General Question

podcastcoach's avatar

Should you still be friends with your exwife?

Asked by podcastcoach (9points) April 18th, 2008

We wanted a friendly divorce and we had one. My new girlfriend says the occasional (monthly) 4 minute phone calls it out of the question.

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31 Answers

Poser's avatar

Are there kids?

If so, I’d say it’s not only acceptable, but expected.
If not, you’ve got to decide who is more important to you. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for your GF to be uncomfortable with you being friends with someone you once swore to love and cherish, and with whom you once shared a bed. If it’s a deal-breaker for the new girl, you’ve got a decision to make.

babygalll's avatar

If there are kids involved I would say yes for the sake of the children. If there aren’t any children and you two both decided to end the marriage for a reason. There really isn’t anything you two need to be talking about.

If you really want things to work out with your new girlfriend the monthly calls should stop. There isn’t anything for you to hold to with your ex-wife. Unless again, there are kids involved.

Hollister0221's avatar

my wife has a child from previous marriage. And the only time and she mostly talks to the ex’s new wife is just about the child. I would not say I’m the jealous type but she understands and knows that I only tolerate it is because of the child. Other than that forget about it. I too am divorced however we had no kids and I barely know where she is living. I know it may seem childish but cut off all contact if no kids

LunaFemme's avatar

I guess I’m the dissenting voice here. My ex-husband and I have no children and we had as loving a divorce as you can in the situation. We have remained good friends as well. I consider him part of my family and still love him. I wouldn’t have spent close to 10 years of my life with someone that I didn’t think was a pretty good person.

My new husband and my ex have actually become friends. We were at each others weddings; my husband was at my exes bachelor party, they go to football games together, etc.

I know this is not the norm but it works for us and especially for all of our friends that we have in common. They don’t have to choose between us and it’s not weird when we’re all together.

My husband said it was strange the first few times we were in a social setting with my ex. He said especially when I would hug him or give him quick kisses in front of my ex, but he said when he saw that it wasn’t a big deal to us it wasn’t a big deal to him.

When I was dating I was always very upfront with the fact that I was on good terms with my ex and that it isn’t uncommon for us to end up at similar social events with friends. There was one guy that I dated for about 6 months who couldn’t handle it and gave me an ultimatum. He lost….I don’t handle ultimatums well.

wildflower's avatar

I haven’t been in the situation, but I’d be more concerned if my husband couldn’t maintain a civil relationship with someone he used to share an important part of his life with. Having said that I certainly wouldn’t appreciate the ex becoming part of our social circle.

Babo's avatar

Does your girlfriend not trust you or something? I’d say it’s really your call, so to speak.

Bri_L's avatar

I to am curious as to why your girl friend has an issue with that.

surlygirl's avatar

i am best friends with my last ex boyfriend. we don’t talk or email as much since he moved to cali. when i started dating my fiance, i was upfront about being friends with my ex, despite a rough break up. my fiance was not very happy about that, but seemed to accept it. awhile ago, i was on the phone with the ex while i was waiting outside the fiance’s work to take him home. things went badly and there was a big teary talk. i was not given an ultimatum and cannot honestly say what i would have done. my ex is a great guy, just not the guy for me. i still care about him and am interested in his life. So i agree with lunafemme. however, i don’t think we’ll all be going out to party together anytime soon..

Hollister0221's avatar

if I was your fiancé no offense but I would consider my relationship with you. You obviously still love your ex one because you just said the other because you said you want to know his life. You are keeping that window of opportunity open for you guys. You have not had complete closure

wildflower's avatar

I disagree with you hollister. I’m always interested to know what’s going on with people who have been in my life, incl. ex’s – not that I have much contact with any of them since I now live in a different country. That doesn’t mean I’m still hoping to get together with any of them. .

surlygirl's avatar

@hollister: since we dated about 6 months and have been friends for 4+ years, i am sure i am not holding on to any possibilities. we have both dated since then, though we don’t go into huge amounts of personal details. if i didn’t think the ex was a good person and worthwhile to know i would not have dated him in the first place.

Hollister0221's avatar

I understand that. I would not mind knowing what my ex is doing these days. However if your with someone who you say you love or even married to. Is it fair to leave that window open. Would you be upset if your current lover asked you to stop talking to that person or would be respectful?

Hollister0221's avatar

and all of that sounds good as long as it does not effect your current relationship which it sound like it did if I’m correct

surlygirl's avatar

@hollister: i don’t see a window open. we had closure when we decided no longer to date. i would indeed be upset if i had to choose. although i love my fiance more than anything and would do nearly anything he asked, i would also have to question whether i want to spend the rest of my life with someone who would doubt my devotion and was so insecure and selfish to ask such a thing

LunaFemme's avatar

Maybe its an age thing? I cannot ever imagine being with my ex-husband again. I love him but more like a brother. In fact when I think about sex with him again it REALLY freaks me out…I’m NOT into insest! blliiccckkk….aaagggghhhh….run away.

Hollister0221's avatar

I mean if your lovers are cool with than hey have at it. I just see it as a possible problem

Hollister0221's avatar

At surlugirl. And maybe him not asking you Q’s could be the way he is or as like some guys I know they rather not show insecurity so they ignore it however its in there mind. How would you feel if your lover talked to an ex on phone or email?

Hollister0221's avatar

I mean even me. I dont show my insecure side but its not like those feelings dont come up. You cant tell me there is not single person that is not jealous. In todays world with divorces at above 50% and the way we can now communicate ie. This site. Hey there is always a window of opportunity

surlygirl's avatar

hmm…i’m guessing it is a maturity thing more than age.

also from my pov, it is not that abnormal of a thing to email or call an ex occasionally. most of my exes were still on speaking terms with at least 2 or 3 of their exes. i think my fiance has a hard time understanding this relationship because he has no interest in any of his exes.

and believe me, he is definitely fine with asking questions!

if it were the other way around, i would have an issue with it if 1) he hid it (which i haven’t), 2) it was only a physical relationship (mine wasn’t), or 3) they spent excessive amounts of time together (a 30min call once a week or a paragraph or two once a week doesn’t strike me as a lot)

i have bigger issues with his girl friends, one of whom comes over and cooks him dinner (appetizer through dessert) and watches chick flicks or the other friend who routinely makes overt passes, favors him at work, and laments how if she had dumped her man a week earlier they could have been together. i was not trying to say i am never jealous or that he should never be. but i think it is possible to be mature and accept quirks and things you may not understand or like about your S.O.

btw, we have pretty thoroughly discussed the above issues. i am not totally fine with things and he is not totally fine with things. however, we both whole heartedly agree that we love and trust one another. so we are willing to deal with our own insecurities whether aloud or by ourselves so that the relationship works.

and about your “window”...doesn’t this mean that any male friends i have or female friends he has have this window? should we give up all friendships with the opposite sex to appease the others insecurities? i think that may be a surer way to end a relationship.

wow! that was long!

Hollister0221's avatar

And I do agree to some degree. But you guys are not married and are just dating and when I dated I kept my options open and heart for that matter. Hey I was dating and keeping open connections is ok (not for some tho) when you are dating. But take it to another level now your married suppose to be totally commited to eachother and your children. Which is my case. I have no time or reason to keep in touch with ex’s. I did when I first got married and i found there was no point. Especially the ex’s that were still single.

Hollister0221's avatar

and to put it in another way. Dating is like shopping for a car. You look at all the models, take the brochures home, hell even test drive the thing but ultimately you can only afford one unless your those polygamist. And when you take the car you chose home you forget about the other cars you thought of buying. Why? Because you know you made the right choice and if you seek to look at the other car again you just may wonder if you truly did make the right choice. Its not till you bring the car home and keep it for sometime that you really know its worth.
But hey who cares these are cars I’m talking about not people with feelings. Just a thought.

scamp's avatar

I am still very close to my ex husband. We don’t talk on a regular basis, but when we do, it is like catching up with an old friend or family member. The only thing my SO has a problem with about this is hearing me say I love you before hanging up with him. But I won’t be a hypocrite for anyone. I do still love him, but I am no longer in love with him. That ship has sailed long ago.

I own our house, but I am allowing him to live there while I am out of state living with my SO. There are times we have to discuss a maintenance issue or property taxes, etc. He also calls me if he has medical questions, or needs help in some other area.

I’ve never given my SO any reason to doubt my loyalties or affection for him, so this isn’t really a big problem for us. We will be moving back into my house at the end of this summer, and until my ex can find other arrangements, we will allow him to stay on at the house. He is ill, so I won’t put him on the street, and my SO agrees with this.

Hollister0221's avatar

see every issue is different. He is ill so your heart goes out to him. U say your SO understands yet you admit he asks you why you say you love home upon getting off the phone. I understand you say your no longer in love but dont you say to your SO you love him also. Hey maybe I’m seeing this all wrong. But your SO questions you also.

delirium's avatar

My mother’s ex husband is still one of the closest family friends. We were invited to his wedding, he was in invited to my parents’ wedding… I think its totally okay. I don’t think that there is a good reason to cut off a good friendship.

scamp's avatar

I don’t necessarily think that what you feel is wrong. It’s right for you, and that’s ok. My SO doesn’t question me about this, he just bristles a little hearing me say that. It’s a perfectly natural reaction. But he is able to get past it because I have never been less than honest with him. You can say I love you to two different people and it can mean different things. For instance, you tell your Mother you love her but you aren’t in love with her, right?

My affection for my ex is not because of his illness. It is because of the many years we have spent together and the beautiful daughter we created. If anything, his illness is why I pity him, because it was self imposed through substance abuse, and therefore led to our divorce. It’s because of that pity that I allow him to stay in the house, and also the reason why my SO understands why I do. He admires me more for knowing I won’t turn my back on anyone, and loves my helping nature. it shows him I would do the same for him. He has told me this many times.

I am not saying this is right for everyone, just that is is possible for some. With open honest communications each couple can decide together what is best for them.

LunaFemme's avatar

I think maybe we are talking apples and oranges. I have ex-boyfriends, whom I maybe get an email from once a year or every other year. (or the annual holiday letter) My ex-husband and I were together for close to 10 years…we grew-up together in our twenties; we built a life together and friends. I love my ex-mother-in-law like a second mother and still email with her regularly. I actually grieved for the loss of his family as much as for the loss of our relationship because our families had become family.

So maybe a distinction should be made. And maybe the perspective is different with time?

netspencer's avatar

it really depends what drove u two away in the first place. If u can it sure would be nice to still be friends. Just because mariage didn’t work out shouldn’t mean u 2 must be enemies. But on the other hand it may be very hard especially if u got duvorced for more than romance reasons like that you couldnt stand her as a person anymore.

podcastcoach's avatar

We have dogs. We had two (1 got one and she got another, I know – corny – but we are BIG dog lovers). So we used to get together to see ech others dogs for about 20 minutes. Exchange pleasantries, talk about the weather, “How’s your mom” kind of stuff and leave. According to my current girlfriend its not a matter of trust. To her “female instinct takes over” and apparently the fact that I once shared a bed with this woman can mess up a feamles head. When it comes to understanding women, I’m afraid I fall short

podcastcoach's avatar

Also, we were together 15 years. To pretend I was never married, or to not take a phone call when the call is harmless seems a bit over the top for me. My SO is now rying to get her head around that.

babygalll's avatar

15 years is a long time and I know to some people their dogs are their children. You have to look at it from your girlfriends point of view too. Meeting to see each others dogs might seem silly to her. Not sure if it’s a trust issue with your girlfriend. If you choose to continue to make these visits with her to see the dogs then why don’t you take your girlfriend with you. Yes, it might be a strange, but you never know.

punkrockworld's avatar

If you have kids: yes
If not, you dont have any reason left to call her.

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