Friday, March 24, 2023
HomeRelationship AdvicePartner contacted ex without telling me and got mad when I tried...

Partner contacted ex without telling me and got mad when I tried to make a boundary

So my partner and I have been together 2 years and recently they had a phone call with an ex that they didn’t tell me about until afterwards.

It’s an ex they had previously blocked on everything and it was a surprise that they came up again.

They told me after the phone call, and I told them I understand that they need friends and connections but that it would help me if they told me before they contacted an ex. That I felt that was a good communication boundary that would help me feel more secure.

This caused a big argument where they claim I’ve been unclear about communication in the past so they didn’t think they had to run everything by me and that I was trying to control them and wouldn’t let them be friend with people they slept with. That’s not the case. I do feel insecure about it, but mostly because it wasn’t a conversation up front

They also had lied to me about almost meeting up with a different ex a few months ago so I thought trying to increase openness would be good for both of us.

I understand that insecurity is unattractive and not good for relationships, but I just feel it’s not hard to have a conversation about where our thoughts are at about people from our past.

Is this an unreasonable boundary? To want to know before contact with an ex happens? I’ve never said they can’t be friends or anything like that. I just feel openness is good.. or is that too controlling?

Thank you!

View Reddit by grownupkid96View Source



  1. I think the largest concern is their defensiveness. They may be right that you two hadn’t discussed the boundaries ahead of time, but it shouldn’t be a big deal to say, “alright next time I’ll give you a heads up if my ex will be part of my life again and in what context.”

    Also if they already lied about meeting an ex awhile back, this doesn’t look good at all. What happened back then – why are you still with them after that lie?

  2. Phoning a friend or meeting up with a friend is perfectly fine, but an ex is a bit weird. You should tell your partner that you can’t stop them from hanging out and seeing who they want, but they should respect you and inform you when they start interacting with a previous partner. Doing otherwise would hurt you. You’re not being insecure, what you’re feeling is valid.

  3. In lots of cases, I find it unhealthy to be friends with exes. The fact that your partner is actively trying to re-open connections with exes isn’t cool. If they wanted to make new connections, awesome.
    Their defensiveness and trying to spin it around on you trying to be communicative sounds manipulative on their part.

    To me this would be a red flag.

    Don’t doubt yourself and your intuition in a situation like this. Sometimes its an early warning sign of the things to come, and considering the next difficult step if they cant respect your feelings and your relationship.

  4. I don’t know how you are with someone who lied to you about meeting an ex months ago. Of course the untrustworthy person is going to flip out over basic commutation and boundary setting.

  5. Out of alllllllll the people in the world, they can make friends with someone they didn’t sleep with. It sounds like you have a sneaky one there. I see some red flags that maybe you want to overlook because they’re little cute flags, but still, they’re red flags!!! It seems you have some healing and self reflection to work on yourself but there’s no excuse for hiding things and lying. Also omitting things is lying; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    On to the communication w the ex: if the ex is the one reaching out, I just don’t think it’s feasible for your person to contact you before speaking to them. Do you want them to miss the call, contact you to get the ok, then call them back? I’ve been there, done that so I can tell you nothing good will come from a heads up on their part that they’re going to speak to an ex for shits and giggles. You won’t be happy but then again that already sounds the case here. Cut your losses. You can do better, much better!

  6. It’s confusing why someone doesn’t understand why not talking to an ex or someone they have had sex with before would not be an obvious boundary. If it makes you uncomfortable he shouldn’t do it.

    Any excuses or arguments he tries to make us him not loving you or respecting your boundary.

    He also ignored it twice now.

    It’s confusing why someone who loves and values you would want you feeling anyway about an ex or previous sexual partner. He doesn’t care about boundaries or your feelings. He just wants to do what he want no matter your feelings. Even if he has to hide it

  7. Honey, dearest, I’m going to only say this once: if they have to resort to getting defensive, ( saying your being controlling etc.) something more is going on that you do not know about. Now I know that’s a sh*t thing to hear, but sometimes it is the truth. What you do with that information, is up to you, but in the long run it’s better to do so now and cut the loss before you waste even more years with someone who is not only not going to respect the boundaries you have to feel secure In the relationship, but not respect your RELATIONSHIP as a whole. It takes 2. Not just one, and he knows that and he’s blowing you off.

  8. I wouldn’t even call this a boundary… it’s just basic respect in a relationship to warn your partner beforehand of something you’re planning to do that they may dislike.
    Their behaviour seems suspicious tbh. I’d be worrying more about his intentions than your boundaries being too extreme.

  9. If your current partner not only didn’t tell you, but then got defensive and lied to your face about an ex, what else have they lied to you about?

    It sounds like you have two options here. You either sit down and talk it out. Be adults about it. Keep your calm. Use action effect statements. Ie, ‘when you say/do X, it makes me feel Y’.

    But, if you’re past salvaging, which personally I think you are, break it off. They aren’t being honest. They don’t give a crap about your boundaries. They obviously never intended to be honest about it. I can see how someone can still be friends or friendly with an ex if it was a mutual thing. But unblocking them just to ‘talk’ seems sketchy AF. Cut your losses and run.

  10. Don’t let them gaslight you into thinking you’re super insecure and asking too much. They keep contacting their ex partners because they need friends? Sounds like a poor excuse to me. Their behavior sounds super disrespectful to me and I wouldn’t want to be with someone with such poor communication skills and disregard for my feelings.

  11. You should feel insecure, she clearly doesn’t respect you, your relationship or your boundaries.

    No, people who’ve slept together can’t be friends if you respect your current partner.

    She knows exactly what she’s doing, including following the standard methods for emotionally manipulating you. If anything it’s more of a shit test to see what she can get away with. She’s talking to her ex’s and trying to make it out to be your problem rather than her lack of loyalty.

    It sounds like she’s either been cheating and is happy to have her fun thinking you’re too stupid to figure it out or too spineless to leave, or she’s getting ready to step out once she’s found a better alternative.

  12. It’s a reasonable boundary. But the reason he is arguing with you is because he intended to go past that boundary. If he lied about meeting up with an ex’s then there are other lies you haven’t uncovered yet.

  13. Feeling insecure is totally okay specially when you’re in a relationship for this long. Sometimes people tend to feel insecure from oneself only. I think you should tell it clearly to your partner one more time that it’s not running things with him which is the issue, it’s about you who’d like to have some assurance that nothing wrong is brewing between those two. At the end of the day they’re exes.
    And i think it’s good that you expressed your feelings rather than keeping it within you.
    They’ll understand eventually if they love you. Both of you just need to be clear and open in your thoughts.
    Hope it helps 🙂

  14. This is not an unreasonable boundary. He can make friends with people other than his ex. Like on Xbox or playstation, concerts and other places of interest, playing music in a band, ect.

    He’s looking to step out on you. An ex is almost a sure bet. He’s looking for someone that makes him feel sexually appealing. I mean, he tried meeting up and friending an ex not once but TWICE. If they have them talking to each other in a good light and willing to be friends behind your back, they are willing to do the naughty and pretend you’re a evil controlling narcissist and “it just happened”.

  15. You have a different definition of what is and is not ok regarding former romantic partners. This won’t change. You need to know that – this won’t change. Your current partner may “agree” to a boundary (MAY, being the key word), but that’s not how they really see it. If they’re splitting hairs and comparing your coparent to the same thing as attempting to meet up with an ex, you’re already in trouble.

    Some people are comfortable with remaining friends with their exes. Some aren’t.

    He is.

    You aren’t.

    This is a compatibility thing which, I’m sorry to say, likely won’t bode well for your future mental and emotional health. I lived this way with my now ex-husband. I kept zero exes around (not because of animosity or hate or whatever else, but I just saw it as respectful to my current significant other to not have ghosts hanging around in the background), whereas ALL his exes were still in the picture…including the ones who would randomly send messages to him about songs they used to have sex to and how he was “the one that got away”. In the case of my ex-husband, he also had lied about contact with these women. When you don’t agree on the basis for a boundary, they’re more likely to lie to you to cover up their behaviour, because they justify it to themselves as nothing wrong. They’ll label you as controlling or insecure, etc. You may or may not be either of those things, but it more than likely boils down to a fundamental difference in views where you can’t “agree to disagree”, because the subject isn’t theoretical. It’s tied to actions. It’s behaviour, and you don’t have to be ok with it. The flip side is he also doesn’t have to be ok with it. But you need to realize you’re choosing a relationship where your partners choices make you feel unsafe. I’d highly recommend considering whether or not you want to do life long term this way.

    (Spoiler: this dishonesty is one of the roots that let to our relationship being unsustainable. And shocker, those exes are all back around and at least a couple of them throwing themselves at him once again.

    Epilogue: I’m now with someone who shares the same view and boundary, and I have never one time felt unsafe or unstable in the relationship. I can trust him on every level there is, and I can’t overstate the freedom there is in that kind of mutual respect.)

  16. If you split amicably, and could be friends afterwards. Would you be ok with never being allowed to contact her again?

    Ex’s have history. Sometimes this is history that needs to be shared every now and then (e.g. when a pet you both owned dies, family member does, something to do with mutual friends, so many things). Sometimes people are actually mature and can move past it and be friends. I think it’s healthier than holding grudges and hate.

  17. Did your partner had their ex blocked for a good reason? No one blocks someone they dated just because, there must be bigger reasons. And that automatically makes me assume it wasn’t an easy break-up either.

    I have bpd and I used to be this kind of person seeking to self destruct by sabotaging my relationships. I too unblocked shitty exes. I too accused partners of being controlling and yadda yadda.

    I hope they’re alright tho, I’m just throwing my thoughts out here. Good luck OP!

  18. By your own account, he’s not mad about the boundary- he’s mad about your unclear communication about it. Those are two very different things.

    From his perspective you are getting angry at him for something he didn’t know would upset you.

  19. This was my opinion before reading that he lied to you, so this mostly applies for future relationships you may have. This also doesn’t apply if he was doing something that could be considered cheating, in that case you should just leave

    Honestly, he did tell you. I think the fact that he told you afterwards is reasonable. Requesting that he tell you before does sound like it could lead to controlling behavior, like him then needing to get your permission before reaching out to someone.

    But that is me personally, I am pretty sensitive to feeling controlled because of past relationships

  20. Depends on what your relationships with your ex’s are like. And if you keep your current partner informed of all your communication with them.

    If you do, then it’s fine as a boundary, probably one you should have both agreed upon before now, but okay nonetheless, if you don’t then making it a boundary now regardless of if you change your habits stinks of hypocrisy, because you are unilaterally making a boundary in your relationship that you haven’t observed before yourself, nor had a decision about prior to making it a boundary.

    You are entitled to make any personal boundaries you want, but relationship boundaries need to be agreed to by both. If your personal boundaries do not meet up with the relationship boundaries, then the relationship isn’t going to last.

  21. My philosophy is open communication, defined boundaries, and allowing freedom within in a relationship to pursue individual interests.

    My BF and I are monogamous and we see our exes socially. It’s no biggie. I would never cheat on him with an ex/anyone. The level of freedom we allow each other has made me the happiest I have ever been in an relationship. We can be ourselves totally.

    No relationship offers 100% of what a person needs at all times. My ex BFs offer different conversations than I have with my BF. In other words, I enjoy the friendship but I do not have sexual/romantic feelings for them at all.

    One of my exes is a musician and we talk music/ philosophy. Another is a chess teacher with depression so we engage that way. I love them as people and via our shared experiences but I would never go back to them. My BF loves tennis and is Latino so he engages with others in that way.

    I’ll admit (for me) that it was hard to bring up the subject of being friends with our exes because of other partners’ reactions. My BF just said “ Eh, I think I don’t care”. We usually mention it after as a courtesy but it no big deal if it’s omitted.

    The reality is that we all can do want we want at all times. You can’t really stop her from seeing an ex so why not be nonchalant about it and encourage her to talk about it after. I promise your relationship will deepen the more you let go of your insecurities. Support and encouragement will strengthen your bond.

    The more you restrict/react, the less honest your relationship will be. Then resentment/contempt builds and that is the death of love.

  22. That is not controlling and definitely it is a valid boundary!!!

    I don’t mind if my gf will ask me for such a boundary. We are close and also in LDR. But as a token of trust we know each other’s login passwords for the social medias so that if anyone feels even a bit insecure, we can comfort ourself. If my gf gets insecure, I don’t mind spending time with her to make her feel better again. Even if it takes hours.

    And first of all, if it was the ex which was blocked on every platform, why sudden change of heart?

  23. They could be friends with anybody and they just so happen to choose someone they’ve fucked in the past? Please OP don’t tell me you’re buying this bs not only are they lying to you but they’re also trying to spin in to make you feel like the bad person don’t put up with it

Comments are closed.

Most Popular