Ex and the Neighbors
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|Tue, 08-27-2013 - 4:12pm|
I apologize ahead if I ramble here a bit.
Some back-story: I’ve been with my (early 40’s) BF for about a little over a year and a half. (I'm in my early 30's). He was separated when I met him and the divorce was final a year ago. He and his Ex do not have any kids.
While he has asked me to move in a few times, I won’t do it unless we are engaged. So I just renewed my lease and we are talking about an engagement/moving in next year. He has been in his house for over 10 years and is very friendly with the neighbors. The four of them used to go out all of the time, but all of that stopped during the separation.
He waited a bit to introduce them to them last year, because he wanted to tell his Ex “Diane” first that he was seeing someone. He didn’t want her to hear it from the neighbors, since they are still friends. I was patient with this, however made it clear that I wasn’t going to sneak around the yard just because they didn’t know who I was.
Fast forward and the Ex and neighbors now know about me. Mr. and Mrs. “Neighbor” (or “N” as I will refer to them) were pleasant enough at first, but I definitely notice that Mr. N is much more friendly. Mrs. N sometimes says “hello” and sometimes ignores me. I don’t take it personally. She’s friends with Diane and I understand female loyalty, so I didn’t expect her to bake me a pie. I wouldn’t say she is downright rude- but can be standoffish.
The goal is not for Mrs. N and I to be BFF’s. I’ve got enough friends. We have nothing in common that I'm aware of. As long as we can be civil- that is all I ask for.
My boyfriend “Jack” decides to catch up one night recently with Mr. and Mrs. N. He asked if I was ok with this, and planned to go with them alone. The idea was to maybe make things “less chilly” for me over the fence. I said it really wasn’t necessary and completely up to him. I personally didn’t have a problem with the neighbors, but agreed that if we are looking at me moving in next year…..He also said things were a little awkward even before I came into the picture back when he separated.
Fair enough. I scheduled a girl’s night and Jack went to dinner with the neighbors. That night, I came back to his house to find the three of them hanging out in the living room. I said “hello” and everyone asked how my night went vs their night. I grabbed a drink and a seat as we all chatted. It seemed very friendly until Mrs. N started telling stories about Jack and Diane. “Remember the time you two went here?” or “Remember when the four of us had blah, blah, blah?” I just sat politely, listened and smiled when appropriate.
After they left, Jack said he had a really nice night with them. It is true that they weren’t sure how to handle Diane moving out and remaining friends with both of them. They had been friends and neighbors for so long. He said they were curious about me and asked questions about how we met, etc. They were unaware of the problems in the marriage at the time and didn’t know Jack was so unhappy.
I didn’t make mention to him of the “Jack and Diane” stories as he probably assumes Mrs. N was just reminiscing. The problem is that he has mentioned him and I going out with Mr. and Mrs. N sometime.
There are no plans for this right now; however I do have my own plan in mind. Before going out, whenever that may be I’m going to give Jack a head’s up about something. If Mrs. N gets to her third Jack and Diane story before the drinks are served, I’m going to excuse myself and go to the ladies’ room. That will be his opportunity to ask her to tone down the “J&D” talk. If they want to sit and talk about the “good old days”- then do it some other time because it makes me uncomfortable.
I’m not saying nobody can say the name “Diane” ever again. Of course she is going to come up. I don’t think it is unfair to ask that I not have to sit there through story after story. I can’t tell if Mrs. N does it on purpose or if she is just making conversation. Jack has said her standoffish attitude is just part of her personality sometimes. As I sit here and type all of this, I wonder if going to dinner with them ever might be a good idea. I see no reason for it right now.
Has anyone else had to deal with a friend, family member, neighbor not be able to keep their trap shut about an ex? Do you think it is malicious or just ignorance? This is my first serious relationship with someone whom has an Ex-wife and sometimes I really don’t know how to handle certain situations.