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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, apologies if this is the wrong forum, but stumbled onto the site while searching for... answers (see: INTJ, sigh). Maybe not answers so much as context on what's normal / acceptable / etc.

I suck at short posts (see: INTJ?), but will TRY and keep this a reasonable length so folk can ACTUALLY respond.

GF and her ex broke up a year and a half ago. Her ex is also a girl. For both of them was their first same-sex relationship, and was totally born out of being best friends and both realizing at same time that they wanted more. It was a secret relationship that was rarely physical, but full of all of the same deep emotional BFF type stuff. For context, ex is 23, GF is 43. So there was some "mothering" attributes there.

We started dating a year ago. Our relationship is secret from work (we work together, both senior VPs) and from her ex (who is friends with many people at work).

The issue is that ex is not over GF, and the GF doesn't want to "lose" the ex as her BFF. So, the GF keeps the ex close, they text fairly constantly. But, because the ex isn't over her, there is nearly constant drama.

Which was all "par for the course", "needs to be fixed", "will get worked out" until a few weeks ago when the ex found out about us and lost her shit. Then hacked into our shared email account and found wedding/baby plans. Then lost her shit even more. And the GF began to question her entire life, what she wanted, if she wanted us, who she was, etc, etc, etc.

To note, I have zero sense that GF still wants ex in relationship/sexual sense. Not even vaguely an issue. Knowing her, the "losing her BFF" and her sense of loyalty really are what's in play here.

It's been a few weeks since this happened, and at this point it's almost daily drama. And the hard part for me is that whenever there is drama, the GF shuts down for days.

I don't really know what I'm looking for besides a sense of context. Situation sucks, and feeling like a bit of a yoyo (wanted/not-wanted).

Any feedback/questions/etc would be greatly appreciated all. Been digging around forums and finding it fantastically valuable. Hell, maybe I'm just crazy to be bothered by this because it will eventually work itself out. But, to me, it hasn't in a year+ so...
 

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Could she still have feelings for her ex? and are u willing to go on with this relationship as a trio ( seams to me that the ex has a bit to much importance ) And how did your gf got from "wedding/baby plans" to not knowing if she wanted the relationship with u? Ask her to be true to u and tell u exactly how she feels abt both of you. And convince her that she is not being unloyal to her friend for loving you. I'm assuming she was honest to her ex/friend on all other levels. Besides, i don't understand why all the drama. Their relationship was over , wasn't it much easier to just tell her ex abt u? ( coz assuming they are BFF's like u said , she should have understood, should have been trustworthy, therefore would have kept the secret and be happy for her being happy with u). If what she wanted was to avoid hurting the feelings of her ex .. well... it was the wrong way to do it. And eventually it would have happened anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! Yes, I'm positive feelings (romantic) are over. I'm also positive there is serious emotional attachment, and desperation to not lose this person in her life. Reason GF lost perspective is because our personal lives were hacked into and she felt emotionally raped which, I get give the situation.

The reason she kept secret from the ex was, to her, work. To me it was also to protect the ex. Did she trust the ex to not tell? 95%. But that 5% was simply too risky for her to make the call. Now the call has been made, and the drama continues.

And want to be clear, that while I (and GF) know that she is creating situations that cause drama, the ex is actually quite "psychotic". Like stalking her, following me home, etc. To the point where the ex bought them both concert tickets this week, and then got offended when GF wouldn't go, because it was on our date night. Like 4 hour yelling and screaming and "I can't believe you're letting him control you" type call.

To be honest, this was first time GF really stood up hard to her ex and basically said it was none of her business, she didn't ask for concert tickets, wasn't fair for her to be causing drama and she had no place judging our relationship. That she was happy, etc.

The honesty thing is big, and as far as I can tell we're there. I think it takes her a few tries to really get the honest out, but that seems to be cuase it takes her awhile to process emotion.

Does that help with context at all? Hoping so!

To me, they need boundaries, they need a bit of a break, and until the ex is over the GF they can't ever really be friends. And, that's pretty much what all her friends tell her too. So don't really know where to go from here, since the ex has the ability to ruin days/nights/weekends just by causing drama, and it's getting exhausting.
 

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These are just my thoughts, and I'm not saying they're correct, but they are probable.

If your GF had her first same-sex relationship at age 43, then I'm pressed to believe she's had feelings for girls more than once in her lifetime, but probably felt ashamed and never acted on them. I'm thinking she finally realizes that it's not a phase and that it's not going to go away. This is something she's likely to have been fighting all of her life, and I don't think she can fight it any more. That's not to suggest that she doesn't love you... I know plenty of homosexuals who cared for their SOs when in a hetero relationship, but it just was not natural or completely fulfilling for them. If I were you, I would have this discussion with her. If this is the case, then she really needs your support. Let her know that she can open up to you about it. Try to help her accept herself and encourage her not to be ashamed about who she is. That's the best thing you could do is have open, honest communication with her. Don't get angry at her... just listen and be there for her. That's my advice.
 

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She really needs to get away from her ex. The ex is obviously hurt and no longer a friend that an jealous ex. I agree with you, they do need boundaries. But will the ex understand?? She doesn't sound to sane to me..
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Hey AceFace, for context, she was in a 15 year marriage where she married the "right guy" according to her family and friends, but there was no spark there. So they stayed roommates for forever. The ex actually helped her get out of the situation (as friends) and that friendship turned to attachment, romantic, physical, etc. I don't think it's that uncommon, but I'm not a girl so I really wouldn't presume to know.

I do trust her, since she knows I'll love and care for her and want to be in her life no matter what. We've had the convo, which is why I wanted to preface this with the GF doesnt' want the ex. It's the opposite: she REALLY doesn't want the ex, but REALLY doesn't want to lose her either. None of the drama happening is relationship drama from my GF's side, it's all the ex not being able to let go and, as Ramysa said, not really being a friend at all anymore. She is wilfully hurting my GF, which pisses me off to no end. Anyone hurting her would.

Sigh.
 

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Hey AceFace, for context, she was in a 15 year marriage where she married the "right guy" according to her family and friends, but there was no spark there. So they stayed roommates for forever. The ex actually helped her get out of the situation (as friends) and that friendship turned to attachment, romantic, physical, etc. I don't think it's that uncommon, but I'm not a girl so I really wouldn't presume to know.

I do trust her, since she knows I'll love and care for her and want to be in her life no matter what. We've had the convo, which is why I wanted to preface this with the GF doesnt' want the ex. It's the opposite: she REALLY doesn't want the ex, but REALLY doesn't want to lose her either. None of the drama happening is relationship drama from my GF's side, it's all the ex not being able to let go and, as Ramysa said, not really being a friend at all anymore. She is wilfully hurting my GF, which pisses me off to no end. Anyone hurting her would.

Sigh.
She may not want the crazy psycho version of the ex, but uhhhh... I would not discount the fact that she's likely to be highly attracted to women. She shared a bond with crazy chick over there, and it was her first real homosexual relationship. That's a strong bond for someone who I assume has struggled with her sexuality all of her life. That's a hard thing to let go of completely. Your GF sounds as if she may have some co-dependency issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your GF sounds as if she may have some co-dependency issues.
This is more interesting than the rest. Rest doesn't "feel" right, and behaviourally doesn't jive. But codependency? How would this work in context of a past relationship? Bit lost, but appreciate your time on this...
 

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Oh my. First of all, I can sense that you feel pretty sincere in your feelings for your gf and you don't want the relationship to end over this. Sounds like if you could change things it would be to have the ex gf sort of out of the picture, or out of the picture completely because it is causing turmoil for you. Your gf gets confused and shuts down and thus it probably makes you feel even more vulnerable because you can't have the close relationship. And the thought of "when will this end?".

Jealousy is a crazy emotion! It makes us do crazy things. Which is why the ex gf has gone nuts. From the ex gf perspective she probably has strong feelings (obviously) and it would make it easier if your gf just told her "enough is enough" so she can work on moving on without being strung along. But that is probably easier said than done because your gf still has a connection and keeps the communication open. It has been my experience that my ex had his freak out moments (ok, CRAZY moments) of stalking and whatnot but once I said "enough is enough" then he finally got the picture. Actually, he does still try but Im not interested. With the experience with my current husband and his ex, she did some crazy stuff too. Like cut up my hair ties into a million tiny pieces. WHY? She tried everything in her power which included calling my work, emails, texts and threats to get us to break up. Im just a really persistent person and she didn't scare me. My husband had to use the "no contact" rule. He has children with her so he has to have some contact but he had to stop accepting all phone calls and not respond to every text for a long time for her to finally get the point. She still tries a little. If your gf doesn't want to be bothered then she has to make the decision to say "no contact" and realize there is going to be consequences, the ex is going to flip out more but it doesn't last forever--you have to be strong during that time if you want your relationship to continue. It is hard to break free from that co-dependent nonsense. Hard, hard, hard...but it can be done.

I don't know if I should get this personal but what is your sexual relationship like with your gf? I think that says a lot, first you can recognize that that she could be bi-sexual and confused, or possibly just lesbian and confused, or maybe she really did go through "trying to find herself" phase and realized she isn't lesbian. For me, I can see how someone can be confused about their sexual orientation. Woman are beautiful and personable but I finally figured out that just because I find women beautiful and personable that I am not a lesbian or even bi-sexual for that matter. I found out I can love a woman without saying "I like women that way".

Or what is the other option? For you to say "enough is enough"?

I don't know, what do you WANT to happen?
 

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This is more interesting than the rest. Rest doesn't "feel" right, and behaviourally doesn't jive. But codependency? How would this work in context of a past relationship? Bit lost, but appreciate your time on this...
I can relate to this but I will let Ace answer cause she might have a different take on it than I do.
 

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This is more interesting than the rest. Rest doesn't "feel" right, and behaviourally doesn't jive. But codependency? How would this work in context of a past relationship? Bit lost, but appreciate your time on this...
The rest doesn't have to jive. They're just thoughts from an outside perspective ;)

I suggested that she may have co-dependency issues for a couple of reasons. Again, I don't know her well at all... I'm only going off the little tid-bits you've given here. She gets close to people and still expects them to be there when she needs them despite how they may feel. That's at least how I've perceived her situation with her ex. Her ex can't just be friends, and that's been made quite clear, but your GF seems to want that BFF relationship and I don't think she wants to live without it. That's not to mention the bond she shared with this kid... the ex, I mean. What's the longest she's gone without living with someone or having a partner? Does she always have to have someone there when things are going awry? With the little bits I know of her life, it doesn't appear that she's spent much time by herself living her life independently. I could definitely be wrong though :)

@Tulipgarden
What are your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Appreciate detailed reply!

So big point is that GF has clearly told her ex "enough is enough" about 20 times in the last year, and it hasn't sunk in. "I will never want you that way", "I'm dating other people", etc. And since finding out about us, has constantly reiterated that the marriage/kids stuff the ex found was REAL. That she is happy, in love, building future, etc. There is zero waffling there.

As far as sex, it's fantastic on all levels. I had bad sex in my marriage, and she had none in hers, so a great sex life is really important for both of us. Not just physically, but emotionally, etc. I'd never want to define anyone else's sexuality for them, but do not believe she is bi/lesbian, just became emotionally involved with her best friend and the sex was part of the emotion. Over a year and a half, they probably only had sex a dozen times, was hardly defining point for either of them.

Also, I don't know that I'm capital J jealous in terms of destructive/insecure/etc, more just sick of having this person "abuse" (using word VERY lightly) my GF and have her have so much control over her emotions.

What do I want to happen? Honestly? I want ex to get over GF so they can be normal friends. I'll always have a slight twinge probably, but only becuase they ex was so psycho for so long. And more than anything, I want to be my GF's partner in everything.
 

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Appreciate detailed reply!

So big point is that GF has clearly told her ex "enough is enough" about 20 times in the last year, and it hasn't sunk in. "I will never want you that way", "I'm dating other people", etc. And since finding out about us, has constantly reiterated that the marriage/kids stuff the ex found was REAL. That she is happy, in love, building future, etc. There is zero waffling there.

As far as sex, it's fantastic on all levels. I had bad sex in my marriage, and she had none in hers, so a great sex life is really important for both of us. Not just physically, but emotionally, etc. I'd never want to define anyone else's sexuality for them, but do not believe she is bi/lesbian, just became emotionally involved with her best friend and the sex was part of the emotion. Over a year and a half, they probably only had sex a dozen times, was hardly defining point for either of them.

Also, I don't know that I'm capital J jealous in terms of destructive/insecure/etc, more just sick of having this person "abuse" (using word VERY lightly) my GF and have her have so much control over her emotions.

What do I want to happen? Honestly? I want ex to get over GF so they can be normal friends. I'll always have a slight twinge probably, but only becuase they ex was so psycho for so long. And more than anything, I want to be my GF's partner in everything.
GF needs a restraining order. She can't just be friends with her ex... her ex has made that very clear. It's all or nothing for the ex apparently. So your GF needs to grow a pair and cut if off for good. Honest opinion.
 

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The rest doesn't have to jive. They're just thoughts from an outside perspective ;)

I suggested that she may have co-dependency issues for a couple of reasons. Again, I don't know her well at all... I'm only going off the little tid-bits you've given here. She gets close to people and still expects them to be there when she needs them despite how they may feel. That's at least how I've perceived her situation with her ex. Her ex can't just be friends, and that's been made quite clear, but your GF seems to want that BFF relationship and I don't think she wants to live without it. That's not to mention the bond she shared with this kid... the ex, I mean. What's the longest she's gone without living with someone or having a partner? Does she always have to have someone there when things are going awry? With the little bits I know of her life, it doesn't appear that she's spent much time by herself living her life independently. I could definitely be wrong though :)

@Tulipgarden
What are your thoughts?
Hah, yeah I know it doesn't have to jive, but something about the codependent thing struck a nerve (in a good way). She's not great at "losing things" (people, pets, etc). Grieves incredibly hard over a lot (no, she isn't a "cry-ie girl", is actually fantastically strong and keeps emotions very in check which is why this is so hard to watch).

Don't really have any more insight to add, just dont' really know where to go from here. Have zero desire to do an ultimatum, because long term I think the ex will paint herself out of GF's life. Just tired of not only constant drama, but also that a single text from the ex can ruin an entire date or weekend either directly (cause of what was said) or indirectly (cause she becomes on edge).
 

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GF needs a restraining order. She can't just be friends with her ex... her ex has made that very clear. It's all or nothing for the ex apparently. So your GF needs to grow a pair and cut if off for good. Honest opinion.
And in many ways I agree. Any thoughts on tackling without attacking or ultimatum?
 

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And in many ways I agree. Any thoughts on tackling without attacking or ultimatum?
Unfortunately, this is a decision your GF has to make. Your girlfriend is still thinking quite selfishly in terms of her friendship with her ex. Obviously, at this point, I'm not sure why your girlfriend would still keep in such close contact since the ex is more of a burden than a friend... perhaps you could think of a good reason...
 

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I was about the same thing as you are @AceFace. Maybe along the lines of where he wondered how does it pertain to a past relationship? It is fairly easy for someone to get caught in the trap of "letting go" and become co-dependent.

Gosh, do I have the right words to explain this? I am not very good at explaining things.

In an unhealthy relationship it seems especially hard to "let go" when the person is co-dependent on each other. The person puts the other person "first", doesn't put themselves "first" in the relationship and allows themselves to become the victim more or less. Maybe your girlfriend puts her ex first and is unable to cut off all ties not just because she is scared of her ex's retaliation but maybe doesn't want to feel responsible for her ex's sad existence or maybe she feels like nobody else will love her. Pure speculation here.

You know in an unhealthy relationship, if you have had one, and you are in a controlling relationship, how hard it is to let go of the controller? REALLY hard despite how cruel the person is, especially if they have had you in a vicious push and shove relationship. Like a "love hate" type relationship. The controller can make the dependent person feel pretty worthless and unable to cope on their own.

I am probably taking this way too deep. Have you heard of stockholm syndrome? I had to write a research paper on Stockholm Syndrome as it relates to domestic abuse. But it comes down to the co-dependency issue of which I am speaking of. If you take someone in prison then as a mental way to accommodate the abuse they start to like their captor for small things like because "they gave me water when I am thirsty". Or in a domestic situation "my significant other belittles me but I know he loves me because he bought me roses and he says he can't live without me". This may really not be the case of your ex. But what is you ex feels like "ok, she is horrible to me and treats me so badly and I don't want this relationship but yet I can't let go because I know she's loves me no matter what". Kind of co-dependent.

OR maybe I think things through too much.

Please don't read too much into what I am telling you because I really don't know the specifics and it is pure speculation. Im thinking out loud and sometimes I get myself into trouble while doing that. Im sure we could take a million scenarios to come up with a conclusion. The dynamics of every relationship is different. Oh, the tangled webs we weave. Right?

But really, really, what is it that you want happen?
 

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Hah, yeah I know it doesn't have to jive, but something about the codependent thing struck a nerve (in a good way). She's not great at "losing things" (people, pets, etc). Grieves incredibly hard over a lot (no, she isn't a "cry-ie girl", is actually fantastically strong and keeps emotions very in check which is why this is so hard to watch).

Don't really have any more insight to add, just dont' really know where to go from here. Have zero desire to do an ultimatum, because long term I think the ex will paint herself out of GF's life. Just tired of not only constant drama, but also that a single text from the ex can ruin an entire date or weekend either directly (cause of what was said) or indirectly (cause she becomes on edge).
You might be waiting a long, long time so be prepared. She might never get over her depending on her mindset. But the only person that can stop the ex is your gf. She has to put her foot down and say enough is enough. You can't do it nor can anyone else. You can't even make her do it even though you know SHE NEEDS TO DO IT. It just depends on how much you are willing to put up with it. Im not saying it won't happen eventually but it would happen faster if the gf said to the ex "do not contact me again". She's gonna freak and maybe like ace said, you might have to do the restraining order.

We could sit here and reason out the gf's behavior and the ex gf's behavior until kingdom comes but the reality is that you can remove yourself from the situation yourself or sit back and go for the ride.
 

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We could sit here and reason out the gf's behavior and the ex gf's behavior until kingdom comes but the reality is that you can remove yourself from the situation yourself or sit back and go for the ride.
Exactly :/ It's unfortunate, but I don't see this being an easy thing for you either way. I'd also like you to consider that your GF is being disrespectful and inconsiderate of you by willfully allowing drama from another relationship sabotage yours. I don't think that's very fair :/
 
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