• Mon, Jun 7 2010

Bitch, Please: Your Passed-Along Ex Shouldn’t Get A Pass

Do you have issues with your no-longer-best girlfriend? Is your coworker driving you crazy? Megan Carpentier is here to give you the life advice that you don’t want to hear, told in the way you absolutely need to hear it.

My ex-boyfriend and I didn’t initially have the most amicable break-up in the world, mostly because we broke up over his dickish behavior, but we sort of figured out that as long as we weren’t dating, he wasn’t a dick and decided to be friends. Now, he’s dating one of my other friends (which is fine, relatively speaking) but he’s doing to her what he did to me near the end of our relationship! She’s not any more keen than I was to be suddenly dating a huge dick, but she’s just crying about it and doesn’t seem to have plans to actually leave. I, of course, am the only one in her life with a pre-existing friendship with him, and I am getting madder and madder at him for not learning anything from our relationship and our break-up. Do I say something?

Personally, I am congenitally incapable of not saying something, and all of my friends and exes would concur. Were I in your situation, yes, I probably would call up my friendly ex and rip him a new asshole the size of Texas. Although I’m not keen on giving dating advice, there’s one piece of advice I will give, which you can pass along: if you don’t want to be with someone anymore, it’s your responsibility to tell that person and end it, and passively-aggressively treating that person like shit so they will dump you and alleviate your feelings of guilt and responsibility is a shitty, high school thing to do to anyone you care about (even if you don’t love that person anymore).

That statement would likely be followed, were it issued by me, by a near-epic rant about how disappointed I am that all the pain he put me through and damage he did to my trust and our friendship was not a lesson about how not to treat someone, but an acceptable price for his narcissistic need to not be the Bad Guy by dumping someone. And then I’m probably add something about how he is currently being The Worst Guy by putting someone through this bullshit childish behavior who is, apparently, more masochistic than I was and thus is being hurt even worse. I would then likely demand that he stop treating my friend in this manner or risk really losing my friendship and the relationship. Then, if I’m perfectly honest, I’d pause for breath and come up with a new way to say all of that again, just for good measure. I’m a fun ex-girlfriend, truly.

That said, he’s simply showing you that his dickish behavior is an ongoing pattern, and it is one that, friendship or not, you’re not really going to be able to interrupt because the consequences are, in his mind, minimal. I mean, he was able to do it to you and be friends, right? And he probably did it to a bunch of girls before you and kept some of them around as friends, too. So, unless you’re actually willing to side with your female friend (even though she’s not asked you to and they might well engage in a battle of  wills for a while yet over which one of them is less willing to end it) over your male friend-ex, your only choice is to sit this one out and keep your mouth shut. She’s probably perfectly well aware that he’s doing to her what he did to you, and feeling kind of stupid for letting him, and yet she’s staying in the relationship anyway. Encouraging her to leave won’t help her leave; yelling at him for staying won’t help him end it; and getting involved in his personal life means he’s still involving you in his personal life when you supposedly wanted to be out. So get out: either do it angry, if you’re in the mood for a spleen-venting, or do it quietly, which ever works best for you, but know if you dig in and get involved, it will be misinterpreted and not achieve the result you want. You can only dump him when you’re in a relationship with him; it’s her job to end it now, if that’s what she wants. And, if she doesn’t, you can’t make her.

If you have a problem with a friend, relative, coworker, or other person in your life, email Megan at advice@thegloss.com. If you have a problem with your boyfriend, you should probably just try talking to him.

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