The first time Lola* shared the suspicion that her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend may be out to win him back; I asked her to calm down and not overthink things. The Ex had called Lola’s boyfriend, Obinna*, one of the nights they were together to tell him she had finally decided to relocate to Nigeria and would be based in Lagos as well. Obinna had dated the Ex for 4 years before moving on to Lola, and he had only broken up with the Ex because she had refused to move back to Lagos and start a life with him, despite his marriage proposal to her. Sure, Lola’s suspicion was judicious… but knowing how paranoid she could get, I convinced her to let sleeping dogs lie – get a grip over her emotions, sit back and observe how the situation unfolds. My reason for suggesting this move was because I knew that bringing up the issue already, after only one phone call that he even answered in front of her, would put her at risk of coming off as an obsessive person… and Obinna would find it all highly irritating and unattractive.
Just 5 weeks later, however, Lola called to tell me she had broken up with Obinna. In her words: “the Ex has finally won”. she insisted that she could not handle the relationship anymore as clearly it was an “Ifemelu and Obinze” situation and she was no “Kosi” [Americanah]. According to her narration, Obinna, after the phone call, had gone on to reconnect with Lola as platonic friends. But before long, Obinna stopped updating her on his interactions with the lady. He started to run out the room as soon as his Ex’s name came up on the caller ID, rather than answering the call in front of Lola. The Ex, on the other hand, started to call him incessantly, texting and finding other ways to violate his time with Lola. It was a slow build.
First, the Ex asked him to help her move into her new flat, and he obliged. Next, she started calling him to do other chores that only a husband or boyfriend would do for their partner. The worst part was that Obinna, despite Lola’s insistence that she was uncomfortable with the level of closeness brewing between them as well as their frequent interactions, refused to make it clear to his Ex that he was not available for these “chores.”
For Lola, the straw that broke the camel’s back happened on the afternoon she and Obinna had ‘accidentally’ bumped into the same Ex at Double 4 and Obinna invited her to join them. The Ex, who gladly jumped on the offer and ordered a large plate, took over the conversation and even made some rude remarks to Lola. She blatantly told Lola that she was overweight and would benefit from a fitness program. Lola’s pain was that Obinna even laughed and said: “that’s what I’ve been telling her since, but she is too lazy. She wants to be Orobo thick madam.”
After the lunch, on their way home, Lola asked Obinna why he did not stand up for her. To her shock, Obinna told her off, asking her to be proactive like other girls and learn how to mark her territory instead of draining him with her “petty jealousy”, as he would remain friends with his Ex no matter what Lola said. After he dropped her, my girl sent him a text and asked him to flourish with his ex as she was not prepared to drag him with anyone or be the one to put his Ex in her place. She blocked his number immediately so he is unable to reach her with an apology or anything and unfollowed him on all social media.
Apparently, she had already taken action and there was nothing I could say or do. I am not an advocate for extreme and rash decisions, but the truth is that I probably would have advised her to do the same thing should the Ex’s nonchalant behavior persist in the long run. I believe there is only one way to deal with your man’s ex when she clearly still has her nasty tentacles in his life: Don’t.
Sure, the bonds of relationships are complex and can become complicated when two people are no longer in each other’s lives, but your man’s first and foremost loyalty should be to you (the one he is currently with)- as yours is to him. Yes. Trust him, but stay sharp and don’t be a fool.
Upholding your respect and honor is his large responsibility as your man, and that includes not allowing his ex to cause problems. You should NEVER be the one to the hit his Ex with the cease and desist order or mark any territory. He is the one to handle all of that. He should be able to stand up for you and make it clear that he won’t tolerate any disrespect towards you. If he doesn’t do that, instead allows people – especially his Ex- to get away with causing difficulties between you two, then you have to question his commitment to your relationship. Chances are, he probably does not place any value on you or consider you worthy. If you are where he truly wants to be, he’ll surely make that known by having your back at all times.
Bottom Line: Dating a guy with a suspicious relationship with his ex-girlfriend is a road no one wants to get on.
Sometimes, the Ex may not even have any designs on getting the old thing back, but it sure can be emotionally draining and exhausting. Trust him and ignore the Ex – after both of you have agreed on the level of communication he can have with the Ex. If, however, you can’t trust him to keep his eyes on you, whether it’s because of his actions or the actions of the persky ex-girlfriend, I’ve got three words for you: Let him go.
About Nkem Ndem
Nkem Ndem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for online writing(web content and blog) and editing, screenwriting, ghost writing, copy proofreading and reviews. She has since worked with Jumia, SpiceTV Africa, and Bella Naija. Check out her Instagram: @kem_dem, twitter: @ndemv and snapchat:@ndemv. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.