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'My friend keeps on talking about my ex in front of my fiancee. Do I cut her off?' UPDATED 2X

'My friend keeps on talking about my ex in front of my fiancee. Do I cut her off?' UPDATED 2X


If a friend has a case of foot-in-mouth once or twice, that's a simple mistake. But if they're consistently bringing up topics that make everyone uncomfortable, it's worth confronting.

"My friend keeps on talking about my ex in front of my fiancee."

My (29M) best friend Jess (29F) keeps on mentioning my ex (29F) in front of my fiancee, and I am thinking of cutting her off. I want to know if I am overreacting, or if Jess is in the wrong. For context, Jess and I went to the same high school and the same college. We were friends in high school. However, since we both went to the same out-of-state college, we became best friends since then.

We have always been there for each other during the best and worst times. However, things have always been platonic, and she is more like a big sister to me, who made sure I stay on the right track. I have only been in two long-term relationships so far. One was with my ex Lisa for 7 years. We met in college and dated all through our college years.

Lisa and Jess also became good friends, too. After college, Lisa and I just grew apart and had different goals in life. I became "boring" after college as I was working on my PhD while doing a full time job. Lisa broke up with me as she wanted to party on weekends, while I was home studying.

I was heartbroken, but I don't think I ever blamed her or had resentment towards her, as I understood my decisions were selfish and should not hold her back from having the best life. Jess always stood by me and comforted me during that time. Jess and Lisa were good friends and Jess always kept on telling me that Lisa loves me and will be back one day when I am ready.

I foolishly held on to that hope and stayed friends with Lisa. That was until I met my fiancee Yang. After I finished my PhD, I got a nice job in a big tech company. Yang joined our team a year after me. We started going out for drinks, and dinner and we started dating seriously pretty soon. We are happy together, and financially in a great place. Needless to say, I stopped talking to Lisa after I started dating Yang.

I proposed to Yang a year after we started dating and got engaged last year. Jess has been acting weirdly since we got engaged. One of the first things she said to Yang after we got engaged was how I had planned the same thing for Lisa (proposing on a local hiking trail). It was a bit off-putting that she was bringing up Lisa whom I broke up with almost 5 years ago on such a happy occasion.

However, Yang asked me to not spoil my mood, as she felt Jess was just commenting on how I had that plan in mind for years. Since then, every time we meet, Jess without fail brings up Lisa and how the things I am doing are all the things I had planned with Lisa. This happened when we bought a house, planned for vacations, etc.

Jess always starts with some nostalgic story and then brings up how Lisa and I were so happy together. She is still good friends with Lisa and keeps giving me updates about Lisa and how great Lisa is doing at work when no one is asking for it. It felt like she was painting a rosy picture of Lisa to Yang and telling Yang that she would always be second to Lisa.

Yang told me Jess's comments bothered her, and I also felt the same. I have brought this up with Jess many times and asked her not to do it. However, she says she will try but since I dated Lisa for 7 years, she would be part of many stories from the past. Also, she asked me why talking about Lisa bothers me and if I still have feelings for her. I have reduced hanging out with Jess.

However, she is close with my mom and is always invited to all our family parties and holidays. I talked to my mom and sister about this and they feel I am overreacting. They feel Jess is just telling stories and since the stories are mostly from college days and later, Lisa will be a character in the story. They also feel I should not be bothered by Jess mentioning Lisa since we broke up a long time ago.

I feel that it's disrespectful to Yang as she doesn't need to hear about all the fun Lisa and I had when we were together and how we were planning to get married. Do you think I am the AH to stop here or Jess is truly acting out of line?

The internet was quick to offer advice.

l3ex_g wrote:

NTA. I think you need to cut off Jess, she’s being a mean girl to your fiance. You need to also tell your mom and sister of your decision and if they want Jess at events you might have to limit your time with them as well. Jess has shown you she’s doing it on purpose if you’ve asked multiple times for her to stop and she immediately attacks your reasoning and feelings.

She wants to pretend it’s you not being over Lisa which is another dig at your fiance, when it’s really just Jess is being rude. Jess and probably Lisa need to let the past go. Lisa probably thought she can go have her fun and when she wants to settle with her back up, you would still be waiting. Jess probably helped with this plan and purposely stopped you from moving on with saying Lisa would come back.

OP responded:

At this point, I suspect Jess is just being mean to Yang. I would have cut her off long ago if she was not so close to me or my family for so many years.

Lisa is out of the picture, to be honest. I have completely gone no contact with her for the last 2 years.

Beneficial-Baker4154 wrote:

NTA, but the way you stop this is by every time she brings something up, just nod politely and say “Now that I’ve met my fiancé, I honestly couldn’t see my life being as positive and memorable if I’d done any of this with Lisa. She was right to set me free. Yang is the love of my life and I’m so glad I got to genuinely cherish those dreams with the woman I love.”

UglyLikeACrow wrote:

Dude, not at all. NTA. If I did this to my friend, first would be a polite talking, second would be a warning and third would be outta door. Ask your mom and sister how they would feel if their friends spoke ALL THE TIME with them about their partners exes and not just some common stuff rather romantic and important stuff. They are saying you're overreacting because they don't want a disturbed comfort zone.

Bourbon_Bro1 wrote:

Probably need to separate your time with your fiancé away from your friend. Establish stronger boundaries with said friend, how it affects your relationship with fiancé. If friend keeps doing it, slowly remove her all together from the equation.

On a side note, your friend comes across poorly on one other aspect. When you were too busy to date so you could study. She is encouraging you to stay available while your ex goes about dating around? Think she ever encouraged your ex to not? Or do you think she was telling your ex she could have all the fun she wanted cause you'd still be around? Food for thought.

OP responded:

She thought we were 24 when we broke up and she always justified that Lisa was young and it's natural to date around before you settle down. She also encouraged me to do the same. However, after my breakup, I decided that I would not be in a relationship (based on what happened to the previous one) and never dated anyone until after I graduated.

dubh_righ wrote:

NTA - Jess is part of Lisa's plan to go and f#$k around and party and then have you be there when she's ready to settle down. You ruined that plan by having your own life and not just being a supporting character in theirs.

You deserve your own happiness. As long as you're not using Yang as a replacement, but have real feelings (which it seems you do), then you are NTA, and Jess and Lisa need to figure out that they done f#$ked up. All the best, man.

Three weeks later, OP shared an update.

I wrote a post a month ago regarding my friend Jess mentioning my ex constantly in front of my fiancée. Thanks to everyone who commented, and how inappropriate it was. However, the last month has been nothing but crazy and I still trying to make sense of what happened so far. After my post, I decided to talk to Jess and gave her an ultimatum not to speak about my ex Lisa again.

I know Jess and Lisa are still friends, but I was uncomfortable of her comparing my fiancée Yang with Lisa all the time. I broke up with Lisa 5 years ago, and she is nothing but a faint memory in my past. Jess kept on defending herself and telling me that I was with Lisa for most of my adult life and it's hard to tell any stories from the past without including her.

She also blamed me for being emotionally childish and just forgetting about Lisa when she was with me for 7 years. Finally, Jess agreed that she will not bring up Lisa in front of Yang, and I should also not treat Lisa as she does not exist since she is still Jess's friend. I informed Yang about our conversation.

Although she was appreciative about it, she said I did not need to do it and she knows how much I love her and every time Jess brings up my Lisa, she feels sorry for Lisa that she let a guy like me go. Yang went to visit China two weeks ago for a month as we plan to get married in her hometown. She is taking care of her shopping as well as preparations for the wedding.

Jess invited me to her house that Friday for dinner as I was home alone. I am also good friends with her husband, and we were all just chatting and drinking in the living room. Around 7.30pm, the doorbell rang, and Jess excitedly went to open the door. To my surprise, it was f#$king Lisa at the door. She was all dressed up as if she were ready for a date and came in.

I had not seen her in person for almost three years and I was shocked to see her. She sat down and started making small talk with me. I was extremely uncomfortable and went into the kitchen to talk to Jess. I was angry at her and asked her what was going on. She kept on telling me that it's been 5 years since the breakup and to get over it and be nice to Lisa.

She said Lisa was excited to meet me and she thought we were all adults and could have one fun evening together. We had a fight and I told her that she should not have invited Lisa after our conversation the other day and I do not want to be friends with her anymore.

I went into the living room and politely excused myself and told everyone that I had a work emergency and had to leave early. Lisa looked sad, but I genuinely felt uncomfortable to be made to hang out with my ex without my consent. I came home and called Yang. I have never seen her more furious, and she told me she is not comfortable with Jess as she has some agenda that we do not know about.

It's different to talk about Lisa, but to invite her without consulting is not ok. I also felt the same and I called Jess the next day and told her that she crossed a line, and I was terribly upset with her. I stopped taking her calls and ghosted her. I also told my mom and sister about the whole incident. Last Sunday, my mom called me for lunch. When I got there, I saw Jess was already there.

I told my mom that I do not want to talk to Jess and can't stay. However, she asked me to sit as they all wanted to talk to me. I have a glutton for punishment and decided to hear them out. My mom started with how Jess has been there for me all these years and only has my best interest at heart. She kept on telling me that they are the three people (mom, sister, and Jess) that love me the most.

Jess started saying how she felt that I was making a big mistake in not having to hear what Lisa had to say. She told me that Lisa was my first love and Lisa is now ready to settle down and we can pick where we left off. She reminded me how broken I was when Lisa left me and how life is giving me a second chance.

My sister also chimed in and said how they all liked Lisa more than Yang and how we both looked so great together. Finally, my mom started saying how our culture was so different than Yang and it is hard for them to relate to her. I asked them in what way, and my mom said that they did not understand what Yang says sometimes and have nothing in common with her.

Then my mom asked me to think about how Lisa and I would have such wonderful looking kids, while if I marry Yang, our kids will look so different. I started getting their drift and I probed more. My mom told me how our kids would look Asian with "small eyes" and not like any others in the family.

I asked my mom if she cared about my kids looks more and not about how smart they will be since Yang has a PhD. She blew it off, and I realized she just did not want me to marry Yang because she was Chinese and not white. My mom told me to forgive Jess and my mom asked Jess to talk to Lisa on my behalf and asked her if she would be interested in getting back together with me.

My mom was adamant that since I loved Lisa so much, I should be happy and pick up things where we left off as that is the best for everyone. I have never been so angry and may have said a lot of unkind things to all of them before I left I am so depressed right now. I not only lost my best friend, but also am not sure how I can move on from what my mom said.

My mom and sister raised me and that is the reason where I am today. However, I cannot get over how r@cist they are being and how they were just pretending to like Yang all these years while actively working on breaking us up. I have been so shocked that I have not told any of this to Yang so far. I might wait for her to come back next week and talk to her in person.

Again, thanks everyone for all your messages on the last post as they helped me a lot to think through the situation. My life is more f#$ked up than I could imagine, and I cannot imagine how dejected Yang will feel after hearing all this.

The internet had OP's back.

Caspian4136 wrote:

Jesus Christ dude, this is...a lot. I'm so sorry that your mom and sister turned out to be r*cists. That has to have gutted you. No words except that they'd have to come crawling back on hands and knees begging and groveling before I'd accept an apology. Sadly, you'll never forgot what they said and think, so the relationship will never be the same.

As for Jess, she's done. If you feel you want some sort of closure, just tell her she crossed so many lines she's on another planet by now and what she did is unforgiveable. Block her on everything, mourn the friendship, but try not to look back. Look forward to the life you're creating with Yang. Talk with your finance and tell her everything. She'll help you through this.

cthulularoo wrote;

Your mom needs to beg and grovel before you take her back. Jess can just go in the trash. She's ignored multiple warnings and crossed so many boundaries, I don't understand why you even talked to her even if it was your mom telling you to.

It's done with Jess, it's over. She will always make it awkward with her and Yang and you need to protect Yang. And you have to realize that your mom and sister are r*cist AF, right? How are you ever going to trust your "tiny eyed" kids to be alone with their r*cist AF grandma? (kidding about the eyes, I'm Chinese too.)

Justrennt wrote:

Please talk to Yang in person about this. It's shocking that your Mother, Sister and Jess were plotting to bring you with Lisa together. Lisa left you. She broke your heart. And now you should be thankful that she is ready to "settle down"? The audacity...

Well...the good thing is now you know where your family stands. It makes it easier to block them all. Because they are disrespecting your feelings and are racist towards Yang. She doesn't deserve this treatment at all. Its a good idea to talk to Yang when she is at home. You need to take actions by cutting these people off from your life. Because they tried to sabotage your relationship with Yang.

This is such a great betrayal of trust that there is no coming back from this. You are not alone OP with this. I am sure you will get many messages to encourage you by marrying the love of your life. Drop the rope with everyone who still wants you back together with Lisa. These kind of people are t*xic and don't deserve to be in your life!

ImmeralHolimion wrote:

It's your fiancee. You plan on having a life with her. You need to tell her. You also need to tell her that you prioritize her. It is very clear that you prioritize her above your family, which is where you should be if you're thinking of marrying somebody. I'm sorry your family is r*cist. I'm sorry that your close friend and ex-girlfriend are stuck in the past.

But at this point you just need to be looking forward. You need to leave those people behind and move forward on the path of where you want your life to be not where it was. Your friend and your family are in the past. Good luck.

A few weeks later, OP shared another update.

I wrote a post two months ago regarding my best friend Jess constantly bringing up my ex when talking to my fiancée Yang. I wrote an update two weeks ago about my mom, sister and Jess scheming about trying to get me back with my ex Lisa because they were uncomfortable with Yang being Chinese. They tried to do it when my fiancée was visiting her parents and I felt so betrayed by their actions.

As I said in the previous post, I blew up on my mom and sister about what they said and immediately left. I did not take calls from them or answer texts for the next several days. Their messages initially were anger towards me on why I left before they could finish what they wanted to say. However, I think they realized on day 3 that they might have crossed the line this time and became extremely apologetic.

I finally messaged them to leave me alone and not to contact Yang or I until we contact them. Jess did not message me the whole time. I did not tell Yang about the situation until she came back home 9 days ago. I initially did not know how to bring up the subject, but she sensed something was wrong and asked me about it.

I was so worried about hurting her, but I told her about what happened. I was upfront about the stunt Jess pulled and she was angry at Jess. I also told her about my visit to my mother's place, but she did not react with any anger. She just asked me if I was ok. The next few days were confusing where I was more upset than Yang.

She was just excited showing me all pictures and telling me stories. Finally, on last Thursday evening, she opened up and asked me if I was ok about my mom's behavior and what I plan to do. I told her my thoughts and how I cannot forgive them for what they said about her being Asian and them wanting me to marry a Lisa because she was white.

I asked her why she was not more upset as it was bothering me. She told me that when she told her parents about me, they had the exact same reaction for her dating someone who was not Chinese. Her family is very traditional, and her parents were very upset about her decision.

It took them a few months to warm up to me and accept me. She never told me about this because she wanted me to have good relationship with her parents. She told me that now they are the most excited doing arrangements for our wedding. She told me that she has always felt something was off when she talked to my mom, my sister or Jess and they did not like her.

My mom and sister would be very friendly with her in front of me, but never invited her for anything when I am not around. She suspected that it may be due to fact that she is not white and does not understand the American traditions. She said she is not upset with them and now that this is in the open, she should talk to them and assure them that she would be as good of a wife as Lisa or any other girl.

She said that she does not want to break a family in order to start a new one. Despite my protests, Yang invited my mom and sister for lunch on Sunday. She said that it would be good for us to talk about everything and hear why they are concerned about her marrying me. I was really not happy with this, but Yang spent most of Sunday morning cooking for them.

When my mom and sister arrived, there were a lot of waterworks and apologies. My mom apologized to Yang and me for her behavior and told us that she would never bring it up again. My sister also was quiet and had tears in her eyes. There were a lot of blame games. My mom and my sister were blaming Jess for constantly telling them how Yang might not be great for me and how she won't fit into our family.

My mom and sister fought with Jess after I left and Jess blamed Lisa. Based on Jess's story, Lisa has been depressed for the last few years and when I suddenly got engaged to Yang, it became worse. Jess thought I was also depressed after Lisa left me, because I did not date anyone for 3 years. In reality, I just wanted to focus on my work and studies and never had time.

So, Lisa convinced Jess that she has to get back together with me as that is what I wanted too. Jess said how sorry she felt for Lisa as she was her longtime friend and listened to her plan as she thought it was good for everyone. My mom and sister told us that I should stay away from Jess because she orchestrated the whole situation. They kept on hugging Yang and apologizing to her.

Yang in turn also started crying and telling them that she will do better to fit in with them. It was all a big mess. I am still skeptical of my mom's change in heart, but I also want to see Yang happy. However, I think it will take a lot of time and healing before I could truly trust my mom and sister. Currently, my mom invited us to lunch at her place next week and told me that Jess will not be there.

Jess has still not message me or Yang. I really don't know what I can do in this situation. I am still upset and furious at my mom, but I also want to respect Yang's effort to keep the family together. Thanks to everyone for all the messages and supportive comments. It really helped reading them when I was feeling very sad.

Commenters were invested in the update.

CanadaSaver wrote:

Your fiance is acting in a very mature manner. She is a keeper for sure.

Jess and Lisa need to be dropped and blocked forever. They can never be trusted and they could cost you the amazing Yang.

No_Spinach_705 wrote:

I've seen 60-year-olds with less maturity. I feel like everybody needs an amazing Yang in their life! Lucky OP.

Couette-Couette wrote:

I don't think racism can disappear in 3 days. Mother and sister probably decided that they prefer being in the life of children who are not white over no contact at all. So they put all the blame on Jess. How convenient...

AtomicBlastCandy responded:

Yup! It's telling that in none of OP's posts has he hinted at Jess being racist. His family didn't change their spots, they instead realized that they would lose him and also that he likely would share just how racist they are. I mean people are going to wonder why his mother and sister weren't at his wedding and the story will come out. This is just them saving face.

jimmyb1982 wrote:

Block Jess every way possible from contacting you. Make it abundantly clear to your mother and sister, that if anything like this ever happens again, they will never see or hear from you and your beautiful bride ever again. That includes and grandchildren.

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