Bloody annoying friendship group crap(57 Posts)
After some sane advice.
A group of us met at uni. One of the group and I have a sexual history - I was in hindsight much more into them than they to me. A few years ago, they told me they did want to make a go of it between us, then promptly met someone else, didn't tell me but just stopped messaging, let me find out through another member of the group and then sent me an email to say they 'hoped it didn't change anything between us.' They then turned up to a party another friend had thrown for me, halfway through the meal, and sat with the rest of our mutual friends as though everything was fine. One of the mutual friends told me later that the rest of the group knew this person was coming but hadn't told me, and that they'd come because they wanted things to 'go back to normal'.
After this, I was super hurt. It bothered me far less that they'd met someone else and far more that I felt they'd - not for the first time - decided how they wanted things to be with no respect for my feelings or needs. and expected me tonfall in line. I always felt that they were a little embarrassed to be romantically linked to me, and this obviously didn't help. I decided I was done and that if this person was really interested in a friendship they'd make the effort to talk to me. They didn't.
This all happened 4 years ago. Since then, another of the group has got married so we all - including the person I have history with - saw each other then along with my now husband. They were all, I felt, hoping that we'd get pissed and bury the hatchet in true British fashion. I genuinely don't bear this person any ill will, and was entirely civil, but I have - as I made clear at the time - no interest in a friendship. They didn't really seem keen either. and after over a decade of feeling messed about and gaslighted by them, I just feel happier and healthier with some distance between us.
My issue really is this: I get the impression the others in the group think I'm being a pain in the arse and should just reconcile for the sake of the group. I think for them, as we're both happy with partners there shouldnt be an issue. For example, they continue to include both of us in group chats arranging to meet up/general chit chat and reminiscing, which just feels kinda uncomfortable. But then I feel like if I leave the chat it'll look really petty...agh! Feel about 15!!!
Have tried being honest about my feelings - in a rational and non-blamey way - and it just feels like the group take it as an inconvenient truth, sweep it under the rug and carry on. I am starting to feel quite hurt and resentful and to wonder whether any of these relationships can survive, but am prepared to be told I am wrong!
I have a similar situation. There's a person in a wider friendship group who I don't want anything to do with. I don't want an argument, I bear them no ill will but I don't want to be their friend.
Some people (not all) are so unwilling to accept this. I think my refusal to be friends is a constant reminder of their shitty behaviour and they can't cope with that.
I just try and remind myself that i'm a grown up and one of the advantages of that is that i get to choose who i'm friends with. It can still be difficult though and i've lost people who i thought were my friends because of it.
I'm realising more and more though that these people weren't really friends in the first place and i'm better off without them.
It's confusing because you say you don't want a friendship with them, but actually you don't even want an acquaintance with them.
I don't see the harm in you both being included in group chats reminiscing. You were both there! It's not like you have to respond to each other on the chat. (Though group chats reminiscing about college sound a bit tedious, tbh)
The ones arranging to meet up - the others have no responsibility to keep the two of you seperate. Why should they? It's not their problem you're not friends. Its normal if you start a group chat inviting your friends for a meet up, that you would invite everyone. You don't have to go!! But there's no need to step out of the chat - you may find he's not going and then you may decide to go.
I don't understand why you are even talking about it with the rest anyway - all this "explaining" stuff. It's like you're seeking heir approval and understanding. why bother? Just shrug and laugh like it's no big deal. If someone tries to make it a big deal then just say "why are you making a big deal over this? It's nothing!"
What is it that you would actually like to happen?
I think YABU
You loved and lost - just a shame that it happened in a tight social circle.
For everyone else it is water under the bridge.
Your unresolved feelings about this are something only you can work out. You cannot expect the other person to be excluded, nor your other friends to be so concerned about your feelings that they would think of that given that you are now happily married and to all intents and purposes have moved on.
Yanbu. I get where you're coming from. I had a similar situation with someone in a larger group. Nothing romantic but she did something absolutely unforgiveable. I have no contact with her now. Others in the group know but I'm expected to be the peacemaker and forgive and forget. Never going to happen. There's been a lot of minimizing but if it had been one of the others, I suspect they'd have acted just as I have done. It's so frustrating as you can't do anything to change other people's behaviour. I've distanced myself from the lot of them.
I think YABU, sorry.
The only person here who seems to have an issue is you.
Have you ever tried to talk about how you feel to your ex and clear the air?
Just be civil with them, you're married now so it's obviously best left in the past and if it's bugging you that much that you feel the need to leave group chats with them in and can't be civil at functions then maybe there are deeper issues here you need to address.
You need to decide if your relationships with others in the group are worth jepoardising because you want nothing to do with this person
For example, they continue to include both of us in group chats arranging to meet up/general chit chat and reminiscing, which just feels kinda uncomfortable
It sounds actually that you want them to cut him out so that you don't have to deal with him.
What do you expect everyone else to do? It's not their problem whatever history you have with him, it's yours. All they are doing is including everyone and being nice.
If you don't want to be around him, you can drop that group of friends.
it is inconvenient for them - you were all friends and now because of your romance you are messing it up. I dont think they are being unreasonable - they are not terribly interested in or invested in your love life. that is the risk you take on when you have a relationship with someone in your friendship group. why should they all suffer because you fancied trying out being boyfriend and girlfriend?
If you've got another partner and want to stay in the group then suck it up and put it in the past.
We are not 15 years old ffs and people dont want to be in an episode of Eastenders.
Hmm food for thought thank you.
As i say, it's really not to do with what happened romantically. There's a long history of this person basically starting something them changing their mind, informing me but then refusing to acknowledge my feelings and expecting the group to go back to 'normal. This last tume was a particularly nasty example of this and I kind of felt like it ruined whatever friendship we could have had.
I was perfectly civil as I mentioned - not sure where you got the impression I wasn't?
I agree the others in the group are probably trying to be nice and you have given me some perspective on the whole group chat thing - I find the whole group chit chat thing a bit weird - more of a meet in person girl - so I can miss these social norms a bit
It's as the poster above says - being chronically expected to play peacemaker is tiring I think...
It sounds as though you have two heads! One is very sensible and rational - it knows that you can't ask these people not to see your ex, and that they will remain part of the wider friendship group. It knows you will never be close to this person again, but that you can negotiate group situations anyway. The other head sounds like it has some rather more unreasonable, emotional expectations - that your friends should have condemned your ex more strongly, that they should have taken sides, that they should do work to avoid you seeing each other, etc. etc. etc.
Equally, it is unreasonable of your friends not to recognise that your relationship does change things a little.
My advice is to listen to the rational side of things, and not to let bygones be something that gets in the way of your relationship with the others. You can still enjoy the reminiscences and the past with your friends without becoming bessie mates with your ex. You can be polite, and enjoy a time out together without dropping your guard. Let past hurts go - you're both married and moved on now.
It sounds to me as if you still have feelings for this ex. Only you can work on your feelings , I'm sure it is a bit of a nuisance for the rest of the group , they just want to carry on as normal , especially as you are now married to someone else, they probably can't see what all the fuss is about.
I don't think anyone expects you to play anything, merely to do the very basic of social etiquette, which is to play nice with the others in the group, or if you don't want to, to absent yourself from the group.
You haven't said what it is you expect everyone else to do?
The thing is, the group either leave one of you out (seems unfair and they may not want to, or may not choose you) or you all just have to jog along, with some moments of uncomfortableness. I don't really see why you are playing peacemaker, as no-one is stirring it up except you really! Of course they want it all to go back to normal, it is many years down the line, you both have other partners now and basically they want to keep the group going. If you want to oust him and form a break-away group, that's another (risky) option. The others just don't want to do that from what you have said.
If you have one or two really good friends, why not arrange to meet more with them and drop the big group thing, you may find it dies off over time anyway as people move away/have kids.
YABU. The group continues with chit-chat, as it should. What do you seriously expect the group to do?
You really need to let this go. This person didn't act very caringly, but they weren't that awful. And you should have got over it by now. Continue in the group, and remain civil, but nothing else to the person. You don't need to be best friends, even within the group setting.
Within every group there are some people you get on better with, than others.
There's only an atmosphere because you are making one.
Do you still have feelings for him?
It sounds like you might which is what's causing you not to let it go?
My issue really is this: I get the impression the others in the group think I'm being a pain in the arse and should just reconcile for the sake of the group
Rereading the OP, this leaps out: it implies you are making a fuss about him in some way, complaining about him? Because if you weren't, nobody would be thinking of you as a pain in the arse. You must be doing something to give that impression.
So should they have group chat with you and then a group chat with them?
The whole group is the history. Either join in as and when you want or give up the group. You can't expect everyone to worry about something that happened years ago. Your choice. take it or leave it.
Ok cool. Happy to be told I A B U
I don't still have feelings - I guess I just feel it was unresolved and find that uncomfortable. I also don't get the whole 'lets be mates but also never actually have a conversation about what just happened thing - but that's different comms styles and I can't expect everyone to feel that way.
I should also mention it's a very small group - 5 people - which is why it's a bit weird too, not like I can just get lost in the crowd.
I don't expect anyone to take sides at all - but I can see how it might seem that way and I should maybe change my behaviour.
Thanks all xx
There are many grades to friendships.
Being civil and being friendly, with a whole heck of a lot in between.
You can be socially friendly, which is more than just civil, without taking it to the actual friendship level. It's what most people do at social functions. Friendly chat about nothing of consequence, then moving onto the next person. THAT's the level which you need to aim at here.
Did the others come to your wedding (except the ex)? They may assume that as you have also now married all can "go back to normal". I think it's understandable that you don't see it that way though to be honest. I think you AB (a little) U but for perhaps understandable reasons IYSWIM
I would tell these 'friends' to Piss off... and to STOP making issues where there are none...
your never going to be buddy buddy... and that's allowed.... your not rude nor do you avoid things... tell them to back the hell off ...
p.s. you sound completely rational to me x
I guess as well I kind of wonder what 'normal' means for us - even when we were nominally mates it was never a straight friendship, more periods of sexual tension interspersed with vaguely getting together. Which is not to say we couldn't build a friendship, just that we probably couldn't do so without having a proper talk about how that would look, which this person was chronically unwilling to do...
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