I'd like to destroy his ego...but help me be a gentlelady instead!
October 15, 2012 5:42 AM Subscribe
I have a function this upcoming weekend I have to attend. My ex, with whom I have so very many unresolved issues, will be there. Help me not talk to him?
posted by youandiandaflame to human relations (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So, I have to see an ex this Saturday night. I'd like some advice on how to deal with him when he attempts to speak to me (because he will).
Let's call the ex Brad. Brad and I "broke up" nearly a year ago. We live in a small town where everyone adores him as I did. We met when I was 15 and got together when I was 29 and he was in his early 30s. We were together over a year, talked marriage and house-building, and things were generally peachy. Everyone thought we were perfect together...
There was a situation in which some couple friends of ours were involved in massive personal drama that culminated with one of the women (who had just cheated on her husband, Brad's good friend, with Brad's best friend since childhood -- we'll call her Katie) showing up at my house at 4 am, waking me in the middle of the night, scaring the hell out of my 7 year old, and generally being creepy and immature. Brad disliked Katie immensely because she purposely put him in the middle of her affair with his best friend but still, had plans to hang out with her and her husband the next night. That morning I mentioned that I wished he'd let her know that it was not okay to show up at my house like that. He disagreed that he should say anything. This upset me.
I'll ignore here that I probably shouldn't have expected him to fight my battles because I'm a grown woman and that I should not have gotten upset when he declined to mention it to her. I get that now. When I mentioned the next day that he'd upset me and I'd like to talk it out, he ignored my texts and calls. For three days. No response or contact at all. After 6 days he finally answered his phone only to say that he was so angry at me he couldn't even talk to me. I cried a bit and hung up on him. Since then, he has not contacted me.
Basically, we broke up by default with no resolution. He obviously has a serious issue with conflict (so much so that it ended our relationship and causes multiple other issues in his life). I wrote him letters, continued to call for a couple weeks, sent texts. I never heard back. That was the end of us.
So. In short. There is a small bar in town and a band I book for is playing a show there this weekend. I have to be there; this is work for me, I can't miss it just because it will be uncomfortable. A mutual friend has said that he will definitely be there. Since it's a bar and he'll be drinking (something he has a bit of an issue with), I know him well enough to know he'll talk to me. I'd like to not have to talk to him at all...
1. Is there something that is polite and yet forceful I can say that let's him know I'm not interested in rehashing our "breakup" or speaking to him? I don't want to come across as a bitch and cause a dramatic scene at this show as we'll both have tons of mutual friends there but I really don't want to have to talk to him at all. I'll admit, I have to urge to be petty and say something like "Please remember how easy it was for you to forget I existed 8 months ago and do that again tonight" but I recognize that serves no one, no matter how much I think he's earned a response like that.
2. Are there any coping skills you can think to recommend that might help me clamp down my anxiety about the whole thing? I need to focus on paying attention to the band that night (but they're good friends so I'm certainly allowed and encouraged to have a good damn time) and I'd like to have fun with our friends because we all rarely get to go out together but I don't want to be worrying about his presence. How can I ignore him and frankly, my urge to rake him over the coals for being such a massive dick to me back then?