on her part. Anyway I was never able to relax in that relationship, so if I were you I'd get tf out of that situation.
I'm now with a new girl who has loads of friends, nearly all female, and some male but these are normal friendships with boundaries and she doesn't have history with them. I don't feel like an anxious insecure mess because she's a good person and I trust her.
 
05-10-2020, 16:25   #11
Anxiousjohn
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Op again

No, she’s certainly not an attention seeker. She’s super friendly to everyone. I suppose it does irk me when I see her having the craic and being friendly with a person she’s had sex with or with in other ways. But they are her childhood friends so what am I supposed to do? Tell her not to hang out with her childhood friends. I can’t and wouldn’t do that. But it hurts like hell when she can’t grasp how it would affect me when she wants to go out with them on her own. I know she wouldn’t cheat but she doesn’t see why it’d make me uncomfortable, because if I trusted her, why would I be uncomfortable?? Btw she has plenty of female friends but probably more male. She says men are easier to get alone with whilst women in groups generally gossip or give out etc so it’s easier hang with men.
 
05-10-2020, 17:50   #12
Airyfairy12
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Originally Posted by Anxiousjohn View Post
Op again

No, she’s certainly not an attention seeker. She’s super friendly to everyone. I suppose it does irk me when I see her having the craic and being friendly with a person she’s had sex with or with in other ways. But they are her childhood friends so what am I supposed to do? Tell her not to hang out with her childhood friends. I can’t and wouldn’t do that. But it hurts like hell when she can’t grasp how it would affect me when she wants to go out with them on her own. I know she wouldn’t cheat but she doesn’t see why it’d make me uncomfortable, because if I trusted her, why would I be uncomfortable?? Btw she has plenty of female friends but probably more male. She says men are easier to get alone with whilst women in groups generally gossip or give out etc so it’s easier hang with men.
I dont know, ive seen plenty of bitching and gossiping in mens friends groups. Women that dont like other women scream red flags to me.

Its one thing to be friends with exes and another to be so close that she wants nights out with them but without you.
I wonder if the tables were turned and you where best buds with your exes and women youd slept with and told your partner you wanted a night out with them and she wasnt invited. Just seems really disrespectful.
I would have no issue with a partner being friends with exes or other women but in this case, theres very few boundaries like she knows one of them is not over her, that's not a friendship, it's like he's hanging around to swoop in the minute youre off the scene. If she cant see why you have an issue she's either very naive or in total denial.
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05-10-2020, 17:51   #13
Wrcf667
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Sorry but this is a disaster. Out drinking with ex boyfriends. Without you. Sending you home to relieve the babysitter. Seriously wtf. You couldnt make up the brass neck of her. Is she a bit thick and or are you a bit needy and knows she can play you.

Gtf out. Now. This is 100% not the way relationships are.
 
05-10-2020, 18:00   #14
Anxiousjohn
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Originally Posted by Airyfairy12 View Post
I dont know, ive seen plenty of bitching and gossiping in mens friends groups. Women that dont like other women scream red flags to me.

Its one thing to be friends with exes and another to be so close that she wants nights out with them but without you.
I wonder if the tables were turned and you where best buds with your exes and women youd slept with and told your partner you wanted a night out with them and she wasnt invited. Just seems really disrespectful.
I would have no issue with a partner being friends with exes or other women but in this case, theres very few boundaries like she knows one of them is not over her, that's not a friendship, it's like he's hanging around to swoop in the minute youre off the scene. If she cant see why you have an issue she's either very naive or in total denial.
No, she hasn’t said he’s not over her. It’s my opinion judging his actions by his avoidance of us on nights out. He had a few few years to try won her back and he didn’t try so I doubt he’s waiting in the wings for us to separate. She wants a night out with them on her own because they are her friends and why shouldn’t she, is her opinion. She said it’s no different to going out with a bunch of girls. But my problem is that they’re men, it’s that there is ex’s. Again she says I don’t trust her because if I did I should know she’d never do anything or act disrespectfully
 
06-10-2020, 11:34   #15
Dtp1979
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It’s not about whether or not she’d do anything sinister when you’re not there. She should be considerate of your feelings and understand that any normal person would find this inconsiderate of her. It’s like she views the world through her eyes and views and nobody else’s opinions matter. She wouldn’t be for me.
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