Is it appropropreiate to ask someone to step aside to have a private conversation when they are out with someone else?

Is it appropropreiate to ask someone to step aside to have a private conversation when they are out with someone else?

by Natalie

I was out, ski boot shopping to be exact, with my boyfriend and his ex-wife passes by and sees him in the shop. She sticks her head into the store to say hello to him and looks around inside the store and is reluctant to come inside. My boyfriend tells her to come in and say hello to me, and we are reintroduced as we have only met once before. The ex then goes into a conversation with my boyfriend essentially ignoring me and asks about her son who does not speak to her and lives with my boyfriend. My boyfriend then asks her to step outside and the two of the went out of the store to have a private conversation while I was sitting with skiboots on my feet.

After the ex-wife left and my boyfriend came back into the shop he asked if I was "O.K." after running into her. I expressed to him that I thought it was rude that the two of the went outside of the store and conversed privately when my boyfriend and I were out together. My boyfriend did not think his conduct was inappropriate since I was busy and it was fine to do what he did.

Would you kindly remark on this situation and what is the proper etiquette? Obviously my boyfriend and I have a difference of opinion regarding this matter.

an 09, 2011
Two Sides To The Story
by: Kevin (Modern Manners Admin)

You have a great question. To tell you the truth, I think that this is an opportunity for better communication and understanding in the future than it is an issue of who is right and who is wrong. Here is what I mean...

Unfortunately for you, you have a relationship with your boyfriend that brings baggage from previous relationships with him. He has an ex, and he has a child with the ex that you mentioned in your question. This isn't going to go away, so you need to decide how to handle that. Even though their relationship is over, there is still a mutual relationship as parents to the child. Any good parent would be concerned about their child and that seems to be the case with this story.

Was it appropriate for him to have a conversation in private? Maybe, maybe not depending on what they were talking about. At the very least, he has to understand that doing so would make you feel uncomfortable. That might have been a little insensitive on his part, but at least he asked if you were okay when he came back. I think that shows that his intentions were to be mindful of your feelings. It seems that his heart was in the right place as he was trying to balance the two worlds (you and the ex).

I think the right thing for BOTH of you to do at this point is just to express your feelings and come up with a plan for the future. The ex is still the mother of your boyfriend's child and that is not going to change and there will be future "run-ins" to cope with. It is best that you both understand each other now so that it can be handled better in the future.

Hope you got a nice pair of ski boots out of the deal!

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