I suppose the short version of this would be asking, when someone gives someone else the 'cut direct' or similar, how should the people around the 'cutter' handle mentions of the 'cuttee' that come up in casual conversation?
This involves an all-male dating love triangle but the sexuality isn't relevant here--this drama could happen regardless of the genders of the people involved. My good friend Kyle used to date Warren (more a friend of my boyfriend's, but we are friendly). They split up about two years ago, and it was a long, drawn out, painful breakup for both. No cheating or abuse involved but it was one of those situations where they kept getting back together, then breaking up. Very push-pull. About a year ago, Kyle started dating Adam. Adam and Warren were acquaintances, but not really friendly.
So, now, Adam and Kyle are together, and Warren really, really loathes Adam. He was still friendly with his ex Kyle, but put all the blame on Adam for essentially, having no chance to get back with Kyle. He always sort of expected that the two of them would 'end up' together, and didn't take it well when it turned out not to be the case. Once Adam and Kyle made it official, Kyle drifted away from Warren, not wanting a big confrontation but also not wanting to stay friends with his ex who hates his new partner. Warren is pretty convinced that Adam 'made' Kyle stop being friends with him.
So, my current issue--I see Kyle and Adam a lot, they are a pretty big part of my life and participate in an event I help run. I also see Warren semi frequently. Warren does *not* react well when either of the two names are mentioned, even in passing. I try really really hard to not mention them at all around Warren to avoid that, but sometimes Warren will ask questions where I have to essentially lie to not do so. For instance, Warren will ask me about Event (he knows Kyle and Adam go) and it feels like I'm walking one eggshells not to mention the two of them at all. There are also situations when another person, who doesn't know the background of the three, will mention Kyle or (especially bad) Adam in Warren's presence. Should I give a 'warning' not to do that? That seems really childish. Or try to redirect the conversation subtly? Or just take a conveniently timed bathroom break when this happens to avoid the awkward?
I know that it is the height of rudeness to try to get people to mend fences, and would never even think of doing that, nor of trying to get them in a room together. But for those of you who've given the cut direct, do you think those who know about it should avoid mentioning the person at all?
Sorry if the post seems confusing, I cut out some details to not make it 4 pages, but if anyone has more questions I can answer them.