This week, Jenée Desmond-Harris and Akoto Ofori-Atta discuss a Prudie letter: “I’m Being Punished Because He Behaves Badly”
Jenée Desmond-Harris: I hate when men like this get to win. That was my main reaction.
Akoto Ofori-Atta: It is really frustrating. He is the worst kind of ex-boyfriend. He’s manipulative, creepy, and a cheater! Although as bad as he is, I have to say, the thing that makes me kinda sad for LW is this group of friends.
Jenée: Right, why are they choosing him over her? I mean, at his best friend’s memorial dinner—fine, I get it. But other than that, they’re both adults and they should both be invited and everyone can figure it out
Akoto: But the fact that they are so willing to exclude her to accommodate the unreasonable wife makes me feel like LW is even more “periphery” than she thinks. I mean I’m sure these people are fine, but they’ve clearly chosen a side!
Jenée: Oof. That’s true, and it sucks for her. I actually have to admit I missed the “periphery” part when I first responded. Maybe this is a moment to move away from that friendship group and focus on a group that she’s more a part of. Like, I wonder, did she meet all these people through him? If so, it kind of makes sense that they’d choose him.
Akoto: It must be. I mean, these people might also think that the ex-boyfriend and his wife are behaving badly! But they’re also probably not willing to pick LW over either of them. The bonds just might not be that strong. I agree that if these were her actual mutual friends, she should just tell them that their actions are hurtful. But I suspect she hasn’t done that because she knows on some level that they have no reason to side with her.
Jenée: So true. Let me put on my armchair psychologist hat…
Akoto: You look so good in that hat!
Jenée: I think she obviously still has feelings for him and likes the entanglement and the drama that keeps them connected and that’s what she wants to keep going …
it’s not as if she’s really missing bowling night with this group of acquaintances … she wants to run into her ex who she texts with!
Jenée: I mean, otherwise, as a married woman, why are you texting with your ex who is not behaving like a good friend?
Akoto: Yep! She might also still be mad at him and really enjoys the power she has to rebuff his advances. Which, to be fair, can be a very nice feeling lol. But to your point, it only feels good if you still have feelings for that person.
Jenée: Exactly! You only care about the upper hand if you still like them! Also allow me to reiterate that the current gf is 100 percent reading their texts.
Akoto: 1000 percent!
Jenée: In addition to knowing she’s dating an untrustworthy guy. I mean, not being at events with LW is not gonna solve any of that, but I get it.
Akoto: I think there is a small chance that she’s missed the smoking gun “I still care for you” texts. Because you know if you don’t catch a man red-handed he will lie, lie, lie.
Jenée: But she picks up on the vibes. The worst part is he’s probably making her feel insane too.
Akoto: She is on edge 24 hours a day, for sure. If LW wants to really 1) stop feeling bad about not hanging out with this group and 2) really stick it to her shitty ex boyfriend, she should do what you said earlier: Find new friends and also completely ignore ex-BF, which will be so much easier to do if she stops desiring a friendship with these people! But I think there is something else she should do before she ghosts the entire crew: SEND NEW WIFE THE TEXTS. I know you don’t agree, but this dude deserves not to have it all lol.
Jenée: WOW, BOLD. I don’t not agree. Do you think she should do it anonymously or just be like “I know you probably know about me—here’s what he’s been saying”?
Akoto: The latter, and then she should just block everyone and never talk to them again.
Jenée: Wow wow wow.
Akoto: This is messy I know, but this dude gotta fall.
Jenée: I mean this feels unhinged but I have no argument against it. I am not going to let dating respectability politics stop me from telling her to do what she needs to do!
Jenée: But I would just add, she needs to be really done with him, emotionally. Otherwise he’ll just come back to her somehow. And she’ll let him. And he’ll make her life bad in different ways
Akoto: I’m only half serious, depending on how angry she is when this goes down!
Jenée: I feel confident that she’s pretty angry. You have your marching orders, LW!