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I've seen these kinds of things happen in work environments, where there's a little more of a process rather than everyone being able to instantly jump in on a narrative and isolate others and I've handled those fine as well as mitigated. I have also seen similar happen in social life so I imagine others may want to be prepared.

In short, what is the best way to go about handle communicating with mutual friends, and if ever possible, my SO, to disprove the false rumors being repeated about me while no one asks me directly what the truth is.

My SO (Significant Other) ghosted on me while upset and avoiding uncomfortable conversations, due to a former friend spreading lies about me.

Is there any real way to overcome this?

The shortest way to explain would be the simple timeline of:

  • Mutual friend of SO leans on me (as many of my friends) for emotional support every few months for over a year
  • I notice that this person never respects me or my time and finally cut them off (a bit harshly) and ignored their phone calls
  • A few days later they called my SO while I was away on a trip and lied to them (I still don't know what exactly was said)
  • I didn't see my SO for a week after that call (this was after they'd started working as an EMT in addition to a second part time job so we barely saw each other for a few months)
  • When I finally saw my SO they were acting very stressed out and upset, kept saying they were tired when I kept asking for hours what was wrong and if I could help
  • Just past midnight my SO confronted me with accusatory and confusing questions (confusing because I didn't understand what they were trying to find out), it became clear they had been lied to and who had lied to them when my SO finally asked what's going on with this other friend. I clarified as much as a I could, though after hours of tension and it being late at night it wasn't really a conversation
  • I saw my SO a once a week for a few weeks after, though what little time we had together they were still acting upset and resentful, I waited for them to be calm and ready for a conversation (each meeting was less than an hour between work shifts)
  • After four weeks, MY SO said I should say hi when I'm in town, and this won't be the last we see each other, and then has not responded to any communication over facebook (it shows read) and I believe has blocked me on their phone.
  • I was told through the grapevine that they may have moved in with someone, and that the friend who was lying was at the housewarming party.
  • Given some other formerly mutual friends behavior it's clear that the truth wasn't cleared up and that this friend I cut off is still in our "group" and likely telling their version of events so they don't get ousted from our friend group while everyone is distancing themselves from me

For more context, my SO has a history of previous partners cheating on them. I'm not focused on "winning" them back as not allowing them to just run away angry and believing I was unfaithful, which would require sitting down and having a conversation.

I realize there may be no hope as the silence has gone on for 6 months now (they ghosted a week before our four year anniversary). I was being patient since I knew they were still working EMT full time and another job, essentially 80 stressful hours a week. I contacted them about every 6-8 weeks and have heard nothing back.

It has been suggested I show up where they work, but I would say this is a major violation of boundaries, even if much of our relationship used to be based on surprise gifts and appearances (this was long distance).

I don't know if there's some specific way I should reach out to them, or a way I should communicate with our mutual friends first and hope that they will encourage my now ex to talk to me again to clear things up (as to what actually happened, not to get back together).

  • Hi, welcome to IPS. You can take our tour to get started. I'm not sure I understand your intention with this question. What is it that you're trying to accomplish? Do you want to confront the lying friend about their lie? Or talk to your SO about what happened? As of now, it sounds more like an interpersonal problem, which would make this off-topic. – HugoBDesigner Mar 9 '18 at 19:43
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    As it stands now, your question has 2 main problems. 1) Youre asking about 2-3 different issues. This can be solved by dividing your question as my above comment suggests. 2) You are asking "what should I do?", which is open ended and outside the scope of IPS. This can be solved by rephrasing the questions to outline the interaction you are focusing on (group communication/text chat with SO) and your intended personal goals for your communication and where you want help in regards to those two things. – spiral succulent Mar 9 '18 at 21:57
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    A totally on topic question on IPS is "Here's how i handled X, I think that with this approach failed in Y, how can I do better at achieving Z in future instances of X" – spiral succulent Mar 9 '18 at 22:02
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    Thanks for the edits (and patience), I think the question is getting there :) The opening question: "handle communicating with mutual friends to disprove the false rumors being repeated about me while no one asks me directly what the truth is" seems like a good focus. The part about communicating with your SO should probably be separated out since that's a complicated question on its own (but note we don't allow "should I" questions here). – Em C Mar 9 '18 at 22:20
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    @FaultyJuggler Can you state your question in one, short and crisp line? What exactly are you considering doing? – AbhigyanC Mar 10 '18 at 4:34
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While confronting the liar might sound like an epic movie scene where the forces of good triumph at the end, this might not be how it turns out.

Now, this person whom I'll call "Liar" sound like a liar and manipulator, while you sound like a decent normal person. If you confront them, you will most likely lose and come off worse. Perhaps Liar will push your buttons and make you angry enough that you make a fool of yourself, or if they're good, Liar might even convince you that you did or said something wrong to your ex, and that it was all your fault! Or most likely, they will weasel out of it and you won't learn anything, yet you will later replay the interaction in your head wondering what you could have done to make it turn out better, perhaps you'll then blame yourself, etc. This can go wrong in many ways.

More information about Liar's character and their motives would be helpful: are they simply toxic, enjoy making others miserable, or did they make your ex leave you so she could then be available to date one of their friends? Or as revenge? Who knows.

What I'd do is have a chat with one of the "friends" in the group. Pick the one who is the least close to Liar, and whom you think trusts you the most. In other words, someone who perhaps has heard about what you want to know, but for whom the stakes are low, so they won't feel threatened, and will be more likely to tell you the truth rather than protect themselves with a lie.

Since Liar wanted you out of the group I'd bet she told her story to everyone in great detail, and made sure to talk trash about you any time she could, so they will probably all have heard about it.

It could go like this. Say you were accused of cheating, for example.

"Hey Steve, I need your help with something." (note: tone is not accusatory). "I still don't know why my ex left, she seemed to think I was cheating, but that never happened, so I wonder how she could have come up with that idea."

You can try to explain you're worried about her, but you shouldn't make the conversation about you, ie not sound too much like you're trying to prove your innocence. More like you're trying to understand what happened before moving on, and you're not holding a grudge against her.

Worst case, Steve believed the story and gives you hell for whatever it was you're supposed to have done. Still useful though, as in doing so, he will give you all the information you want. Just weather the storm.

Best case, Steve thinks it's a bit fishy that Liar has made it a point to tell everyone how evil you are without a single shred of evidence, and he helps you sort it out.

If this works out, perhaps you may end up talking to your ex, but don't count on it. She's probably moved on, and so should you. I don't think you should contact her before getting more information from someone who is more likely to be willing to talk because the stakes for them are low.

Anyway, good luck.

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It sounds like you're looking for a kind of closure that isn't likely to come. If it's been 6 months and you've reached out to your ex several times already, there's not much more that you can do. Your best bet is to let it go and move on with your life. I know that it's not right, or fair, or what you want to hear, but... Well... Life isn't always right or fair.

The only scenario that I can imagine, and it's a huge stretch, and I doubt it'll work, so don't say you weren't warned, is confronting your accuser directly. It's incredibly unlikely that confronting the person who spread the lies about you will lead them to tell the truth, but it may give you a little closure and help you get on with your life.

Don't confront them if you can't keep your cool. Don't be surprised if they double down, it's fashionable these days. It would probably be better to do it over the phone, so you're unable to strike them if/when the urge strikes you. The point of the thing is to tell them the truth, your truth, about what they did and how it affected your life.

Remember the point of the confrontation isn't to shout or vent, but to let them know that you know what they did. It can be amazingly cathartic to talk to the one other person who absolutely knows the truth, and knows that they made the whole thing up.

Another word of caution. Do not confront anyone unless you are absolutely sure that you're correct in your belief that they're the one responsible. If no one will even tell you what you're being accused of, be very careful that you're really confronting the right person.

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Confront them, some time the only way out is to give the first step and fight for what you love, leave them clear that you don't want them to tell your girl lies and show them that you don't fear them, i know this is not the prefered scenarios, but there are situations where there is no other way out, just avoid fighting and arguing, let them hear you and go, be clear, precise and stay very confident, you can't be reasonable with this kind of unrespectful, manipulative and toxic people.

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