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Potentially Running into your stbx

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PhantomLimb posted 11/1/2013 23:22 PM

My STBX and I are in the same (small) field. There is an annual meeting that neither of us have ever missed. It's one of those things that you never miss, if you can help it.

I have to go. I'm involved in several presentations. I'm looking for a new job since I quit the one I had with him (after I found out he was having his A with a coworker).

I haven't talked to him in over 6 months. But, the last time I did, he actually brought up that he was still thinking of going (even though he's not involved in anything specific this year).

My L and IC have recommended sending him some kind of letter asking him to please not attend if not necessary for his professional development.

I haven't done so because I feel like that is a tacit form of breaking NC. And, frankly, I'm going to have to face him at this thing sooner or later. If we both stay in this field, I'm probably going to see him there every year for the rest of my life.

I honestly have no idea how I would handle seeing him. I know that, wherever I am at the time, I'm going to try to leave (unless I'm presenting). And I've basically told everyone who was in our circle what he did. I think I can expect to be supported and I'm sure if anyone can steer me clear of him, they will. Some have flat out told me that they will let him know that he is not welcomed there.

But say I catch a glimpse of him. Or he corners me somehow. Or tries to pretend like everything is amicable (he's telling people we realized we had "compatibility issues" and that there are no hard feelings ). Or say I run into him and he ignores me.

I'm anxious because I really have no idea how I'd react.

If history serves, I'll go into my "autopilot" and be civil, but controlled and not engage. I am the girl who NCed within 48 hours before I even knew what it was, after all.

But now that I've had some distance and come out of my fog, I'm incredibly disgusted. I could see myself yelling at him or lashing out in some way if I'm triggered. That's not great if I'm in public and on the job market.

Any words of advice? Stories from your own run-ins with your X?

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 11:24 PM, November 1st (Friday)]

newlysingle posted 11/1/2013 23:35 PM

Well, I guess this is the only time having to co-parent with one of these asshats come in handy. I unfortunately, have to see my X all the time for kid exchanges. So at this point, I'm numb to him. He just seems like some douchey stranger that I have to turn my kids over to periodically.

It will probably be tough if you have to see him, but it's good that you are preparing yourself now. In glad that you have a support system and they aware of the situation. I would do your best to remain NC with him. There is no reason for you to have to speak to him at all. If he tries to engage you, have one of your supporters pull you away for something "very important".

Good luck and I hope you don't have to see him at all. I hope you can land a job too!

ladies_first posted 11/2/2013 09:19 AM

Dress like a million bucks! Don't drink!! Don't overthink this.

I haven't done so because I feel like that is a tacit form of breaking NC. And, frankly, I'm going to have to face him at this thing sooner or later.

Exactly. At some point -- 6 months??? -- NC simply becomes enabling.

What do YOU want to do?

Please do not run away with your tail between your legs. Just mentally create a short 'elevator speech' should you see your WH, "We need to finalize a Divorce and finalize repayment of $<specific> loan to my parents. Do you have the name and number of a lawyer?" Wouldn't hurt to have the business card of your lawyer on hand, too.

NO SEX!!!!!! No talk of his life with OW!

You're strong. This is no longer about NC, it's about moving forward as an independent woman.

Look your best. Smile. You've got this locked and loaded.

cayc posted 11/2/2013 09:29 AM

Besides the looking/feeling your best and being prepared for your presentation. There are three things you can do.

First, make a list of all the people you want to be sure to speak with/see/meet. Use that list to focus how you work the room, choose your seating, etc. You will be looking around with an eye towards finding these people, giving you purpose and direction, and not allowing you to be just "standing there" open for approach.

Second, if you see him look through him. Do not focus on him. Do not acknowledge his existence. If he walks right up to you. Look through him. Do not look him in the eye. Do not acknowledge that you heard a word he said. He's a ghost. A figment. He's not there. Turn and walk away. Or if you are in conversation with another, turn your back on him and don't acknowledge him standing there. If he grabs your arm to stop you, turn and say loudly "I do not know who you are, do not touch me".

Third, if anyone says anything to you about him, reply with a mild tone "He lied to me. He stole from me. He cheated on me. He's a bad person. I divorced him for it. Surely you wouldn't want me to have remained married to him, right?'" That will shame the person gossiping to you to shut up and make you seem perfectly normal (mild tone, pleasant expression on face is key to pulling this one off).

This is going to be like being an actress in a play. But if you pull it off? It will stop all of this for you. It will make the conference your playground.

PhantomLimb posted 11/2/2013 18:19 PM

Thanks for the advice.

I tend to think he's not going to show up at the end of the day. First of all, he's cheap and conferences can be expensive. Second of all, he's still not facing the truth of the situation from what people tell me (keeping photos of the family up on Facebook and whatnot). Showing up there with me potentially throwing the nearest floral arrangements at him would really be a dose of reality I don't think he can accept.

And I think he knows that I've told people what he did. He thinks he's Mr. Perfect and to be confronted by people about his actions would also ruin his little fantasy world.

On the other hand, he is ballsy. So I suppose it's possible.

I'll try to take the high road. But I hope all of the vases in the hotel are nailed to their tables, just in case.

My friends have told me that if I flip out at him somehow and don't end up with a job, it's okay. No one would fault me under the circumstances. And there's always next year.

LeopoldB posted 11/2/2013 20:32 PM

Depending how close you are to your co-attending friends, you might ask that if he shows up, they generally keep you engaged. If he approaches, that is the time for your wing-man (wing-woman?) to step in between and loudly state that you are urgently needed for a planning discussion. I actually filled this role for woman friend at a conference and it added a whole other dynamic because her XWH was not 100% sure whether I was interjecting myself professionally or personally. He was really pissed off.

PhantomLimb posted 11/2/2013 21:54 PM

I actually got a text from a friend tonight (a colleague of ours) saying that he really hopes that he doesn't show up. I think a lot of my friends are horrified by what he's done and it's kinda ostracized him from the community in some respects. I don't think anyone relishes the idea of feeling like they have to step in and either ask him to leave or have to keep up apart.

I managed to keep my cool through 95% of our interactions after DDay. I don't think this would be different. I hope, anyway.

If he approached me, I think I would just say "no" and walk away. That's probably really all that needs to be said, isn't it?

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