Why’s He Hiding His Ex From Me? [Ask A Dude]

Hi Dude!

I was reading the answer to the question about when your boyfriend talks to his ex. I have a similar situation where my boyfriend of 2 and a half years has started talking to his ex girlfriend. The thing is he hides it from me. He put a lock on his phone, deleted me from Facebook, and will only text when I leave the room, but when I come back in he immediately put his phone away. I use his iPad sometimes and his messages on it are linked to his phone so I see who and what he’s texting. It bothers me that he still talks to her but what bothers me more is that he is so secretive about it. Any ideas on how to handle it?

Thanks!

Locked out

Dear Locked out,

Follow ups, delectable, I LOVE follow ups!

He deleted you from Facebook? He put a lock on his phone to keep you from being able to see his messages? Is this just for his ex or is this in general? Are you sure he’s your boyfriend? I kid, I kid, I kid. I tease because I care. No, seriously though, he sounds like he’s taking some Pandorica measures to keep you out and he’s covering all his bases (except for his iPad which makes me think that he, like my grandmother, can’t comprehend the idea of the Cloud). There are two ways to look at this:

First off there’s the more paranoid route. Which is the one you’re struggling with like a Sontaran paying penance as a field nurse. BECAUSE he’s keeping it private between him and his ex then you automatically assume there’s something he doesn’t trust you to know about. He’s intentionally withholding a piece of his life. Is he hiding his ex because he still has feelings for her? Is he hiding her from you because he wants to protect you? Is he hiding her because she’s actually a blow up doll that he’s created the delusion of an ex-girlfriend from named Bianca? If the latter, is your boyfriend Ryan Gosling? If answer is yes then cyber high five!

The second way to approach the situation is to ask yourself this question: “Why am I being paranoid about it?” Why don’t you trust him to talk to and maintain a friendship with his ex? Has he given you a reason not to trust him? Has he ever strayed? Do you trust him? Is this all stemming from that fundamental stumbling block? Because if you don’t trust him then THAT is the big issue to deal with. His hiding communcado with his ex is just a symptom.

I agree, it’s a bit shady what he’s doing. I also understand the idea of privacy though. Being a partner does mean respecting and accepting boundaries that are put into place. You can’t know everything that’s going on with him and there may be some relationships in his life he’s like to separate from the one you two share. I don’t see that as unreasonable. What I see as unreasonable is his separation being done in a way that provokes you. I’d get the full scoop.

Sit down with him. Express your concerns. Show him that his actions are making you feel excluded and that you’re just looking for a bit of a better understanding on why he’s taken this approach. Take the angle that this is about leaving nothing repressed or unsaid, that you want to make sure that even with respectful boundaries, you want to make sure you two can still talk to each other about anything. Because that’s what you’d be doing. Don’t be accusatory. Don’t antagonize. Don’t give in to frustration. Be cool. Be clear. And make sure you get it across to him, as best you can, that you’re talking to him to be productive toward your relationship. If he blows up or plays coy or dismisses you, then you’ve got legitimate concerns and need to air them out.

Don’t completely jump the gun yet. But don’t leave the gun off the table either.

Followed up,

The Dude

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