Q. I was with my boyfriend for about a year, and then I found out he cheated on me. Not just cheated; he was pretty much dating someone else at the same time. I started to notice in June because I found a secret social media account that he had, and this woman would comment on his stuff. I confronted him about it and he said it was because he “forgot the password” to his other account.” I didn’t have this form of social media, but a friend sent it to me so I didn’t think much of it.
A month later I went back to the account to see if that girl was still around, and she was. I asked him who she was and he said “just this random girl I used to be friends with.” I asked him why she would be so comfortable commenting on his posts and why he liked her selfies, and he immediately got defensive and called me crazy, etc. Obviously that didn’t sit right with me so I had my friend stalk the woman’s account. She also had two accounts — and on the other one she had posted a picture with my boyfriend; he had his arms wrapped around her and he was kissing her on the cheek. So that about did it for me! We broke up four months ago.
I blocked him on my social media and for texts because he was still trying to contact me. Now, for about the last three months, every time I go out with my friends and I’m in any of their social media posts, he will comment or reply the nastiest things. He calls me fat, ugly, and all of the extremely mature things he can think of. My friends never respond but they tell me and obviously it bothers me. The kicker is, I saw him in person once a few weeks ago because he is in my extended group of friends. He did not say a single word to me and barely spoke all night.
My friends want me to “call him out” and confront him, but is it even worth it? Clearly he has some issues. It was hard enough for me to get over the fact that my boyfriend who I loved was cheating on me and my relationship was over. But now when I’m starting to move on, he’s doing this? He’s the one who hurt me. Do I just keep ignoring him? Do I say something? Help!
CALLING HIM OUT
A. It’s not on you to “call him out.” There’s nothing more to say; you just want him to go away.
If you’re concerned about your safety, you can get assistance from agencies that help with harassment. But if this is more about wanting the posts to go away, give it no oxygen. He wants attention, and I’m not sure that will stop if you oblige. All it does is reopen a closed conversation.
I would talk to your friends about why they don’t block him, whether they’re concerned about their interactions with him (even the small ones online), and how you can deal with this as a group. He’s certainly involving everyone. Also, it would be good to know if he’s going to be somewhere — like a party — so you never have to be surprised by his presence. This might require letting go of some of these third-tier friends in the extended group who still invite him to things. I’m bummed that all of these people haven’t dropped him.
I’m sorry it went down this way and that it’s created discomfort in your circle. I just want you to keep yourself safe. Right now, you’re working on moving on. You don’t want to talk to him, so that’s the answer. Remember, you’re not ignoring him as part of some silent treatment. This isn’t temporary and he should know.
Your friends are not your friends. They’re stirring the pot at your expense. You would have no idea what he’s saying about you if they didn’t tell you. And they want you to confront him for their own amusement. Stop thinking about this guy and get new friends.
Tell your friends to stop telling you about your ex’s social media activities. Why are your friends even still connected on social media with this guy?
Tempting as it may be, don’t lower yourself to his level. Don’t give him the satisfaction of one bit of your attention. Ignoring him and giving no response is a response that’s loud and clear.
Send your own relationship and dating questions to email@example.com. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.