Sunday 16 December 2018

Dear Mary: My boyfriend's ex thinks I 'stole' him from her

Dear Mary: My boyfriend's ex thinks I 'stole' him from her
Dear Mary: My boyfriend's ex thinks I 'stole' him from her
Stock photo.

I am a woman, in my early 20s, in a new but happy relationship.

Recently my partner told me his ex-girlfriend had made contact with him to ask about me. She knows he and I had been friends long before their own relationship had even begun, and is convinced that he cheated on her with me. This isn't true at all. He told her the truth, but she wasn't convinced.

Would it be wrong of me to contact her and reassure her? Given my partner has a reputation from his younger years for breaking hearts, I understand why she would be unsure about his loyalty. They broke up because she moved away to study and he couldn't tolerate the distance. I want to reassure her, woman to woman, that I never "stole" him and that he wasn't chasing me while they were together. She seems like a lovely woman and I hate the idea that she thinks ill of me.

I haven't asked my partner about it any more, because I'm worried he'll panic. We're early into this relationship, and while he's always open with me, me talking with his ex might make him think I'm trying to dig up his past; it might be a violation of trust. I don't want to know about their relationship. I just want to clear my own name, and her head of those thoughts. If I message her in secret and he finds out, it would cause a bigger fight than it's worth. What do I do?

Mary replies: Do absolutely nothing. This girl thinks that her ex cheated on her, and nothing you can say will necessarily change her mind. It is not your business to interfere, and she may well be quite offended if you were to call her. Then, if your boyfriend were to find out, he might think it vaguely spooky that you were trying to clear your name, when in fact, there is nothing to clear.

His ex may also feel that you are trying to lord it over her because, after all, you now have what was hers and, while I realise that it is not your intention, you don't want to cause her unnecessary suffering.

Sometimes it is better to say nothing than to be right.

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