Oh man, your life is MESSED UP right now.
Not that anyone asked us. But they can officially start.
Send Jilly your questions by filling out the form at the bottom of this post or right here, and she’ll send you a piece of her mind.
Because during those troubled times, it’s always important to ask yourself: What WOULD Jilly do?
I ended a relationship when I learned that my boyfriend was pestering one of my friends (her words) and he claimed they had a one-night stand. I have since gotten married and am very happy. This creep is now contacting me, wanting to be friends! As if! He keeps calling, even though my husband has threatened him. How do I get rid of him?
I have some good news and some bad news.
The good news? You did the right thing by shit-canning that boyfriend; either he’s a cheater, or a liar, or (likely) both, none of which are great foundations for long-lasting, storybook love.
Consider shit-canning the friend, too. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a boyfriend to claim he cheated just to avoid accusations of having been a little too friendly.
The bad news? The way you’re “dealing” with this creeper so far (and you’re right—that’s exactly what he sounds like) is just asking for more trouble.
Your first (and biggest) mistake: your husband has threatened him? There are so many problems with that statement. Like the fact that threatening another dude with violence (I assume that’s what this was? An “I’ll kick your ass” kind of thing?) is simultaneously juvenile and a little scary.
The first reason I don’t want a boyfriend who would beat up another guy over me is that I’m no longer in high school.
The second is that anyone who would physically injure another human being for trying to get in touch with you sounds unstable, and you know he’s capable of violence.
I say all that with the caveat that I don’t know how persistent your ex has been; there’s obviously a difference between a single Facebook “Hey” and calling your house three times a night, and there’s a corresponding difference in what’s a normal (if a little dramatic) reaction for your husband to have, and what’s a certifiably insane one.
But just because you might have helped fuel this situation, rather than defuse it, doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
Tell your husband to back off—a little jealousy is cute, and makes you feel protected, but no one wants to deal with an assault charge—then tell your ex the same. A simple “our relationship is over, I don’t want to rekindle a friendship, and I’d prefer you not contact me anymore” should get the message across pretty clearly.
If your ex won’t leave you alone, don’t tell your husband to unleash his fists of fury; tell a police officer that you’re being harassed. Harassment prevention orders send just as clear a message as a fist to the face does, and they have the added bonus of not running the risk of getting your husband involved (and, depending on just how fiery his temper is, incarcerated).
My boyfriend and I both have busy schedules, so we don’t get a ton of “just us” time together. When we do, it’s really “just me” time; his face is constantly buried in his tablet. We’re usually just vegging out, watching TV or whatever, so it feels kind of silly to make a huge deal over this, but it really hurts my feelings. How do I get him to tune in to me instead of his screens?
-Live Action Loser
First off: it’s not silly. There’s a huge difference between you-two time and you-and-him-and-a-device time. After all, just because you’re near someone doesn’t mean you’re experiencing companionship.
That person next to me on the plane isn’t sharing companionable silence; he’s just a stranger who (fingers crossed) is using technology to more effectively ignore me.
Make sure you express that to your boyfriend clearly, and at a moment when you’re not raw-angry about it (it’s only natural to get a little defensive when you feel like you’re getting a guilt trip).
But just telling your boyfriend that you prefer seeing him to seeing the back of his iPad probably won’t be enough.
So … breathe deep now … you’ll probably have to compromise.
You guys need “just you two” time, but he might be using the devices to get some “just him” time (if you’re both really busy, that might be something that isn’t making it onto the schedule often enough, either).
Tell him that when you guys get home, you both get 30 minutes of Facebook and Candy Crush and whatever else you want. Then you put the devices away, really away, and you spend the rest of the evening together.
Trying to ban the iPad totally won’t work, and worse, you’ll probably wind up being a hypocrite (sometimes you just really need to see your friend’s new haircut pictures now), which will really undermine your next “put the iPad away” lecture.
But stand firm, because relegating yourself to the borderlands of his attention span won’t work, either. There is something lonelier than spending your nights alone, after all:
being alone even when you’re with someone you love.
You’ve Got Problems (But Jilly’s Got Answers)