Dear Coleen: My boyfriend won’t tell his crazy ex to get out of our lives

Dear Coleen

My boyfriend and I have been together 18 months. We’ve had a really hard road because of his ex, who he was with for almost 13 years.

After they broke up, she still acted like they were in a relationship. She still talks to him almost every day and finds excuses to “drop by” his place.

She’s extremely unkind and ­disrespectful towards me and treats me like a mistress, even though they’d broken up when I met him.

When we first started dating, he did lie to me and cheated on me with her. This was awful and the most painful thing that’s ever happened to me
in a relationship.

When she disappears from the picture for a few days or a couple of weeks, things are wonderful with us.

When I’m not sharing him with her, I couldn’t be happier and he feels the same. But then she’ll pop up and remind him she’s still there, ­desperately waiting to be with him even when she knows he doesn’t love her.

It’s his fault as well as hers. Yes, she’s incessant – she’ll come over at 3am, screaming and crying, banging on the door or showing up at family events uninvited. But he won’t put his foot down and tell her to get out of his life. He feels guilty for moving on.

I can’t take any more of her ­nastiness. She came over one night, screaming abuse at me and even stepped inside my house as if to ­physically assault me. Luckily my boyfriend stepped in between us. I feel so helpless and angry and don’t ­understand why he doesn’t respect me enough to send her packing for all the awful things she’s done.

Coleen says

If I were in your shoes I’d be annoyed he wasn’t doing more to sort this out, too. The way his ex is behaving would be grounds for requesting a restraining order, so perhaps that’s something you can talk to him about. Keep a log of everything she’s doing in case you do decide to go down that route.

But if he’s not prepared to make a proper effort to resolve this, and I know it’s easier said than done, I wouldn’t stay with him. And if he ­genuinely does want to be with you, then it’ll be up to him to prove it.

I don’t care how long they’d been together, they’re not together any more and you’ve been dating 18 months, so it’s not ­acceptable to turn up at your home in the middle of the night screaming abuse.

He needs to make a stand. That should involve not answering texts and calls or indulging her behaviour in any way that gives her hope she can resurrect their relationship.

But you also have to ask yourself if you really need this in your life. It’s almost as if your boyfriend and his ex are colluding in this drama.

It’s like he can’t quite let her go, and maybe that’s because part of him enjoys the fact she still loves him and needs him.

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