How To Deal With Your Girlfriends Ex-Boyfriend | Dating Advice

How To Deal With Your Girlfriends Ex-Boyfriend

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Hey Doc,

I’ve been following your principles for a couple of years now, but I’m at a loss for what to do in my present situation.

I met my girlfriend Crystal two years ago. All that time things went great and I was happy. But she has a jealous ex, Zach, and although she has told me time and again that he is just a friend, I’m a little skeptical. He is actually related to her brother-in-law and is really close to Crystal’s family, so it’s possible she feels obligated to be nice to him. I told her a while back how I felt about this guy being in the picture, and after an incident where he attacked one of Crystal’s friends in a jealous rage (this friend is like her brother), I told her that if I ever heard of Zach being in her house again, or if she has anything to do with him, I was walking.

Well, today I went over to Crystal’s house to surprise her. She seemed happy to see me and invited me in. All of a sudden, I hear a man’s voice from her downstairs bathroom calling her name. She said, “Zach is here -- just so you know.” I said, “I see,” then calmly asked for my things and my house key. Then I said, “we’re through” and walked out the door.

I went home and found an e-mail from Crystal saying, “You didn’t even give me a chance to explain. My sister came by to visit and she had Zach with her. She wanted to go to the hospital to visit my brother-in-law but Zach didn’t want to go, so she asked if he could stay with me and I said yes. I’m sorry you are mad at me. I could see the hurt in your eyes. I hope you will forgive me. I do love you.”

So that’s where we are. I think I sent a clear message about how I felt, but before I met you, Doc, I would have given in immediately and tried to rationalize things. But whether this is innocent or not, Zach is the lowest of the low and he is dangerous. I told her I was walking if he came back into the picture, and I held true to my word.

Do you think I made a mistake? I really did love this girl.

Leon - who’s had enough

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Hi Leon,

One of the most important components of “The System” is a woman’s Attitude. There’s also Integrity. There’s Giving. There’s Flexibility. And the last area is called Scars and Baggage. This is where the wonderful Zach falls in the scheme of things. Leon, I don’t dig women staying in contact with their exes. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love from East L.A. says, “When she lets the old boyfriends hang around, she’s basically spitting in your face.” To me, it’s anti-Loyalty.

If there are familial obligations involved in this situation, Crystal can be civil to Zach but she doesn’t have to be nice to him. And there is a difference, dude. In other words, when he’s around, she doesn’t have to be there, and she doesn’t ever have to be in the same house with him. Like my cousin Doctor Love says, “Hey -- she sure doesn’t have to let him hang around her bathroom.”

Telling her that you were going to walk was the right thing to do, pal. But here’s the more curious point: Zach keeps dropping by. He’s a constant presence in Crystal’s life. How is it that two whole years went by when you were going with Crystal and this issue didn’t come up sooner? Why did it take all this time for you to bust her on it?

Nevertheless, like my cousin General Love says, “Soldier, you deserve a promotion for breaking it off with this lady.” You’ve got guts, Leon, I have to hand you that. Ninety percent of the men out there would have overlooked what happened and not done a thing to stop it.

After this scene with Zach there was no reason for Crystal to explain anything. Like you said yourself, you’ve been through this already. And you laid down to her in no uncertain terms what had to happen in order for your relationship to survive. What she should have done was gotten out of that house when Zach was there. Or better yet, she should never have let this guy in the front door in the first place. Period. If Zach is a maniac, if he beats people up, why is she letting him in?

Here’s what Crystal should have told her sister: “Zach can’t stay here. I’ve been in love with Leon for two years and he doesn’t want Zach here and so he’s not allowed in my house.”

But she didn’t do that. She didn’t even come close. Leon, she doesn’t love you because she committed an unloving act. Zach was off-limits and she allowed him into the house. This girl is not LOYAL.

Of course you would have tried to rationalize what happened between you and Crystal before you met me. Like I said earlier, that’s what the vast majority of men try to do. But what happened wasn’t innocent. Crystal knew how you felt about this guy and she rationalized his presence because of her sister.

Crystal didn’t treat you in a loving manner and you did the right thing. And I commend you for having the courage to stand up like a REAL man. But again, you should have picked up on this a lot sooner and gotten rid of Crystal in the second or third month. You had two long years with this girl while this bum was hanging around. A bum who, by the way, strikes people.

Remember, guys: I don’t like dogs that growl, and I don’t like people that growl.


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