Is He Being Manipulated By His Ex?

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Am I Being ManipulatedAnnn
Comment: Hi Moxie, 

In January, I learned that my girlfriend had cheated on me.  I picked up on the fact that she was spending a lot of time with a guy friend of hers and I called her out on it, to which she admitted it, broke down crying and said she’s a terrible person. 

I told her that we should give our relationship a break. Rather than completely end the relationship immediately, I figured we should take the space to separate and that if we both missed each other, we could try to find a way to make things work. She said she needed time to figure things out for herself, why she cheated, etc. 

I did not contact her at all during this period (which ended up being a couple of months), though I would get occasional text messages from her about how she was still trying to figure things out, how she went to a cool new restaurant or bar with friends on a given night and that she wanted to take me there one day. I never responded to any of those messages. 

I never got any messages from her about wanting to try to make our relationship work again or that she had figured things out.  So I met up with her in March and told her that there is no point in leaving things unsettled anymore, and that we should just move on. Her response to that was, “Are you sure?”, to which I responded,  “Yes”. 

In May, we both happened to be invited to a mutual friend’s birthday party. We both arrived separately and alone (I have no idea what happened between her and that other guy) .  I ended up leaving before her and we did not cross paths or talk the entire night. I figured, ok, it’s really over to the point that we are no longer on speaking terms. Really time to move on. I never heard from her since. 

A week ago I got an evite from her to attend her 25th birthday party taking place in September. Given everything that’s happened, I was surprised to receive the invitation and responded “No”, without any comments.  She called me yesterday, incredulous that I wasn’t coming, that I was her best friend and that she wanted me there.  I told her that this all felt a little disingenuous now, and that if I was truly her best friend, she would have made more of an effort to keep me in her life, let alone would not have treated me so badly in the first place. She asked me if I would reconsider, to which I said, if I change my mind I will let her know. 

What do you think, Moxie? I had started to move on, but this latest exchange has opened up some wounds, and I can’t be objective about the situation. Her intentions just don’t seem completely genuine to me and almost feel a little manipulative.  An objective perspective would be very helpful.  I appreciate the candid advice you give to folks and that inspired me to write in. 


Am I Being Manipulated?
Age: 25
City: Pittsburgh
State: PA


She sent you an Evite? Jesus, are we back in 2002?

I agree that she sounds disingenuous. My feeling is that people only admit to cheating when they want out of the relationship. That’s a far bigger red flag than the cheating itself. People fuck up. It happens. If she had truly wanted things to work out with you, she never would have copped to being unfaithful. It doesn’t sound like it took much prodding to get the information out of her, either. Most people would initially deny, deny, deny.

She continued to text message you while you two were on your break because you weren’t chasing her. Like you said, if she had really wanted to give things another shot, she would have come out and asked you to get together. She didn’t need time to “figure things out.” She cheated because she didn’t want to be in a relationship or didn’t want to be in one with you. It doesn’t matter which was the cause. The cheating was just a symptom of the deeper issue. Her regular texts updating you on the fact that she was still confused just speaks to how selfish she is. Those messages were meant to keep you dangling on the hook while she decided what she wanted to do.  She wanted to have her cake and eat it, too.

Now she’s got a case of The Sads because you – her best friend that she cheated on and strung along for a couple of months – won’t be attending. Like, what did she think you’re answer would be? She’s upset because you’ve moved on, or at least appear to have moved on.

Cut this girl loose. She’s just a source of drama. You don’t need that in your life. Plus, you’ll never be able to trust her completely again so there’s no point in trying to revive the relationship.



Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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17 Responses to “Is He Being Manipulated By His Ex?”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    Manipulative? Maybe, but it’s not like the woman is trying to frame him for murder. If one wants to enjoy the company of women, especially younger women, one has to tolerate some degree of this type of “manipulation.” This all seems harmless to me.

    In any event, if the OP was really “over her,” and really wanted nothing to do with her, he would have just ignored her e-vite, not responded “no.” Nothing compels you to respond to or engage with people you don’t want to engage with. It’s a choice. He wanted to send her a “cold” message, whether he admits it or not. And, he got exactly the response he hoped for. So, what’s the issue?

  2. D. Says:

    I tend to think it boils down to two things:

    1. She’s lonely and bored, and the OP was the last long-term decent thing she had. Now she’s second-guessing her decisions, and wondering if she’s blown her chance at happiness. But it’s not really about the OP himself. Rather, it’s about whether she will have the opportunity to

    2. This has more to do with her own conception of herself. Is she still attractive? Can she still be loved? Is she still a good person? She may be questioning these things, and is looking to the OP for affirmation. She may also still feel guilty, and is looking to the OP to assuage her guilt. Again, not about the OP himself, and more about how she feels about herself.

    They haven’t maintained a real relationship. Her calling him her “best friend” is bullshit. Best friends stay in touch. Best friends don’t betray each others’ trust, either.

    Basically, this has nothing to do with the OP and everything to do with how the girl in this story feels. If the OP wants to date her casually, hey, give it a shot. It sounds like he’d want something more serious, though, so I’d just steer clear if that’s what he wants.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **Basically, this has nothing to do with the OP and everything to do with how the girl in this story feels.**

      I guess it’s a cliche thing to say, but God damn, is that the kind of thing I wish I knew when I was younger. When you’re dumb and horny you just think, “The person I’m hot for is saying the things I want to hear! Hurray! Life is grand!” It’s not ’til you’ve been knocked around a bit that you start thinking, “But…this all seems to be coming out of nowhere. Their words and actions don’t really match…”

      • D. Says:

        Yeah, but you only really learn this stuff by going through it. I had people tell me the same stuff when I was younger. Logically, it all made sense, but I still had to get enough experience under my belt to learn how to observe things more critically.

        It takes a few run-ins with people who behave this way before you learn to spot the patterns while — or better still before — they’re happening.

  3. SS Says:

    I believe cheaters have a vested interest in staying friends after the relationship is over to provide validation for themselves, and others, that they’re “not such a bad person really.”

    It’s bullshit.

    I also assert that once a cheater, always a cheater. Because cheating is not about a situation, it’s about *entitlement*. Their lack of character dictated that they’d rather be deceitful and harmful than do the good/honest/right thing.

    OP: you had a lucky escape. Block her number and whatever else you need to block to get her out of your life and mind once and for all.

    • BTownGirl Says:

      So true! It sounds like there are mutual friends here, so she’s probably also concerned about them finding out about her cheating and general jackassery. We’ve all dealt with people who do sh*tty things but MUST be seen as a Good Person. I’ve known two different women in my time who cheated on their significant others and tried to paint the ex as either a loon or an a-hole. Girl, bye.

      OP, it’s not your problem to make her feel better about herself. If mutual friends at her party say, “Where is OP?!”, again, that’s her problem, not yours. There’s WAY better out there for you, trust me!

      • SS Says:

        Yes! The harder someone tries to paint their ex to be the bad guy, the more suspicious I get.

        Facts speak for themselves – one shouldn’t need to be convinced into believing something…

  4. Nicki Says:

    Totally being manipulated.

    This girl wants to feel wanted. By saying no, the OP made her feel unwanted. Horror of horrors.

  5. Sunshine Says:

    Maybe she wanted out of the bf/gf relationship, but she still wanted to retain the friendship (?) Seems like it by the fact that she was sending friend type texts during the time that they were on break. Since he didn’t respond, she probably though he just needed more time and that eventually their relationship can settle into friend zone. Him saying no to her birthday invitation, was a

  6. Bill Says:

    OP, yes, it is manipulative, especially the “best friend” part. This is completely about her, and not about you except as a character in her narcissistic play. With her birthday coming up, she’s reminded that due to her own choices, she is less happy than she was a year ago. Inviting you was already surprising, but calling you to guilt you into attending, and as her “best friend”, is quite beyond the pale.

    Do all you can to keep “Gone Girl” gone and move on.

  7. Mark Says:

    From your letter:

    “I picked up on the fact that she was spending a lot of time with a guy friend of hers and I called her out on it, to which she admitted it, broke down crying and said she’s a terrible person.”

    You them addressed what you thought you two ought to do:

    “I told her that we should give our relationship a break.”

    You distanced yourself for a reason. A big one.

    Why would you believe that she has changed in a fundamental way?

    You responded “No.” You probably did so because you instinctively knew that it was the right decision to make. Stick with it. Delete her contact info, put her in the past and give yourself a little time to get your head together. After you feel an appropriate time has passed see other people. But don’t do it too soon or it would be unfair to both yourself and to the other women you might be seeing.

    Best of luck.

    • D. Says:

      Better yet, change her name in your phone to “Do Not Answer” and set a custom ringer for her to “silent” if you can. This way you won’t delete, and then accidentally answer when she texts/calls in a few months.

  8. Fyodor Says:

    Stay away from her.

  9. Jake Says:

    Kudos to the OP for having the strength to walk away and go no contact with this character. I can tell you all her attempts at contact, i.e. texting, are classic attention whoring. My advice is to cease all contact and cut her loose. In fact, just delete her from your life Why? If you don’t OP you may slip up and consider giving her another shot. And then she will have the upper hand and probably diss you.

    This relationship is over. Move on.

  10. Lucy Says:

    I can’t see why she is contacting you. I think like everyone else said it’s more to do with how she feels about herself than the OP. She needs to figure herself out. I mentioned before I cheated on someone in the past and I have since become a much better person. She needs to direct her energy there rather than contacting her ex. With my ex, I never contacted him again especially after he asked me not to. There’s no point in opening wounds. She should move on and let the OP do so as well.

  11. EANx Says:

    If you don’t want to see her again, block her where you can, ignore her where you can’t. Problem solved.

  12. Am I Being Manipulated Says:

    Thank you all for the feedback. My ex’s birthday party was this weekend, and I did not attend. In my head I know I made the right decision, but the lack of closure is still lingering.  I have spent the last few months focusing on me — work, hitting the gym, hanging with family and friends, etc., but what is still lingering is anger about the lack of empathy and remorse, and the sense of entitlement from my ex about the whole situation. I know it sounds silly to say, because closure and validation come from within, but even a heartfelt apology from her about what she did would help bring some closure. I know I will never receive this from her. 

    Does anyone have any tips on how to get past this? Is this something that just happens over time? 

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