Friends discussing my housing / financial situation: odd ?

(57 Posts)
52andblue Tue 19-Oct-21 11:22:31

Old School Friend got back in touch via SM (we are mid 50's now).
We dated briefly in 6th form so when we've met (x2 for lunch, in 2+ yr) I made sure it was with his wife & teens in tow & my teens in tow too
( I am separating & negotiating a Divorce so I wanted to be clear to ALL concerned that I am OSF 'material' only!)

Both Lunches were a bit awkward - she didn't seem to like me much, perhaps due to ancient history, perhaps there is stuff in their marriage I know not of or perhaps she just didn't take to me much (which is fine, and her prerogative of course). During Lunch she made a number of comments about money / housing etc (they're quite well off, the money was from her side I gather & they have a few rental properties). In contrast, I am on the bones of my arse & fighting exH to stay in my house. I had told OSF about that but not discussed with her as I don't know her so well. It's not a 'secret' as such but it is fairly private info.
Anyway, I paid for my /kids share of lunch & ignored the (seemingly fairly pointed?) comments as maybe I was being over sensitive?

OSF has just contacted me & suggested 'Lunch before Xmas'.
We live a long distance apart so some travel costs are involved for me so I said I'd have a think about it but immediately he then sent a text saying he 'has asked his wife if he could go' (odd phrasing / just him?) He said 'he had then got the Spanish Inquisition about how could you afford it when you are on benefits or had you not got a council house & endless free help by now. Sorry I realise that might be annoying. I try to keep you apart as much as I can as you will never see eye to eye'.

I was taken aback / annoyed, so replied: 'sorry, why are you discussing my finances / housing situation with anyone else - you don't know all my circumstances & those comments are factually incorrect anyway'.

So he replied: 'I'm not, but what do I say?'

Me: 'well, you clearly have previously?. And you could 'say' it is my business, not anyone elses - which it is'

Him: 'And I haven't discussed it with S. But she knows you are separating from your husband & don't have a job & have 2 kids. It doesn't' take a brain surgeon to figure it out, & I cant stop her thinking'.

I regret replying so quickly & did so because I was annoyed.
Should I be though?
I am at a difficult juncture but I've behaved well & I don't have anything to be ashamed of re my personal circs. so I guess they are not some big secret or anything - there is no reason for her not to know the basic facts. I just feel there is something a bit off about him reporting back her (less than kindly meant?) comments to me like this ?

OP’s posts: |
Palavah Tue 19-Oct-21 11:25:33

It sounds as though you didn't enjoy the time catching up with this person or conversations since. I'd be inclined to leave it.

I would have been annoyed too.

girlmom21 Tue 19-Oct-21 11:30:56

If myself or DP got in touch with an old school friend I'm sure the other would ask questions about that person, more out of interest than anything else.

I don't think it's really out of order to talk to his wife about this woman he's not seen for 40 years and now wants occasional lunch dates with.

If he was being secretive about you it'd raise red flags, surely.

THisbackwithavengeance Tue 19-Oct-21 11:31:43

I actually don't think he was being unreasonable to discuss you with his wife as his relationship with her surely trumps your friendship. If I was his wife, I'd probably want to know the ins and outs as well.

But he was being unreasonable to pass on her observations about your finances. That was their private conversation surely? It may have been unkind or untrue but that was a conversation between a husband and wife and not meant for you. Why on earth would he have shared that with you?

Are you sure you want to pursue a friendship with OSF whom you previously dated when his wife has clearly got the hump? I don't see this ending well for anyone.

sillysmiles Tue 19-Oct-21 11:34:44

Do you think it was malicious or incompetence?
If he trying to hurt you or did he just not think through what he was saying.
Would you like to meet up with him, esp without his wife as its obv she and you don't get on?

babouchette Tue 19-Oct-21 11:39:50

What a twatty bunch of messages from him. His wife sounds like a nasty piece of work too.

Are you sure you want these people in your lives? I'd bin them off! You've got enough to deal with right now thanks

KateTheEighth Tue 19-Oct-21 11:40:35

I wouldn't bother pursuing this friendship any further

You haven't really got anything out of it so far and you'll just have to deal with his snarky wife and her snippy comments

You've managed for 30 years(?) without him in your friendship group so you'll be fine without him

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Viviennemary Tue 19-Oct-21 11:43:54

Its obviously a huge red flag for his wife And I don't blame her. If you're not bothered about the friendship let it drop.

Darkdarknights Tue 19-Oct-21 11:44:25

I would not bother with that ‘friendship.’

fumfspos Tue 19-Oct-21 11:44:42

He's a knob.
I don't really see a problem with him discussing you with his wife and saying you're going through a divorce. She might have asked if you worked and he said no.

But he shouldn't have written this to you:
he had then got the Spanish Inquisition about how could you afford it when you are on benefits or had you not got a council house & endless free help by now. Sorry I realise that might be annoying. I try to keep you apart as much as I can as you will never see eye to eye

Why would he then tell you what his wife had said? It's hurtful to take about "endless free help" etc. That's why I think he is a knob. He should have kept his gob shut if that was his wife's opinion of you. And if that's his opinion of you he can fuck off too.

Why are you entertaining this guy? I wouldn't be paying to travel somewhere to meet up for an awkward lunch. You can chat on the phone if you really must.

Medex Tue 19-Oct-21 11:45:04

This is an odd set up OP and I wouldn't go again.

Its clearly causing issues between them and he has now weirdly put himself between you.

Fuck that.

AryaStarkWolf Tue 19-Oct-21 11:46:01

It's not unreasonable that he might have told her however why would he tell you all those horrible things she said about you? I don't see the point in that and honestly it kind of comes across that he wants two women fighting over him. I'd cut ties with them both tbh

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 19-Oct-21 11:49:45

If I contacted an old friend from several decades ago for a lunch meet, I wouldn’t particularly want to bring my entire family and for them to bring theirs. So as much as you don’t like her questioning and becoming involved in your situation, you’ve insisted that she become involved by making the meetings with your friend something that she has to attend as well, even though it sounds like she really doesn’t want to. It’s then a bit misplaced to be annoyed that she’s speculating on who you are, what your life is like, what your motivations are, and so on.

It all sounds very awkward and forced and if you both have to drag your teens and he has to drag his wife along to every meet just so you can try to prove there’s not going to be any secret shagging going on, it doesn’t sound like a genuine friendship or one which has any legs. I’d write him off as one of those people best left in your childhood and deepen friendships with more recent friends.

number87inthequeue Tue 19-Oct-21 11:51:17

It sounds like his wife feels threatened by you for some reason (not your fault- could be insecurity about your past relationship or problems between her and her DH). OSF sharing comments she has made with you is unfair to both of you. I would be worried that perhaps he is actually looking for a fling. By telling you that his wife will never see eye to eye with you, and passing on (or possibly even making up) comments that will clearly be hurtful to you he could be trying to ensure that you don't try to contact her, and don't question why he wants to meet up without her. Casting her as catty, unreasonable and judgemental could (in his mind) even excuse asking you to meet him in secret and not feel too guilty about him cheating.

I could be completely wrong, but it does sound like the groundwork for a 'my wife doesn't understand me' play

FinallyHere Tue 19-Oct-21 11:53:23

I too get a vibe that he is, for whatever reason, trying to play you off against each other. Not cool.

What do you get out of these meals? Do you really enjoy his company so very much ?

I think nothing of having lunch with male friends, at work and on business generally. It is always on the understanding that our partners would be very welcome to join us.

I wouldn't share a meal with someone who tried to keep me away from his wife.

What purpose would that possible serve, other than for you to get together with the wife and notice that he really isn't all that.

52andblue Tue 19-Oct-21 11:54:36

@THisbackwithavengeance
I agree that it was reasonable of him to 'fill her in' initially when we first got back in touch but it seems it is 'still being discussed' somehow? Why he 'shared' that? Well he is quite socially inept but I just thought it was all a bit odd. I wouldn't want to meet up with him solo if she is uncomfortable with it, nor would I want to meet up with her now as I feel she rather 'judges' me for my circs.

OP’s posts: |
Justilou1 Tue 19-Oct-21 11:54:56

I would tell him that a marriage breakup gives you the clarity to recognize unhealthy relationship dynamics. People in healthy relationships don’t need to ask permission to have lunch with friends of the opposite sex. He is trying to shift the blame for the conversation about your financial situation to his wife. He also shared these assumptions. People who make negative judgements about the assumed financial situations of others - (especially showing very clear judgements about people on benefits) may think that they are putting someone in their place, but they are very clearly showing themselves to be prejudiced, insecure and snobby and ill-mannered.
Surely you’d have better company at the local dog park.

Inthesameboatatmo Tue 19-Oct-21 12:01:16

While I don't think its unreasonable he has talked about you with his wife I don't think he should have shared how the conversation went word for word that's a private discussion surely.
I would in all honesty not bother with them at all it doesn't sound like you are thrilled at the prospect of having them in your life so why bother.
If he wants to talk and catch up he can call you . I would feel uneasy about the contact if I was his wife as you have previously dated so she will want to know every minute detail.

52andblue Tue 19-Oct-21 12:01:29

@ComtesseDeSpair
Good points. I guess when I said 'I made sure his wife / our kids were there' it was more that it worked out that way (it's logistically difficult so 1st real opportunity was when we were all in London at the same time) and I was not displeased about that as she couldn't get any sort of 'wrong ideas' from the outset iyswim?

I do get the sense that he is trying to play us off in some way 'you are never going to get on'. Why not? Because he and I dated for 6m 35 years ago when he's been married for that long and they have 2 kids. I am a blip on his radar if that (he was on mine, in 'that' sense) so I am not sure why he seems to be emphasising this bit. Unless she is REALLY unhappy about the whole idea in which case why would he suggest a further Lunch. Weird...

OP’s posts: |
sillysmiles Tue 19-Oct-21 12:02:35

I agree that it was reasonable of him to 'fill her in' initially when we first got back in touch but it seems it is 'still being discussed' somehow?

My guess, based on no knowledge, is that it's still being discussed because if he mentions you, she is focussing on your financials - particularly if she's a snob and judges people for money/lack of he.

AryaStarkWolf Tue 19-Oct-21 12:04:43

52andblue

*@ComtesseDeSpair*
Good points. I guess when I said 'I made sure his wife / our kids were there' it was more that it worked out that way (it's logistically difficult so 1st real opportunity was when we were all in London at the same time) and I was not displeased about that as she couldn't get any sort of 'wrong ideas' from the outset iyswim?

I do get the sense that he is trying to play us off in some way 'you are never going to get on'. Why not? Because he and I dated for 6m 35 years ago when he's been married for that long and they have 2 kids. I am a blip on his radar if that (he was on mine, in 'that' sense) so I am not sure why he seems to be emphasising this bit. Unless she is REALLY unhappy about the whole idea in which case why would he suggest a further Lunch. Weird...

Yeah exactly, cut him loose imo

IveGotASongThatllGetOnYNerves Tue 19-Oct-21 12:05:00

I wouldn't bother with either of them.

52andblue Tue 19-Oct-21 12:06:14

Hmm.
Maybe it's him? When we were 18 his parents were terrible snobs. We were so young but he did whatever they said (including dump me, lol!)
When we discussed all meeting for lunch I said could we choose somewhere fairly modest and he made a bit of a thing of it, so, maybe?

Safe to say I won't be going for Lunch anytime soon!

OP’s posts: |
SpiderinaWingMirror Tue 19-Oct-21 12:08:08

He is not an old friend worth keeping.
I would reply " I do not think that we have much in common now. All the best" and bin him off.

BubblesThaDragoon Tue 19-Oct-21 12:20:57

I’d tell him to fuck off and take his horrendously rude, snobby wife with him. I think it’s weird they’re both so invested in your financial affairs to be honest.

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