What's the Ex-Girlfriend Protocol Here?

Bang on. Don’t stay out of it. Get right in there. Flirt with several of the participants. See if you can stage a grand finale cat fight on an afternoon talk show.

He’s got something like eight years on my friend, but yeah, I think he’s generally clueless when it comes to little things that will irk a girlfriend. He’s very laid back, so I think he expects her to be the same. Which is probably why he’s still friends with the ex. He needs to be ‘ok’ with everyone (while I feel a few enemies are healthy.) The weird thing is that many people dislike his ex. He wouldn’t be considered a jerk for severing ties. But, sigh, as has been mentioned, he’d probably see her at a number of parties.

Anyway, the two apparently had a big blow out. My friend suggested she and BF invite over only the ex-BF for dinner and see how the ex-GF feels. Now that is just the sort of thing Ann Landers never recommended. I will be staying far, far away. Though this whole eye scratching/hair pulling idea does sound good…

Yeah, boyfriend was at fault for not including his live-in girlfriend in the invitation, or declining if she wasn’t invited, but what is setting off my alarm bells also is all the ex-gf interactions. Your friend is feeling weird about her bf’s involvement with “crazy” ex-gf because her intuition is operating properly (or she should be, anyway. Ex-gf is looking to make trouble, and it’s working.)

Proper current interactions with ex-gf - current gf never feels a second of doubt because bf makes it clear with words and actions that ex-gf is good and ex, and current gf is number one with no questions or hesitations. BF is not doing that for your friend. She shouldn’t have to demand “her or me,” but he’s putting her in that position (or letting it get to that, which is the same thing).

I’m a complete hard-liner when it comes to ex’s and friends negatively affecting a relationship -the relationship has to come first, and all ex’s get kicked to the curb if they create any problems at all for a current relationship (friends take a little more consideration about what to do with them).

It’s generally not cool to invite only one half of a couple that lives together to a social event. It’s one thing if it’s a weekly poker night or a ladies’ lunch out, but in other circumstances, the invitation should generally be extended to both parties. Especially if the reason for going out is to celebrate one member of the couple’s promotion.

The weirdest part is the boyfriend’s behavior. **Rubystreak **puts it well:

The fact that the boyfriend apparently doesn’t want to include his SO does not bode well.

Heavy possessiveness and jealousy are bad tactics. She doesn’t own every hour of BF’s life. Your friend (BF’s GF) needs to learn to trust. If BF isn’t mature enough to have a few drinks with friends without jumping into bed with XGF, there is nothing GF can do about it. Either GF and BF are sexually monogamous, or they aren’t. If that was part of the moving-in understanding, both have to trust the other partner to maintain it. No jealous rage, no spying, only trust.

I agree with this, up to a point. BF should be able to hang with people, including XGF, without always bringing GF along. It would qualify as Jodi’s “boys’ night out,” only BF has to make sure that everyone understands that XGF is now classified “BOY.” If these people are all from an old gang of friends, and want to get together with just each other now and then, I could see it doing that as long as it was a rare occurrence.

I think this is an oversimplification of the situation. I don’t think she’s worried that he’s going to have sex with his ex, per se. It’s his representation of her role in his life. Like I said earlier, if I were going out for dinner and drinks to celebrate my promotion, I’d want my fiance to at least be invited, even if he couldn’t make it. That would go doubly so if the person who invited me were somewhat antagonistic towards him-- I’d feel disloyal going out with an ex who hated him and did not wish our relationship well if he were deliberately being excluded from the event.

Thus, it’s not a matter of trust or sexual jealousy IMO as one of respect. It’s disrespectful of him to ditch his GF to go out with an ex who feels spiteful towards her. Again, YMMV, but that’s how I feel about it.

This was my thinking as well, if this was a catch-up night of old friends, then I think its reasonable to go alone, since we presume the other people at the event would be more comfortable without SO’s at the table. But in this case, its a friend who lives a few blocks away, who is herself bringing a companion along, and the BF is the friend-of-honor. Definetaly the GF should be welcome at this event. When I first read OP I actually thought the ex didn’t mention the GF by name because it was so obvious that GF would be welcome, but that ex was only offering to pay for the BF. Which would be tacky on the part of the ex, but something the BF could smooth over quickly by just paying for himself and his date.

And even if it were an event where it would be better to go alone, then at least don’t wait until your girlfriend gets home from work to tell her your going out! That’s sorta the icing on the cake, the fact that he left her to sit at home – at least give her notice so she can meet a friend or go shopping or something. I mean, there’s a cluelessness and then there’s just plain thoughtlessness.

GF is being put in a bad position, where she doesn’t have a lot of good choices. If she sits at home, she’s rightly annoyed and the ex-GF gets to feel smug about scoring off her. If she objects to this stupid situation, she looks jealous and possessive, which I’m sure is what the ex-GF wants.

The guy is being pretty thoughtless IMO, and clueless about social stuff. It’s downright rude to invite him out to celebrate his promotion without including his SO, and he should have objected to that. The fact that it’s his ex-GF doing the inviting just adds complications that he should be dealing with, and he’s not.

I can see your point, Ruby, and I agree it was uncool of XGF and XBF to have failed to invite GF. Maybe BF should have asked if GF was invited. However, it’s impolite to bring along somebody who wasn’t invited, especially if the Xs are picking up the tab.

Catfight updated to say that GF and BF had a big dustup over it. I see it as a slight toward GF, but only a minor one. I can understand GF being grumpy, but it isn’t worth rattling the teacups. You and I probably disagree on that, and that’s OK. Catfight asked for our thoughts, and these are mine.

By the way, I just went back to re-read the OP, and I didn’t find anything about plans to marry. When you said, “I’d want my fiance to at least be invited, even if he couldn’t make it,” were you looking through the lens of your own situation, or did you see them as betrothed? In my view, betrothal would make a big difference in their level of commitment.

Yeah, I don’t think that the dinner in itself is really a big deal since they’ve included the new GF in plans in the past. If the Ex were systemically trying to leave the new GF out of their plans, then it would be more sinister in my view. In this case, she may jsut have wanted to get together with him because she seems him as her good pal nowadays (I do have exes that I get along with as friends, with no lingering jealousy or desires to shag) and doesn’t feel the GF has to tag along EVERY time they get together.
But the fact that this guy seems to have a pattern of acting thoughtless does seem like a bad omen.
And this is when the relationship should still be in its “honeymoon” phase, so I’ll bet things will just keep getting worse as things go on and he takes her more for granted (as so often happens even in happy relationships).
If he just isn’t a considerate person by nature, it’s not like having long boring talks about The State of the Relationship are going to change who he is.
It’s too bad this came to a head so soon after moving in together, but I think we women often keep plowing ahead in a relationship when deep down we know it’s not right.

First off, I think that it was rude not to invite GF for this occassion.

Secondly, I thought the OP said that XGF (here after referrred to as Xaviera Gabrielle Fantaci) and XBF (hereafter Xerxes Boethius Filardo) were both old friends of Bartolomeo Funkenstein (BF).

Actually, this made it even stranger to me. If they’ve hung out in the past as a foursome, why exclude her now?

My husband and I have mutual friends that we each hang out with separately on occasion. But it’s usually due to a scheduling conflict or the activity itself. If he were to say, “Hey, do you mind if John and Jane and I get together for gaming this afternoon?,” that’s absolutely cool. I don’t do RPGs and I wouldn’t want to sit around and watch them geek out. But if he were to say, “John and Jane and I are going out to dinner tonight. You’re not invited,” I would not be pleased.

I don’t agree with this. What has been described here is not heavy possessiveness and jealousy; it sounds more like the girlfriend is being taken for granted, the ex-gf is stepping on toes, and the bf is not defending his borders with his new, live-in relationship. Reacting to a situation like this is an indication of someone who is not a doormat, not someone with a problem with possessiveness and jealousy. Sometimes the best thing for a relationship is to say, “That isn’t cool. Don’t do it any more.”

I agree with you here, but if it was me, I would say…

“Hey BF, I really enjoy spending time with you and with friends together, but when you went by yourself, I felt left out and that there was a disrespect towards our relationship, both by your ex for the solo invite, and also by your acceptance of invite without consideration of our relationship. I am requesting (not demanding) to please consider and act accordingly with respect to our relationship. I love you and I too will give the same consideration for you should the same thing happen to me.”

You can see what I did here…sugar coat, bitter pill, sugar coat…it goes down easier. It comes off less nagging and demanding.