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If a man tries ensure that the child of someone he once loved is well-off, from the outside looking in, I think we could all agree that it’s an honorable gesture.

But what happens when you’re in a relationship with that man, and you find out he’s been doing this on the low-low?

That’s a situation a friend of mine is dealing with right now. She has been dating a guy for more than a year and loves him, and he really loves her too. He’s very generous and sweet, and that’s something that she was attracted to when they first started getting to know each other. If you needed anything, this guy, let’s call him Jared, would give you the shirt off of his back. Need a ride home from the club but lived in an entirely different borough? He would still work up the energy (and the gas) to take you back AND wait for you to enter your building before pulling off. If you ran into him at the coffeehouse, he would offer to buy you something to eat and a hot brew, even if you said you were “good.” Jared is just a generous guy.

But according to my friend, he’s a little too generous in her eyes.

While hanging out together one evening, he went to take a shower, and a text message came through his phone, which he’d left on the couch. When my girlfriend noticed his phone all abuzz, she picked it up. When she looked at it, she spotted the name of his ex and wasn’t happy about it. When she looked at the first text message, according to her, it said, “Are you still sending money?”

Feeling very Inspector Gadget that evening, she rifled through their corresponding messages and found out that Jared had been sending money to his ex-girlfriend that was meant for her son.

This would be okay if it weren’t for the fact that Jared never mentioned his financial contributions to my friend. And oh yeah, my friend cannot stand his ex.

You see, when my friend started dating him, it was about eight or nine months after Jared and his ex went their separate ways following a three-year relationship. When the ex found out about my friend, she would often say disrespectful things about her on social media and try to message him about getting back together at all times of the night. She overstepped boundaries on more than one occasion. After my friend had told Jared that she was fed up, he said that he would cut her off. My friend assumed that he had ceased all contact with this woman.

But he had not.

Now the text messages she found weren’t completely salacious (the woman made inappropriate advances here and there), but they made it clear that Jared, a decently successful real estate broker, was sending a few hundred dollars her way. He’d send money each month, sometimes every two months, but it was for his ex and her son to be comfortable. The boy has a father, but he hasn’t been a consistent enough presence in the child’s life. When Jared and the girl were together, he bonded with the boy. And even though the ex-girlfriend has a pretty good job, she still accepts the money, and according to their text messages, expects the money.

My friend is pretty upset. While she respects him trying to be helpful just because, she doesn’t appreciate the fact that he never told her about the money he gives this woman, and she doesn’t like that he still has correspondence with her. She hasn’t told him yet what she saw, or that she even looked through his phone, but she wants to. Still, she doesn’t know what she would say once she let the cat out of the bag. Telling him to seriously cut off communication with his ex could then end his financial contributions to the child, and my friend says she would feel bad about interfering in that relationship. But something about this entire situation isn’t sitting well with her, and something needs to change.

But what exactly?

I can’t even lie to you. I’m stumped on this one. While I think it’s commendable that Jared tries to help out because he grew close to this woman’s young son, it’s not a good look that he didn’t let my friend in on what he was up to. This is especially problematic considering that he’s talking about wanting to build a life with my friend, but he’s sending hundreds of dollars and corresponding with a woman who tried to harm his current relationship.

Jared and my friend (after she spills the beans) need to sit down and figure out what’s going on. What boundaries are set up between him and his ex? Is there a way he can give to this child without being in constant contact with homegirl? If they can’t do that, then sadly, I don’t think my friend will want or be able to stick around and deal with this situation…

But what do you think? Is she petty for being upset about the money he’s supplying his ex and that they’re still in touch? Or has he gone about being giving in the wrong way?

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