My long and forgotten ex boyfriend's best friend continues to torment me years after the relationship ended. He works in the same small industry and his passive-agressive actions just make me see red. What else can I do to take the high road and not let this get to me until I can cut ties completely?
posted by cakebatter to Human Relations (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In 2007 I started dating a man who I had a 2 year relationship with. We lived together for the last year, which made it very clear that we were not compatible and did not have a future together. No hard feelings, so we dissolved the relationship and I moved out and on with my life. The ex boyfriend did not take it well, and ended up falling into a deep depression and refused to move out of the shared apartment and on with his own life for a half a year (while openly telling people how sad it made me to live there). He continuously talked to his best friend about how horrible I was for leaving him, how I had been selfish (expecting him to pick up his own laundry, not wanting to do 100% of the chores even though I made more money and contributed more, and not wanting to come support his hobbies because I was busy with my own, and just wanting a partner who I felt I had more in common with in terms of lifestyle and long term goals). His best friend was completely on his side, that I was a horrible person, conveniently ignoring the contributions of the ex to the demise of the relationship, and the fact that sometimes things just don't work out and it is nobody's fault.
At this point, 3.5 years after the breakup, the ex has moved to a different city, and we don't talk. I have completely moved on and hope that he has too. I wish him happiness.
However, while dating the ex, his best friend had encouraged me to seek work at his company. He gave me a great recommendation and I ended up getting a job there just before moving in with the ex in 2008. We have the same profession, and its a small world where everyone knows everyone. He continues to hold a grudge against me to this day. It started right after the breakup, when he would have parties etc and invite EVERY SINGLE ONE of our coworkers, and my ex boyfriend. Its not like I wanted to be invited, but previously it was that same group of people and ME, not my boyfriend. It made a lot of people uncomfortable and they would tell me they thought it was weird that he was doing that, but hey, what are you going to do. I tried to ignore it but I would feel hurt when he would purposely exclude me from a social scene that I had actively participated in before. His actions were passive-aggressive and very subtle, so he had full plausible deniability and I wanted to let it go so I never confronted him.
The relentless feeling of being treated by a pariah by somebody who had been my friend really wore my self esteem down and I grew very resentful towards him for having such a small, irritating, relentless presence in my life. I felt like I had really moved beyond the era of dating my ex and everything was great, had some great new friends, a great new boyfriend, and he was the last vestige of all of the strife and wrongness of being with the ex. I just hated him and wanted him to engage with me so I could have a turn of ignoring him, but for some reason, he just always had the upper hand which made me even more angry at being affected.
He got a new job last fall, at another agency that works closely with ours. I rejoiced! Finally free and clear! However, he continues to actively antagonize me. For example, I am looking for a new job (in a new industry because I'm ready for a change). One of my coworkers is good friends with him and tells him everything going on in our office, and anything he knows that will make this guy laugh at me (another coworker's wife won't socialize with this guy because he "secretly" calls her the wildebeest so isn't a very nice person." The best friend uses this information to write me horrible little emails. I had a mess with a contractor, the sort of little thing that comes up all the time, and I instantly got an email from him saying "having fun with ---?? lol" WTF dude. Once a job opening came up at his new agency and he emailed it to all of the other people at the office and then simultaneously wrote me an email just saying "hows the job hunt going?" WTF dude. I think he enjoys knowing things about me and having a good laugh at my expense because he hates me for hurting his friend. I'm over it and just find it irritating, just a little joy suck from life. I usually respond with something light and cheery, although one time I snapped and told him that I would have to stop talking to the coworker because "y'all are gossips!!" which was strangely effective and stopped the emails for about a month.
SO I have blocked his email from all of my accounts, blocked his facebook, and have avoided telling anything personal to the coworker who tells him about my life. Why am I still so irritated?? It seems like such a little thing, and I want to get over it. I hate having to censor myself around my coworkers and I hate how a happy family here at work still connects me to the ex I desperately want to have completely out of my life. I hate how, even if I wanted that job at his agency, he would bad mouth me to a whole group of people for no reason other than I wouldn't wash his best friend's socks. I feel like I don't deserve this kind of aftermath and it bothers me that he can't get past it and took it so personally.
Will having a new job fix this, or is it just me? What is wrong with me that this gets to me?