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Embarrased and upset by ExH behaviour

(16 Posts)
CaptainSprinkles Mon 18-Apr-16 13:15:00

Apologies if this is long, it could be an AIBU, but I feel it's more complicated than that and I'm quite upset. I am a fairly regular poster, but NC'd not long ago. Just need to vent about this!

One of my oldest friends recently came out of a long relationship and went on her first date at the weekend. While she and her date were having a drink in a bar she suddenly had a tap on her shoulder - it was my ExH, who I divorced several years ago and haven't really been in touch with since. The first thing ExH said was "Where's X [name of ex boyfriend]?". My friend said they'd broken up, but apparently it was a bit awkward with her new date sitting right there next to her! My ExH then sat down uninvited and launched into a monologue about how hard his life had been after I left, everything he'd been doing since then, and how he was feeling much better now. He also asked a few questions about me. He didn't acknowledge my friend's date, or ask her anything about herself. He then said he was meeting people and left. In all, he was sat there talking for about 10 minutes or more.

I guess my first question is AIBU to think this is quite rude behaviour? Surely it would be polite to say hello, how are you? etc. then move on, not totally gate crash a couple on a date and drone on about yourself?

For background, and to avoid drip-feed, I was married to his man for a few years, no DC, and I left him when his controlling behaviour became too much. Over the past year I have been having some therapy and realised that he is a classic narcissist, self-obsessed, controlling and lacking any self-awareness. It's made me re-evaluate a lot of things that happened throughout our relationship, so I think I'm a bit vulnerable at the moment.

One of the things ExH used to do when we were together was criticise my social conduct. "Why did you say/do that?" "Make sure you behave appropriately" "You were too loud/quiet, it was embarrassing!" You get the picture! For the record, I am not socially awkward or unaware. I have many lovely friends who enjoy my company and don't find me embarrassing. But this man made me doubt myself. I constantly had to check what I was saying before I said it and would often be quite anxious that I'd said/done the wrong thing. I'm not usually a special snowflake, but for ExH to behave (IMO) so rudely to my dear friend and show a total lack of social awareness is making me quite angry and upset, especially after the turmoil he put me through with his criticism of my behaviour. My friend made light of it, said that the date wasn't going quite as well as she'd hoped anyway, and it was just a slightly funny, if awkward, incident. But I can't shake it off so easily.

So really my second question is AIBU to feel like this regarding this incident? Is there anyone else who has experienced a sort of delayed anger/upset following the realisation that someone in their life is a narcissist? I would really appreciate any thoughts as there's no one in RL who I can talk to about this in any depth.

CaptainSprinkles Mon 18-Apr-16 13:18:29

Oh dear, and I've just seen I've spelt embarrassed wrong in the title sad

Twitterqueen Mon 18-Apr-16 13:20:23

In a kind way, yes YABU.
It's nothing to do with you. You weren't there. He is your EX. You have no relationship with him any more. You have no responsibility for what he says or does.

Repeat, repeat repeat....

Similarly, your friend could have introduced her date, said she was busy, or said she didn't feel it appropriate to continue the conversation.

AdrenalineFudge Mon 18-Apr-16 13:35:30

Well for a start you're not a special snowflake with regard to the circumstances you've described.

I agree his conduct with your friend whilst she was on a date was rude - it doesn't matter if she'd been sat there with an old friend, her mother, her cousin's sister's dog sitter - it was rude full stop. He wasn't welcome to sit down and certainly was in the wrong to go off on a monologue about his life. I love the irony of how he used to criticise your social conduct yet thinks nothing of speaking for 10 minutes about himself without any regard for anyone else!

I have experienced the delayed anger/rage towards my ex - it came after a bit of counselling and being able to see things for what they were. I felt pure rage. Similarly to you I eventually left, but my ex and I went through a roller-coaster of chaos, lies, emotional abuse and finally an OW which was the catalyst. He is charm personified and doubt he has any regrets about what happened with us. So yes, I did feel angry and upset. But I can tell you that I eventually disengaged and got over it. I refuse to let him continue to rule my emotions like the way he used to. It's not easy and sometimes I think I'm going mad with all my mantras - I tell myself all the time that I fucking refuse it! And I stick with it.

It's not easy and sometimes I do still feel angry but I have better coping mechanisms. Like you, we never had children and I thank my fucking lucky stars that we didn't. Not that it would be the end of the world if we did, but it certainly made the exit a lot cleaner and a lot more permanent.

His behaviour is no reflection of you, and I'd take pride in the fact that you found out what type of person he is and having enough wits about you to act on it to leave.

It is a lesson learned. Yes it hurts - and I don't deny that somedays you'll feel a bit up and down about it (I certainly do) - but I know that life with him was absolutely unsustainable and I'd rather have the odd down and out moment than have pressed on with the relationship.

You sound articulate and aware of yourself. You will be fine!

CaptainSprinkles Mon 18-Apr-16 13:53:09

Thank you both for your replies!

Twitter, yes that's good advice I will keep repeating that to myself! I think the whole incident took my friend by surprise and she didn't want to fight rudeness with more rudeness! When she told me she was very lighthearted about it and was concerned about how I might feel.

Adrenaline, I'm sorry that you've had to experience such a terrible ordeal. I know what you mean when you say you'd rather have the odd down than have carried on in a bad relationship. That's what drove me to leave. I knew if I left I'd at least have a chance of happiness even if it was hellish in the short term.

I have spent a lot of time feeling terrible guilt for leaving, but that is now subsiding as I realise what an arse he truly is and I'm finding my anger.

AdrenalineFudge Mon 18-Apr-16 14:36:37

Keep on Keeping on is a mantra I learned from this relationships board and I'd encourage you to do the same. KOKO.

No-one is allowed to tell you how you should or should not feel so if you felt that your exes manner wasn't right then by all means you are allowed to feel that way. Let the emotions pass through you and out. Don't let others tell you what you should or should not be feeling. Whether your emotions manifest as guilt, anger or whatever else - it's how you feel and I'll be damned if someone tries to explain away my feelings without any regard for what I went through.

You carry on and feel free to post if you have a wobble and need someone to tell you to get a grip (which is different from someone writing-off your feelings). I remember posting here in the small hours crying my eyes out and some amazing MNetters gave me a handhold and listened to me.

I have been through it and I'm out the other side. I feel so much calmer and happier these days. Having said that, like I said, it was never a walk in the park and somedays I do feel like there is a grey cloud but I'm slowly learning and moving on.

AdrenalineFudge Mon 18-Apr-16 14:38:55

By the way Yanbu and I disagree with Twitterqueen, she of course has her own opinion but I don't share it.

Twitterqueen Mon 18-Apr-16 14:51:45

Adrenaline - clearly the OP understood my post and you didn't!

I suggested a mantra - and mantras are incredibly powerful and useful when it comes to trying to change a pattern or habit of thinking / feeling / behaviour.

CaptainSprinkles Mon 18-Apr-16 15:58:44

Twitter, yes I think I do understand where you're coming from, and I think it's definitely along the same lines as what Adrenaline has said. Having it spelled out is helping me make sense of my feelings and move forward. I am not, and never have been responsible for his behaviour. It is (and always was!) HIS problem, NOT mine.

Thank you so much for your posts, Adrenaline, I have read them a couple of times now and will continue to re-read them. Although this has provoked a lot of feeling in me, I feel like it's going to be positive in the long run.

Squeegle Mon 18-Apr-16 16:05:12

He sounds a most unwelcome guest! I am sure some of the anger you're experiencing is at yourself for taking him seriously when he's obviously the one lacking social graces not you. Of course you're s bit embarrassed- but after all, you've split up now, there is no need to feel any responsibility! It's time to close the door on him, work on your self esteem, and recognise you're ok! And especially ok without him.

AdrenalineFudge Mon 18-Apr-16 17:00:28

Twitterqueen Please do forgive me if I have misinterpreted you. When you said:

It's nothing to do with you. You weren't there. He is your EX. You have no relationship with him any more. You have no responsibility for what he says or does

I took this to be a minimisation of what Captain has been through. I accept that wasn't what you were implying at all. I'm from the school of thought that thinks no matter how big or how small an abusive ex was - it's the victim's choice to deal with it and process it how they see best and within their own time without a crowd of people telling them to move on or get over it, as it's rarely that simple. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Twitterqueen Mon 18-Apr-16 18:14:38

Adrenaline. I could have been clearer! My fault for ahem, MNetting when I'm supposed to be working.... brevity is not always a good thing....

AdrenalineFudge Mon 18-Apr-16 18:19:45


CaptainSprinkles Mon 18-Apr-16 20:05:11

I am sure some of the anger you're experiencing is at yourself for taking him seriously when he's obviously the one lacking social graces not you.

Squeegle, that's exactly it; there's something so unjust and messed up about the whole scenario. I spent bloody ages being made to feel like an embarrassing loser, but look at him! I'm frustrated that it took me so long to see it.

springydaffs Mon 18-Apr-16 22:48:25

He knew exactly what he was doing - he was using her to trumpet how well he's doing because he knew it would get back to you. He was addressing you, not her.

So I can understand why you have squirmed with embarrassment. But as, er, everybody is saying, you don't need to be embarrassed. He's the dick, not you.

CaptainSprinkles Tue 19-Apr-16 09:29:11

Springy, now you've pointed that out I can totally see his motive - he just loves to act the wronged, brave little soldier. 'Martyr' should be his middle name.

Thanks everyone who's posted for all the advice and wise words.

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