A friend asked me to help him move, & here comes the ex....
July 2, 2016 7:06 AM   Subscribe

A friend who is moving out of state asked me weeks ago if I could help him move his belongings on July 2nd. My friend’s ex-girlfriend that he currently lives with also asked me the same thing a week ago.

They broke up this past April & my friend is currently living in her condo. I said yes, as I’m the only friend that the guy has in LA, and I guess movers are out of the question due to cost. Basically, its only two guys and one girl moving stuff to a U-Haul truck.

His ex treated him to dinner as a good-bye gift this past Thursday. The three of us were hanging out, and she mentioned to me that MY ex-gf (broke up this past April also & my friend is really close friends with her) was planning to be at the house to see the dogs for the last time. My friend is bringing the two dogs with him, and my ex loves dogs more than people. My friend asked me if I was ok with that, and I told her that I wasn’t comfortable with it. In fact, she’s the first person I told back in April that I needed to cease communication with my ex for the time-being. Afterward, I told my ex that I needed to distance myself for my sake, as she still wanted to be friends & would look forward to the day that we would start talking again.

My friend told his ex that my ex should come Friday to see the dogs instead of Saturday because he had the feeling that I would not show up to help if my ex was there. Now, I NEVER said that I wouldn’t show up if she was there, and I was just uncomfortable with it. I found out last night from my friend that my ex wasn’t going to her place today and was visibly upset about not seeing the dogs on their last day in LA. Also found out that my ex went to her place last night before hanging out at some club & saw the dogs off for the last time.

After finding this out yesterday afternoon, It sorta has put a damper going to the three day weekend. I felt bad for my friend who was caught in the middle, and she didn’t necessarily tell my ex that I wasn’t going to show up & not help if she was there. My friend texted her that I was going to be there, and her ex really needed my help. She left it at that, and my ex decided not to go today. Was i wrong in telling my friend that I wasn’t comfortable with her being there? I don’t want to control people’s actions, & my friend was put in a really awkward position. It also made me realize that seeing/meeting friends that I met through my ex also doesn't help me get over here. In all fairness though, my ex told me 2 months ago that it was ok to still talk to her friends/family. The breakup was very civil, but I wasn't ready to fully accept that we weren't together anymore.
posted by tnar23 to Human Relations (8 answers total)
I NEVER said that I wouldn’t show up if she was there, and I was just uncomfortable with it.

This is an etiquette thing. If you said you weren't comfortable with a thing that I had asked you about and I had any leeway with the situation then I would not do it. To me the exchange goes like this

"Are you comfortable with this?"
"OK I won't do it"

Who cares what your ex thinks at this point? If people are telling you about your ex in weird ways "Oh she was really upset..." that is on them not you, and it's slightly weird. The best way for a friend to manage this situation is to basically keep the non-communicating exes separate which also includes not passing messages and managing their own feelings around the issue.

You're not at all controlling people's actions by saying what makes you uncomfortable, you're controlling your OWN actions which is totally ok. You made your decision, your ex made her decision. They're going to get one less helper because you don't want to help your friend move while your ex is there. And that's a totally reasonable choice to make. I think this worked out fine besides your own feelings of guilt which I hope you can work through because you did nothing wrong.
posted by jessamyn at 7:25 AM on July 2, 2016 [15 favorites]

I'm still slightly sleepy this morning, so I didn't completely track the different ex people in the story, but "Call me when ex leaves, and I'll be there an hour later to help with packing" is how I would handle it. It even seems possible that the say good-bye to the dogs things is a pretext for a setup. Why does it have to be the same day?

Having a boundary about seeing your ex is fine and normal, especially when you are doing a solid good deed for someone.
posted by puddledork at 7:37 AM on July 2, 2016 [6 favorites]

No one did anything wrong here. It's an awkward situation but everyone is getting what they needed. Your friend is getting help, your ex saw the dogs, you don't have to see your ex. Relax and don't worry about it.
posted by metasarah at 7:53 AM on July 2, 2016 [8 favorites]

The story was a little confusing, but from what I can understand you didn't do anything wrong. Your ex got to say goodbye to the dogs and you are still going to help with the move. That is a kind thing you are doing.
posted by missmerrymack at 8:04 AM on July 2, 2016

What is the question? Seems like everybody got what they wanted. Hopefully, you get some pizza and beer for helping.
posted by AugustWest at 8:24 AM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

You didn't do anything wrong and are actually being a very helpful, kind friend. Helping people move on a holiday weekend when most people want to relax and have fun is actually quite a huge favor. Having boundaries is normal and healthy. Your ex being upset that she can't see these two dogs on their last day when she saw them less than 24 hours before is a bit ridiculous. If anyone is out of bounds here, I would say that it's her. You're a good person doing your friends a solid. Try not to let this put a damper on your weekend or make you feel less than awesome about the help you are giving.
posted by katemcd at 8:55 AM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

Was i wrong in telling my friend that I wasn’t comfortable with her being there?

posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:37 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Agree that this is a good thing. You set a boundary, your ex and your friends respected it. You're still helping with the move, she still saw the dogs. Everyone wins, even if stating your needs was a little uncomfortable in the moment.

You did good.
posted by rpfields at 4:37 AM on July 3, 2016

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