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So 15 years ago I dated a guy for around 10 months. Fairly mutual breakup, email contact since the breakup was around 10 years ago and was friendly.

 

Now he and his kids and wife are at my workplace and will be for a while. At least 6 years. I contacted his sister on messenger as he was not contactable and said that I had found out his family were at my work. Told her to tell him to pop his head in and say hi. It would be nice to say hello after such a long time. She said that she would and I have heard since that she did tell him.

 

He has avoided me since then, even though I was heavily pregnant and about to go on maternity leave. Since being on maternity leave, one of my colleagues informed me that his wife came to see them about “the blonde pregnant” person and requested that her child not be placed with me as it would be too awkward. Well of course it is now!

 

It’s going to be time soon to go back to work and I’m feeling really nervous now about the prospect of seeing either of them. I feel like I’ve done something wrong and I’m unsure how to approach it if I see them. I only wanted to be friendly and break the ice, as it is my workplace and I want to be comfortable. I’d like to just approach him and say hello how are you if I see him. Will that seem weird? I’m just not sure now.

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So, he didn't contact you to tell you hey guess what we'll be at your workplace. I think you made it weird by going out of your way to contract him via his sister. I can understand the mother's request the child not be placed with you, it can be awkward enough not being able to avoid seeing an ex on a daily basis. I understand you wanted it to be comfortable seeing as they'd be there for a long time, but what is comfortable to you doesn't seem to be comfortable for them. I'm like them, I'd be more comfortable if allowed to keep some distance rather than having to act frienzies and the "oh don't worry I'm so not a threat and sooo cool with your new family I insist we talk because we're so not weird about having slept together" drivel. Remember while many can maintain the social graces to say hello nice to see you lovely family when that's unavoidable (sharing an elevator style), most would prefer if their spouse's ex partners just stayed the heck away unless forced to interact due to shared children or unavoidable work tasks.

 

As far as returning to work goes, if you pass him in a tight hallway obviously you'll say hello, but I wouldn't much more than that until and if he initiates conversation.

 

You haven't heard from him after contacting his sister, in fact, the only word you have from them is they're uncomfortable having to be at your place of work and are asking to not have to be nearer than that. They're not looking forward to having to interact so I wouldn't go further than a greeting.

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I think you want too much. Don't be the weirdo in the workplace. Let them be and let the past be in the past. Stop dwelling about your ex and your history together and placing so much importance on their presence. Respect their family also and their wishes if they have pointedly ignored you or your attempts.

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Thanks for the reply. To be honest I don’t think he realised I worked there. I guess I contacted him because it would have been very obvious after a few days that I knew his family was there. They have a very unusual surname. Because we ended on friendly terms, were Facebook “friends”, I didnt want to look like I was ignoring them. Even though they are now doing that.

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I’m not really dwelling on it or our history together. I don’t think I want too much for someone to be polite. I had no thought about either of them until they turned up at my workplace so unfortunately the past has been brought into the present.

 

I am respecting their wishes. I was hoping to be the bigger person and be mature about it all. I didn’t think it was a big deal to say hello.

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I’m not really dwelling on it or our history together. I don’t think I want too much for someone to be polite. I had no thought about either of them until they turned up at my workplace so unfortunately the past has been brought into the present.

 

I am respecting their wishes. I was hoping to be the bigger person and be mature about it all. I didn’t think it was a big deal to say hello.

 

Pardon but it's not just your workplace. It's now his workplace and her workplace also. I feel like you're overarching a little too much and slightly territorial about your company. Being mature means accepting someone else's resistance to wanting to have anything to do with you. If you are uncomfortable with being disliked this could be hitting a close nerve for you. Explore that. It's ok not being liked. You do not have to please everyone.

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I probably am a little territorial. I’ve been there for 13 years and feel very comfortable. So to now feel uncomfortable is new.

 

It’s not really about being disliked. I get that they would want to avoid me in some ways and after an initial hello I would be avoiding them too. I don’t want anything more than a greeting to come from it. I’m probably just being a bit selfish because i want to feel confident again going to work, especially after being on leave.

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Yes I am in some ways. We are Facebook friends, went to uni together and work in the same industry so see each other at various events. That’s why I messaged her. I ummed and aaahed for a week about whether to even say anything, but I didn’t want to seem rude. I actually thought by doing that, he would see that I was ok about it.

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I probably am a little territorial. I’ve been there for 13 years and feel very comfortable. So to now feel uncomfortable is new.

 

It’s not really about being disliked. I get that they would want to avoid me in some ways and after an initial hello I would be avoiding them too. I don’t want anything more than a greeting to come from it. I’m probably just being a bit selfish because i want to feel confident again going to work, especially after being on leave.

 

I think you've already got plenty of an answer. His wife is avoiding you and he is not responding to you. It's just not the answer you want and it makes you nervous having to go back to work and all. Let it go. You'll get back into the routine of your work again and this will all fade. They don't owe you a lick(and vice versa). To impose that, yes, is selfish. If I worked with my husband's ex-wife for example and I found out she wanted to be cordial or small-talkish or buddy buddy, I'd probably roll my eyes. It's not realistic and a bit suspect, if you ask me. The past is in the past. You should let go of this permanently and don't expect them to even want to make eye-contact with you. They're entitled to that. Awkward, I agree with you, but the entire situation is awkward already. Just focus on doing you.

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I'll be the odd man out and say I think it's bizarre for both of them to be so weird about such a small encounter when the relationship was 15 years ago and short-lived--especially since you were presumably working at your company first for many years. But, again, I'd just be casual; don't go out of your way to say hi and don't ignore if you come across them. Just be cordial and go about your day.

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Thanks for the reply. To be honest I don’t think he realised I worked there. I guess I contacted him because it would have been very obvious after a few days that I knew his family was there. They have a very unusual surname. Because we ended on friendly terms, were Facebook “friends”, I didnt want to look like I was ignoring them. Even though they are now doing that.

 

I don't think he thought much about it nor would have think anything if he found out that was your workplace. Let it go. Be polite and say hi if you have to talk to them, but nothing more is necessary.

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I’m not really dwelling on it or our history together. I don’t think I want too much for someone to be polite. I had no thought about either of them until they turned up at my workplace so unfortunately the past has been brought into the present.

 

I am respecting their wishes. I was hoping to be the bigger person and be mature about it all. I didn’t think it was a big deal to say hello.

 

But it was a big deal to contact his sister to get him to say hello. That was actually a weird move but you don't see that.

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I'll be the odd man out and say I think it's bizarre for both of them to be so weird about such a small encounter when the relationship was 15 years ago and short-lived--especially since you were presumably working at your company first for many years. But, again, I'd just be casual; don't go out of your way to say hi and don't ignore if you come across them. Just be cordial and go about your day.

 

It's a wife thing, they don't like ex's sniffing around. This wife clearly found out the op went out of her way to contact his sister to get him to say hi. This was obviously weird to her.

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Do not involve his family or suggest he should contact you. If you see him/them at work act friendly and polite. Nobody wants issues with an old flame at work or with a wife and kids. Allow any contact to happen naturally in the course of work. Back off and don't stir the pot for old time's sake. Let bygones be bygones .

I contacted his sister on messenger as he was not contactable and said that I had found out his family were at my work. Told her to tell him to pop his head in and say hi.

He has avoided me since then, even though I was heavily pregnant and about to go on maternity leave. Since being on maternity leave, one of my colleagues informed me that his wife came to see them about “the blonde pregnant” person and requested that her child not be placed with me as it would be too awkward.

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Thank you! I’ve spoken to many many friends about this and they also think it’s bizarre! I honestly did not think it was a big deal to tell him to say hi. The only reason I contacted his sister was because I had no way of contacting him. I don’t think she thought it was an issue either, as she replied quickly and was lovely. I was really hoping he would, simply just to get it out of the way before I went on maternity leave.

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Being a wife myself for many years, I wouldn’t be bothered at all. I trust my husband implicitly and vice versa. My husband is such a friendly guy that I know he would say hello to an ex and is actually still on friendly terms with his first gf.

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