Banded Badness

by admin on September 10, 2013

I have an exceedingly awkward, and (for me, at least) one that is also, to put it bluntly, humiliating. And I have absolutely no idea how to handle it well, having never encountered such awful behavior EVER (maybe I’ve just been extremely lucky?).

Here is necessary background: a little over a year ago, I was briefly – for approximately two months, maybe? – romantically entangled with a guy who I will call “N”. He is in his early 40s, I was at the time 23, and I am now 24. I add the ages because I really feel that despite the age gap, out of the two of us, I handled our relationship – and actually, life at large -in a far more mature manner than he. The relationship was not healthy (he wasn’t abusive or anything, but it was just not good) and at the time I was in a very bad place, so after we’d been seeing each other for a bit I broke things off with him. I tried to do so in as peaceful and friendly manner as possible, however, N took it very badly, and in fact for at least a month after was veering toward being a stalker. Eventually he settled down, and we went our separate ways. This was May of 2012.

At the beginning of August, after having flown solo since seeing N, I (quite literally) randomly met a wonderful man – call him J – who, in horrible coincidence, just happened to be a member of a band that N is also in. I had never met or seen J while I was dating N, so this really was just a terrible coincidence. J and I started dating, and while it was clear to us that N was very jealous, he seemed to be controlling himself very well. J and I are also closer in age – he just recently turned 30. I saw N occasionally when I went to one of their band’s concerts, and (I thought, anyway) that we now had a civil acquaintance going on. Of course I was wrong! That would make things entirely too peaceful, as you will soon see.

In December, I became pregnant. It was a surprise, but J and I decided to raise our child together. When he saw me at one of their concerts, N even very sweetly congratulated me/us and said he wished us all the best.  Then rather suddenly, J declared that he didn’t want me to attend any of their concerts again, since N would be there. I was confused – J knew perfectly well that I had no romantic interest in N – and after I continued poking at him, he confessed that N had (for quite some time) been making comments to J about how he hoped J was enjoying the ‘sloppy seconds’ and other equally crude and disrespectful statements, all regarding J and I’s relationship. I wanted to immediately contact N and give him what-for, but J requested I just let it be…so I grit my teeth and did so, hoping that if N continued to get no reaction he would stop.

Instead of stopping, N has now crossed a line that I find absolutely impossible to ignore. At their band practice this past week, he first greeted J by asking, “So, how’s N Jr.?”, implying that the child I am carrying is a.) Not J’s, and b). That he is still in some kind of relationship with me. J tried to play it off by reminding N that actually, our baby is a SHE, and SHE is doing just fine. N then proceeded to make a series of lewd comments involving our unborn daughter – the detail is totally inappropriate to share, but suffice to say it involved what might happen once our daughter turns 16 since that’s the age of consent….yes, it was that bad and worse.

My gut instinct is to do actual physical harm to N – it’s one thing to needle J about me. I can deal with that. But this is just….beyond unacceptable. Clearly ignoring his comments will not work, J does not want to confront N himself for a few different reasons (which are all very rational and acceptable to me), and I am just at an absolute loss as to how to handle this. Please help! I want to handle this with class, but still make it crystal clear to N that the comments WILL stop. Short of hiring a hitman (no, I’m kidding), I don’t know how. Thank you in advance for all assistance, and you have my utmost gratitude. Sorry this was so long! 0615-13

If N is as bad you claim, one wonders why J is not doing whatever is necessary to protect his family which could well include leaving the band to join another one and moving his small family a distance away.    And I wonder why the other band members appear to have no influence on N’s behavior towards another band member….the band sounds dysfunctional if that kind of relationship interaction is allowed to continue.  J and N go to work playing in a band yet there is no professional courtesy, civility or demeanor that this band’s members appear to uphold.   Isn’t there a band leader/organizer who can control the actions and words of N because to not do so creates a hostile work environment and guarantees the band will never achieve success with so much relational strife going on.

{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

The Elf September 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Well, it’s obvious that the least contact with N is the best. And if you feel the safety of you or your daughter is at all in question, get a restraining order, move, whatever it takes. Short of that – LET IT GO. Don’t let this guy bother you so much and stop asking about him. Yes, he’s a total creep and J would do well to have it out with him about how the comments are unacceptable and maybe even kick him out of the band (I’m sure his behavior has not gone unnoticed by the other band members). I hope J come to your defense. But so far all I’m seeing are hateful words. Rise above the drama – his bad behavior will speak for itself. I doubt anyone takes his comments seriously.

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June First September 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I work with domestic violence advocates, and I can tell you this type of scenario sometimes escalates.

OP: You can’t change other people, only yourself.
If you need inspiration to get out of this destructive rut (I hope you have other people who are supportive of you and your daughter), log on to Pinterest and look up the following:
“People will treat you the way you let them.”
And, one of my favorites: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”–Maya Angelou

Post these quotes on your mirror, on your fridge, wherever they’re most helpful. And see if you can find a support group for moms or low-cost counseling.
Good luck on your journey.

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sv September 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I think it’s pretty hard to judge J without knowing his reasons for not confronting N. If the OP feels they are valid then we should take them as such. Just because J isn’t facilitating a fight with N does not mean he is not sticking up for the OP and his unborn child. And as for the posters who suggest kicking N out of the band….it is very possible, since N is older, that he was in the band first and that J is in no position to kick him out. And it is also very possible that J is staying with the band to help support his child. None of these things make it okay to put up with the bullying, derogatory comments, but the OP does not say that J is simply putting up with it without any comments – she is saying that he does not want a confrontation.
OP, if you love J and feel you want the relationship to work then I for one don’t think you should leave him, or tell him to ” man up” ( how I hate that term! As though men are the only ones who can be tough or protect people!! ). However, you do need to take care of this situation. If it is not possible for J to leave the band then I think you and J, together, should tell N that the comments about you and your child must stop or you will take legal action. Ignoring them will not make them go away. It’s a hard position to be in, OP, and I feel for you. Good luck.

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Marozia September 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Weird!! N is behaving like a spoilt child. J is behaving like a wimp and OP is too confrontational as it hasn’t gotten through to N.
I remember when I was insulted by someone, my come back was ‘Yeah, yeah, you said that yesterday..*yawn*..too boring.”Same old, same old…get over it’ and just rolled my eyes. I even said ‘That’s nice, dear *more yawning*. They finally got jack of it and it never happened again.

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Kimstu September 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

@Peas: “I don’t think J should ever have started dating N’s ex AND stayed in the band with him – especially when the break up was so emotional and full of drama. […]
I’m, of course, not saying N is a good person, but this was basically an act of betrayal by J.”

Wait, how is dating the EX-girlfriend of a bandmate or colleague, or even of a friend or relative, an “act of betrayal”?

It’s not like J “stole” OP from N or OP cheated on N with J. The OP and J had never even met while OP was dating N. But once N and OP were split and had cut off contact, she met J and started dating him.

Any ex-boyfriend who would consider that a “betrayal” on the part of the new boyfriend needs to stop being such a self-centered drama king. His ex-girlfriend’s new love life is none of his business, period.

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S4R4H September 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

@huh: completely agree! The most immature and unstable guy I ever dated was a 39-year-old back when I was 22. If you’re still interested in someone so young, it’s likely you’re experiencing an extreme case of stunted personal growth.

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David September 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm

@Peas;

Women aren’t possessions. Just because the OP had dated N for a while, that does not make her his with no choice as to who she dates later.

OP, I sincerely believe that you should take your child and move far from the drama. Anyone who would make sexual comments about an unborn child is worthless.

It’s too bad I don’t know the name of the band as I would make sure to never give them my money.

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Jen September 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Congrats on the baby, OP!

My first instinct was to jump on the “how dare J not do anything?!” bandwagon, but maybe he is and OP didn’t elaborate? The OP called the situation “increasingly awkward” and not dangerous or completely unbearable, so maybe to her and J it’s not escalated to the level where NEEDS to do something?

That being said, there is definitely a line after which J needs to either quit the band or get N kicked out of the band because he should put his child and the mother of his child above a band, no matter how great that band may be or how many opportunities it may afford. The line seems obvious to us, as readers, who are just seeing a tiny window into OP’s situation but, in truth, only OP can tell where that line is. But please, when you do feel that line is crossed, do not hesitate to act because N seems a classic case of an abuser and the potential threat from him towards you and your child is nothing to be ignored.

I find it interesting that it seems everyone is assuming the band is J’s job. I know a lot of people in bands or other creative pursuits that may get a little extra cash from gigs, but for whom the band is a labor of love. OP, is the band J’s main source of income or a side gig?

And I agree with the poster who said there is a lot of musical talent out there. If J wants to be in a band, he doesn’t necessarily have to be in N’s band. If music is what J loves to do, love will always find a way. :)

@huh & @S4R4H, I too have found this to be true. I haven’t dated guys with that large of an age gap but have seen the same scenario happen again and again with friends, my sister, co-workers, and acquaintances: The younger person in the relationship is generally very mature for their age and the older person is either A) not serious about the relationship and is simply having a fling/rebound/etc. or B) is below the emotional and social age and maturity they should be for their age. In the case of B), the younger person normally outgrows the relationship and moves on.

@Peas, I’m in complete agreement with @Kimstu. By your definition, if someone goes out with someone, then even after the breakup, they still “own” them which says that they didn’t view them as a relationship but property. You probably didn’t think of the implications, @Peas, but please think about it in terms of domestic violence and abusers and realize how having that sort of mindset makes it really easy to slip into a “blame the victim” mode. This harkens to a common trope I hate on sitcoms: two friends find the same woman attractive, so they fight over her to decide who gets to have her. Never during this fight do either of them think to consider that they should just let her know they are both interested and let her chose. Nope, she doesn’t get a voice. They get to pick her off the shelf like they’re buying her.

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Peas September 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Kimstu – putting your own wants and need above those of your friends to the point that you actively engage in behavior that you know will be very painful to them (dating an ex) is an acrid betrayal in my book.

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Michelle C Young September 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I think it’s time for J to call a band meeting. How the band handles it depends on what kind of band it is.

Is this a professional band, where they are actually trying to make a living? If so, they need to address this in a professional manner. That is to say, N is creating a hostile work environment, and the band, as professionals, need to address that as such. There may be laws that apply. It is possible that they could report N to law enforcement for harassment, and he might face fines or prison. The band members can give him an official warning, and if it continues, they can, as a group, take whatever legal action is applicable. I say “as a group” because any single member of the professional band who sides with N would be contributing to the hostile work environment, and also face the same charges.

Is this a casual band, that just gets together to play for fun, and the odd paid gig? If so, then it is time for some social discipline. Until N stops the harassment, apologizes, and makes a visible effort to make restitution for his hurtful behavior, the entire band will cut him. If they do not cut him completely out of the band, they will at least cut him socially, neither inviting him to any non-band activities, nor accepting any invitations of his, nor will they speak to him except as absolutely necessary in regards to band business. It’s called “the cut direct,” and can be quite effective, particularly if all band members agree. There again, anyone who sides with N on this would be contributing to the problem and also be cut.

J should address this at the band meeting, and see who is with him and who is not. And if no one will stand with J, then J will have to find another band to join.

One last thing: If N refuses to change his behavior and/or the band refuses to support J, and especially if their livelihoods depend on payment from fans, J might have some leverage if he threatens to tell this story to the press. Plenty of fans will choose not to support N with their money (tickets, album sales, etc.) if they know what a jerk he is. After all, there are plenty of excellent musicians to follow. If you have the stomach for it, and the personal strength to handle the publicity, you have a very powerful tool at your disposal, in the form of public shame, especially when money is involved.

Good luck! I sincerely hope N comes to his senses quickly, before this goes any further. Frankly, he is acting like a child, and I’d be tempted to tell his Mommy.

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Michelle C Young September 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

“J does not want to confront N himself for a few different reasons (which are all very rational and acceptable to me)”

OK, I am having a hard time thinking of what those reasons could be. However, I will give the OP the benefit of my many years of reading, watching, and witnessing real-life stories of human beings living extremely complicated lives. Blackmail is a real thing, threats of blocking someone’s access to money, property, and yes, even their own family and friends (N may be holding someone on J that would make him lose visitation rights for a child, for example). I don’t know what the reason is, but if OP says it is rational and acceptable to her, I am prepared to believe her.

Besides, morally speaking, the band members should be booting N, not J leaving. Please do give them a chance to do what is right.

However, if N and the bandmates will not support J, and he has his reasons for not taking action against N, then you may very well have to leave the situation entirely, to protect yourself and your child. Whatever action you need to take, though, PLEASE, do not let anyone (including yourself!) tell you that you or your child are not worth it. You ARE worth it, if that means calling in the police, suing N, kicking N out of the band, or even moving to a different state. You, and your child, are worth it. And if the band does side with you, and boots out N, please don’t listen to any of those fools who will (WILL!) say that you are responsible and you “ruined his life.” He ruined his own, with his dreadful behavior. He is responsible for his own faults, not you.

And always remember, if all you can do is get away… Life has a way of catching up. N will get his karma, someday, without your help. The best revenge is to just live your life and be happy without him. Remember – train wrecks are best viewed from a distance.

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Lisa September 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Count me among those who think J needs a spine.

On a side note, with the Family Photo Exclusion drama and now this one, is this trashy behavior story week at eHell?

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Allie September 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Ultimately, as a mom, you have to make the decisions that are best for your baby. If the dad won’t take steps to keep the baby safe, staying with him may not be the best decision for the baby either.

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RC September 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

@Kimstu
Whilst I do not condone N’s behaviour, I do disagree with you there – it certainly would be an act of betrayal. I find at E-hell, with most submissions one has to read between the lines, as the OPs (naturally and understandably) always put the positive light on their own perspective.

Based entirely on what OP wrote, lets think about it from N’s perspective:

“I was seeing this wonderful woman, and we had a short-lived but intense relationship; I was devastated when she broke things off with me, and found it hard to handle myself afterwards. Things did settle down though, and we went our separate ways.
Then I find out LESS than three months later, she’s dating one of my besties and bandmates! And I have to see her all the time because of the band. It was hard that she moved on to one of my friends so quickly, I was jealous but tried my best to control myself, I joke around with J a lot of try and disperse some of the awkwardness.
THEN I found out she was pregnant to him after only 5 months, which hurt a lot; but I was the bigger person and congratulated them, and wished them all the best.”

Can you see now that all of this happened very fast and could certainly be seen as a betrayal? I agree with the previous posters who have said that J and OP brought the drama – why did she even go there? Admin was right – dating N turned badly, but dating J was also a poor decision.

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Michelle C Young September 10, 2013 at 5:02 pm

JS – “Also, OP, whether or not this is humiliating is actually within your control — that’s one thing you can do something about. N isn’t exposing anything that’s true or real about you. He’s a giant exploding oil derrick of disgusting behavior, and all he’s doing is splattering his vileness around. He’s making himself look horrible. He’s (helpfully) showing the world his true colors.

A tug of war only works if both parties agree to play. Put down the rope.”

I completely agree with this. Anyone who witnesses N’s behavior (anyone with a lick of sense, that is) will think worse of N, not of you. And those who think ill of you because of N, simply are not worth worrying about.

As to the statements that J should stand up for you and your baby, and that he should not be passing N’s filth on to you, I agree with that, too. I said that I am prepared to believe that there may be valid reasons for J’s unwillingness. However, those reasons really do need to be heavily evaluated, because J does have an obligation to protect you, and those reasons need to be extremely powerful to trump his responsibility to you and your baby. I won’t ask for details, because frankly, anything big enough to trump a man’s duty to protect his lover and his child has got to be something one would not wish to post here on this website. Seriously, I’m thinking blackmail is about the only reason.

Still, please reconsider. If J is prevented, by blackmail, some other strange reason, or just J’s cowardice, then it may very well be better for you and your daughter to simply break things off from J, as well as from N. You and your baby deserve much better.

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MichelleP September 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I can’t believe the posters here defending N’s behavior! The OP did nothing wrong when she started dating J. She and N were not serious, they were not together long, and she didn’t even know J.

@RC, there is nothing even implying that J and N are “besties”. Your post from that moron’s “point of view” is absurd.

OP, distance yourself from N, and if J won’t put a stop to his nonsense, distance yourself from J too.

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MichelleP September 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Dated a J and married him, unfortunately he stayed a wimp throughout the marriage, too. Ended up divorced. Had the “bros before hoes attitude” too, and kept it.

There was a pp who suggested that maybe J is not putting up with N’s comments, maybe giving him the “evil eye” or saying “that’s inappropriate”, blah blah blah. Sorry, but anything short of punching him in the teeth and telling him not to say anything like that again is not cutting it.

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Mae September 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm

The moment N started alluding to doing something nefarious to an unborn child when she reaches “age of consent” is the moment all bets are off. From the way OP describes it, I am *assuming* it was sexually related. What kind of sick person thinks about an unborn child that way?

Whether any of us agree or disagree with OP and J’s relationship, how quickly things progressed , J breaking the “bro code” or whatever, when anyone starts threatening (at the time) an UNBORN child and the father of said child (J) does absolutely NOTHING to defend or protect the child and the mother of the child, that is a coward. The part that really gets me is J is **telling** OP the things N says and OP “pokes” J for info.

If it were MY child, no manning-up would be needed. I would “woman-up”, tell J to pick a side- band & N or child & me. That may upset some posters but N is obviously dangerous. People who exhibit stalker like behavior usually end up having some mental and/or emotional issues.

Does N have to actually harm OP and/or the child before J & OP will wise up and do something to protect themselves?

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Erin September 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm

@Peas and RC, the “bro code” is a crock. Like David says, women aren’t property.

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Simmi September 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm

I’m going to say something terrible but I think it needs to be said.

Regardless of what happens with J, I think N is toxic. He has already made sexually explicit comments about an unborn child. If he were to get angry at you or J, he could take it out on your daughter by beating her, kidnapping her or raping her. You need to protect her at all costs and it doesn’t seem that J is willing to do so.

My Mum dated a man for 5 years who would beat my brother when he was angry with her. He would throw my brother down the stairs and punch him in the stomach and it wasn’t until he punched my Mum in the face that she threw him out. She failed to protect my brother. No child deserves that.

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NostalgicGal September 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Restraining order, pack up, and move.

J really needs to break all contact with N and the band.

I wish you luck OP, I really do.

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Kimstu September 10, 2013 at 11:13 pm

@Peas: “Kimstu – putting your own wants and need above those of your friends to the point that you actively engage in behavior that you know will be very painful to them (dating an ex) is an acrid betrayal in my book.”

@RC: “Whilst I do not condone N’s behaviour, I do disagree with you there – it certainly would be an act of betrayal.”

I simply do not understand this. To me, this is like saying that it’s a “betrayal” for the friends or colleagues of a person with diabetes to eat sugar, or for the friends/colleagues of an alcoholic to drink alcohol.

Yes, I get that the deprived person misses what they used to have and feels envious of those who can enjoy what they’re deprived of. But what needs to be said to the deprived person in such a mood is: Sorry, but THAT’S LIFE. It is not your business what other people do with sugar, or alcohol, or your ex-girlfriend. Your friends and colleagues would be doing you no favors if they refrained from enjoying what they want out of deference to your needy, self-pitying, dog-in-the-manger attitude of “if I can’t have it then I shouldn’t have to put up with seeing anyone else have it”.

(And btw, I have formed amicable relationships with a few women who have married ex-boyfriends of mine that I had dated for a LOT longer than the two months OP was going out with N, so I think I’ve put my money where my mouth is no this issue.)

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Marbles September 11, 2013 at 12:25 am

Sometimes it takes holding his baby daughter in his arms to make a man understand what it means to be a father. I hope this is the case here and J has his epiphany when they welcome their daughter.

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Mer September 11, 2013 at 6:00 am

I have to admit that I’m quite surprised how much of a actually sexist comments I see today. I want you to ask yourselves, would you be ready to very strongly oppose (or physically attack as some of the posters have implied) a coworker or a boss no matter how degrading comments they made especially if there is a possibility that this causes situation to escalate towards violence and might end badly for you. If not, don’t as any man to “man up” and do the same. Men are not responsible for throwing themselves in the way of bodily harm because of your honor. And if it’s something else than your honor that is being threathened, police is the one to contact.

Now Michelle C Young had some good points. If somebody is (especially at this economical situation) holding your livelihood in their hand and you don’t have a backup plan, you kind of have to suck it up untill you can find a solution. Disgusting comments about your girlfriend are not really suitable explanation when you are late with your rent or mortage payments. If the band as a team do not want to do anything towards N (if he is a leader of the band, there might not be much to do), it is true, that J leaving the band might be the best solution for him and the OP. But if this is his work rather than random hobby (we do not know) it is not that easy and quick solution to make, you need to have other work on the line, and there might even be some contracts you are breaking if you leave right away.

I also agree that J needs to stop telling OP what N had said. Also, J would need to stop commenting anything about OP or the child to N.

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Peas September 11, 2013 at 6:19 am

I think comparing an obviously emotional breakup with eating sugar doesn’t equate for me. People generally don’t get really emotional about sugar.

Of course women aren’t property. Where the heck did I ever imply that? In fact, the “bro code” rule I mentioned had nothing to so with J’s relationship with the OP and everything to do with the relationship between N and J. You don’t date your close friends’ ex and expect then to be sunshines and rainbows about it. You want to put your relationship with your friend’s ex before your relationship with you friend? Fine. But don’t expect to be friends anymore.

Also, I never defended N’s behavior. I do think J was wrong. Having this new and blossoming relationship between his good friend and a woman n felt very strongly about shoved in his face was obviously emotionally very difficult. He’s being insulting and an ass, but I don’t think J is in the clear for his decisions either.

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Tracy September 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

Betrayal? It’s “betrayal” to date someone who associates with your ex? Who is being betrayed? Your ex? I don’t understand. What kind of allegiance do you owe someone you’re no longer dating?

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Jen September 11, 2013 at 8:05 am

“Based entirely on what OP wrote, lets think about it from N’s perspective:

“I was seeing this wonderful woman, and we had a short-lived but intense relationship; I was devastated when she broke things off with me, and found it hard to handle myself afterwards. Things did settle down though, and we went our separate ways.
Then I find out LESS than three months later, she’s dating one of my besties and bandmates! And I have to see her all the time because of the band. It was hard that she moved on to one of my friends so quickly, I was jealous but tried my best to control myself, I joke around with J a lot of try and disperse some of the awkwardness.
THEN I found out she was pregnant to him after only 5 months, which hurt a lot; but I was the bigger person and congratulated them, and wished them all the best.”

@RC, you consider that “based entirely on what OP wrote”?As part of your narrative, do you imagine N said to J, “Oh, you’re having a daughter, not a son? Well, since I fancy OP so much, as soon as your unborn daughter reaches 16, I shall court her, good sir.” because I’m really confused as to how you reconcile what you wrote with N saying things like “sloppy seconds,” implying the kid is his (calling her “N, jr.”), and making lewd sexual comments about the unborn daughter.

I still stand by what I said before. People are not property. After a relationship ends, people are free to date whomever they want, especially when they met completely independently of the ex. Now, I fully agree that good way and a bad way to go about this. If it were to happen in my group of friends, I would be very upfront with my friend that I have started having feelings for their ex and made sure we talked through it before anything started happening.

However, I don’t think, as some have implied, that N and J were “besties” or even friends outside of the band. After all, OP dated N for a month or two and she never met J. Implying that during the time they were dating, N never brought OP to any concerts and that if N brought OP to hang out with any of his friends, J was not included in that. To me, it seems unlikely that N and J were “besties”.

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Kay L September 11, 2013 at 8:44 am

J should leave the band.

My husband and I were in a band together a very long time ago and there was a women in the band too who was harassing me and doing it in a way that was not obvious to everyone else. She was extremely passive aggressive. Her actions led to other actions that actually impacted our marriage!

Since leaving that stupid band my husband has had so many better opportunities. Sometimes someone is reluctant to give up something because they think they are losing their hobby when in fact, a much better situation awaits them if they will break out of the bad situation.

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Kirst September 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

Doesn’t anybody else get the screaming heebiejeebies at all the “a man must protect his family” gender stereotyping? N appears to be a dirty-minded, foul-mouthed creep and both the OP and J should be telling him to shut his foul mouth and making it very clear that the band isn’t big enough for both of them. But if either of them has genuine concerns for their safety or the safety of the unborn child, they should be contacting the police. But, I have to say, turning a few appallingly tasteless comments about having sex with the child when she is of the age of consent into a suggestion that the man’s a rapist is nothing but histrionics.

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Erin September 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm

@Peas, the “bro code” implies that women are property be acquired, used, and discarded – you don’t date your friend’s ex because she somehow “still belongs” to your friend, even though she’s an adult fully capable of thought and reason, who chose to be in a relationship with someone else. Forbidding your friends to date your ex is like a little boy who doesn’t want anyone to play with his toys, even the ones he’s done with. It’s made worse by applying the discarded-toy concept to a living, breathing human being.

If your friend and your ex are in a relationship, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. You have to get over your baggage and move on – they didn’t get together to hurt you because they didn’t include you in their attraction. If you’re hurt, you have to deal with it because it’s all you, not what they’re doing to you. And before you argue I’m using the generic “you,” not the specific “you, Peas.” It could just as easily be “you, RC,” but it’s really “you, the guys who stand by the bro code.”

N has no business in their relationship and they need to force him out. There is no justifying his behavior by crying betrayal – he’s a monster and they need to stand up to him. And J shouldn’t handle it by banning OP from concerts like she’s the problem – N is the problem. If J won’t deal with his end of this issue, he needs to go.

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The Elf September 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

You’re not the only one, Kirst. However, from what I can tell here, J hasn’t made it absolutely clear that he will not tolerate such bad-mouthing of his girlfriend and child. That’s important. He’s the only one with direct access to N – he needs to be the first line of defense for the family. While I’m not seeing anything other than nasty words at this time, I do see potential for more. If the genders were flipped I’d be saying the same thing.

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RC September 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I apologise that people seem to have taken what I said in entirely the wrong way; at no point have I condoned N’s behaviour, at no point have I implied woman are property or can be owned, at no point have I implied that N has any rights to OP’s life.

OP can be with whoever she likes, including J. But if N’s feelings were hurt by J dating his recent ex girlfriend, I would understand that hurt.

I do NOT understand, or agree with at all, or try to justify, his behaviour, which is abhorrent and vile.

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them”.

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Jays September 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I just want to say that I agree with Kimstu completely. The whole “betrayal” thing being thrown around here turns my stomach. :P

And Kirst, I see what you’re saying, but I guess I don’t consider it gender stereotyping because “a woman must protect her family” is equally valid. And that’s what most people are saying the OP should do: Get away from N. Far away. What’s up to J is whether or not he goes too. (And that’s where “man up” comes in.)

One way or another, I think the OP should stay far, far away from N.

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Allie September 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I think BOTH parents should stand up for their family. Right now J is certainly failing to stand up for his threatened child and mother of his child. OP is standing up a little more, but also should find some spine.

But I think we’re telling J to grow a spine more because he seems to be the one really forcing the inaction.

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Grey September 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm

J doesn’t want you near the band and he tells you about all the evil things that N is supposedly saying? He also has no intention of confronting N?

Is there any chance J is jealous of your past relationship and is lying about N’s comments in an attempt to keep you two apart?

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Jen September 12, 2013 at 8:55 am

@Kirst, yes, some of the “man up” comments did seem a bit much (and I think one of them was actually advocating violence?) but I don’t think others were saying that OP shouldn’t do anything because she’s the woman and let the “man” handle it. I think a lot of posters are saying BOTH should defend the baby, which OP seems willing to do, but J doesn’t seem like he’s doing anything. Since he’s the one who’s actually present for the comments, he needs to step up his game. “Man up” is just an unfortunately sexist choice of phrase.

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Susan T-O September 13, 2013 at 8:31 am

In response to the “dating your friend’s ex is betrayal” comments: my former boyfriend began dating a friend of mine within two months of us breaking up. Was I hurt? Yes, very much so, but in time I got over it. I began dating someone else. My ex is now married to my friend, I’m married to the person I started dating afterwards, and all four of us get along as civilized, mature people do.

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Enna September 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

N’s behaviour is not normal. Okay he settled down after you broke it off but he still shoudn’t have behaved badly. I think if anyone finds them in the OP’s or J’s situation nip in the bud – tell the offending/stalking/obsecng/harassing peron to stop it. If they don’t record it and avoid them. Then if that doesn’t work go to the police. Or go to the police if the rubbish does not stop.

The time for N to be given a choice to buck up, shut up or leave the band has gone. He needs to be kicked out or J needs to leave.

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Mae September 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm

@Kirst (comment #79)- I don’t think anyone is saying N is a rapist but he is upset that OP & J are in a relationship and expecting a child. He is making lewd remarks about the child and implying that he is going to find the child when she is the “legal age of consent” and have sex with her. (At least, that is what I took that part of the submission to mean) When she is 16, he will be approximately 56.

Even if he is just making those remarks to get at OP & J, it is still creepy and seems stalker-ish. Both OP & J need to make some decisions about how to best protect their family from his dramatic, OTT and stalker-like behavior.

Just how long is N going to make comments and exacerbate the situation? I can understand that he was little hurt and upset that J & OP are together and expecting a child but at some point, you have to let it go and get on with your own life.

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LizaJane September 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Every make and half females in my family would have already punched N in the nose, so I got nothin’.

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otterpop September 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi, OP here – in a stunning coincidence, the day this was posted was the day that my labor was induced – thus, until now, I haven’t been online at all. Answering questions – the band is 100% a labor of love. N and J are in it together, along with one other member, but I wouldn’t consider the three of them ‘friends’ – they practice together 1-2 times a week, then play out at various local bars. one thing I should have mentioned is that J has Asperger’s – he hates confrontation, avoids it at ALL costs, and then beyond that, up until our daughter was born, he was very much on the fence about his involvement with her (after he held her the first time, he was a goner though, in the best way possible). I think also in his mind to confront N directly would be a sign of weakness, showing that N can get under his skin with these disgusting comments.
I submitted this a few months ago, and after the initial flurry of comments etc, N seemed to have shut up (or if he didn’t, J stopped telling me, or letting me bug him into telling me). Just to follow up, though, when I’d written this, I had actually forgotten that N in fact does have a son living in his home state. He is not actively involved with the child at all aside from speaking to him on the phone once a month or so, and I think visits maybe once a year. J had a show to play with him this Friday, and of course N knew that our baby was born at this point. He apparently took J aside and told him that he wouldn’t blame him for not sticking around, that ‘us baby daddies have to stick together’. J just kind of looked at him, which I think made his position clear. Hearing that actually changed my feelings about.the situation to pity for N more than anything. He is an unhappy person and would be thrilled if he could drag someone else down to his level, and in the process, he could totally rationalize the fact that he essentially abandoned his own offspring due to selfishness.
J’s great love is his guitar – he is an extremely talented musician. The band, despite the interpersonal issues, provides him with a release that he wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. Him having that is important to me. He also seems to now be committed to being a parent to our daughter, and gross comments aren’t going to change his mind on that.
Anyway, sorry for the long comment, but I appreciate all the thoughts – it has helped me really rise above what essentially amounts to a really sad lonely person running their mouth, which in the long run won’t affect me or my family.

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Sarah September 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm

@RC – N and OP dated for 2 months. That’s 8 whole weekends, assuming they spent time together on each. For a 23 year old, that’s a pretty short relationship. The time in between the break-up and her meeting J was longer than the entire relationship, possibly even double (if it was early May and late August). If she moved on “so quickly,” then it was a very quick relationship, clearly. What, should she have taken a year off from dating to wait for an adult in his 40s, who she very briefly dated and had an unhealthy relationship with, to get over himself?

On top of that, I think it’s a stretch to say they’re “besties”, since OP had never met J via N and she hasn’t mentioned a single interaction with him outside of band things. I doubt she is around N all the time, considering J only asked her to stay away from their gigs, not stop going to practices or anything. And if those sort of statements are what N considers jokes to help ease the awkwardness, he’s an idiot. There may be two sides to every story, but that doesn’t mean that both are rational and well-meaning. Sometimes people are jealous and petty and looking to hurt others to make themselves feel better.

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