Here's the original post:
I’m 38F. I recently found out that my ex (38M) has been seeing a new girl (23F). Yeah, I was a little struck at the age gap, too. What also struck me is the fact that I kind of know her. (Well, not really. I work for someone she does business with, but we haven’t interacted prior to this). I’ve met her on a few occasions though and she’s lovely and very quirky. She has autism.
My ex and I were together for 3 years, from 2009-2012. During this time I dealt with A LOT. While we were dating, he was an alcoholic and struggled with addictions to pills. He’s comparatively sober now, and staying out of trouble, but still not entirely sober. He still drinks and smokes weed. I know this because we periodically keep in touch.
He’s still someone I have a lot of strong feelings for. He also could be emotionally abusive and erratic (hitting a wall instead of hitting me, destroying belongings). I think he’s a good man. He just has a lot of baggage and is very much a work in progress. I left because it was exhausting and I was through with his shit and I went through a year-long period where he would call/text me crying at least once a week.
Anyway, I heard that they were dating from one of my coworkers. I felt very protective of her because she seems like a really sweet girl who genuinely has no idea what she’s getting into. I shot her an email and invited her to lunch at Sweetgreen. We met up, and had a long conversation.
I told her that she seemed like a sweet girl, and that she was gorgeous, but she didn’t really understand what she was getting into. She admitted that she didn’t smoke or drink, and that she’d previously been in abusive relationships with older men.
I thought the conversation went really well. We ended on a hug, and I told her to call me if she needs anything. She’s even someone I could see myself being friends with.
Anyway, the next day I got a very angry phone call from my ex, who said that I had no right to reach out to her. He’s changed and worked on himself . My sister agrees, and said my reaching out was “psychotic.” My intentions were definitely good, but I see why I could have overstepped. Am I the AH in this situation? The road to @$$holery is paved with good intentions.
NTA I had something else in mind entirely when you said "confront". You warned a young woman that your ex, who she's now involved with, is an abusive addict who is still drinking. I wish more of us were able to look out for each other like this. IMO if he had grown and changed as much as he claims, he would not be 38 and dating a 23 year old...
NTA. Not only are you not the @ss, but your ex isn't "a good man", he's what I like to call "a violent abusive dick". And it seems he still is. Now he's just found someone who a) he can use a power play on, and b) has already been in abusive relationships.
You overstepped. It's been a decade since you've dated, and while you still talk periodically, I don't think it's enough for you to know for a fact that he's still the way he was when you dated. I don't have an issue with you reaching out to her, but the fact that you were basically warning her away from your ex is too much.
You could've talked to her, and just opened the door for her to talk, without outright trying to throw your ex under the bus.
YTA. Idk why people can’t see that an ex from a decade ago setting up a secret meeting with your current gf is definitely “psychotic”, or at least crazy. Of course he’d be mad, tf? It’s weird asf.
Skip the age gap for a moment—It’s been a decade. OP doesn’t know what he’s like now. OP didn’t even actually know the woman to contact her like this. Is it even confirmed that this woman is “autistic”, considering how she doesn’t actually know her? Does the person “she does business with” even know for sure to call her autistic, as in did this woman specifically state it?
Hello? Guys? In what world is it ok to get into contact with someone via someone else’s business to have a secret meetup.
She called me. (I had given her my number at the lunch I had taken her to). She said that she wanted him to assure her that he had changed since being with me. He swore up and down that he had. She told me that the relationship became “suffocating” very quickly, and that she didn’t realize the extent to which he was still drinking.
She said they got into an argument after he drank lean at a party they’d attended together. The last straw was when she found out that he was friends with someone who had abused a close friend of hers while they were in a relationship. My ex apparently knows ole boy is an abuser and doesn’t care.
They’ve broken up. She says she feels guilty about having left because he was so reliant on her. She describes herself as having felt like “his nurse-slash-child bride.”
This is very random, but I felt compelled to post on here again because I saw her again recently at a party my boss threw. She has a new, age-appropriate boyfriend. We chatted for a few minutes, and she seemed ebulliently happy.
I’m happy for her, and I’ve also cut off contact with my ex. I’ll always have love for him, but we’re enmeshed in a deeply unhealthy way, and I can’t do this anymore. I feel good about the way things have worked out.