I can understand how you feel considering that you are under some emotional stress at the moment. Your friend who owns the cafe' may only be looking at it as a business propositon, and does not realize that it may hurt you. Sometimes when one owns a place of business that requires entertainment, it is easy to lose sight of anything else pertaining to the entertainer. Maybe it would be an idea to talk with your friend and explain how you feel, but keep in mind that your friend may not change his/her mind regarding hiring your boyfriend to entertain the customers. Regarding your question to proper etiquette/manners... I think that what you may be asking is, should your friend of 25 years be loyal to you and not ask your boyfriend to entertain. This is a tough call. because your friend is a business owner. Proper etiquette/manners, from your point of view, would be to be honest with your friend as to how you feel, yet let your friend know that you realize he/she owns a business and although you would be very uncomfortable, you understand whatever he/she decides. This should take the stress of the 25 year friendship. I wish you the best.
My question to you is this--is this the only time in your twenty-five-year friendship that your friend has ever done anything that you feel is a betrayal of your feelings and trust? If it is, then perhaps you should just let this incident slide. You've told her how you feel, and that might be all you can do about the situation right now.
You mentioned that your friend has a partner in this business. Perhaps it is he/she that is insisting on hiring your ex. If this is the case, your friend is stuck in the middle of trying to maintain her friendship with you and also trying to do what is best for her business and her partner. You've said that this isn't the first time that these two have hired your ex-boyfriend. The fact that they keep asking him back can only mean it is because he is doing his job and is bringing in customers for them through his performance. Believe me, if he wasn't a benefit to their business, then they would have never asked him back in the first place (even if that benefit is that his playing fee is cheaper than other performers in the area).
I'd say that the best that you can do is ask your friend for a list of dates and times in which he will be playing at the cafe near your house and then make it a point of 1) making other plans to be out with friends during this time, and 2) DON'T make any sort of contact with your boyfriend at all, so that he won't get another opportunity to bait you like you've written above that he does. (I thought that it was strange that he would be able to do this because you two are supposed to be NOT talking.) If someone is passing this information on to you, then do yourself a favor and tell this busybody/troublemaker that you just aren't interested in anything he/she has to say regarding your ex and cut that person off at the pass before the information can ever leave his/her lips. (After all, a good offense is the best defense!)
Good luck with your problem!
I am sorry for the delay with my reply. Yes, I can see where this would present a problem. Judging from your response to me, it appears that there is an issue with loyalty to friendship. I can understand why you would feel "left out". I don't know how "strong" you may be, but it may be an idea to continue to socialize with your friend and continue to attend functions at her cafe'. Don't back away and allow someone to curtail what you enjoy also. I know it is difficult, but sometimes, one has to put on a "brave" face and continue with life as it was. It may come as quite a surprise to your boyfriend if you continue with your life, be friendly, smile yet be a bit aloof. You also may meet someone else along the way. Try not to isolate yourself from this situation. Join in with your friend of 25 years, continue the friendship and activities yet keep a "mystery" with your private life. The less your boyfriend knows about what you do in your life, when you are not attending the functions at the cafe' , the better it is. This may be a difficult step to take... but if you decide to give it a try, it may well work for you and, you may feel less "left out", less lonely and proud of yourself for not letting a difficult situation end a 25 year friendship. I wish you well.
Why are you making yourself feel badly about all of this? Did it ever occur to you that maybe there is no one to blame concerning this situation? Maybe you two were just not meant to be for whatever reason.
Just because your relationship with this guy was one of the best you've ever had doesn't necessarily mean that he's the guy you are ultimately supposed to wind up with. Maybe this relationship was meant only to teach you and prepare you for the next relationship. After all, you've learned that you still have issues to deal with, so try to deal with them so that they won't continue to affect any future relationship(s).
Also, it's been my experience that if you're holding back in a relationship, then there might be a good reason for you to instinctually do so. After all, he could be the greatest guy in the world, but sometimes, depending on the level of anger shown, the relationship just isn't worth all the extraneous crap that you have to put up with also.
Besides, did it ever occur to you that you might be his learning relationship, too?
Try to get rid of the guilt that you are feeling about this relationship failing--from my point of view, it succeeded because it got you thinking about areas in your own feelings/life in which you could try to improve yourself. Stop listening to all the good reviews from your friends. If they think he's so great, then maybe they should date him instead of continually trying to foist him back onto you!
Lastly, nothing is forever. If you two are truly meant to be, then maybe it's at a later date when you've both had an opportunity to grow. Sometimes you have to grow apart to ever be able to come closer together.
I would suggest broadening your horizons--with some new activities and new friends (still keeping the old ones, of course), so that you can take advantage of everything the world has to offer. Life is too short to make yourself nuts listening to other people tell you what you should or shouldn't do.
You mentioned above that it bothers you that you can't tell either your good friend or ex what to do. It's been my experience that when I tend to focus too much on the problems other people are causing me that I spend so much time focusing on them and less time on my own personal issues that I should instead be addressing. That's usually because it's easier to point my finger at others rather than myself--focusing on my own inadequacies is hard because it means that I see a necessity in myself to change, and change is one of the hardest and scariest things that a person can do. Perhaps that is what's really behind your conflict with your friends. If it is, then once you recognize this to be true, you will be free to truly enjoy your friends and your life.
I hope some of that helped.
Thank you for responding, I have to fully agree with Michele"s answer. I do believe that is a well thought out reply, and I wish you the best with whatever decision you come to. Thank you.