So Your Ex Wants to Be Friends?

I am in complete and total awe and amazement of those who manage to be friends with their exes after divorce. I feel like I’m doing well to be able to speak his name (rarely) without vomiting.

Yet some make it work. Sometimes they discover they get along as long as they’re not married. Or they rediscover a friendship after the animosity of the divorce has faded. The truly heroic manage to create families that blend the old and the new.

But for every pair that has a mutually agreeable relationship after divorce, there seems to be a couple dozen that don’t. Some are at perpetual war, either of the cold or hot variety. Others maintain a civil discourse or avoid contact all together.

And then there’s this situation, where one person wants the ex at arm’s length (at least) and then the ex implores, “Can we please be friends?”

Here are ten questions to ask yourself before you answer this question. 

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4 thoughts on “So Your Ex Wants to Be Friends?

  1. After 2½ years of crap, being friends with ex is not on my list. BUT we’ve got 3 kids together. I just want to be able to be “friendly”. I want to be able to communicate. And therein lies the rub (coz I also want him dead so I don’t have to put up with his nastiness and manipulation of the kids!). Catch-22!!

  2. Thank you for posting this as I’m trying to figure out how to deal with dealing with my ex-husband at our daughter’s wedding. It is nice to know I’m not the only one still figuring it out. And thank you for finding my little blog!

  3. In the early days of the divorce, I wanted to remain friends. The conscious decoupling movement was just starting. I wanted to try divorced counseling to learn ‘how to be divorced parents’ raising 3 kids.

    It was never in the cards for us.

    We limped through our separation agreement negotiations. Ultimately, she was in a hurry to get done and gone and the agreement has flaws(none are perfect).

    Two years later, the things we could not iron out then are still haunting us today.

    The ‘hurry’ up and divorce thing set us both on a path that felt extra difficult to me, maybe her as well.

    So we have all these new challenges with a flawed agreement too…

    I mention this as this baggage seems to be getting in the way of any type of new friendship. We were best friends and married for 23 years. Then we weren’t.

    🌞

    The baggage seems to be the thorn that keeps ripping the stitches out and the scab open.

    We have a week or two every three months where it almost seems like we could be friends, then life happens, the agreement filters that into crap, and we both deal with the consequences separately.

    (There’s lots more here than that. Trying to focus on my part not hers.)

    So on my side, I am rebuilding my life. Every bi of it from the ground up.

    It’s been 2 years. Not there yet and what that means in terms of our coparenting and friend potential is that, I am not in a place where I can be the friend she wants in her life.

    I am ok with that. I have no expectations of her.

    I am just barely getting by on the coparenting side of the equation. (Razor thin line of just getting by, more a financial thing)

    So some day when I am further down the path maybe.

    Yet, maybe not.

    I am ok with that.

    Side note
    I was ambushed by her in front of the kids last night, a complaint about one thing that she does not like about the agreement and another that she specifically wanted to be left out of the agreement and now seems to wish it was in it.

    We are not supposed to argue about these things in front of the kids(per the agreement), but she has done this many times, foregoing opportunities to talk anytime other than the weekly switch (50/50 custody).

    Sigh

    I do relish the greener grass on the other side of the fence when some couples can get along or get along even better.

    Arguing and communicating when we disagree was never something we did well when we were married, so we didn’t.

    Maybe there is a correlation between those of us that could not argue well/effectively when married and those of us that also cannot get along after divorced?

    Or maybe the correlation is between couples that don’t or refuse to get divorced counseling after? (Not saying that the counseling helps, I have no idea, but maybe when one spouse outright refuses, that is an indicator that they will never be able to be friends?

  4. I dont think I can ever be friends with my ex because even when we were married we did not agree on how things should be done. We were 2 very different people than and we still are now and that wont change. we are who we are.

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