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NC and Mutual Friends??

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I've been completely NC with my ex for two weeks now. Long story short: he dumped me after a year, we had no direct contact for three months (no talking, but still Facebook friends -- I stalked his profile, admittedly -- and we had one awkward meal at a mutual friend's going away party in which we didn't address each other once), then we started talking again and he sent some seriously mixed messages. I thought we were reconciling, it turns out he didn't want to reconcile, and we landed on trying to remain friends. After about two weeks of this, he accused me of telling one of our mutual friends that we were "working on things" and he thought he'd been "clear." I had said *nothing* of the sort (only that I'd previously hoped we were but that he'd told me he wasn't interested in doing so), but realized that I'm finally done giving him the opportunity to repeatedly reject me. All talking to him (or looking at his FB profile, or trying to remain friends) does is make me feel bad about myself. DONE.


Consequently, it's been full NC for the past two weeks and the indefinite future. This time I deactivated my FB account and haven't looked at his page at all. It's been freeing and healing, and even though it hurts sometimes and the temptation to peek has reared its head a few times, I can finally feel hints of him fading and bits of myself returning.


However, the hope for eventual reconciliation has yet to fade, and that hope is what keeps me at these forums. While I'm keeping the majority of my focus on improving myself and moving on, and recognizing that he may never return, I can't deny that a degree of hope remains.


My question today involves what to do with our mutual friends while I'm in NC mode.


His best friend, we'll call her Anne, doubles as one of my best friends. She went to high school with him, and no doubt considers him a closer friend than me. They've been friends for 14 years. I've been friends with Anne for about 10 years. My ex and I met through Anne, and we were friends for nearly five years before we started dating. We're both also good friends with Anne's brother, and a number of his friends. All of these friends preceded our relationship.


When I was dating my ex, I naively thought he didn't discuss our relationship with them. He did. Of course, I talked with them about it too, especially as things went sour. I've realized over the past couple of months just how much more was discussed with them than I realized. The venting was definitely coming at them from both angles.


The fact is, I now feel like I can't be as open with any of these people as I was before, and it sucks. I'm torn about whether or not I even want to see them, though I miss them a great deal. I'm so paranoid about slipping up and saying something about him that will get back to him. I've created a new FB account, close friends only, but have felt the need to exclude all of our mutual friends. In fact, I have them all blocked from the new account. Even though I have my ex blocked too, I'm sure I'd see missing comments on our mutual friends walls and be able to pick up on the voids... it sucks.


Furthermore, if I do see these people, as I trust I eventually will, I feel like my ex has smeared me with his recent belief that I was spewing delusions all over town. I feel the need to defend myself. But I feel like anything I say to these people about him is going to get back to him -- he'll know I still care, and that seems to be incompatible with NC. I want to be off his radar completely; I want to disappear. But I also want to be able to be open with my friends. How does NC work when mutual friends are involved?? Do I have to cut ties with them too? Do I have to commit to simply not talking about matters pertaining to him? Is it more powerful if they have nothing new to go back to him with??

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You simply never talk about the ex or the relationship with them. You don't ask about him at all. If you want to keep them as friends thats the best approach.


And you really shouldn't care about whether it's "more powerful" if they have nothing to report back to him. It's over so who cares what they say to him. He's out of your life in that capacity for good.

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Thanks for your response. I think my fear is just that, by continuing to hang out with these people, he knows he'll have a way to keep tabs on me if he's so inclined, and that doesn't sit right with me for some reason at this moment. I also feel like I'd need to ask them to not discuss him with me, because I've frankly been enjoying not knowing what he's up to. Maybe such a request is all it would take.


As for notions of power, I guess NC appeals to me because it is a powerful statement. While I know it's primarily intended to help me heal and move on, it does have the secondary effect/benefit of sending a clear message to him that I don't care anymore (or at least, am doing everything in my ability to get to this point). I don't know. I guess all I know is that I want to maintain these friendships and my dignity as best I can. I feel like his assertions that I can't move on are hurtful and I'd like to defend myself; but perhaps by not discussing him at all will with these people, I'll send the message loud and clear that I can in fact move on.

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I think if you want to maintain the friendships, you need to not involve these people in the breakup. People don't like to be caught in the middle when they have divided loyalties. They are both your friends(although his first?) so don't put them in a position where they will become unwillingly involved. They will start to avoid you if you do. And if you act like you don't care, eventually you actually won't.

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