My parents invited my ex-boyfriend to dinner while I was at work

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

He always left behind a secret message for me after having dinner with my parents.

My parents felt devastated when I dumped my ex-boyfriend for another man. They didn't know all the details about our relationship. I had always made things seem rosier than they were. So, when I ended things with a man they considered my perfect partner, it took them by surprise.

They couldn't understand why I would do such a thing.

My parents loved my ex-boyfriend as if he were family, and that made our breakup painful for everyone involved.

Less than a week after I broke up with him, I learned my parents had invited him over for dinner while I was working the second shift. When I came home after work, I spotted two things that were conspicuously out of place, and I instinctively knew exactly what had happened.

When he and I were still a couple, we would watch television in the den. We were never affectionate, and so would sit on opposite ends of the sofa, not touching. As it got late, I'd grab a pillow and a blanket from my bedroom and curl up on my side of the sofa with my knees bent, once again not touching.

The first time my parents invited my ex-boyfriend over for dinner when I wasn't home, I found my pillow and my blanket in the customary spot on the sofa.

My heart sank into my stomach.

I confronted my parents, and they admitted they had invited him over for dinner. They'd even given him a ride to our house and back home before I got out of work.

Despite my begging them not to repeat their dinner invitation, I found my pillow and blanket moved from my bedroom to the sofa dozens of times over the next few years. I always knew exactly what it meant.

It took five years before the relationship between my parents and my ex-boyfriend finally tapered off.

I felt guilty about the breakup for a long time. Even though it was the best thing for me, I saw how it affected my parents. So I tried to be understanding about their little dinner dates with my ex-boyfriend even though I found it incredibly unnerving to know he was in my bedroom and messing about with my blanket and pillow every time they had him over.

On the bright side, I never had to wonder when he was in the house because he always made his presence known.

The first time my parents invited my ex-boyfriend to dinner while I was at work, I didn't find out until after I got home from my shift. I was so surprised and hurt that they would do something like that without asking me first.

Eventually, I grew to expect it.

It's been a while since we broke up, but it still stings that they would invite him over without talking to me about it first. I know they were just trying to be nice, but it would have been better if they had respected my feelings, or at least banned him from entering my bedroom and moving my belongings.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? How did you react? I'm still trying to figure out how to handle this situation. Comments are welcome.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Massachusetts State

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