Jump to content

Meeting the ex's new girl.......


Recommended Posts

I just had a very weird, embarrassing thing happen and felt like I had to get it off my chest.

 

Very brief background, my partner of 10 years left me for another woman about 6 months ago. He and I still work together, so we see each other all the time, but his new girlfriend lives a few hours away so I had never met her. Although I've come a long way in terms of getting over my ex, I knew it was always going to be weird when I finally had to meet her.

I just got back home from a trip to see my family. My ex and I are from the same town, and now live on the other side of the world. We both went home for the holidays, and his girlfriend went as well, to meet his family. I managed to avoid them for the whole trip, but knew that there was a good chance they would be on my flight on the way back home, and of course I was right.

 

I am really used to having to interact with my ex, and usually manage very well, but this was a whole new experience for me, and I really feel like I was a complete nutcase. I saw them walk into the departure lounge in my periphery. They clearly saw me, because they were quite close to me but then suddenly changed direction. I decided that was a good thing - they were trying to ignore me, so it was up to me to set the tone for this. I decided to be friendly, and when I had a chance, I caught her eye and smiled. She just stared back at me shocked. I went to the boarding gate, and when they arrived, I gave my ex a big smile and a wave. He came over and said hello, asked me how my holidays were, but she stayed where she was. This is when I got weird. I had made this big show of being friendly and smiley, but then when he tried to talk to me, I was really evasive. I decided long ago that small talk with my ex would be exactly that: small. So I give short and to the point answers, and try to avoid asking him questions (I don't really care to know how his weekend was, so why ask?!). He gave up pretty quick and went back to the girlfriend, and I realised that I still hadn't taken the opportunity to meet her. So I went up and said (I'm cringing as I type this!!!) "I don't bite you know". She just stared at me, and so I babbled some more about how she didn't need to stand on the opposite side of the room, it was ok, blah blah blah until mercifully my ex shut me up by introducing us. Then I went back into evasive "my holidays were fine. My parents are well." mode until it was so awkward that all I could do was shuffle back to my seat.

 

If that wasn't bad enough, now's where it gets really stupid. We got on the plane, and they were seated beside me. This wouldn't happen in a bad hallmark movie. Luckily I had already realised that my evasiveness was not helping, so I decided to go back to nice and smiley. I asked them lots about their trip, he and I swapped stories about old friends we had seen. She didn't say much unless I asked her a direct question. They told me that they are moving in together soon, and used the word 'we' an awful lot. I did a lot of smiling and I think all 3 of us tried to make it seem that it was the most natural thing in the world for us to be sitting together chatting about living arrangements. After a while, they started holding hands, snuggling together, and whispering to each other, while I buried my nose in a book and tried to pretend that everything was perfectly normal.

 

I just got home and feel I can finally breathe. It was awful. I don't know why I acted as ridiculous as I did. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say I am happy for them, I certainly don't want to be in a relationship with my ex, and I generally don't have a problem with the fact that they are together. So why did I find it so hard to be around the 2 of them? Were they out of line being so "coupley"? It seemed inappropriate to me, but then they have been together for (at least) 6 months, so maybe I am the one being difficult. I really want to not be the petty, jealous ex, but I'm not finding it easy!!

If you're still reading, thanks for letting me have a vent. I think I need a big glass of wine and then I might be ready to stop feeling so embarrassed and sorry for myself

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you had to run into them which is painful, but the rest is a self inflicted wound. At this point he is not really a part of your life, and he wounded you by cheating on you and leaving for someone else, so it is counterintuitive to try to make nice-nice with his new GF when they basically did you wrong. You made the situation worse by trying to encourage contact as if you were all good buddies when the truth is there is a whole negative history attached to the 3 of you.

 

You wouldn't try to take tea with someone who raped you or assaulted you or stole money from you, so you shouldn't be trying to do the same with the women who cheated with your BF when you were together and who he left you for. And why should you 'be happy for them'? Really, this whole post is about you being dishonest about your feelings to both yourself and them. This was a terribly awkward situation, and you just plunged into it making it worse in your charade to try to act like everything is OK and you're all best buddies regardless of the circumstances.

 

Next time be true to yourself and respectful of other people's feelings. If it is awkward and you are uncomfortable seeing them, then just don't try to intiate anything.. you could have just buried your head in a book and ignored them, but chose to go galloping up to them and rub your presence in their faces. Don't do that again, and you won't have such ghastly feelings aftewards. They weren't out of line being 'coupley' because you went right up to them acting happy and like you couldn't care less that they were together. So you gave them license to just be themselves and act like the couple they are in front of you. So unfortunately this was your bad, and you can't be angry at them because you started this and were false about your feelings towards them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you did the best you could given the circumstances. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to be friendly with this person- she should have been more gracious also. I think it would have been way more awkward and made you seem very petty if you had just ignored them or been rude. Don't be so hard on yourself. What's done is done and in my opinion you have nothing to be embarrassed about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^

I think the question here the OP asked was was it wrong of them to snuggle in front of her, and her being upset they are together while pretending she is not and encouraging interaction when she should be avoiding it if it gives her pain or discomfort. They weren't wrong to snuggle because they are a couple and she encouraged them to think everything was hunky-dory for her and she was happy for them, while her feelings were far different than that and she was being untrue to her feelings and putting herself in line for more hurt by encouraging contact with them.

 

btw, the best ex is one you never see or talk to.. you need to cut contact with him if you want to get better and heal rather than trying to befriend them while you're still hurting. The best advice is to be true to yourself while conducting yourself with dignity, i.e., you shouldn't be rude to them when you see them, as in you could give them a civil nod when you see them, but then turn on your heel and go do something different and don't sit with them and try to act like you're happy they're together when that is untrue to your own feelings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get what you're saying lavenderdove, and clearly I wasn't being true to my feelings if it felt so weird being nice to them. But it was a tricky situation to avoid. We had a 4 hour flight in a packed plane and in some really bizarre twist they had been seated next to me.

I'm not trying to befriend them. But its unrealistic to suggest that I can completely cut contact with someone who has been part of my life for 12 years. Our lives are far too connected, and neither of us wants to cut ties with mutual friends etc. He and I have good polite-but-not-too-friendly interactions, and I want to develop the same with his girlfriend.

In retrospect, I should have just ignored them, but I thought at the time that it would be too rude. I thought I could meet her briefly, then get back to my book, but I wasn't anticipating having to sit with them for the whole flight!! You're right though. If I'm not 100% ok with them being together, then I have no one to blame but myself if I act like I am ok with it. I think what surprised me is that I thought I WAS ok (not happy, but ok) with them being together, but clearly I'm not if I acted like a crazy person in front of them!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually people do cut contact all the time with exes regardless of how long they have known each other. Cutting contact may mean that you never initiate contact with the person (i.e., no texts, no email, no phone calls, no snooping their Facebook page etc.). You may run into the time to time in social locations, but nothing says you have to treat them like any more than a casual acquaintance where you take a minute or two to acknowledge them and say hi, then you just go about your business doing something else.

 

And if you do still care, then it makes sense to avoid situations where you know they will be, until such point in time when you genuinely don't care and/or have a new partner yourself. Even if you have mutual friends, you don't have to attend every single party or every event where you all move together like a herd. Avoid those events where they are likely to be, and schedule other events with those mutual friends where you know they will not be there. You really should minimize contact and situations that allow you lots of insight into their lives if you want to heal and move on, and then once you have, it will no longer be an issue. Research has shown that people heal the fastest from a breakup the less contact they have with the person, and if they avoid using social media/email/texts etc. to keep track of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not trying to befriend them. But its unrealistic to suggest that I can completely cut contact with someone who has been part of my life for 12 years. Our lives are far too connected, and neither of us wants to cut ties with mutual friends etc. He and I have good polite-but-not-too-friendly interactions, and I want to develop the same with his girlfriend.

 

I totally agree with this. Perhaps in this particular scenario you let your anxiety about it get the best of you, but overall I think it's in your best interest to cultivate polite, semi-friendly interactions with both him and his gf.

 

And who knows, perhaps if she had been warm and friendly, you would have had a very different experience. So don't be so quick to think you weren't being "true to your real feelings" about the situation. You may have just been reacting to what was in front of you. It takes more than one person to create a good interaction- don't take all the blame.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you did remarkably well.

 

No, they weren't out of line being "coupley". They're a couple now. Nothing inappropriate about how they acted.

 

She probably acted aloof because 1. she doesn't know you; 2. the only thing she knows about you was told to her through your ex's filter and 3. sometimes, the best thing to do is shut up and observe--what I call "video, ex taceo---I see, but say nothing".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the other posters. You did the best you could at the time. It was awkward, but you made it through.

 

I really feel for you, because that is incredibly difficult! 4 hours sitting next to your longterm Ex and the girl he left you for. Now it's time to be honest about your feelings. You do service a disservice to force yourself to be "okay" with it for the sake of keeping the peace with your mutual friends. What he did was very hurtful, as there was overlap between the end of your 10 year relationship and the start of their new one.

 

Actually people do cut contact all the time with exes regardless of how long they have known each other. Cutting contact may mean that you never initiate contact with the person (i.e., no texts, no email, no phone calls, no snooping their Facebook page etc.). You may run into the time to time in social locations, but nothing says you have to treat them like any more than a casual acquaintance where you take a minute or two to acknowledge them and say hi, then you just go about your business doing something else.

 

You can distance yourself from him, OP. Just because you've appeared to be okay with dealing with him before doesn't mean you have to continue to uphold that image for mutual friends. I think most people would understand how hurtful it is to be cheated on and dumped by a longterm partner and will not judge you harshly for preferring to limit your interaction with him and his new girlfriend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everybody for your kind words. With a few hours sleep I'm feeling a lot better about the whole situation (although still cringing!)

 

I think it was always going to be awkward and difficult when I met her, and although it wasn't ideal being stuck with them for so long, it did break the ice and I think ultimately helped me in my healing now that I'm not always on eggshells expecting to run into them.

Now I've met them, I think it's going to be a lot better next time. And because I have done the friendly thing, I can take it back a notch next time and be more distant without seeming really rude. I'm also trying to tell myself that it really doesn't matter that they both think I'm a crazy, awkward, bumbling mess. Neither of them think very much of me already, and I really need to not care about the opinions of people who treat others they way they have.

 

I have thought a lot about what you have all said about being honest with myself. My ex and I have cut ties. We work together every day (although we're both trying to leave the company), and so need to maintain a polite, professional relationship, but that is it. There aren't any phone calls, facebook spying, anything like that. I know he is happy and I'm not interested in seeing that. But I don't want to be bitter. I have always tried to be distant, but still be polite, and I wouldn't feel comfortable ignoring them. I definitely overdid it this time though, and I think that's because I had this idea that if I led the way with being really confident and friendly it would put me in control of the situation. I guess I wasn't ready for that, and pretending to be confident can only get you so far.

 

You are right that I need to get over it and deal with the fact that they are a couple. It was strange, and I think I would have toned it down if I were in their situation, but that's them and it has nothing to do with me anymore. The more I remind myself it doesn't matter what they think or what they do, the less I feel pressured to do and say the right thing. Now I just need to remember that when I actually see them!!

 

Thanks again for your advice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...