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What do you think about a friend who takes sides with the ex of your partner?

(14 Posts)
PearsinTears Thu 25-Jun-09 10:20:27


I just asked this question on the step-parenting thread but I think it was the wrong thread, as it does not really have that much to do with step-parenting.

I have this friend of mine and my partner who knows his ex from the past when they were still together. I had a lot of troubles with this ex, as she is quite a bit of a bully and she tried to make my life miserable... did not want me to be with my partner and their common child (they have shared custody and I live with my partner and we have his child every other week).

Because this woman caused me so much pain and acted so erratically, I asked this friend about her honest opinion about this woman. I wanted an objective opinion in order to understand this woman and the situation better.

I've been told by this friend that this ex was a bitch, a nut case and a gold digger, but that I had nothing to worry about her, as she was stupid and "not that pretty" anyway. It's not the first time I heard these things about the ex and I took her opinion on.

A few months later I had a talk with this ex and it looked as if we would reconciliate (it was only temporarily though as this person afterwards continued in her usual way to cross boundaries), and when I told this same friend about it, she suddenly turned around telling me that she never thought that the ex was a bitch, but that "other people" had told her so. And that she was actually really good fun to hang out with and that she should have become a lawyer as she was a really smart woman... and everyone who says that this woman was not attractive ( most of my other friends think that about her) was a liar...

I felt confused afterwards, b/c I did not know what to think about the ex any longer. And I was also a bit upset, b/c this friend of mine knew that the ex had tried to hurt me by having a go behind my back at my partner in order to get him back (who just told her that he was not interested any longer).

What do I think about a friend like that? I mean, if you are a real friend, would you compliment a woman in front of your friend who you know has tried to hurt your friend in the past? Is this just insensitivity or opportunistic bahaviour? Is it worth keeping someone like that as a friend.... I am quite reluctant now to confide anything in her.

lilacclaire Thu 25-Jun-09 10:28:11

It doesn't sound as though she can be trusted tbh, I would keep my distance.

AMumInScotland Thu 25-Jun-09 10:48:10

It sounds like she tells you what she thinks you want to hear - so when you weren't getting on with the ex, she was bitchy about her, but when it sounded like you might get on ok, suddenly she wasn't so bad after all.

Lots of people are like that, I don't think it's that unusual. But she doesn't seem to be someone who you should go to for genuine advice, as she won't give it.

Does it matter whether other people think this ex is attractive? You've seen her - you must surely be able to decide that for yourself, without needing other people to confirm it. Same with her behaviour - you've seen how she behaves, you can only decide on the basis of that. She might be lovely to other people, if it suits her, and they'd believe she was nice, but what difference would it make when she's unpleasant to you?

I think you need to decide what you think about people, instead of being swayed by what friends think so much.

PearsinTears Thu 25-Jun-09 11:31:43

AMum, I totally agree with you on all points.

For some reason I have been quite overwhelmed by this ex of my partner. Personally I am rather a shy and very kind person, and this woman is overbearing and selfish and has a very strong ego. She just tried to overpower me and push me out of the relationship with my partner, although she did not succeed.

There was also this really unhealthy competition going on... I honestly don't think I have started it, but the ex tried to get my OH back... not that unusual either, I know, but at the time quite upsetting for me, especially the means she used to get to her goal.

I came to a point where I could not see anything clearly any longer b/c I was so caught up in my emotions... personally, I think the ex is cheap and I think attractiveness is a package, it is not only how you look on the outside, it is how you look on the inside as well. And someone who behaves in such an unpleasant and selfish way is not attractive to me.

But b/c she has such a strong ego she manages to get you into thinking that she is someone outstandingly smart and attractive.... well, she has a very high opinion of herself or maybe it is just a facade... and b/c my partner was once in love with her I started to think she's really pretty and powerful in a way... I know it is silly... and it is called projection....or insecurity from my side...that's why I tried to get a clearer picture by asking my friends of how they see her.

But as you say, it does not really help what other people think, I need to be able to see this woman more objectively and for what she really is.

duke748 Thu 25-Jun-09 11:36:40

You know that you shouldn't ask your mutual friend about your partner's ex.

If I had two mutual friends who didn't like each other I would try my best not to talk about either in front of the other. If one of them was fishing for me to run down the other I wouldn't be impressed!

Don't ask your mutual friend for info on the ex. It doesn't matter to you how pretty or intelligent or whaterver she is.

I know that every girl would like to know everything about her partner's exes, but 1) its sometimes best not to know, and 2) its got NOTHING to do with being a good step-mum, which is what you should be concetrating on.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I feel that you need to see it from another perpective sometimes. Keep friends and exes entirely seperately!!!

PearsinTears Thu 25-Jun-09 11:41:23

duke, I hear you.

Just wanted to add that this friend was never friends with the ex of my partner. She was friends with my partner. She just happened to meet the ex after they had divorced b/c my partner back then had the child full time and the ex came somtimes to his house to see the kid when this friend was there.

Of course it would be totally insane of me to expect someone who is a friend of the ex to rubbish her or give me an "honest" opinion.

ineedalifelaundry Thu 25-Jun-09 11:54:38

She was unsuccessful in splitting you and DP up. He is with you because he loves YOU. How attractive / nice a person she may or may not be is entirely irrelevant.

It's not fair to your friend to be expected to provide fuel for your low confidence in yourself / low opinion of her. You can make your own mind up about her and take confidence from the continuing affections of your DP.

ineedalifelaundry Thu 25-Jun-09 12:00:54

Just wanted to add though that your 'friend' sounds a bit odd, changing her opinion so readily on one person might mean she could do the same to you - maybe take a step back for a while before confiding again.

But still, it's time to trust your own judgement about the ex's behaviour and forget about her attractiveness / lack of it.

AMumInScotland Thu 25-Jun-09 12:05:43

I think you just have to focus on the fact that you and DP have a good relationship, and he has no interest in getting back together with her. It really doesn't matter whether she's pretty, smart, or anything else - as you say, attractiveness is about the whole person, and you are the person your DP wants to be with, not her.

PearsinTears Thu 25-Jun-09 12:25:08

ineed, I don't really expect my friends to compensate my low confidence... besides apart from this issue I don't have any low confidence. But I think it is fair to expect your friends to give you their honest opinion about a situation... that's what friends are for, no? If you have a problem, to seek help or get advice.

I sense that this friend would pretty much do the same about me... I've seen it with another friend of hers - when she had a fall out with her she bitched about her to me - and now they are best friends again. So I have started to get wary now and I do not consider her as a friend any longer, just as an acquaintance.

ineedalifelaundry Thu 25-Jun-09 16:02:31

Pears - 'I think it is fair to expect your friends to give you their honest opinion about a situation'

I completely agree with this but you do seem somewhat concerned about the issue of how attractive people think his ex is / isn't - an arbitrary opinion that has absolutely no relevance to the situation with your step child or your relationship with DP. This is the situation you were seeking advice on, no?

You're right to be wary of this friend though - she seems rather two-faced.

PearsinTears Thu 25-Jun-09 17:41:13

INDEED, well, there was one element of that...yes. Because this woman started to set herself up as my "rival"... I think it is in a way a normal reaction to try to assess another woman who competes with you for the attention of your man... how much she is a threat or not... I know, it may sound superficial...but let's face it, someone has set an eye on your hubby, you want to know if this woman is attractive or plain and I think you'd flip more if she was attractive. In my case I really can't tell - personally I find her not unattractive ( I wish I could say she was an ugly rug, but no she isn't)... it is more something in her personality or character that I find really disturbing.

But the situation was about much more... I had conflicts with this woman and I did not quite know if she was to be trusted or not... and I wanted to know how she was as a person outside of this me-my partner-her situation. Tbh, I came with rather an open mind to that and when this "friend" then told me the ex was a bitch and someone who sucks people dry and has slept with half of the world... it just confirmed me in my own feelings and I got very wary of this woman.

Having said that, who knows if that is all true... maybe this friend making it up or exagerating... who knows. I know that this ex has some psychological problems, but sometimes I try to comfort myself that it may not be as bad as some people, this "friend" included, have told me...

as has been said before, there is only me who can judge, because I am in a relationship with this woman's ex and I look part-time after her child, nobody else than me is...

ineedalifelaundry Thu 25-Jun-09 20:52:29

Fair point Pears - I'm sure I wouldn't be able to help but analyse the attractiveness of an ex who was trying to steal my man either. smile

PearsinTears Fri 26-Jun-09 09:20:24

An ex who is in the past is one thing....but an ex who tries to get "her" man back is another... she is not so past and irrelevant to you... wink

BTW, I want to add that I was not the reason for the break-up or whatsoever. But you have some women out there who do not want their man any longer, and as soon as he dates someone else, he becomes interesting and attractive again to them.

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