New girl­friend wants ex’s texts cut off

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By Amy Dickinson [email protected]­dick­in­son.com Twit­ter @ask­ingamy

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been to­gether for three months. We reg­u­larly talk about our fu­ture to­gether, but there is one thing get­ting in the way.

His ex, whom he broke up with nearly eight months ago, con­tin­ues to text him. At first, it was noth­ing to worry about — it was sim­ply texts ar­rang­ing for when she would send him pay­ments of money she owed him.

Lately, mes­sages come in nearly ev­ery day, say­ing things like, “I’m hav­ing a bad day, please an­swer this when you see it. I don’t know who else makes me feel safe.” Or, “I can’t wait to be with you again, baby.”

He has been open with me about the whole thing, let­ting me read his mes­sages to her and telling me ev­ery time she texts him.

He never answers her texts un­less it is about money, but his big heart gets in the way when she tries to ma­nip­u­late him into talk­ing to her.

I want so badly to text her my­self and tell her to leave him alone, ex­cept I know that would be over­step­ping and might mean that he would no longer get his money re­paid.

He says he will block her on all plat­forms when she has re­paid him.

I worry that she may never pay him back the to­tal amount in or­der to al­ways have a rea­son to talk to him. — The New Girl­friend

Dear Girl­friend: Your boyfriend is do­ing the right thing by be­ing trans­par­ent with you about these texts. The down­side is that you have taken on this drama.

You should not con­tact her. You do not own this man; you don’t have the right to tell some­one not to con­tact him.

It does seem to me, how­ever, that an “I can’t wait to be with you again, baby” mes­sage should be met with a one-time “We have bro­ken up. It’s time for you to move on” mes­sage (from him).

If he is even pas­sively string­ing her along un­til she re­pays him, then he is be­ing al­most as ma­nip­u­la­tive as she is.

You don’t men­tion what amount of money is still owed, but your boyfriend should let his ex con­tinue to pay her debt, and then he should con­sider stop­ping all con­tact when she still has a min­i­mal amount left to pay. For­giv­ing that last pay­ment might be in ev­ery­one’s best in­ter­est.

Dear Amy: Our son-in­law “Steve’s” step­fa­ther, “Tom,” is a man with whom my hus­band and I have had a cau­tious but cor­dial re­la­tion­ship for many years.

Over the past year, Steve and Tom had a ma­jor fall­ing out, and Tom is banned from hav­ing any con­tact or re­la­tion­ship with Steve and his fam­ily. We sup­port Steve’s stand on this since there has been a trou­bled re­la­tion­ship be­tween them for many years.

Tom and his wife “Martha” (Steve’s mother) are hav­ing mar­i­tal is­sues but re­main to­gether.

We all live in the same town and have done many joint fam­ily gath­er­ings to­gether over the years un­til this re­cent rift.

Now Martha joins fam­ily so­cial gath­er­ings alone, so we haven’t in­ter­acted with Tom for over a year.

Soon Steve, our daugh­ter and the grand­kids are mov­ing out of state. We are not sure how to con­tinue to sup­port Steve’s fam­ily by not so­cial­iz­ing with Tom once they are gone. We have al­ways had a good re­la­tion­ship with Martha.

Now that Steve and fam­ily aren’t present, should we con­tinue to ex­clude Tom? What do we say to Martha when we in­vite her to gath­er­ings or if she in­vites us to her house where Tom might be present? — It’s Com­pli­cated

Dear Com­pli­cated: “Steve” is well within his rights to ex­clude his step­fa­ther and to ask that you also ex­clude him if Steve and fam­ily will be present in your home.

Steve does not get to in­sist that you must also ex­clude his step­fa­ther when Steve is not even in the state, how­ever.

You should be­have in a way that most hon­ors your in­de­pen­dent re­la­tion­ship with “Martha.”

Dear Amy: Ouch! I thought you were a lit­tle too tough on “K in Colorado,” the older man who is frus­trated be­cause so many peo­ple as­sume he is his son’s grand­fa­ther. I hope you are re­think­ing your an­swer to him. — Stung

Dear Stung: “K” used his frus­tra­tion over this as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for be­lit­tling an over­weight woman, in his son’s pres­ence. I think he needed a re­al­ity check.

Copy­right 2020 by Amy Dickinson

Dis­trib­uted by Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

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