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My Ex and I recently broke up. There are a lot of very negative feelings on my side due to things that happened during the relationship and after the breakup. It is still hard for me to be in her vicinity, and I cannot really relax and enjoy myself in her presence. Unfortunately, we share a common hobby where there are only a limited number of meetings. She attends all of them, while I am restricted to a few due to age constraints. After some of the meetings, there often will be an afterparty at one of our common friends. I would like to go to these events, but in contrast to the organised "official" meetings, the group there is much smaller. Last time, my ex was invited and I was not, which is probably not because of a dislike on the host's part, but I rather suspect that he knew that I would have declined anyway (I am not sure about that however).

How can I ask the host to sometimes invite me and not her?

Further notes:

  • She suggested to keep away from some of the events to give me space, but broke this promise pretty quickly. Therefore, I am not searching for a solution that depends on her cooperation in any way.
  • While I am quite restricted in my choices of meetings (and corresponding afterparties), she is not and therefore I do not have any leverage with her to "split 50/50". Additionally, I have much bigger issues with her than she has with me.
  • Switching social circles is not an option, since the hobby is fixed and there is only a very small number of potential hosts that live in the vicinity of the official meetings.
  • After the breakup, I tried to be on good terms with her to avoid unnecessary drama. That was two months ago, but afterwards a lot of things happened/came out that really hurt me (e.g. her not sticking to the promise to give me space). This currently makes it impossible for me to somehow reconcile with her.
  • My bad feelings towards her are not because of the breakup, but rather from the stuff that happened during the relationship. I was overdependent on her, so I haven't had the balls to break up. E.g. she lied to me about her intimacy level with other people and I believe she deliberately (although maybe unconsciously) fed me false information about her, resulting in me doubting my own perception. I have no desire to be "on good terms with her" ever again, because I know I will never be able to have a conversation with her without being in an alarmed state and carefully watching every word.
  • She is very attractive and out-going, which makes it easier for her to get attention from the hosts, which are all male.
  • I am particularly worried that the host might consider "inviting both and letting them decide that between them" a sufficiently "fair" solution.
  • I am mostly interested of going to the afterparties without her being there. I am totally fine with the host having a strong friendship with her, as long as he does not neglect me because of it.
  • Although there are two main hosts, the one I am concerned about is a lot more active in this regard than the other.
  • I am located in Germany, although I believe this is not very much location-specific.
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You may not want to hear this, but truthfully, you can't.

You're asking the host to make an exception for you. In your eyes it seems fair to split the events 50/50. But for the host, it's not fair at all. They have to keep track of who has been to what events. They have to be the one to not invite a specific person so they'll be the one to blame should someone else take issue with the decision. The problem is between you and your ex, the host should not be the one to make the decision of who can attend what event.*

In my experience, whenever someone has asked me to "prefer them over someone else", I've always started gravitating towards the other person - people generally don't like being told who they should hang out with. So asking the host not to invite her is not a good idea.

Alternatively, you could try hosting yourself. That way you can control who are invited and still stay in touch with your friend group.

Another thing you could do is actually talk to your ex. Ideally you would reach a state where you're both cordial with each other and not bothered by the other's presence. If that can't be achieved then you could at least ask her if it would be possible to split the events so that you could both occasionally attend the events.

* The fact that the host already chose to not invite you might be a bit telling on who they prefer to have on these events. Unless you've expressed to people that you can't stand being around your ex, in which case they probably made the assumption that you'd decline anyway.

  • As I wrote in the OP, my ex actually agreed to stay away from some meetings, but decided to break our agreement. Therefore, I see no point in trying to talk to her again. – hephaisto Dec 10 '18 at 21:10
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I have experienced something similar myself and agree it is not easy when you have a breakup in the middle of a circle of friends like this - friends that have a common interest that brings them together. It isn't the same as when you have one really, really close friend - a friend that is like a brother or sister to you - who, after a breakup, may be fiercely loyal to you and not continue their friendship with your ex. The kind of friends you describe (still valued friends, I should add) will not be looking to "take sides". They will be looking to maintain the peace and continue with their shared interest.

However painful the breakup is to you, you must realise that even your best friends that care for you will not feel any of your pain. Sure they may feel empathy for you, but it isn't the same pain you feel. If they were friends to both of you before the breakup then they will probably be seeking to remain friends with both of you now.

If you place any kind of conditions or restrictions on your friends then there is a good chance you will be the one that gets pushed out and left out, not your ex. This is because right now they are "neutral" as regards your breakup. They may care about you both, but if they are not involved in the details of your breakup then they are not really affected by it. They just want to maintain peace in their own lives, and if you and your ex can be in the same room as them then it doesn't put them out in any way. But as soon as you start to make requests like "invite me this time but not her", then it starts to affect them. It is trouble for them. They won't want to keep account of how many times they invited you, or her. They wont want to start "taking sides". They will push out the "trouble maker", and that will be the person who makes the request not to be in the same room as someone else.

This will be really hard to deal with. You mentioned that there is some "bad feeling" on your part, so perhaps in your mind the breakup is her fault. It was my experience that even when someone is clearly a "perpetrator" and someone else the "victim", while certain close friends will care about this, it doesn't matter to extended peer groups. They will just side with whoever makes least trouble for them.

As hard as it may be, you might have to just ride this one out and not say anything. Attend the meetings and parties, and let your ex be the one to say something, if anyone. If you show that you can be in the same room as her, or anyone, you won't be excluded. The solution may come if she starts to distance herself when she realises you will not.

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