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Am I being unreasonable?
June 8, 2008 6:43 AM   Subscribe

I've had a recent and uncomfortable event happen in my romantic life. A previous lover of mine came and visited me and stayed a few days in my apartment knowing that we were separate. This was a mutual arrangement that was unspoken, yet understood. However, after a night downtown with myself and my friends, she gave one of my good friends (who had no idea about our history) oral sex while I was passed-out drunk on the floor no more than 8 feet away in my apartment which I share with my sister. Considering that we had a serious relationship for nearly a year, am I out-of-line in thinking that this was malicious or inconsiderate?
posted by hellslinger to Human Relations (44 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
One vote for inconsiderate or beyond.

Not only does it violate the unspoken ex code it violates the house guest code as well. I'd send her packing and cut ties, sounds like a whole bunch of unnecessary stress for you.
posted by huxley at 6:50 AM on June 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


It wasn't the most tactful thing for her to do and I can understand why you're upset, but since you two are no longer in a relationship, you have to realize that she is free to do what she wants with whom she wants.

I agree with huxley that you should think about cutting ties, but not necessarily because what she did was "wrong." You still have lingering feelings, and every time you see her or speak to her, those all get dredged up again. Once you cut her out of your life you can really begin to move on.
posted by kitty teeth at 6:59 AM on June 8, 2008


This was a mutual arrangement that was unspoken, yet understood.

Considering what transpired, are you sure it was understood? The lesson I'd take from this is to be plainspoken and articulate the ground rules, if any, verbally and upfront. You just can't have an ex stay with you for a few days and then go out partying without laying out what is and is not acceptable.

As always with relationships, it's best to ask for what you want or need. You may not get it, but at least you've made it clear to yourself and others what you want.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:59 AM on June 8, 2008


Yes, you are out of line. The two of you are not together anymore. She has the right to have sex with anybody she wants. (If you want an objective discussion in AskMeFi, I suggest you change the tags you have chosen to put on this post, as they suggest pretty bad things about you as a person).
posted by hydropsyche at 7:02 AM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it's inconsiderate inasmuch as it's rude to engage in sexual activity while someone else is a few feet away passed out. I'm also assuming that everyone else was drunk, given that you were passed out--is this correct? If so, it instead comes under the heading of 'exceedingly tacky, but if everyone was that drunk then some allowances should be made.'

Moving on... how long ago did you date? If you broke up within the last few weeks, then yeah it's probably not really adhering to the Ex Code. If you broke up more than 6 months ago (based on how long your relationship was), then neither of you, I think, really owes you anything.

I know this sounds all rules-lawyery, but it's not meant that way. Just that after a relationship, there's sort of a half-life where it's reasonable to expect that you each sort of tiptoe a bit around the other when it comes to new people in your lives. And while that period will vary depending on the people involved, I think that around six months at the outside is probably pretty reasonable.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:06 AM on June 8, 2008


Her actions weren't all that tactful, but neither are your tags of "whore" and "vindictive". She's not with you anymore. She can give oral sex to whomever she pleases, even if it's your good friend. Maybe not the best idea to do it when you're sleeping a few feet away, but yeah, I think your vindictive whore reasoning is out of line.
posted by meerkatty at 7:11 AM on June 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


The issue isn't her having sex with anyone else. The issue is doing it in his apartment literally in front of him. I say that's completely inconsiderate and ridiculous and such a sleazy thing to do I would have just cut ties already and not bothered to deliberate.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:12 AM on June 8, 2008


In your house - inconsiderate.

The fact that she's your ex - not inconsiderate.

She was drunk? - not inconsiderate.

She's your ex. You no longer have any "claim" on her. She can do as she pleases with whomever she pleases. And she was drunk? Even less reason for you to blame her. It probably wasn't the best thing she could have done, but it's not like you two are still together, or that you have reason to expect her to behave in a certain way around you.

However, she had sex with someone else while in your house. Any one of my house guests having sex with another in my house would freak me out.

For me, it would depend on whether it was premeditated or not. If she set out to hurt you, then fair enough. If she was drunk, and it "just sort of happened", then that's a different situation.
posted by Solomon at 7:12 AM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're not being unreasonable. Yes, it's inconsiderate that she did that, even if you didn't have a history. That a house guest thing. But, no matter what people say about not having 'claims' on your ex, there's definitely an ex-code, and the code doesn't expire, even if you dated five or more years ago, because of the strong (although perhaps 'irrational') emotions that come with relational history. Also, the tags might not be appropriate, but they're probably accurate. Those are my two cents.
posted by farishta at 7:18 AM on June 8, 2008


Inconsiderate because she is a houseguest and you were in the same room -- not because you and her used to go out. If you had a new girlfriend, would you have remained carefully chaste for the time your ex was visiting? "No honey, we can't kiss, my ex is in town and it would be rude to kiss while she is here" would go over like a lead balloon with most women.

(Conversely, some would say that for the host to be passed out drunk on the floor of the room in which his guest is sleeping might be a tad inconsiderate, too -- there may have been resentment on both sides after this weekend. And your friend wasn't too classy, either -- couldn't he have invited her home, or at least said "hey, how about we take this into the other room"? I like my friends, but I'm not interested in sharing blowjob space with them.)
posted by Forktine at 7:21 AM on June 8, 2008


I don't think it's necessarily a house-guest thing, though-- there's no anger expressed towards the friend who was involved; the tags are "vindictive" and "whore" rather than "inconsiderate ex." And if the reasoning is "This was unacceptable behavior," then certainly both the ex and the friend should receive equal consequences (i.e., "cutting ties", or whatever).

As for the actual act, whether her understanding of "the rules" was different, or because of the alcohol, her judgment was poor: sex in a public place can be questionable, but if that place is the residence of an ex-partner, it's really inappropriate. Either way, since she's an ex, it might be as well to just let any relationship at all fade.

One (possible) positive: at least the friend (I'm assuming it was the friend) passed the information along. Otherwise, since the original poster was passed out, and couldn't know what had or hadn't happened, the potential for further, worse misunderstandings might have been there. It sounds like a difficult situation, though, and I feel for everyone involved.
posted by ElaineMc at 7:28 AM on June 8, 2008


i think it's reasonable for her to go down on whomever she wants, and it's equally reasonable for you to be upset about it. it's irrational, of course, but still understandable. perhaps it was inconsiderate of her not to think about the consequences of her actions while drunk, but y'know, she was drunk. however, perhaps since you were passed out, she didn't think you would ever find out, and therefore thought your feelings would be spared.

takeaway lesson: don't let exes be houseguests until several years have passed since the break.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:36 AM on June 8, 2008


Malicious? Perhaps. Have the two of you talked about it? Do you feel as though she did in part to screw with you? Is she apologetic? Or was she just super drunk and using poor judgment?

Inconsiderate? Oh HELL yes.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 8:00 AM on June 8, 2008


Er, how did you find out about it?
posted by megatherium at 8:25 AM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


So were you passed out drunk, or not? If you were passed out, then what she did isn't particularly inconsiderate to you, as it's not like she was trying to hurt you. If you were pretending to be passed out, then you were actually being inconsiderate to her, as she perhaps only went ahead (ahem) because you were passed out. Stuff like this happens when people are drunk; and sex can be a bit adventurous in situations like this. If it were me, I think I'd tend to be more happy for my friend who got head than getting caught up on something done by someone who is supposed to be my ex. You start off the post saying that this is something that happened in your 'romantic life.' If this is your ex, this did not happen in your romantic life--it happened a year after your romantic life.

Not saying your feelings aren't justified, but if this were my process, I would be examining what I thought would happen after a night drinking with my ex, who was coming back to my place after; whether 'unspoken, yet understood' was actually a convenient way to leave the door open for something to happen; and whether I really feeling offended, or just jealous.
posted by troybob at 8:29 AM on June 8, 2008


Am I being unreasonable?

Yes.
posted by mediareport at 8:36 AM on June 8, 2008


And where this general idea come from that it's rude for houseguests to have sex in your house? I love houseguests, and love when they have a good time; if they get laid, it just adds to their enjoyment of being in my place. No less than three couples have come to visit and left pregnant (and happily so), which I think is the ultimate compliment of my ability, as a host, to make my guests feel at home.

BTW, the post's clarification "...which I share with my sister" I thought was kind of strange, unless your sister is a four-year-old or a nun...
posted by troybob at 8:36 AM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


8 feet away from you in your house? Yeah pretty damn inconsiderate, not to mention just generally gross. Hard to know if it was malicious, honestly some people are just this stupid especially when drunk. I think you have a right to get mad, but hear her out before cutting ties, some people make really bad decisions when they are drunk and this might fall into that category.
posted by whoaali at 8:43 AM on June 8, 2008


Yes, you'd be being unreasonable to get grumpy about this.

Harden up. It's over. You said so.
posted by pompomtom at 8:51 AM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


But, no matter what people say about not having 'claims' on your ex, there's definitely an ex-code, and the code doesn't expire, even if you dated five or more years ago, because of the strong (although perhaps 'irrational') emotions that come with relational history.

Yeah, no. Sorry.. once the relationship is over, you have as much claim over an ex-lover's actions as you do over random person walking down the street. The 'ex code' refers to treating other people with a modicum of respect.

Also, the tags might not be appropriate, but they're probably accurate. Those are my two cents.

And what exactly do you base this on? Christ.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:04 AM on June 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here's my problem. You're asking a question about manners. But manners don't exist in a vacuum. In some contexts (e.g. in a middle class home in the 1950s), it might be good manners to say, "Please, sir, may I have the salt?"

In your context, it's (apparently) normal to be passed-out drunk in front of guests; it's normal for guests to have sex in a room with their host (you don't seem phased that they had sex -- just about who had sex); and, since you were passed out and couldn't have known what happened, apparently it's normal for someone (your sister? your ex? her lover?) to tattle about who had sex with whom.

My gut says, "Yes, what they did is rude." But that's based on my context. I feel a little like I'm on "Cops," asking the guy getting arrested to "keep it down a bit" so that I can watch "Masterpiece Theatre."
posted by grumblebee at 9:30 AM on June 8, 2008 [18 favorites]


This question is inherently unanswerable inasmuch as the type of etiquette this question deals with isn't universally agreed upon in a definitive source like an Emily Post book.

Personally, I think it's tacky to have sex when there are other people in the room to the degree you're likely to make those other people feel incredibly awkward and uncomfortable should they wake up. So I agree she was wrong to do that while you were in the room, though I'd feel that way regardless of whether she was your ex or not.

One thing I do feel confident in saying is that if you're not comfortable with your ex-girlfriend being intimate with people other than yourself, then you are clearly not ready to be friends yet. From your post it sounds like you still have feelings for your ex, are jealous that she's clearly moved on and is happily sexual active with other people, and are looking for a way to make her the villian to deal with these uncomfortable, upsetting feelings.
posted by The Gooch at 9:43 AM on June 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think your over reacting, and attributing your hurt feelings to her planning to hurt you. Oral sex in the manner you described is tacky, but it's part of the territory of drunken binges.

Don't offer her to be your house guest again, you're obviously too attached to your ex.
posted by Phalene at 10:08 AM on June 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


However, after a night downtown with myself and my friends, she gave one of my good friends (who had no idea about our history) oral sex while I was passed-out drunk on the floor no more than 8 feet away in my apartment which I share with my sister.

1. The fact that she's an ex wouldn't bother me. The fact that she's blowing my friend wouldn't bother me. The fact that my houseguests are having sexy times in a room that I am sleeping in would bother me.

2. To me, the bigger thing is that you were passed-out drunk, yet you seem to know all about it. I'd be upset at whoever told me about it. I don't wanna have to think that every time I fall asleep I might be waking up to people having sex.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:26 AM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


(you don't seem phased that they had sex -- just about who had sex)

Bingo, yeah. If it had been some random friends, it looks like it wouldn't have been a problem.

What it looks like the problem really is here is that the OP thinks he still gets to dictate his ex girlfriend's sex life. Sorry, OP. You don't. Period.

You do get to dictate what is and is not acceptable activity in your living room, of course.. but again, the sense seems to be that if it hadn't been her, you wouldn't be so pissed.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:43 AM on June 8, 2008


I don't wanna have to think that every time I fall asleep I might be waking up to people having sex.

It's okay, 23skidoo, we've all figured out that you sleep really soundly.

Seriously, you're passed out on the floor and I'm sure she was hammered. It doesn't sound like she exhibited a lot of class but assuming vindictive or malicious motives sounds more like your issues coming forth than hers. If you don't care to have her in your life by all means don't, but don't act like you're seizing some kind of moral high ground.
posted by nanojath at 11:45 AM on June 8, 2008


Does '8 feet away' mean 'in the same room' or 'on the other side of a wall'?
posted by zippy at 11:58 AM on June 8, 2008


I agree with 23skidoo.

This sounds damned embarrassing, to hear that your friend was getting a blowjob while you were passed out next to him (of course, here in NYC, 8 feet could be two rooms away, so context matters). Sleeptime is vulnerable time, and obviously you feel your friends didn't have your back.

I assume your friend told you, not knowing the history between you two, and was duly embarrassed himself afterwards. That he could get off in your place, while you slept on the floor nearby, unimpeded by liquor-dick, shouldn't be shrugged off. Seems like there's bad judgment all around, here.

Revoking crash privileges is totally within your rights, naturally. You can ascribe all the negative intentions you wish on what happened, but without talking about it, you're never going to know for sure. You may be ex-lovers, but you're still invested somehow.
posted by Busithoth at 12:02 PM on June 8, 2008


"Hey, $FRIEND, can you *not* let my ex *blow you in my living room?* My sister lives here too, y'know, she doesn't need to see that. Also, my *ex,* man, what were you thinking."

The ex is your ex. The friend is your friend and he ought to know better than to be having sex in your living room, or wherever it was you were passed out.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:07 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It sounds like everyone had too much fun that night, yourself included. This is just the kind of thing that happens when people with unresolved relationship issues elect to get shitfaced in mixed company. Of course you have a right to be upset. But you also had opportunities to set this whole visit up a little better so that it never would have happened in the first place.

Sounds like you two aren't ready to be friends yet.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 12:25 PM on June 8, 2008


Sounds like she and he were just drunk and horny, and it had nothing at all to do with you.
posted by emd3737 at 12:31 PM on June 8, 2008


This would have been a rude act even if you'd never dated any of the involved party. For god's sake, the couldn't even have taken it to another room? Lame. The ex thing makes it extra shitty. Letting exes crash at your place is a bad idea in general, really.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:32 PM on June 8, 2008


Another vote for inconsiderate and a bit tacky, but not evilly malicious.

The proper response according to the Brave New World Of Modern Manners under the "Hookup, Drunken" chapter (cross-referenced with "ex code") is:

"Hey, I know about the action you were giving Friend. Uh, with me eight feet away? That's not cool, capiche?"

Her response would be "Ohhhhhhhh. Dude, I was hammered. Sorry 'bout that. We cool?"

And then you congratulate yourself on navigating the sometimes tricky "being friends with the ex" thing and all is good.
posted by desuetude at 1:02 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


My reaction is somewhere between grumblebee's and dirtynumbangelboy's. But it doesn't really matter, does it? This isn't a real question, this is a "validate my emotions" post, as is clear from your "best answers" (read: people who agree with you).

Bottom line: you don't own your ex, and "unspoken, yet understood" is nonsense. You're trying to superimpose your understanding onto your ex. I'm quite sure if she posted we'd get a very different picture of her understanding.
posted by languagehat at 1:23 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


To answer the questions: yes it was in the same room, there were no walls between us. Secrecy was intended because my friend told me that he wasn't supposed to tell me about it but didn't think it was a big deal because he didn't know the history. Additionally, after the act was over and my friend went home, she slept in my bed.

Yes, there were still some mutual feelings between us. The relationship needed to end because of long distance and no plans to ever even live in the same state. The plan was to remain friends and active seek out other people. Unfortunately, this ended up being the decisive end to friendship and anything else there might have been.

The most important bit of advice is clearly this; letting an ex stay over is certainly a bad idea, I'll never let that happen again.

I'm amazed and intrigued by the wide variety of opinions expressed here. The rational part of me wants to believe this is no big deal considering there was no real harm done until I heard about it. The upset feelings I have don't agree with this.

Being that:
- we have a long history
- she told my friend not to tell me
- she slept in my bed after the act
- I was in the same room and
- this isn't some college party house, it is the apartment I share with my sister,
this action crossed some boundaries which should not be crossed by friends, exes, or houseguests.

To those who don't think this is a big deal, and I'm curious: If you were staying over at your ex's house for whatever reason, would you honestly be able to be intimate with someone else at their residence and not feel as though you were doing something inappropriate even if it was in a separate bedroom and not in a public room? If so why?
posted by hellslinger at 1:25 PM on June 8, 2008


My reaction is somewhere between grumblebee's and dirtynumbangelboy's. But it doesn't really matter, does it? This isn't a real question, this is a "validate my emotions" post, as is clear from your "best answers" (read: people who agree with you).

This validation you speak of may seem obvious, and there certainly is a bit of that sentiment considering my situation. For what it's worth, hearing similar responses helps me articulate my own feelings. On the other hand, the main reason for marking the ones I did is because I was a fool for allowing an ex to stay over in the first place. Passing out drunk in the living room while having people over who may also be drunk and frisky is also foolish and my fault. Hell, passing out drunk on the floor anywhere regardless of the situation is not a good idea.

I am genuinely interested in the opposite, no harm done, opinion and would like to hear more.
posted by hellslinger at 1:38 PM on June 8, 2008


If you were staying over at your ex's house for whatever reason, would you honestly be able to be intimate with someone else at their residence and not feel as though you were doing something inappropriate even if it was in a separate bedroom and not in a public room? If so why?

Uh, because my ex is a grown man (married, in fact) and I'm a grown woman and we both feel that it's perfectly appropriate to have sex in each others' homes as long as everything's consensual.

Of course, inviting someone over to his place without his permission would be quite rude. So, invited guests only (or hot people picked up while barhopping--same difference if everyone comes home together).
posted by sondrialiac at 1:38 PM on June 8, 2008


this action crossed some boundaries which should not be crossed by friends, exes, or houseguests.


Aha! Now we get to it. This is what you need to remember.. it doesn't matter who did it; it's that the action was tacky. The 'malicious', 'vindictive', etc etc comments are red herrings--they explain your initial and irrational response, but don't actually address the real issue.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:51 PM on June 8, 2008


Would you honestly be able to be intimate with someone else at their residence and not feel as though you were doing something inappropriate even if it was in a separate bedroom and not in a public room?If so why?

Sure, if I was stone drunk. That's one of the reasons why I moderate my alcohol consumption.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 2:00 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


My reaction is somewhere between grumblebee's and dirtynumbangelboy's. But it doesn't really matter, does it? This isn't a real question, this is a "validate my emotions" post, as is clear from your "best answers" (read: people who agree with you).

I would venture to say at least 50% of the these types of questions that are asked in here are validation type questions. Nothing wrong with that, as long as people can accept the invaldiation which it sounds like hellslinger is open to.

Alcohol is not some kind of magic potion. Sure, you have lowered inhibitions, and you do things that you wouldn't normally do. But, in most cases, you do not do things unless you have some kind of will or intent behind them before you got drunk. Your ex still holds resentment towards you and acted upon it. Even when I am totally blottoed I know whether or not I am being a complete ass and doing something wrong. Or whether I am doing something I would not normally do.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:11 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, inviting exes that you aren't quite over to stay at your place, and going out and getting so drunk that you can't even make it to bed... that's kind of the primordial stew for drama right there. These things tend to happen when sexual tension and alcohol mix. Inconsiderate, absolutely. Malicious? I highly doubt it.

Additionally, I wonder if maybe you were hoping that something would happen that night between her and you, and that's part of why you were so put out.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:00 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you were staying over at your ex's house for whatever reason, would you honestly be able to be intimate with someone else at their residence and not feel as though you were doing something inappropriate even if it was in a separate bedroom and not in a public room? If so why?

I wouldn't think twice about it. Ex is ex. If they'd invited me to stay the night (and not sleep together, of course), and I'd agreed, it would mean we were at the "friends" stage, and not, for instance, in week 3 of the breakup.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:07 PM on June 8, 2008


[a few comments removed - please take name calling elsewhere, thanks]
posted by jessamyn at 5:38 PM on June 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I hopelessly mired in the previous generation, or does the phrase "she gave one of my good friends oral sex while I was passed-out drunk on the floor" have the following problems:

two people engaging in public sex (ew)
someone who drank enough the pass out (stupid and possibly in denial about his alcoholism)
two (more?) people who seem unconcerned that a good friend is drunk enough to pass out (clueless and morally negligent)

Forget the relationship ramifications. If you'll pardon my language, the whole thing strikes me as more than a little fucked up.
posted by nax at 6:57 PM on June 8, 2008


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