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My boyfriend has his exes as friends on facebook.

Tagged as: Dating, Friends, Social Media, The ex-factor<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 August 2017) 17 Answers - (Newest, 11 August 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Is it okay for your partner to have exes on Facebook? I have an issue with my boyfriend having a woman he and his wife had a threesome with a few years ago (they are no longer together) being on his friend list. He also has an ex who had an abortion with his child a few years back as well. Am i being unreasonable to think they should not be on his list?

View related questions: abortion, facebook, his ex, threesome

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (11 August 2017):

YouWish agony auntWell, the question is - is it a dealbreaker for you if he has them on his Facebook??

You can't dictate what he does with his stuff, and you're not married to him, so there's no legal binding document that governs community property and so on that you can have a say in.

You can't tell him what to do or what not to. You can't police his Facebook and pick out which exes or people he used to be interested in belongs on his Facebook.

However, you CAN decide whether or not his doing so is a dealbreaker for you. You are WELL within that right to say to him, "Honey, you have a lot of your exes on Facebook still as friends, and you're not co-parenting children together, and I'm not comfortable being with a guy who keeps the past in his Facebook".

Then the only person you can control being on his Facebook is YOU. If a man who has exes and past sexual partners (I dated a guy whose ex aborted his child, and he wanted to KILL her!) on their Facebook and chose to keep them there regardless of your feelings on it, then you decide if that's a dealbreaker. If it is, you say "Sorry, I can't be with a guy who's for that", and then you walk.

Most guys will dig their heels in because they don't want to be ruled by their girlfriends, even if they don't care so much about the exes on there. They'll get stubborn over the principle of being dictated an ultimatum ("They go or I walk!" that they might break up with you just because their ego doesn't want to feel emasculated by their girlfriend. Stupid, but true!

If you had a job or a livelihood as an escort or webcam/phone sex operator, he might call that a dealbreaker, but he wouldn't be allowed to force you to stop. He could only decide for himself whether or not he'd live with that about you.

Likewise, you can't dictate to him. You can only make a decision for you. If he, realizing that you're serious, comes to his own conclusion that he'd rather have you than Facebook exes, then he makes his choice. You didn't demand his choice....you only made your own choice.

See what I mean here?? And you have to be prepared to follow through on that choice if you really do not want to have that in a relationship.

I know that personally, I wouldn't like it either if he just collected exes without thought to at least telling me who they are, unless it was a special circumstance (like his brother was a best friend of his, and he dated his sister in the past, and his brother died or something), but all in all, I'd prefer the guy I was with to let me know of someone they were an ex with on their FB.

But I don't really get insecure like that. A guy will cheat if I'm freaking out and worrying about their Facebook, or they'll cheat if I'm not, IF they're a cheater. Otherwise, if they're an honorable person, I could damage a relationship if I made them compensate for my insecurity.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

The one who had an abortion I wasn't too bothered about as I know they were and remained friends. It isn't the 'ex' specifically it was more the history and that is what I felt Wise Owl. There was simply no need for this sordid woman to remain on his list. Since then we are a lot better, getting on well when I explained how insecure it made me feel and how if I was married to him the idea of having another person involved in the bedroom I find disgusting. Sorry but for me love is between two people and it simply didn't sit comfortably seeing her face knowing what her and his ex wife did with him. Thank you all for your advice!

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (10 August 2017):

I'm glad he happily complied when you asked him to delete someone he had a threesome with. Of course she means nothing to him. So she shouldn't be there.

Regarding the ex who got an abortion, that was her decision. If he objected in anyway, why would she still be listed as a contact? It would seem she would rather cut all ties.

The first one I mentioned, definitely should be removed. It's the principle. It's disrespectful to you that he would maintain someone with that history as a contact; when he has a new girlfriend.

Good for you!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

No she has not been blocked nor have I asked hvim to remove her

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A male reader, judgedick France + , writes (10 August 2017):

judgedick agony auntTry put yourself in the place of this woman, an abortion must be a hard thing to go through and to be put through. Does she need to be blocked as well?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

He has deleted the woman he had a threesome with because I told him it made me insecure but he said he never saw why he had to as she means nothing to him. The only one ge has on now is the one who had an abortion. He doesn't speak to her and her said they were friends before that.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 August 2017):

When I said I've only had two long-term relationships; that is counting my present, and one partner who died of cancer. That relationship spanned 28 years. We met at only 17 years-old.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 August 2017):

I meant to say:

"Your new-love should feel safe and secure."

"Nobody says you can't be civil to them. I just don't need them in my present."

Sorry for the typos!

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 August 2017):

You can remain friends with anyone you like. If you need Lottie, Dottie, and everybody you used to screw to remain your friends. I don't have time for you. Bye-Bye!

Only thing is, most people who hang-on to exes still allow their exes to have influence over what they say and do. They also allow them private access to their personal-lives; which often gives rise to drama and/or conflict. You better know your allies well, and make sure that you aren't just using them as your leverage and means of outnumbering or ganging up on your present relationship. As one reader says, set the boundaries. You new-love should feel safe and secure. If you're worth it.

Here's some clarification and a few facts to support my opinion. I use wisdom in my answers. I don't talk out my blow-hole.

Who do people with all these exes for friends run to when you have a serious disagreement? If they ever do that to you, dump them. There's a difference between a support-system who helps when you're being mistreated or need comfort. Not people you run to when you know you're wrong and need backup.

That is betrayal. If their exes stay neutral, and never interfere; respect them and consider them decent friends who are of no threat. They have their own lives and mind their own business. Just stay vigil with whom you're dealing.

Those who over-generously offer their unsolicited-opinions are meddlers. Trouble-makers! If they pop-up or appear every-time you and your partner disagree. Dump him. He rallied them there to gang-up on you. If you can't settle your own arguments or mishaps between the two of you; don't fight those who already have an established place in his life. Remove yourself. It's not worth the drama or making enemies. It means he's a control-freak, and always wants the upper-hand or advantage. He'll use them against you. Manipulate you through your jealousy and fear they'll turn on you. I've seen that happen to people far too many times!

I'll accept all arguments on keeping exes for friends. Well and good; but exes go their way, and I go mine. We exchange pleasantries should our paths cross. I don't need enemies. I don't have a shortage of friends either.

It's important how your past affects your present, and how you monitor and manage other people who are sticking their noses into your present relationship.

See, people have this part of their human-nature called envy. Envy disguises itself and it can be quite sneaky. It can easily travel under the radar. While you're getting their smiles and happy faces, your exes are secretly undermining your relationships. So you had better know your fake-friends from your real enemies.

Maintaining a collection of exes is unhealthy and suspect. Then you wonder, why so many of them? That's a red-flag to me. I only have one! I've had two long-term relationships, only one ex in-between them. Because WiseOwlE has learned a thing or two. Exes must go! I don't commit to people with exes for friends. It's my right to choose. Nobody says you can be civil to them. I just don't need them in my present.

I harbor no anger or animosity, but I also watch my back.

So, wait and see how this menagerie of former f*ckbuddies and weirdos will behave themselves. Judge your boyfriend by the company he keeps. If you start with drama, your relationship ends with drama. I'm just saying.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (9 August 2017):

Honeypie agony auntSorry anon,

A GROWN man should know better himself, it shouldn't BE the GF/wife/partner's job to "remove the temptation".

Nor is life that simple. A guy with blurred lines and boundaries is NOT going to stop being who he is (especially at the age of 40-50) just because it makes his partner uncomfortable or insecure.

And lastly, not EVERYONE who talks to an ex-partner still has romantic feelings or want to shag that person EVER again but they do like to keep them around even in a very peripheral way (like friends on FB) - which in many circumstances can be equated to "that" person that you send a Christmas card to once a year but doesn't really talk to.

OP can bring it up, the guy might placate her or he might just hide his friend list from her or refuse. And then what?

Some people put WAY too much focus on the WRONG end of the stick. Life is not about "winning" Facebook.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (9 August 2017):

Ciar agony auntA decent guy who was all sorted out and didn't need loose ends wouldn't have any kind of contact with any ex, save for those he had children with.

That said, it is not your place to make demands.

You can accept that he is who he is and then decide FOR YOURSELF if this is someone you want to be with.

It's that simple.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2017):

Here is an analogy for the situation.

Your boyfriend is in a candy shop. In the shop he has access to all sorts of candy. The assortment is endless and there are so many varieties. Candy he has never tried before and candy which were once his favourites. .

Knowing all that yummy, tempting candy is behind the glass of that candy shop, would you want your boyfriend to have the keys to the candy shop? And would you trust him not to sample all that candy if he does have the keys?

How do you stop temptation? By removing the source. And that means not having old exes on Facebook or anywhere that they can be easily accessible and a threat to a relationship. The problem nowadays is that technology enables cheaters to cheat. It has never been easier. Never.

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A female reader, like I see it United States + , writes (9 August 2017):

like I see it agony auntI agree with Judgedick - I think it takes a bigger person to end a relationship and still treat their ex(es) with kindness and decency than it does to blow up, delete and block someone, force mutual friends to pick one person or the other to stay on good terms with, and pretend none of the past happened/the ex ceased to exist when the relationship did.

The key to navigating past relationships and new ones is boundaries. Does he regularly contact these women, "like" or comment on all their photos, or make inappropriate comments on their pages? Those would be red flags. But if they still share mutual friends and they're just kind of "there" on his Facebook, truthfully I don't see the harm in it.

Has he given you any reason not to trust him? Knowing the answer to that would be very helpful in terms of giving advice on the situation.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

One woman he got pregnant and she aborted the child. The other one he has said was not an ex but him and his ex wife had a threesome with her and she practically moved in with them. He is 38 years old and I am 43

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 August 2017):

He doesn't seem like a prime choice with all his exes hanging around.

How old is this guy? If you're both in your 40's, and he's got so many exes; exactly what do you see in this guy?

Now back to the age issue. How does Facebook tie into your relationship considering you're mature couple? That is assuming he's also in his 40's. Now if he's in his 20's or 30's, I guess this all comes with the territory.

Whether you're unreasonable or not isn't the question. The question is, does he give you any choice about it?

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A male reader, judgedick France + , writes (9 August 2017):

judgedick agony auntI think more of a man that can stay friends with an ex after a break up than one that acts like a child and thinks because they are not together now that he uses every thing in his path as weapons to hurt his ex, like the way many use their children,

Everyone you had sex with can't become trash that you put out of your life, There is something wrong if you can have sex with someone and then walk away and act as if it did not happen,

if he is not spending lots of time chatting to them and trying to get them into bed not alone have you a good man that is a real man and not a bitch but he should be commended for being able to keep a form of friendships with his exes.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (9 August 2017):

Honeypie agony auntYes, I think you are being unreasonable in thinking YOU can demand who is on his Facebook and who isn't allowed.

If the conversations he is having (on Facebook) with these women are inappropriate don't date him. If he spends a lot of time chatting to these women instead of spending time with you, then don't date him.

But I have to ask WHAT gives you the right to decide who can be on his Facebook and who can't? Does the same apply to your Facebook?

My husband has his ex-wife on his FB, his high school sweetheart as well but nothing is going on that is inappropriate. So why should I care?

I don't get people and this whole Facebook craze thinking that a relationship is all about what is on Facebook, how many likes, how many selfies, quotes and crap - like it ACTUALLY matter in the bigger picture.

Is your BF a good guy?

Does he treat you right?

Do you trust him?

Is he faithful?

Isn't that MORE important than who is on his "friend's list"?

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