Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Won’t Quit Working With His Ex!”

I decided to take a break from a six months relationship with my boyfriend. We did not establish any term or rules regarding the break, and he didn’t ask me how long the break would be. He said that he wished I would have told him the reasons for the break earlier as he would have done something about it. The reason for the break is that he sees his ex-girlfriend at work every day. He admits that this is a problem and that if it were the other way around (me working with my ex) it would bother him as well.

I am not being a completely absurd person here. The job he has right now is one of those “going nowhere jobs” — something you do during college, not a career — and he’s been saying that he was going to look for a real job since we first started dating (without me even asking him). I don’t want him to quit his current job because of me, as I wouldn’t want the possibility of him resenting me for it in the future. What I wanted was for him to find a new job without us resorting to the situation we’re in right now. I love him very much I’m scared of losing him, but at the same time patience is not one of my virtues and I’m beginning to resent him.

My questions is: how would you deal with this kind of situation? Is taking a break in this situation an irrational thing to do? — It’s Not Working

When you’ve only been dating someone for six months — during which there’s been an unresolved issue that has relentlessly bothered you the whole time — you don’t “take a break.” You break up. You say you don’t want your boyfriend to quit his job “because of you,” but by going on this so-called break, that’s exactly your motivation. You want him to be so upset at the thought of losing you forever that he finally quits that job and finds somewhere new to hustle himself. I don’t know how to break this to you — oh, there’s that word again! — but manipulation isn’t exactly a winning relationship strategy. If that’s how you plan to get what you want from your boyfriend, you might as well MOA now because things between you are pretty doomed.

And you know why else things are doomed between you? Because you don’t trust the guy. If you did, then the idea of him working with his ex wouldn’t be tearing you up as much as it is. Obviously, you’re threatened by her — threatened by their history together. You can move the man from the job and the ex, but you cannot erase the jealousy and distrust that threatens the basic fabric of your relationship. Unless you address those issues, it doesn’t matter how much distance your boyfriend gets from his ex — your relationship will still be doomed.

Manipulation, jealousy, resentment, and distrust after only six months? What’s the point in trying to salvage things now? MOA, sister, and save yourself a shitload of drama.

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