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Love Letters

My boyfriend and his ex weren’t swingers. But not far from it. Help!

What to do when you’re dating someone whose history horrifies you.

Need relationship advice? Submit your questions for Meredith Goldstein here.

Q. My boyfriend of 10 months was recently officially divorced (#3!). He told me some things about his and his ex’s activities as a couple — with other couples — that I could have lived without knowing. I was shocked and VERY offended. They were not swingers, but not far from that.

He has bad-mouthed her to me, yet he still had her number in his phone! They did have a small business together, but that’s been done for months, so there’s no need to communicate, in my opinion. I told him I was offended by that, and I wonder why he kept her number. (By the way, she cheated on him toward the end of their marriage.)


He became a bit defensive but didn’t give me a straight answer. I think he felt that I was being controlling. Any thoughts? My dumping him is still on the table, as far as I’m concerned. I love him but can walk away from this if I have to.

– Offended

A. I’m not taking sides here, but I don’t think it’s weird to keep an ex’s number in your phone, especially if you’ve been in business with them. It’s nice to have the person’s contact information saved so you know it’s them when they reach out (who wants to pick up that kind of call by accident?).

But you don’t like it — because you don’t trust his intentions. Also, you can’t seem to get comfortable with this man’s past. You used an exclamation point when referring to his three divorces; you went all caps to explain how you’re offended by his sexual history.

You told us you love him, but didn’t bother to say why. All you’ve made clear is that you’re uncomfortable — and that he’s expendable: “My dumping him is still on the table, as far as I’m concerned.”


It sounds like this is the path you want to take. If you can’t accept his choices, let him go. It’s not supposed to be this


– Meredith


You don’t sound compatible or happy with him. Ask yourself if drama is part of what drew you in. I know you’ve spent 10 months, but why put in more? Call it a day. JIVEDIVA

I don’t get why you’re “offended” by what grown adults did in their marriage. I also don’t get why you’re so upset that a phone number is in his phone. You seem quite upset with his life choices, so make your own choice and break up with him. . . . His past is his past, but you’re in a tizzy about it, so just end it. BKLYNMOM

How do you know what contacts he has in his phone? CUPPAJOESEATTLE

Red flags aside (and there are many), if your attitude going into this relationship is “My dumping him is still on the table, as far as I’m concerned,” you might has well just end it and move on. It’s hard to have a successful relationship if you’re always thinking of an exit strategy. SURFERROSA

You already have one foot out the door. Close it behind you. THELOVEDOCTORISIN

Find the new season of the Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show. Columns and responses are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.