So, I have a history of breakups that end horribly with my humiliation. Its pretty much super awesome in that self-deprecating "I've got your story beat" kind of way.
The major problem with this, or, today's major problem with this, is that it leaves me completely separating myself from any contact with my former partner. Since I consider myself an adult who is kind and friendly, this really bothers me. I hate hate hate that I have no contact with partners that I loved for a number of years. I think that breakups happen more often than not and we should be able to be adults about it and at least have casual contact, such as facebook friendships or being able to be in the same room at a party together. I don't expect or want to be best friends with exes, but I think civility should be an option. As relationships end, I behave in a manner that makes this possible. Every decision I make during a break up is in regards to having a civil relationship after the fact.
Unfortunately, the fates disagree with my goals.
So here is the current situation: Steve and I broke up 6 years ago after living together for 4. Our relationship was moving towards the breakup anyway, but he sealed the deal when he cheated on my very publicly with a girl who looked a lot like me in both physical appearance and dress and shared my name, but was five years younger. He had been hiding the relationship for a number of months before I realized what was going on, meaning they celebrated their 1 year anniversary (again, very publicly) when we had been broken up for about six months. This caused a huge rift in friendships and I stepped away from the drama, basically disappearing from the view of anyone who was less than a very very close friend of mine. I also ended a number of friendships- the idea that people I considered close to me, who ate meals that I prepared for them, who spent nights at my house, did not tell me about the situation was too much for me to bear and I refused to create drama, so I dropped the hot potato.
I, naively at the time, thought Steve and I could still be friends. He used that opportunity to milk me for quite a bit of money until I put a stop to it and sent him an email stating that I realized what he was doing and that he should not contact me anymore. He responded with a vicious email (of course), but I did not respond.
I have had no contact with Steve since that last email he sent me, 6 years, actually, closer to 7 years ago. We do still share a couple mutual friends.
Last week I had lunch with one of those friends. She let me know that Steve had hit a really rough patch- he had been very ill and in and out of the hospital a lot recently and had been vague-booking about it. She wasn't sure what was going on, but according to other friends that she had spoken to about it, it was a major problem. For the record, this friend does not usually discuss or bring up Steve. I don't like to gossip about my exes, and she knows this, so her bringing him up at all made me think it must be rather serious.
If this had happened to anyone else I knew, even if I hadn't had contact with them in many years, I would have sent them a facebook message or a text saying that I was sorry to hear that they had been having trouble, they were in my thoughts and that if there was anything I could do to not hesitate to ask.
So right now I am very conflicted and could use some guidance from ehellions on this one.
Part of me says,"Hey, be an adult. You would do this for anyone else, just send the same message to Steve that you would to anyone you knew who was going through a similar situation."
Then another part of me says "By not saying anything you are still holding a grudge and withholding kindness, which is rude and cruel."
Then another part says, "Are you kidding? This guy was horrible and ended your relationship in a very cruel and disrespectful manner. The result of his actions is that you ended contact. Don't feel guilty, he doesn't deserve to ever speak to you again under any circumstances."
I don't know- just typing it all seems to have helped me lean in one of the two directions. It's just one of those things I would never ever discuss with people who knew us both because I wouldn't want to make them uncomfortable.
So thoughts, opinions, abdication of my guilt, smacks upside the head? All are welcome while I over-analyze this.