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Zoethe

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Grr [Aug. 4th, 2009|09:04 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |crankydisgusted]

Some years ago I had a catastrophic incident that led to an abrupt break-off with two people with whom I was very close.

One of those people handled the break-off with the grace of silence.

The other one spewed garbage and behaved appallingly.

The first of those two people continues to be friends with mutual friends of mine. The second drove all our mutual friends away in a remarkably quick fashion. And then of course blamed me for bad-mouthing, a thing in which friends on this list can attest I never engaged.

It was incredibly painful to know that this person was spreading vicious and nasty lies about me, and at first I wanted to rebut his accusations, but thanks to Ferrett's intervention I remained silent. And that person successfully shot himself in the foot with everyone who mattered to me.

I've been watching the same thing happen in one friend's breakup for a few months now, and something similar, though not quite as openly poisonous, just started in another's.

And frankly? It sickens me. People break up - that's just a fact of life. But following that with hostile behavior and unreasonable demands on the ex or breaking promises? Not kosher. Not acceptable.

You don't have to be friends with an ex. But going out of your way to make their lives harder? That's asshattery. It reflects poorly on you and makes the people around you uncomfortable.

Be a grownup, fer dawg sakes.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2009-08-05 02:11 am (UTC)
Depends on if the parties see this.

I'll often post about things that, if said, would really add fuel to the fire. But they don't, because those who would be upset do not have access to it, or even knowledge of the existence of that part of my life.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:39 am (UTC)
Parties involved are likely to see it. As I said elsewhere, if I felt this was an isolated circumstance I would not have spoken up, but I've seen it many times.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:31 am (UTC)
I can totally see where you're coming from, and if it was an isolated instance I would have either confronted or remained silent. There's a bigger lesson here, though, and one that all parties to any conflict can learn. I was not triggered by the particular incident but by seeing it time and again.
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[User Picture]From: letoile82
2009-08-05 01:45 am (UTC)
A sign that I spend far too much time on Facebook - I just looked for a "like" button to click at the end of this post.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:34 am (UTC)
Yes, and Facebook needs a "wow, that sucks for you!" button.
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[User Picture]From: jeffpalmatier
2009-08-05 01:54 am (UTC)
and at first I wanted to rebut his accusations, but thanks to Ferrett's intervention I remained silent. And that person successfully shot himself in the foot with everyone who mattered to me.

Very wise advice. You're usually better off keeping your mouth shut when it comes to saying anything negative, no matter how justified it is. Also, I've come to realize that defending yourself is usually a waste of time. People will either give you the benefit of the doubt or they won't, so this is one of those situations where life takes care of itself. I refuse to explain myself to somebody who isn't willing to give me the benefit of the doubt.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:37 am (UTC)
It just keeps adding fuel to the fire. Angry people thrive on that fuel.
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[User Picture]From: demariana
2009-08-05 02:10 am (UTC)
My ex and I worked at the same place when we broke up. I take it a sign that we kept the drama out of the work place when he moved out in Sept and in January some people still did not realize we were not together. Now I admit I was not the picture of silence, but I tried. Since then he has quit which has helped my mood a lot at work. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:37 am (UTC)
That was awesomely mature on both your parts. Bravo.
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[User Picture]From: jenk
2009-08-05 03:10 am (UTC)
It took 2 years before some folks realized I'd broken up with my most recent ex. Not because we didn't tell anyone -- I even made a brief flock announcement -- but we kept the people we whined to at a minimum.

We both took that as a good sign.
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[User Picture]From: moon_ferret
2009-08-05 02:29 am (UTC)
Some people just can't do it. And some people don't understand if you do it.

I cannot tell you how many people have encouraged me to dish or bitch or vent about my partner when all I really want to do is put it down and walk away. I know that some want to be supportive, but others want to hear all about TEH DRAMAZ in my life.

Meh. I don't even like the drama in my life. Really don't want to repeat it.

And if you involve kids in a break up it becomes exponentially nastier. I never felt the need to do that but my ex and my husband sure have. I am pretty sure I have permanent print marks on my back from being pushed under the bus. I just keep sighing, getting back up and standing at that damn shelter with the little sign at it, hoping that this time a bus will come and take me some where else.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:48 am (UTC)
Kids make it a beast. I was very fortunate that my ex did a minimum of smack talking, but even then there were times I bit my tongue.
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[User Picture]From: moon_ferret
2009-08-05 02:51 am (UTC)
My daughter once announced something about her father that made me lose my breath. I opened my mouth and yelled "YOUR FATHER IS...."

...and she looked at me expectantly...

"...not my husband any more, and I am angry that he did that."

She let out a breath I didn't even know she was holding.

I wanted to call him a useless m*f*er. Oh, I tasted blood. Yes I did. Man, sometimes being the grownup is hard on the dental work.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:59 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah. I own that t-shirt, too. Hang in there.
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[User Picture]From: jeffpalmatier
2009-08-05 04:02 am (UTC)
I'm sure it was very difficult, but you did the right thing. I know somebody whose ex-wife ran him down to virtually everybody they knew when they were separated. Then she wondered why he didn't want to come back to her. His reasons for not going back was more complicated than that, but he told me that he was so humiliated by her badmouthing him to everybody that he didn't feel he could go back.
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2009-08-05 07:21 pm (UTC)
I wish my mom had done some more of that. Well, ANY of that. Luckily, I was an adult already, and could take it in stride, and know that she was just angry and hurt.

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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2009-08-05 02:46 am (UTC)
Wolf and I finally were being really poor partners for each other due to history...and agreed to divorce. We split the household rather unevenly, because I knew I wouldn't need as much. Our son decided he would rather livewith his dad and that was ok too. We're good parents together still.

I like to remember that I loved him madly once, and he isn't evil, just we didn't fit. And that gives us both room to be good to one another.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 02:52 am (UTC)
That's awesome and healthy. Good for you.
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[User Picture]From: dougals
2009-08-05 03:22 am (UTC)
This is exactly what my wife and I are going through. Why make erach other miserable when we can just end things and make it a more tolerable situation for all involved?
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[User Picture]From: caudelac
2009-08-05 03:24 am (UTC)
My ex and I decided we could be friends from a distance. When she wasn't here anymore, the nastiness kind of faded into an acknowledgement of two different places. Doesn't mean there aren't scars, but I think we're both finally at the place where torching bridges to someone for whom... I used to say to her that my love for her was unconditional, but our relationship was very conditional. This is still true, and I think important. Seeking harm for /anyone/, particularly someone you used to love and adore, is a poor thing born of embarrasment and only results in a more widespread impoverishment.

IMHO, YMMV.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 03:32 am (UTC)
Very true. In some ways I still love my ex - we have two kids together and lots of memories that are wonderful. We both had to work hard during the divorce to not create irreparable chasms. Now we are able to talk amicably, but both of us are glad to be married to other people!
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[User Picture]From: miintikwa
2009-08-05 03:55 am (UTC)
I so empathize with this. It's amazing what the power of silence can do.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2009-08-05 04:11 am (UTC)
When someone hurts me, I need to rant about it. In the past, I've been one of those people who posts about it (sometimes not even friends locked) and basically airs the dirty laundry right away, to everyone. I've matured since then. I still need to rant, but I rant at specific people who are neutral, who I know are on my side regardless (my mom and my best friend, basically). I like to think I've become mature enough to say "yes, this really hurt, but I'm not going to attack them".

I hope so, anyway. x.x My current emotional state aside.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 04:24 am (UTC)
Oh, lord, I *never* meant to imply that your rants don't need to go *somewhere*! It's just that choosing the right audience is important.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2009-08-05 06:16 am (UTC)
Right right, I understood that. XD Just pointing out that ranting in general is a good tool to help the healing, but I agree that you need to be careful about it. I mean, it's one thing to rant about the little things that drove you insane about them, or certain things they did, and another to try and make them sound like the most evil person ever to everyone you know.

I went through a situation in college where I was friends with both sides of the breakup. One of them had ended up moving to be with the other one, but got their own apartment (briefly, they intended to live together after both leases were up), and then they broke up before the leases ended, and the one who'd moved threw a huge party with all the other one's exes invited, and I was invited too, and I had to sit and listen to people hate on my friend (who I'd been friends with longer, even) and not say anything. x.x That is an example of how not to do it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 01:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, not a comfort zone, that....
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[User Picture]From: puckathon
2009-08-05 05:08 am (UTC)
This is definitely a common thing-- I just talked to someone on my summer hockey team who's going through it with her ex-husband, who plays in her winter league. There are lots of people who are fine with dating in realms they may have to remain in after a breakup, but buyer beware.

I'm pleased and impressed with everyone who's recognized that cohesiveness is ultimately better than creating a social train wreck.
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[User Picture]From: shadesong
2009-08-05 10:52 am (UTC)
*nods* I had that with my ex of 2004-2005 - took it upon himself to poison the well before I moved up here. Charming. Fortunately, most everyone has seen with two years of me being up here that I'm nothing like he said I was...

I'm dealing with it again right now, on a smaller scale. And I'm still trying to figure out how best to handle it. I want to combat the lies, but I don't want to perpetuate drama, you know?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 01:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know. Stay out of it the best you can, just be yourself, and the people who know you will know the truth.
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[User Picture]From: shadesong
2009-08-05 01:33 pm (UTC)
*salute* That's what I keep telling myself.

(Thanks. *hug*)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 03:22 pm (UTC)
Hugs back!
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[User Picture]From: jadecat
2009-08-05 01:31 pm (UTC)
But being a grown up is HARD! *whines*


More seriously, yeah. When feelings get hurt it's easy to see the cause as this awful person, when they probably aren't. Also normal to want validation- you've just ended a relationship, you want validation that you're still valuable. Bad talking the other person doesn't tend to garner that validation.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-05 03:21 pm (UTC)
Definitely. It is hard to be maligned, but adding to it doesn't help.
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[User Picture]From: also_huey
2009-08-06 04:10 am (UTC)
Oooh, that's a keeper.

This just came up, in a completely unrelated conversation with someone that's never heard of you, about two other people that have never heard of you, one of whom (approximately 40 years old) actually said "If you're going to talk to her, you can't be friends with me".

Really? ...REALLY? What are you, TWELVE?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-06 04:14 am (UTC)
Except for a couple times when a relationship as genuinely damaging to me, my reaction to "it's me or him" threats is always 'then it's him; he's not giving me ultimatums."

And yeah, some people never stop being twelve.
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[User Picture]From: sarahdelynn
2009-08-06 12:34 pm (UTC)

Yes!

Such an obvious, well-put sentiment. It's shocking how vindictive people get and usually it's to assure themselves that they were the bigger/better/smarter person in the old relationship. Ironic, really.

I haven't done the LJ thing in way too long! I forgot how good the zoethe insights were.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-06 02:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Yes!

Welcome back!
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