Let go of resentment towards ex for sake of mutual friend-group

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  James Ireland 10 months, 1 week ago.

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    James Ireland

    Hey guys,

    Me and my ex broke up around 7 months ago. It was a bit of a heated split after we began to fight more often and I don't think she treated me very fairly which left a friendship with her questionable.

    We share a close group of mutual friends which she has kept seeing regularly since we broke up, whereas I have distanced myself from the group to allow myself time to push forward with my life and I have achieved a lot since then which I am proud of.

    I have enjoyed the time apart – from her and the group, allowing the transition from the relationship to friendship more feasible.

    But now I feel as I am less busy, I am beginning to miss being as involved with the group of friends. I hear you say, well why don't you just start to hang out with them more?

    Well I still feel like I resent my ex for how she treated me. She ended it after I had put a lot into the relationship, whereas she was emotionally cold, overly flirtatious with my male friends and dropped me when I was going through a tough patch in life (with family and work). I imagined we were close enough (we were friends before going out) that when it was time to end it, we could agree mutually but she shouted at me and made me feel the size of a pea when she tore it off – crushing my ego.

    For these reasons, this is why I don't currently see myself being her “friend”.

    For the group of friends, I never told them about how she was to me when we were going out – I respected her and didn't want the ways I didn't get on with her to affect their friendships with her. But to simply just bounce back into the friendship group and be all friendly with her isn't on my agenda. I know she will never say sorry for hurting me or anything like that, so I know I am not going to win there.

    But I do want to not miss out on great weekends with my friends simply because of an ex.

    How can I let go of this resentment and continue to see my friends? Forgiving her and being friends again sort of feels like a “she's had her cake and eat it” situation.






    Dear James:

    Your dating relationship with your ex friend/ girlfriend as it was, with the ugly breakup, necessarily changes the dynamic of the group association. It cannot be like before.

    If you consider getting back together with the group, giving it a try, maybe you can get together one to one with your ex girlfriend, and check and see the current feelings between the two of you, her feelings about the group and you joining the group. Not for the purpose of asking her permission, but for the purpose of checking how it could be if you re-join, and so to prevent faking it in the group, pretending to be “all friendly with her”-

    For you to be comfortable, authentic in the group, the relationship with her within-the-group has to be authentic. Therefore I suggest meeting with her beforehand.




    Hi James,

    We had such groups in college. The longer it lasted, the more incestuous it would become. I remember one girl who went out with two guys in a group and ended up marrying another. Meanwhile, the ex of the guy she married was also still in the group.

    If you simply can't stand it, try seeing your favorite person in the group one-on-one. Then next year see another. Then in the third year a group of them together. Eventually you WILL run into her, especially at big life events like weddings, etc.

    Hopefully what will happen (in time) is when you finally see her it will be years later, and you will feel… Nothing!… We do become different people as we age, and some people don't physically age well (which does help).




    James Ireland

    Thank you for the thoughtful responses.

    Two very good points – time heals all wounds and the authentic friendship. I don't feel I can be my happy, goofy self around her currently so the time is obviously not right for me.


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