Am I right to feel slighted?
February 24, 2012 7:28 AM   Subscribe

My ex-boyfriend informed me recently that he got engaged. He and I were together for almost four years (the last of which was spent long-distance), and broke up early in the fall. We both agreed that we would do our best to maintain a friendship, as we had been good friends before we entered into a relationship. Aside from the fact that this announcement of engagement comes less than six months after our relationship ended, I am most upset that he emailed this information to me. My question is this: do I have any right to be upset by his choice of communication in this matter?

The reason I question this is because I have some sense that I, as a friend and someone who shared a great deal of time, love, and energy with him, deserve to hear this voice-to-voice not via my Gmail account.
posted by singinginmychains to Human Relations (51 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Short answer: No. Especially if he e-mailed a lot of people about his engagement.

I think the only people who have a right to an in-person notification of an engagement are the bride and groom. If pushed, I'd say it's proper to tell the parents of both in-person, and then telephone calls for the siblings and grandparents, and e-mail or social media for friends.

You're his friend now. You don't fit into the inner circle anymore, and I think that's what's bugging you.
posted by xingcat at 7:32 AM on February 24, 2012 [27 favorites]

Would a phone call have made it hurt less?
posted by empath at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2012 [7 favorites]

You guys just broke up. I personally didn't talk to my ex for a year after the relationship ended. I would question *why* he feels the need to inform you that he got engaged, but I think that email is a valid way of handling it. Have you guys been communicating outside of this?
posted by Stephanie Duy at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

No. He's your ex and though you may remain friends for the rest of your lives you will never be as close as you once were. Definitely time to accept that.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

You can be upset about anything you want. But what are you doing to do with your anger? Pick a fight? Be mad forever? Seems like a waste of energy. It was going to be hard news to hear no matter how he relayed it to you, giving you space by telling you via e-mail was probably a good idea. Have a good cry/stomp session, wish him congratulations, let it go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:34 AM on February 24, 2012 [34 favorites]

do I have any right to be upset by his choice of communication in this matter?

Of course you do, you have a right to feel whatever you genuinely feel no matter the situation. How you respond is up to you though. I'd say something like "Congratulations! Oh man, I wish you'd told me in person so I could give you a hug! Let's get together to celebrate Tuesday!"

I... deserve to hear this voice-to-voice not via my Gmail account.

Preferred modes of communication are so subjective, and they all have such different meanings to different people, that what you are seeing as a slight was likely really not meant as one. Maybe he thought this news is so big that telling singinginmychains about it can't wait until she's off work, she's always got her gmail open so an email will get there faster!
posted by headnsouth at 7:35 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Depends on how you normally communicate. But it's probable that you would have found something to hate about how he told you, because you're not over him. I've been all three people in this scenario. Leave it alone and put it out of your mind. He did nothing wrong, and you've done nothing wrong. Keep it that way.
posted by Etrigan at 7:36 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

No. You're just trying to find something concrete to hang your anger/hurt/emotional reaction to it on.

You didn't like hearing the news - it's fine to be upset - but don't try and use that emotion to think of something to be angry with him about beyond the fact that he has moved on. It sounds like you're trying to find something you can pic a fight about at some level.
posted by Brockles at 7:37 AM on February 24, 2012 [36 favorites]

You have every right to be upset by the situation, but it doesn't mean anyone did anything wrong. You'll feel better if you let it go.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:38 AM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Its easy to imagine his thought process, he feels you should hear about it from him so he has to pick some form of contact, but phoning makes it feel ike he's rubbing your face in it and risks you kicking off. He may not have come up with a least worst solution but there where no great outs for him. Kind of understandable if not exactly what you would have liked.
posted by biffa at 7:39 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Brockles speaks truth. My own one-that-got-away ex told me in person that he was engaged, and hearing it in person didn't make it suck any less than it would have if he'd emailed me. (In fact, if he'd emailed me I could have had my irrational reaction in private rather than in front of him, so it may have even been worse.)

You can be upset, but I have a feeling that what you're upset about isn't the means he used to communicate this news. It's a symptom of the problem, rather than the problem in and of itself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:40 AM on February 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

My question is this: do I have any right to be upset by his choice of communication in this matter?

You absolutely have the right to be upset by anything that happens to upset you. This relationship is still fresh for you, and I can totally see where you're coming from.

You don't have the right to lay these feelings on him. Send him back your heartfelt congratulations via email, and be happy for him when he gets around to calling you -- I'm sure you can imagine that it's a hectic time for him and he isn't able to call everyone personally right away.

Vent to your friends and to the internet.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 7:41 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: "Do I have any right to be upset" is, I think, always sort of a tricky question, since it means a couple of things.

1) Is it okay to have this emotion?
2) Is this the sort of emotion that a person might typically have in this situation?
3) Has the other person done something wrong?

I think a lot of confusion comes from treating these three questions as if they are one question.

The answer to #1 is pretty much always "yes". You have the right to your feelings, even if they are unusual or weird or crazy-seeming.

The answer to #2 in this case, I would say, is also "yes": I'd say it's pretty unsurprising to feel upset/slighted when a person you've been with for years gets engaged to someone else. That's a really normal feeling to have. The fact that it happened soon, the fact that you just heard about it my email, it's really understandable that those factors would compound those feelings. You are in an emotionally tough situation.

The thing is, "yes" to #1 and #2 does not prove that the answer to #3 is also "yes".

In this case: I don't have the sense that your ex did anything terribly wrong here. It's no doubt hard for him to tell you he's getting engaged, and as others say, it's up to him to decide how he wants to deal with that.

Short answer: Yes, you have the right to your feelings, and yes a of of people would be upset in your situation, but no, you probably don't have the right to, say, demand an apology or start badmouthing your ex...
posted by ManInSuit at 7:41 AM on February 24, 2012 [67 favorites]

Unfortunately, nope. You guys broke up only half a year ago. Let it go. This is his choice and his choice of communication. You have no say in what he does/says and how he says it.

Of course you're feeling hurt, 6 months is nothing. However, remind yourself that this is not in your control and to let go. Focus on something new and healthy and focus on making new friends.
posted by floweredfish at 7:42 AM on February 24, 2012

If you had only ever been good friends, would you have been upset if you had received his engagement news via e-mail?

Of course not. And neither would I.

You're holding onto the old relationship, even though it has ended. Let him go and live your life. You will thank yourself when you find a new partner and happiness.
posted by teedee2000 at 7:43 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

My question is this: do I have any right to be upset by his choice of communication in this matter?

Just echoing what others have said. It's totally fine to feel what you feel. That said, bringing this up with him as some sort of "You need to interact with me differently, let's talk about our relationship" is sort of specifically what you don't get to do anymore as exes, in my etiquette book anyhow. There's always a sort of cool off period when people who used to be very very close have to get used to being less close, and figuring out what those outlines look like. My guideline, for me, is that you don't get to do those "When you said this I felt that and now we have to talk about it" stuff anymore. Continuing to get into arguments with your ex is continuing the relationship at some level and now specifically is when that should not be happening.

Put another way, there's not really going to be a good way for you to definitively split your weird feelings about the content of the news with your weird feelings about the delivery of the news, so I'd complain about it to a good friend and wish your ex well and then just move on from this.
posted by jessamyn at 7:45 AM on February 24, 2012 [7 favorites]

A lot of my friends and family have stories about going through a breakup, and then finding out the other person is engaged a few months later. Most people seem to find that rather jarring. Not that it really matters if your feelings are average or normal; they're how you feel. The email in particular wouldn't bother me, unless there was something about the way it was worded or it was cc'ed to a million people or something. But I don't know the two of you.

Honestly, though, if someone I was broken from acted like he had to make a big deal out of telling me he was engaged, I would find it a little weird.
posted by BibiRose at 7:53 AM on February 24, 2012

If he had called you, someone might be posting here "me and my fiance got engaged, and he said he needed to call his ex-girlfriend to tell her. Why couldn't he just email her (or let her find out as the news trickled out via mutual friends)? Should I be worried that he's still into her?" (And a lot of the responses would probably be "run away" and "dtmfa", but that's neither here nor there.)

That doesn't mean, as others have said, you shouldn't be upset about it. But, there's other factors involved too.
posted by inigo2 at 8:02 AM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

As others have said, you have the right to feel however you want to feel about anything at all. But no, he didn't owe you voice-to-voice or in-person communication of this news, or indeed any communication whatsoever. That he told you at all is an indication that he cares about your feelings enough that he didn't want you to find out some other way.

I lived with my ex for ten years, the last year of which was spent moving slowly towards breaking up as we spent a fair amount of time geographically separated on gigs. We remain quite friendly and have positive feelings towards each other, albeit not particularly close (she also lives on another continent now). Right around six months after she moved her stuff out of our apartment, my now-wife had moved in and we were engaged. I informed my ex about our engagement in advance of publicizing the news beyond out immediate families. I did this out of consideration for her so that she wouldn't learn the news through our mutually-shared grapevine of friends. I transmitted the news via email.

And, frankly, would have been the point of doing it any other way? What was she supposed to say except, "congratulations"? This sort of situation is not for discussing weird feelings with your ex about how he or she has moved on with his or her romantic life. If anything, it's more considerate to transmit news like this via email or letter, so as to avoid putting one's ex "on the spot" in an awkward social position. The last thing you want to do is look back on something like this and realize that you said a bunch of crazy things or broke down crying or threw out a bunch of recriminations or said something weird when your ex gave you news you weren't prepared to receive in person at a coffee shop. This way you get to have whatever reaction you have, and still behave as appropriate for the situation ("appropriate" is code for "congratulations! I'm happy for you. thanks for letting me know.").

As for the issue of your ex moving to this so soon after breaking up with you, I think if you make a survey of life you'll find that this sort of thing is fairly common. If you break up with someone who for whatever reason you figured out isn't your lifelong partner, but you realize that you want a lifelong partner and all the things that go along with a (presumably) permanent relationship, you're ready. And when you're ready, things can move faster than you might think because you can skip past the part of figuring out whether you're ready or not. When I found myself single after ten years with someone whom I realized at some point I didn't want to marry, I decided that what I wanted in life was the commitment and stability and all the other things that come along with marriage. When my wife and I started dating (we had known each other for around ten years as well), we both agreed that we wanted the things that came with marriage. And so one of the things I said early on was that if we were still together in a year's time, even if things were working out pretty well, if things didn't look like they were moving in the direction of marriage I would be moving on. Because the clock is always ticking, whether you realize it or not, and I wasn't willing to spend years and years in another relationship that didn't have the prospect of turning into what I had recently discovered I wanted in life. Luckily, things worked out pretty well for us. I suspect that your ex may have a similar realization. It's just one of those things.
posted by slkinsey at 8:11 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

You have the right to be upset but at the same time you don't necessarily deserve any particular flavor of his attention.

The decision he made regarding how he would tell you he got engaged was a reflection of your role in his life now, not the role you've had in his life previously.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:19 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

It is reasonable for him to have notified you this way, as he probably felt it best that you -- and he! -- be allowed to deal with the sharing of this information without it potentially devolving into something that would make either of you miserable. Basically, letting the news be the news factually, without interjecting emotions into it (such as you might hear in the tone of his voice, or he might hear in yours when you respond.)

A little distance is good for both of you in this case. Don't think of it as cold or casual; think of it as giving both of you suitable space to deal with your emotions by yourselves, since neither of you is the one who should be supporting the other emotionally.
posted by davejay at 8:21 AM on February 24, 2012

You totally have the right to be upset, it's how you feel and furthermore it's understandable. It was kind of a tacky thing to do under the circumstances.

That doesn't mean the way he let you know was a slight, however. I found out a really good friend of mine was engaged via Twitter and I was not pleased about that, but ultimately it is so not about me. It's about them and how excited they were, and my feelings about that whether valid or not really don't matter.
posted by Kimberly at 8:24 AM on February 24, 2012

You can be upset about whatever you want. Rights aside, he told you. Even with people you're long past, that still often feels like a punch to the gut. Normal, normal, normal. You have my permission to wallow in your hurt feelings privately if you want, but do not make a big fuss over this. It's really not a point worth bickering over.
posted by Ys at 8:37 AM on February 24, 2012

Of course you can be upset about the news, and about the way you heard it. But keep in mind that while you felt the email was impersonal, he may have felt that it was a kinder way to let you know so that you could react in whatever way you needed to.

(Or he may have just been avoiding conflict. But my point is, if your interpretation of his motivations is making you upset, there are many other possible interpretations that won't make you upset. Then you still have to deal with the other stuff you're upset about, the engagement itself so soon after your breakup.)
posted by chickenmagazine at 8:41 AM on February 24, 2012

There is nothing rude about informing friends of one's engagement via email, is there? Would you be upset if any of your other friends had done the same?
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:47 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

At least you didn't find out over Facebook from the person he got engaged to. (which almost happened to me with my ex of a longer time who still considers me one of his best friends, and visa versa)

But seriously, ManInSuit has it right. And this advice will help you a lot as you try to navigate the minefield that can be "friends with an ex" -- it's okay to have conflicted feelings. Are you going to the wedding? Do you think that might feel weird, even if you didn't want to marry this guy? Probably. But that's okay. "Caring and conflicted" isn't the same as "OMG I want him back!" or "Why is he doing this TO ME?" Learn to allow yourself to feel conflicted and not make a dramatic issue of it, and you'll be, I'd estimate, 80% through making 'friends with an ex' work.

(A large part of the remaining 20% is 'stay sober when you're around them as a couple until you know it isn't going to bother you.') This isn't actually based on personal experience or any mistakes I've made, but I'm pretty sure it's true.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:52 AM on February 24, 2012

I think it's perfectly reasonable to be upset, but the method of hearing the news wouldn't be what's upsetting me. I think you should ask yourself whether HOW you heard the news matters, or if you'd be upset regardless because this man, with whom things DID NOT WORK, has found a way to make it work with someone else.

A good friend of mine, upon hearing that her ex was engaged to someone else, said the following: "he couldn't have gotten there if not for me. That makes me feel good. I assisted him in discovering himself, identifying his needs, learning to communicate, determining what matters - for him - in a relationship. Sure, I'm jealous. But I hope I learned as much through the course of our relationship as he evidently has, so that I'll be ready too when someone better comes along."

It hurts when you feel like a person is willing to make an effort for someone else, and not for you. It's okay to feel hurt like that. And it might take a looong time before you can change that hurt into positive thoughts, like my friend above.

But let's be honest with what the hurt is REALLY about, and it's not about an email versus a phone call.
posted by athena2255 at 8:59 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

One way to look at it is that by e-mailing you, he didn't back you into the corner of having to squeak out "Congratulations" while your inner voice was screaming "WHAT THE FUCK." And he didn't push you into trying to make "I'm so happy for you" sound like a genuine sentiment instead of mechanical, or, worse, sarcastic. In fact, he didn't create the situation where your GENUINE best wishes sounded tinny to him, because of the strain of the situation between you.

Now, you may not perceive there as being any strain between you two -- but the thing is, with him getting engaged months after your breakup, strain is a totally reasonable thing to expect between even the most resilient and well-centered people. You may be 100% over him, but he may not be 100% sure of that -- and emailing you is in some ways a kinder choice because of that. And it's not an insult for him to not be sure that you're 100% over him -- again, it's totally normal for anyone to still have feelings and stuff about a long-term relationship that's only been over 6 months.

You may resent the opportunity to demonstrate your total cool by receiving this news over the phone, but you'll probably have more opportunities to demonstrate your cool.
posted by endless_forms at 9:06 AM on February 24, 2012

Response by poster: I made the wrong choice, anyhow. I posted this question after I already emailed him a response. He gave me the opportunity to respond gracefully, and yet I still took advantage of things to send him a bitter email.

The disgust I feel towards myself is too much to bear.

All of you have offered completely sound points in your responses. I only regret that my shock and anger hadn't willed me to act so recklessly.
posted by singinginmychains at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2012

Don't beat yourself up too much. We've all been there. It's not too late to e-mail him again, tell him you're sorry, and then completely disengage knowing you've apologized.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:26 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Don't sweat it too much. Who among us hasn't been there a time or two?

You still have an opportunity to send another email saying, "you know what? on second thought, I got your email at a bad time and shouldn't have written those things. what I mean to say is congratulations to the two of you. I'm glad to hear you're happy. you deserve it. it was nice of you to let me know."
posted by slkinsey at 9:28 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Or, yanno, what ThePinkSuperhero said. :)
posted by slkinsey at 9:29 AM on February 24, 2012

Response by poster: I have sent an apology email. He response to me was angry (and rightfully so); I doubt we will be able to proceed from here. It is probably best this way.
posted by singinginmychains at 9:34 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Really, it's fine. We've all done what you did. God knows I have and I felt the same exact way afterward because it was just me lashing out. You apologized like you should, now just take some time off from each other. I bet in a few months or even longer you'll maybe talk again and it'll be fine. You just need the time to move on.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:37 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think he had to expect a bad response to that email, it's only natural. Continuing to be friends with an ex even without an engagement is a hard thing to do.
posted by empath at 9:41 AM on February 24, 2012

If it makes you feel any better, the ex I was most-closest to marrying just had a baby that I only found out through Facebook osmosis, through mutual friends, and I don't want to have anything to do with any of it. If she had sent me an email I'm sure I would have replied snarkily.

I figure it's some chemical or cultural human-bonding noise, and I'm fine with that.
posted by rhizome at 9:48 AM on February 24, 2012

I feel you! I was the recipient of a mass text from my ex fiance announcing proudly that he was going to be a father. This was five months after he had moved out of my house.

I say, feel as upset as you want and don't worry about your initial response to his email.

And these are the times when any close friends or family you have are so important.
posted by medeine at 10:06 AM on February 24, 2012

What I was going to say was:

Was this a breach of etiquette? Not really.

Was it inconsiderate even if technically correct? If this is the first thing you've heard from him since breaking up, yes, because in that case the better option would be to send a gently worded email along the lines of "I don't want to be a tactless oaf/presume you're pining for me but I wanted you to hear this from me before you heard it from someone else."

Instead, it sounds like you were in contact as friends, and this was an informal public announcement that you received. Ergo, did you have a right to feel slighted? No.

Did you have a right to feel upset? Yeah, of course, anybody would.

I don't need to tell you that expressing the upset was a bad idea, you know that already. Ouch. Sorry. I really feel for you.

Emotions run high, which is why I'm dubious about the idea that a person's dating CV marks them as damaged goods if they're not friends with their exes. The people who pull that off successfully usually have a long period of no contact before resuming friendly relations, as noted above.

Again, sorry. It sucks.
posted by tel3path at 10:45 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For the sake of clarity: the email he sent me to inform me of this was personal. It was not a mass email. It was simply phrased poorly and in a rather dry, patronizing tone. We have exchanged less than 10 emails since things ended.
posted by singinginmychains at 10:59 AM on February 24, 2012

My husband's ex-girlfriend threw a pretty childish fit when she found out about our engagement through a means that she didn't deem personal enough. One of his siblings posted the information on Facebook without our permission, thus simultaneously informing MANY people we weren't ready to tell. The ex blamed it on my husband, and sent him a histrionic email. This didn't endear her to either of us, and stands as one of the many reasons she and he have limited contact now.

However, she also didn't apologize, and you have. So you're doing okay, I think. You shouldn't have responded the way you did. And while you're entitled to feel however you want, it wasn't correct to take out your unhappiness on him. But this will probably blow over because you were adult enough to take responsibility for your behavior.
posted by Coatlicue at 11:00 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you're actually upset about the news itself, but you're looking for something narrower to be upset about, so you're focusing on the way he gave you the news. As others have said, would you really have felt better if he had told you in person? You say he used an impersonal tone, but exactly how much more emotionally charged should his email have been? If he had written an email that somehow came across as intensely personal, you could criticize that and say he should have kept it more neutral. He probably felt like he was doing the best he could by letting you know about it in a carefully worded email.

By deciding to stay friends, you both left open the possibility that this kind of thing could happen. If you had wanted to make sure you didn't find out about this kind of news from him, the only way to do that would have been to cut off all contact.
posted by John Cohen at 11:31 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

My husband's ex-girlfriend threw a pretty childish fit when she found out about our engagement through a means that she didn't deem personal enough.

Yeah just to anecdata this to death, my fathers ex-wife threw a pretty childish fit when she found out about her ex-husband's memorial service through a means that she didn't deem personal enough. We had sent out a mass email to people and had sent her a personal email a few hours later. She found out about the mass email first and then somehow thought she wasn't invited [they had been divorced for a few months, separated for two years] and literally flipped out. Her fiancee sent us a poison pen email about what a bunch of bitches we were, on father's day no less. She apologized but he didn't.

Just to say that for a lot of people sending this type of news is perilous, even with people who are getting along well and even with people who theoretically aren't invested enough to flip out. For people who are ex-veryclosepeople it is worse because there's a certain finality or a realization point when you have to manage the fact that you're not the one whose feelings matter the most, to them. For a lot of relationships there's one actual breakup and then a series of aftershocks that people experience at different times and for different reasons when you get little awareness pangs that you lost something you hadn't known you lost, along with the end of the relationship.

So again, I am sorry about this and I'm sorry about how you found out. You feel what you feel, you just need to work through these feelings with someone who is not your ex.
posted by jessamyn at 11:35 AM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Definitely don't beat yourself up. Relationships can be messy and we all screw up now and again - it's what makes us human. Just learn from it and move forward.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:08 PM on February 24, 2012

Oh, how crappy. I sent a email I regretted once, when an ex moved on. As soon as I hit send I knew I should have just printed it and burned it in a ritual or something. I felt kind of sick about it for a few days. But then I realized that the sky did not fall in because of my rash reaction and, well, I just got on with my life. Take a deep breath. It's done. That's it.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:31 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is why I don't think it's healthy to be friends until you can hear news like this and not feel happy for the other person.

Be kind to yourself and avoid all contact with him.
posted by parakeetdog at 2:01 PM on February 24, 2012

I dont beleive in keeping any contact with ex's for this and other reasons. He is your past and should remain there.
posted by pakora1 at 2:36 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

You aren't upset he emailed the information. Your upset that he's inexplicably engaged 6 months after ending a relationship that was 8 times as long. It's shocking and upsetting. It's ok to be upset. But really what's bothering isn't the email. That's a minor insensitivity.

That's not to say I think you should talk to him about it. Be polite. Wish him your best. Limit contact to basic pleasantries only when required.
posted by whoaali at 2:56 PM on February 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Eh, don't beat yourself up. Sure, sending him that email was not awesome, but we've all done lots of not awesome things where exes are concerned.
posted by Ragged Richard at 3:17 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

You're not ready to be friends with him yet (that is why you had a hurt reaction). You already emailed him an apology and I would leave it at that -- and I mean, don't try to be friends now. If he tries to be friendly with you or if you feel the need to apologize further, then just explain that you realized you need more time and space right now.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:41 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

People have been saying things they regret in the heat of the moment since before the Dawn of Man. In fact, the moment Homo sapiens emerged as a species may have been when Gronk said to Onk "you're marrying that ape?!"

This is why we make apologies, as you already have.
posted by endless_forms at 8:06 PM on February 25, 2012

Hold on.

I think it's funny he sent you an email personally, only to you. What was he expecting? There are two reasonable scenarios here:

1. If you are so important to him that he needs to communicate this to you directly (not in a group email), then he should have called. A dry, patronizing email is too little. This would be appropriate if you were still good friends, for example.

2. If you are just part of his outer circle of friends (or less), then a personal email is too much. He should have let you just find out on Facebook or he could have sent a group email including you.

I don't know. This seems a little bit too ambiguous to be well meaning. It feels intentionally difficult to interpret. Don't apologize too much. He should have understood and should not have replied angrily. If you apologize again you will be rewarding his little act of passive aggression. Let it go, he's not as innocent as you think, IMO.
posted by Tarumba at 7:52 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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