I want her to cut ties

Please enjoy the last day of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company week at Love Letters.

Today's letter will be performed as a monologue by actor Jeremy R. Browne, who plays a Volscian Senator in the Free Shakespeare on the Common production of "Coriolanus."

The original letter and my answer are below. Thanks to CSC for making these letters 3D.


OK, I need some help here. I have a girlfriend of one year. I have asked her since the beginning of our relationship to cut off all ties and communication with anyone she previously had any romantic dealings with.

There is one person that she is reluctant to do so with. Apparently she has known him for 15 years, slept with him later in this "friendship," and now has a problem letting him know that she has moved on. If they see each other out in town she wants to be able to speak to him as any normal human being would, but he has no idea that the friendship has changed. So if he, for example, wants to hold a conversation with her, she will most likely hold that conversation even though I have asked her to cut off all ties. She says to me, "this person has done nothing" to her.

I know that friendships only needs opportunity to become something different.

In my opinion, in this case of loose sexual contact in the past, what is to prevent this from occurring again?

– Old Friends, Texas

What's to prevent her from sleeping with him again? You. She's in a relationship with you. That's her choice. You either trust her or you don't, OF.

Your girlfriend isn't actively seeking out a relationship with this man. She just wants to be able to talk to him if she sees him out around town. That seems fine to me.

Of course, she should let him know that you exist. That's a no-brainer. If he asks about her relationship status, she should be clear. You can make that demand.

But you can't forbid her from having acquaintances. She's allowed to make new friends and to keep in touch with people from her former life.

If the success of your relationship depends on her ability to cut ties with everyone who could be a threat, this just won't work. As long as she's open about your relationship and clear about her commitment, she's doing her part. Again, you either believe in her or you don't. If you don't, let her go.

Readers? Can he forbid her from seeing this friend? Should he have asked her to cut off all ties with exes? Are there other problems here? Help.

– Meredith