Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Message from Ex. Should I respond?

(26 Posts)
SugarBeats Thu 14-Jul-16 13:33:56

NC as this is very outing.

I'm friends with my ex on FB. We were together for 3 years. We broke up 11 years ago and it was really messy. I was a complete bitch to him.

He sent me a friend request about 4 years ago which I accepted but we haven't 'interacted' much on FB. I think he's 'liked' a couple of my posts but that's it. I don't actually use FB all that much at all.

I have picked up a message today on FB which he sent in the early hours of Tuesday morning. I don't want to paste the whole message but it was basically asking me if we could meet up or chat on the phone to talk through some unfinished business from when we broke up. He said he was having a pretty major breakdown and wanted to get some clarity and closure on the period when our relationship ended.

Then on Wednesday morning he posted a public status saying that he'd had a big crisis but had been well supported by friends and family and had come through the other side.

I've only just seen the message and the status post this afternoon. Given that it looks like he's come through whatever he was going through I don't know if it's a good idea to reply to his earlier message. I don't think I should. I think I should just ignore it but I don't know. WWYD?

It shouldn't matter but will inevitably get asked on here- I've got a DP. Been with DP for 11 years.

CrazyDuchess Thu 14-Jul-16 13:37:30

Hmmm - i dont think anything good could come out of meeting.

SugarBeats Thu 14-Jul-16 13:38:46

CrazyDuchess Oh I definitely wouldn't meet him. I wouldn't even speak on the phone. I'm unsure whether to message back at all, not whether to message back and agree to meet/chat.

Hissy Thu 14-Jul-16 13:40:46

Just leave it. He has to stand on his own feet and you aren't part of his issues 11 years on.

ravenmum Thu 14-Jul-16 13:47:02

Maybe he just needs your help to sort out a problem he has with himself. For example, someone else has split up with him and now he's wondering if he is fatally flawed, wants to hear from his other exes. Or he's been having counselling and wants to say some stuff which he didn't say to you at the time, as it would make him feel better in retrospect.

Personally I'd be prepared to help, even my arse of an ex, if that was what was going on. I am the kind of sucker who helps dirty old drunk men who fall over in the street ... But if you think it's a bad idea, there will surely be a good reason for that.

Maybe write something like "Sorry I missed this, sounds like it's sorted out now though"?

CrazyDuchess Thu 14-Jul-16 13:52:50

i am in two minds regarding messaging back - one the one hand i really dont think anything good can come from messaging back - "let sleeping dogs lie" is the saying.

on the other hand, i am rather compassionate - so maybe something like ravenmum posted.... but are you emotionally available if he is having a genuine crisis and needs someone to unload.

i'd also tell my dp.

SugarBeats Thu 14-Jul-16 13:59:31

CrazyDuchess I guess that's my issue really. I'm not emotionally available you put it. I don't want to be a verbal punchbag if, like ravenmum suggests, he's got stuff he wants to say to me 11 years later. Yes, I was a massive bitch to him when we broke up but that was many years ago. This will sound callous but I've moved on, I don't care about him any more so I don't really want to be there for him. He has new friends and family to support him.

I don't know what to say to DP. If I ignore the message, it'll hopefully just be forgotten and no need for DP to know. Not that I'm trying to hide anything IYSWIM. If I reply, I'd tell DP. DP hates my ex. There is lots of bad blood between them. DP would tell me I should ignore the Ex.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 14-Jul-16 14:00:41

I would not reply to this at all; no good will come of it.

Why now as well after a gap of four years, what does he really want here other than to perhaps draw you in?.

You should not act as either a rescuer or saviour in any relationship.

CrazyDuchess Thu 14-Jul-16 14:01:28

then thats your answer - leave it - there seems to be much more negatives than positives that can come from communicating with him.

Aworldofmyown Thu 14-Jul-16 14:11:03

Why are you friends with him on Facebook?

I wouldn't be able to ignore something like that, but agree you do need to end the contact.

If it were me I would send back a polite message telling him you are glad he is feeling better. That you don't think any contact with him would be of benefit as you are both older and have moved on from your relationship. You could acknowledge that you were a bitch and apologise. Wish him well for the future and then UNFRIEND HIM.

familyfarm Thu 14-Jul-16 14:12:48

Goodness you treat him very badly and you don't feel you even owe him a teeny weeny bit of help? Come on!

princessmi12 Thu 14-Jul-16 14:16:06

Dont think my view will be popular but if you admit yourself you been total bitch to him 11 years ago,how come you never apologised?
Either you been total bitch to him on that occasion or you are total bitch generally? If he's seeking closure (and going through crisis) it would be good idea to answer his questions and apologise for wrongdoings.

SugarBeats Thu 14-Jul-16 14:22:33

princessmi12 I didn't apologise because we stopped speaking and cut all contact for years. By the time I was ready to admit being a total bitch and by the time I thought he'd 'appreciate' (wrong word) it without us ending up in a slanging match, we'd been NC for a few years and I'd moved hundreds of miles away.

Aworldofmyown I don't know. He sent me a request, I accepted. I didn't really see it as a big deal. I have lots of FB friends, I accept requests from completely random people I've only met once! I like your approach. I might do that.

Anicechocolatecake Thu 14-Jul-16 14:23:51

If I felt i'd treated someone badly then yes, I would make the effort to send a message and at least have a conversation. But I wouldn't be friends on Facebook with them and it would be a one time thing in the hope of soothing my conscience and hopefully giving that person closure. Behaving badly can cause damage to a person and long lasting damage at that. It costs nothing to hear him out.

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 14-Jul-16 14:28:55

God no. Don't let him drag you down into his dramas and issues. It's awful you were a bitch but you acknowledge that, and it was a very long time ago. I'd wait a few weeks then de friend him. Nobody needs what is, essentially, a strangers drama in their lives.

ElspethFlashman Thu 14-Jul-16 14:34:26

It was 11 years ago. You have no idea what's happened to him in the intervening years or what relationships he's had since or what triggered this episode.

That's not to say a person can't be deeply affected many years later, but I'd be afraid you'd be contacting him without knowing any context.

If you wish to respond say that you think it would be inappropriate to be in touch by phone or in person but if he has any specific questions he may ask them via messenger but you would respectfully rather not rehash the events of the past.

SugarBeats Thu 14-Jul-16 14:43:44

How does this sound as a response:

Hi Ex, Sorry I didn't see this message until now. I don't think being in touch about the past would be helpful. We're both older and (hopefully!) wiser and it wouldn't do much good to go raking over the crap that went on. We both behaved badly at different times and I was a complete cow when we broke up. I'm sorry about it but I don't think it'll do any good to re-open old wounds. Take care of yourself. Sugar

ravenmum Thu 14-Jul-16 15:32:38

Sounds good

Arfarfanarf Thu 14-Jul-16 15:35:47

I think that's fine.

It's 11 years. If someone is still hanging onto a bad breakup from 11 years ago what they need is a therapist, not a chance to tell you all the ways in which you wronged them.

SugarBeats Thu 14-Jul-16 16:38:58

Thanks everyone. Okay, I'm going to send it.

Aworldofmyown Thu 14-Jul-16 16:47:24

I only ask because I am only friends with people I would give the time of day to. I find it a bit strange when people friend people that they probably wouldn't share pleasantries with.

Horses for courses.

That sounds fine, just make sure you un friend!

SugarBeats Thu 14-Jul-16 17:52:56

Aworldofmyown Ah, see I'm one of those people who just accepts any old friend request providing I have a vague idea of who the person is. One of my NY resolutions was to be more like you and only have friends I care about on FB but it hasn't happened yet!

coco1810 Fri 15-Jul-16 12:48:10

Tell DP, allow him to see the message. Then block the Ex. No good can come of this, you are not responsible for the person he was eleven years ago .

NewtoCornland Fri 15-Jul-16 13:25:52

OP am I right in thinking DP was the OM? It's just you say you and ex split 11 years ago, you and DP been together 11 years...is that what he means by closure? I'm not judging, just trying to understand the situation a bit better.

Anyway....I, personally, find it a bit odd that you're friends with your ex on FB and believe that you should unfriend him. No good was ever going to come out of you 2 being FB friends. I don't think I even clap either of my exes and I wouldn't feel comfortable for them to know about my life.

There is no reason not to tell DP, bad blood or not, if there is nothing to hide (does he know you're FB friends with him?) and, again, no good will come out of hiding the truth.

AristotlesTrousers Fri 15-Jul-16 13:29:54

I think the messages sounds good - it doesn't invite any response, and he can take it as closure of that's what he needs. It's kind, but firm. Wait until he's 'read' the message, then de-friend him.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now