Author Topic: My friend is sharing too much about her and my ex, how do I ask her not to?  (Read 6539 times)

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sallyann

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So, this one might seem like a stupid question, but I know I'm too emotionally involved to see clearly on this one:

I recently moved away from my friends and family for a temporary (2 year) work opportunity. Among the people I left back home were an Ex who I am still in love with, and a close female friend who I regularly contact via phone/email.

A while ago, my friend mentioned that she was going on a date with Ex. While, obviously his wasn't pleasant news to me, I figured she was just trying to be upfront. I replied in a 'thats ok' kind of way (to let her know I wouldn't hate her for it, or something daft), then changed the subject.

Unfortunately, my friend has felt the need to keep up with these 'updates' about their relation ship, despite my repeated beandipping, culminating in tonight. We had said we'd talk on the phone tonight. She sends me an email earlier today day, saying she is going to ex's house because he is cooking her dinner, so she'll be later than we said, but she'll call when she gets home. At the appointed hour, I get another email, apparently she's not going to make it home tonight after all, she's staying at his place.

My head says that they of course have every right to do whatever they want with whoever, and my heart says I want to smash plates/sob into a huge bowl of chocolate ice-cream (I probably wont actually do any of these things).

So, I need to say something to her to stop this before it drives me crazy. I don't want the awkwardness to ruin our friendship, but I really can't cope with hearing about what my ex is doing with a new woman, it's heartbreaking. Every time I try to work out what to say I think I'll burst into tears, or make her feel guilty. I feel like I can't ask her not to mention her new boyfriend at all, but I don't need to know they're probably 'playing scrabble' right now, if you know what I mean?

I know they are not doing anything wrong, but I just can't handle it.

Delia DeLyons

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While yes, they do have the right to see whoever they want, I think it's quite insensitive of your friend to keep telling you these things when she could just as easily say something ambiguous like 'I'm going to be later calling than I thought' 'I'm sorry, but I just can't chat tonight'.... It's very off to me... I think you should send her a short e-mail probably, but not sure exactly what you'd say... I'm sure others can help with that.  ((((hugs)))) for this difficult situation hunny.... Best wishes to you!
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bah12

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It seems pretty insensitive of her to talk to you in such specific detail about dating your Ex.  I'm assuming she doesn't know that you are still in love with him...if she did, insensitive would actually be cruel.

I think it's ok that she let you know they were dating...that's fair.  She's probably expecting that since you don't live in the area, and won't be returning for at least 2 years, that the awkwardness will be less and that when you return, if they are still together, there would be no issue.

But, she can give you a heads up and then not say much unless you ask her.  She has to realize that as much as she might want to talk about her "new BF"...that she's also talking about your "old BF", so the need to be all giddy and divulgent, should be reserved for another friend whose not so emotionally close.  Even if you weren't in love with him, she should give you that consideration.  Especially being that this is all so recent.

What to say to her now:  "Friend, I'm happy that you and Ex are doing well. I don't want you to feel like you can't tell me about your boyfriend, but even though we have broken up, I'm not really ready to hear all this stuff.  You aren't doing anything wrong and I'm fine with you dating him, but can you please not tell me so much?  At least until a little more time passes?"

AustenFan

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Would friend normally tell you that she would be sleeping over at her BFs house, or is that a new thing?

I'm asking because (to me) that level of detail sounds a bit like marking her territory. A simple "I'm sorry, it's not going to work for tonight, can we reschedule?" to you would have covered it perfectly, but it sounds like she is bringing up your ex every time she can.

Next time could you give a joking "yeah, thanks for the TMI!" until she gets it? 

gramma dishes

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How I feel about this depends on whether or not your friend knows you're still kinda' sorta' in love with him.  If she honestly thinks you guys are broken up for good and everyone is happy, then maybe she's not so bad.

But if she knows, or even suspects vaguely, that maybe you're not really quite completely over him, then what she's doing is quite intentionally cruel and she's rubbing it in that she's "winning".  For me, that would be sufficient cause to back away from this friendship completely.



Ceallach

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I think your friend is being extremely insensitive to the situation.  dating a friend's ex is a big deal.  Of course there is nothing wrong with it, but it does impact upon the relationship. There's history there.

I would reply to her email and be quite honest about how you feel.   "Friend, I'd really rather not know details of your relationship with Ex.  He and I have a history and it makes me uncomfortable hearing about your dates with him so I'd rather avoid that topic. I hope you understand.   How about we do our call on Xday/Xtime? I'm keen to hear all about _________ (specify topic that you do enjoy talking about - her new dog? Job? another mutual friend?)".   

If she responds badly then perhaps she isn't the friend you think she is.
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Outdoor Girl

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I think the fact that you still have feelings for Ex is completely beside the point.

Friend is being completely insensitive.  I know I wouldn't want to hear anything from a friend dating a Ex of mine and I don't have any feelings for any of them.

I like Ceallach's wording.
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Ontario

gramma dishes

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Would friend normally tell you that she would be sleeping over at her BFs house, or is that a new thing?

I'm asking because (to me) that level of detail sounds a bit like marking her territory.

(To me) it sounds like she's just really rubbing it in. 

LOL!  I don't even know anything about this poor "friend" and already I don't like her!  I think she reminds me too much of someone I once knew many decades ago.  ;-D

mooseketeer

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It sounds like Friend feels awkward about this situation too, and is going into overshare mode out of awkwardness than anything else. If she is indeed a good and true friend, then you should have a conversation with her about how uncomfortable this situation is for you. You could just start off:

Friend, you might not realize it but the breakup with Ex was really hard for me. I know that it is over with us, and I'm fine with you dating him, but it'd be easier on me if you left out the details.

If she doesn't respect this, then you need to start distancing yourself from her until your feelings around Ex are more resolved.

MacadamiaNut

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I think you owe it to yourself to be honest about your feelings to friend.  That was your first mistake, IMO.   If you don't feel you can be honest with her then perhaps the friendship is not as close as you think. 

I don't think it matters a whole lot, but was your breakup with ex due to your moving?  I wonder if maybe he is trying to get back at you?  I also wonder if she is over-compensating for the fact that she may be seen as "second fiddle" in this situation.

I agree there is nothing "wrong" with her dating him, but in my world, a move like this by a friend would be completely off-limits and cause for serious repercussions on the friendship.  The only exception would be if the friend came to me before getting involved, we had a long heart to heart and I could see that it's something she just can't bare to leave alone due to very strong feelings for him... that just happened (i.e. she didn't intentionally pursue him behind my back). 

I agree with PPs who've said she is, at best, insensitive and at worst, intentionally cruel.  Color me flabbergasted.  You do not need to feel bad for the way you feel.  It seems very natural to me.  She ABSOLUTELY should have checked with you BEFORE going ahead and dating him.  There are unwritten codes of honor in friendship and she broke one of them.  It was her responsibility to establish whether or not this was a relationship you were over.  This is a terrible situation, OP and I really feel for you.  Tell her your feelings, if she's any kind of a friend, or human being for that matter, she will understand where you're coming from.

Hugs to you!  Hang in there.
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: My friend is sharing too much about her and my ex, how do I ask her not to?
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 10:04:23 PM »
Firstly, ((hugs)). This must be really tough.

Secondly, I think your friend is doing this for one of the following two reasons:

1. She is "marking her territory" and wants to make it clear that she's "won". OR

2. She is oversharing (as mooseketeer said) because she feels awkward and just wants everything to be upfront. Perhaps she feels like not telling you the details would be betraying your friendship?

I'd give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume it's the second reason. I think it's absolutely fine to ask her to stop telling you all the details. I really like Celleach's wording.

However, I'm not sure I'd actually tell her (or imply) you're still in love with your ex. She'll probably tell your ex. And would you be ok with your ex knowing you still love him?

MacadamiaNut

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Re: My friend is sharing too much about her and my ex, how do I ask her not to?
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 10:12:54 PM »
<snip>
However, I'm not sure I'd actually tell her (or imply) you're still in love with your ex. She'll probably tell your ex. And would you be ok with your ex knowing you still love him?

Good point!  I hadn't thought of that.  This makes the whole thing so awkward and that's why these types of things should just be avoided.  Now OP can't be open with her friend because friend is dating the ex.  My roommate became best friends with an ex of mine and it completely changed my relationship with her.  Not only was I annoyed that I had to see him in my house all the time now, I also stopped sharing things with her because of the whole thought of her telling him things about my life.  Ugh!!  So sad...
Paperweights, for instance - has anyone ever established what, when, and why
paper has to be weighed down? ::) ~Don Aslett

ChiGirl

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Re: My friend is sharing too much about her and my ex, how do I ask her not to?
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 11:12:31 PM »

I agree there is nothing "wrong" with her dating him, but in my world, a move like this by a friend would be completely off-limits and cause for serious repercussions on the friendship.  The only exception would be if the friend came to me before getting involved, we had a long heart to heart and I could see that it's something she just can't bare to leave alone due to very strong feelings for him... that just happened (i.e. she didn't intentionally pursue him behind my back). 


Pod.  Going out with a close friend's ex is a major friendship foul in my book.  Especially when it's presented as "I'm going on a date with your ex!" as opposed to "OP, would it bother you if I went on a date with your ex?"  This is not rocket science.  Your friend would have to be crushingly naive not to realize that this is a big deal.

 To be blunt, your friend has apparently decided that going out with your ex is more important to her than preventing the probable damage to your friendship. 

OP, you owe it to yourself to say something.  Be straightforward about it.  "Friend, please tone down the details about you and Ex, I'm just not comfortable hearing about it.  Let's talk about other stuff."  This is a perfectly reasonable request.  Why are you concerned that saying something to her will make her feel guilty? 

And then focus on other friendships for awhile. There is no rule that you have to spend just as much time on the phone with her as you ever did.  Friend-time should be rewarding and enjoyable, and it's hard for you to enjoy talking to her.  Your friend should be able to understand that.

 I'm not saying you should shun her forever.  Hopefully as you get over the ex, your discomfort will fade and you can enjoy the friendship again.  But for now, there's no need to punish yourself because she's decided to date your ex.

Raintree

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How bizarre that a close female friend would call to say (in so many words), "Oh gee, I can't talk tonight after all, this dinner date is heating up and I'm now going to spend the night with your ex!"

Especially if she hasn't bothered to first find out if you're still emotionally invested or not.

I think a simple, "I recognize your right to date whoever you wish, but please spare me the details" would suffice. But I would find this sufficiently uncomfortable and upsetting enough to scale the friendship waaaay back.

RandomAngel

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Firstly, ((hugs)). This must be really tough.

Secondly, I think your friend is doing this for one of the following two reasons:

1. She is "marking her territory" and wants to make it clear that she's "won". OR

2. She is oversharing (as mooseketeer said) because she feels awkward and just wants everything to be upfront. Perhaps she feels like not telling you the details would be betraying your friendship?

I'd give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume it's the second reason. I think it's absolutely fine to ask her to stop telling you all the details. I really like Celleach's wording.

However, I'm not sure I'd actually tell her (or imply) you're still in love with your ex. She'll probably tell your ex. And would you be ok with your ex knowing you still love him?

Based on what she's actually said, I lean toward this interpretation. When you said she insisted on updating you about their relationship, I assumed you meant about her feelings, or their mushy conversations, or (eHell save us) bedroom details. And if she is going on about those things, then ignore the rest of my post. :)

All I see from the actual example is that she's telling you where she is. It's not information you like, and it (naturally!) leads you to speculate about their relationship. But if she normally tells you what she's up to, and she's still doing that, then it sounds more like she's trying to be "normal" about the situation than that she's bragging...or even actually over-sharing.

After all, a lot of the time when these awkward relationships happen, people feel that the biggest injury is secrecy. I can see why she might think she was being a better friend by not lying about or concealing her plans, and it would never occur to me to think of that as giving "details" of a relationship.

I might try this: "Friend, I'm really glad that you and Ex are getting along so well. But I'm still in this weird place where hearing about his plans with another woman is very uncomfortable for me. I don't want you to think you can't talk about things that are on your mind or that you have to hide important stuff from me! But it would mean a lot if you could edit out the day-to-day details of what he's up to until I have a little more distance on the whole thing."