General Question

girlofscience's avatar

Conversing with exes while you're in a relationship: Under what circumstances is this appropriate, and when is it not?

Asked by girlofscience (7567points) March 10th, 2009

Generally, there is probably nothing wrong with maintaining occasional friendly communication with previous ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. Even though the feelings are no longer there (we’d hope not, at least), these people used to be a part of our lives. The relationship may not have worked out, but that shouldn’t eliminate the possibility of amicable conversations thereafter. Right?

Well, maybe. But if you’re in a relationship, exes certainly have the potential to become an issue. There is such a variety of situations involving exes as well as currents, and I believe that different situations may call for different answers to this question.

Specifically, I am questioning if it is appropriate to converse with my ex-boyfriend, given my situation:

I had a serious relationship with Mark* from 2003–2005. He was an important part of my life at the time, and though I no longer care for him romantically, I still value the experiences I had with him during that relationship. Mark’s best friend at the time we were dating (Josh*) is now my current boyfriend. I understand that this sounds horrid, but it’s not actually as bad as it sounds.

I was close friends with Josh while I was dating Mark, but the friendship with Josh was strictly platonic. After Mark and I broke up in 2005, Mark and Josh had a severe falling out. The incident that caused this falling out was entirely separate from my situation with either one of the guys. Essentially, Mark did something that Josh found to be reprehensible, and Josh abruptly ended the 9-year friendship, so offended by Mark’s actions.

Since Josh and I were good friends while I was dating Mark, we continued to be friends after my break-up with Mark. Long after Josh’s falling out with Mark (almost a year), Josh and I began dating toward the end of 2006. At the time Josh and I began our relationship, neither of us had any form of contact with Mark.

A few days ago, Mark began speaking to me again, after years of no contact. (Mark is now married, has a child, and lives 8 hours away from me and Josh.) Mark basically said that he felt enough time had passed, and he would appreciate if we could be friendly. Mark, however, still dislikes Josh immensely, and Josh still feels that Mark is a terrible person.

I thought it would be nice to have this sort of occasional, friendly communication with Mark, but Josh disagrees. Josh is usually a quite reasonable person, so I tend to respect his opinions, but I am honestly torn on this one. When I expressed to Josh that I would enjoy casual, friendly conversations with my ex, Josh said: “He isn’t just your ex. He’s someone I thought was my best friend, who betrayed me and for whom I have no respect. I don’t want him involved in our lives.”

Given this specific situation, is it appropriate for me to converse with Mark occasionally, or does Josh have the right to request that I not speak with Mark, given his own experience with Mark?

* It probably was so not necessary to change the names, but eh, doing so made me more comfortable discussing this.

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48 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

Tough situation. I think it really depends on what the incident was that caused Josh and Mark to be so opposed to each other. The incident may have been so vile that Josh is still affected by it if you keep talking with Mark, as that may show that you condone the vile incident or at least forgive Mark for it, whereas Josh obviously doesn’t feel that way.

In general I tend to answer these types of questions with “live your own life”, as in Josh should not have a say in who you communicate with. This instance is different though due to the weighted backstory. I can’t say any of your two possible options (not talking with Mark, or talking with Mark) work here. I don’t think you should cut Mark out of your life altogether, but I don’t believe it’s fair to Josh to keep rubbing it in his face (I know you’re not doing that, but he may see it as that) and if Josh doesn’t want Mark in his life he is entitled to have that. Thus my final recommendation is to develop a compromise where Mark is not a part of “our lives”, but to not cut Mark totally out of your life. Talk with Mark only when Josh is not in hearing range, or better yet go out for coffee together so that Mark is not “infiltrating” your house via phone calls. Or communicate via email.

Despite what Josh says, Mark IS your ex and you are entitled to continue your relationship in whatever way you deem fit. I understand that Josh had a bad relationship with Mark, but that does not give him the right to say “I don’t want him involved in our lives” – who is he to make decisions about the life the two of you have without considering your feelings and your point of view (in fact, while dismissing your feelings as he has done)? But Josh does have the right to have Mark not be in his life, just as much as you have the right to have Mark in your life. Despite your best efforts though, Josh may simply find that Mark’s presence is enough to cause him ire, in which case you will need to make a decision about where to go from there.

Bluefreedom's avatar

It sounds like a difficult position that you’re in and it’s hard to give a definitive answer given what you placed in your questions details. You’ve described a healthy relationship with Josh and if there is the possibility that it could be jeopardized by talking to Mark, this is certainly something that needs consideration.

I’m not sure what the situation was that had ended up terminating the friendship between Josh and Mark but you described it with the word ‘reprehensible’ and it ended a 9 year friendship between them so it must have been pretty bad.

If your communication with Mark, no matter how casual or innocent, tends to create animosity with Josh and you are adamant about keeping in contact with Mark, you need to sit down together and explain all of your feelings to Josh about your motivations. Because Josh is the other half of your current relationship, he does have the right to express his opinion and his displeasure with your communicating with Mark especially considering their past history.

Whether you talking with Mark is deemed appropriate or not by us here on Fluther, the most important answer will come from a decision that both of you have to discuss and decide on for an ultimate course of action. I wish you the very best in finding a workable solution that is agreeable for all three of you.

girlofscience's avatar

Thank you so much for your insight, @dynamicduo and @Bluefreedom. Both of you have expressed that it may be helpful for you to have knowledge of the incident that ended the friendship between Mark and Josh:

While I was dating Mark, I shared a house with both him and Josh. After Mark and I broke up, I moved out of the house, but Mark and Josh continued to be roommates. Josh began dating a girl, Liz*, but he ended that relationship after two months because he found Liz to be particularly morally unsound. After Josh broke up with Liz, Mark started to date her secretly. Mark snuck her into the house he shared with Josh late at night and lied to Josh about where he was going when he went out with her. (Obviously, this is a very offensive thing to do to your best friend, especially when Josh had ended the relationship because of Liz’s questionable character and Liz’s betrayal of Josh.) After a month of dating in secret, Mark decided that he truly wanted to be with Liz, and so he announced to Josh that he had been dating Liz, understood that this might compromise their friendship, and that if it did, Mark was going to choose dating Liz over being friends with Josh. Mark is now married to Liz, and they have a child together. Josh now thinks they are both despicable people.

Regarding the extent of my current communication with Mark: We have become facebook friends, and we have spoken several times via Gchat. So, there is no phone communication that is infiltrating the home. Coffee is not possible because Mark and I now live in different states. Josh, however, does not even like the idea of Mark and I being facebook friends, because Josh is uncomfortable with Mark having insight into our lives through the pictures I post of the activities Josh and I do together.

Obviously, I care much more about my relationship with Josh than I do about maintaining casual contact with Mark. However, for any relationship to work, neither partner should just bend to the other partner’s requests, if they are unreasonable. For this reason, I am trying to determine what course of action is best here. Josh and I discussed the matter last night, but we ended the discussion with still differing opinions.

I do not plan nor do I want to have extensive communication with Mark; I’m just not sure I agree that I should be prevented from communicating with him at all. I agree that Mark’s previous actions were vile, but I tended to view those actions as separate from my involvement. Independently of all of this, I value my past experiences with Mark, and I am not sure I should be required to cut him out of my life completely. At the same time, I do not want to offend or upset Josh.

dynamicduo's avatar

Thanks for your clarifying reply. Indeed, the incident plays very heavily into the current situation.

I’ve spent a few minutes here typing and deleting lines of text, trying to phrase my thoughts a bit more concretely, and I’m finding it very hard to do. You are both entitled to pursuing that which makes you happy, it’s just that your happiness implies Josh’s suffering, and vice versa (Josh would be happy if Mark was cut out of your life, but you certainly wouldn’t be happy). The Facebook angle adds a whole other aspect into it, in general I’m noticing that Facebook is causing many new aspects of social relations between people and is challenging the held value of what friends and friendships are, as well as blurring the lines between them.

Personally I don’t see Mark’s actions as being that vile. Sure it was douchey to date your best friend’s ex, but obviously the two have some chemistry as they’re married now! Actually my parents got together in a very similar manner (my mom was dating a man named Fred* who was best friends with my dad, and Fred told my dad to “take care” of my mom while he went away for a few months). Sometimes we can’t control who we love, but we certainly can control our actions around the love. I think this is in part why Josh hates Mark now.

If you care more about Josh than Mark, it seems the best solution would be to comply with Josh’s concern regarding Mark’s ability to peer into your life, and only communicate with Mark through gChat. Josh does have a valid concern regarding Mark’s ability to peek into his and your life via Facebook. Is it logical? Hells no, in fact I think (based on the tiny window you’ve shown me via your words) Josh lets himself be ruled by his emotions at times. I feel his concerns about privacy from his ex-best friend are a bit irrational, and I feel that Josh is holding a grudge. Then again we all do irrational things from time to time, and we are allowed to hold grudges. I agree that you should not be required to cut him out of your life, but I do believe there is room to compromise here. Josh should be appeased if Mark no longer has access to your photos (either by unFriending him or by setting his privacy restrictions very tight) thus letting you two continue communications through gChat. If Josh still has an issue with you chatting over gChat, or is angry that Mark can see your status updates etc, I feel that oversteps his bounds to privacy and thus would be cause for concern.

fireside's avatar

How would you feel if it were Josh* and Liz* who were talking and it was you that didn’t want her to be in his/your life?

This sounds like one of those deep wounds that Josh* isn’t willing/able to get over and if you keep seeing Mark* the hurt he feels could potentially be transferred to you.

casheroo's avatar

Mark would like to talk to you.
He is upset that you have the facts incorrect.

FYI, I’m Liz.

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: ?!

Insane. I had no idea you were on Fluther.

What facts do I have incorrect?

casheroo's avatar

I private messaged you. I can post it here if you like. I’m totally not trying to start a fight. I agree with the things you said about Liz haha. But, the facts on how the friendship between Mark and Josh ended, are incorrect.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Everytime I have something to say, one of you guys just jumps in with your FANCY FULL keyboards and types it all out so fast, while I on my puny iPhone keyboard has to fight for screen space with Fluther telling me that one of you is crafting my answer faster then me!
I don’t want to play this game any more!
You guys can have your lurves and go now :(
I need to make tea…

Bagardbilla's avatar

Thoughts to self…..

Oh my land!
Is it the tea or did this post just get better then day-time tv?
It’s gotta be the tea!

Of all the gin joints…

SherlockPoems's avatar

Soap Opera 101,

1. Mark is not trying to further your relationship with Josh.
2. Liz is not trying to further your relationship with Josh.
3. If Mark & Liz are so happy and ‘together’ why are they ‘pushing’ into yours and Josh’s face and space.
4. If you really care for Josh… care enuff to trust and respect his feelings.

Hugs no matter what you decide.

marinelife's avatar

I am all for having some freedom and independence within a relationship as a principle.

For myself, however, I would not consider casual communication with an ex who is married important enough to jeopardize my current relationship for.

Josh is your friend and now your love. Why would you want to upset him over something you should not care that much about anyway?

EmpressPixie's avatar

I just want to know what casheroo is adding now…

As the facts stand (casheroo, feel free to change them), this is a tough one. I’ve certainly been in the situation of finding someone quite distasteful after they acted towards me in certain ways, telling close friends about this, and having them still be friendly with that person. It hurts! It’s like…. they didn’t care enough about me as a human being to treat me decently and you don’t care. But I’m also mature enough not to put forth that kind of mandate: I’d really rather you didn’t hang out with that person.

But I do expect that they not talk about me and respect my privacy from this person who was horrible to me and has no right to hear how I’m doing or what I’m up to. For me, I’ve only gone through this with friends, so their actions do not imply my own. With a boyfriend or girlfriend, they do. It’s hard, but I think Josh* should be more mature about the whole thing. Yes, it sucks, but he should let you do what you want.

However, on your end, you should probably continue to keep your communications low-key. If anything interesting happens make sure to share it with Josh so he never feels you are hiding things from him, but at the same time don’t, you know, call Mark on the phone and chat for hours in the living room. You know? Don’t try to push it in his face that you are keeping in touch and remember that when he is forced to pay attention to the fact that you are, he’ll be hurt and that’s natural. But it shouldn’t be, like, a huge blow out fight or whatever. Just a minor cut.

fireside's avatar

I agree with Sherlock and Marina.

Who cares what happened 2–3 years ago?
It’s in the past and the only thing that can happen now is to stir up trouble.

casheroo's avatar

Okay, I feel comfortable posting because I hold no animosity towards anyone in the situation (okay, that may be a lie. lol) And I talked to GoS.
I may get confused, as the name change is confusing haha.
(is this against the rules for me to post??)
Mark does not still dislike Josh. Mark has no opinion.
The falling out, from Mark’s POV, was because of what happened during Liz and Josh’s short relationship. Mark found what Josh and let’s call the other guy “Mosh” who was Mark and Josh’s other best friend/roommate, were attacking Liz, because she was thought to be pregnant. Josh was trying to force an abortion on Liz. Liz was confused and scared, and the only person that supported her was Mark. Mark’s sister was pregnant at the time, and he felt that if people were telling Liz to abort in her situation, it’d be like people telling his sister to abort his soon-to-be niece. He felt this as a personal attack, and told Josh and Mosh to stop. This fight ultimately led to the end of the 9-year-friendship, because Mark could not comprehend why people would do such a thing.
Mark and Liz were not dating secretly, ever. They were very public about it, and did not start dating immediately, but did jump into something very quickly.

All that said, having been in the sitation you are currently in (with different men) I have to say, if it is really an issue, you need to keep talking about it. It’s not something you can ignore in a relationship. I am friends with an ex, that DH wasn’t thrilled about at first, but we sat and talked about it. I told him that my ex is someone I consider a good friend, but most definitely not romantic potential at all. DH has no problem with me talking to my ex now, because he knows that we’re just friends. I go out to the mall, or dinner with my ex about once a year. We catch each other up on our lives, and keep in touch through text or facebook. Nothing but general chit chat, usually he calls me for advice in his relationship but nothing invasive. But, if my wanting a friendship with someone would have destroyed my relationship…I would have wanted to evaluate my relationship and wonder how a simple friendship could have destroyed my relationship.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Oh! Right. On the subject in general: It all depends on the ex. Like “Liz” says, I have a ex that I talk to all the time. And I mean all the time—she was my best friend before we dated and ultimately we realized we were better as friends, but we’re still really close. It’s something I was really upfront about with my boyfriend and hasn’t caused any major problems. He’s secure in my feelings for him, he knows I’m going to visit her sometimes or call her or chat with her and that’s fine. Because I’m not in love with her and I go home to him. But that’s, you know, my relationship and my circumstances. And yes—I would have had to seriously rethink things if it turned out he had a problem with my friendships because that’s all they are.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I think it mostly depends on you. If you really value your current boyfriend and what not, then it might be smart of you to just drop things with your ex for the sake of appeasing him. I think actually you are wrong about this statement “However, for any relationship to work, neither partner should just bend to the other partner’s requests, if they are unreasonable” I think for any relationship to work, both partners will have to do that at some point. I am sure if you guys stay together long enough you will have something you don’t want him to do for no real reason other than you just don’t like it. And you would want him to stop without much debate. This stuff is a 2 way street so he should be willing to make the same sacrifices you do. This is of course only in a serious relationship. Other wise I would advise you to talk to whom ever you wanted. It really depends on your commitment to the relationship and if you see the relationship getting more serious. But if you say you are serious, then just forget about your ex bf, if it was me, I would not want someone who betrayed me in my life either and I def would not want the person I am closest with to be friends with him.

Jack79's avatar

I think you have already answered everything in your question.

Yes, the odd friendly email when there are no feelings is fine. I am friends with almost all of my ex gfs, and even though we don’t necessarily meet or talk that often, if we do happen to bump into each other it’ll be hugs all around. And I expect my current gf to accept that.

However, there is one exception: yours. Josh is clear that he is not jealous of your relationship with Mark, but he wants nothing to do with him because of their own history. And even the casual phonecall once a year can cause irrepairable damage to your current relationship. So in this case, stay clear. Unless your right to contact Mark means so much to you that you’re willing to sacrifice your relationship for him.

And of course it all proves that dating your ex bf’s ex best friend was a bad idea to start with.

girlofscience's avatar

Thanks, everyone. So wow, how absolutely crazy is it that “Liz” ended up seeing this thread and was able to offer input?

I have spoken with her, and essentially, it seems like Mark and Josh just have different perspectives on why their friendship ended. Mark was upset with Josh for his reaction to Liz’s pregnancy (though Josh had little compassion for Liz as a result of Liz’s actions during their relationship), and Josh was upset with Mark for betraying their friendship by siding with Liz and eventually dating her.

Liz claims, “But, if my wanting a friendship with someone would have destroyed my relationship…I would have wanted to evaluate my relationship and wonder how a simple friendship could have destroyed my relationship.”

However, taking this entire situation into consideration, my conversing with Mark is not a “simple friendship.” If he were a random ex, it would be, but this situation is different because of my current boyfriend’s past experiences with Mark and his disdain for the presence of Mark in our lives.

Furthermore, this situation is far from “destroying” my relationship with Josh, and I did not mean to give this impression. It is something that Josh and I have been discussing because we have differing opinions, but regardless of the outcome, it would not destroy our relationship.

Relationships are simply about respect, and I’d like my actions to reflect the respect I have for Josh. According to some other advice here, it’s possible that my conversing with Mark, though a minor action, may not be the most respectful thing to do because of the love I have for Josh.

theladebug's avatar

This is more than just a current sigificant other being jealous of an ex. That in and of itself can be hard to deal with but this is even more complicated.

Honestly I would be hurt if my boyfriend chose to befriend someone from my past who I felt had betrayed me, regardless of their past relationship history. It would have the potential of creating hard feelings between us. I would hope in that situation he would respect my wishes and steer clear.

girlofscience's avatar

@Jack79: I also want to say that I don’t think this “proves that dating [my] ex bf’s ex best friend was a bad idea to start with.”

As @dynamicduo said, people can meet in weird situations, and we can’t control who we love.

The fact that I am dating my ex bf’s ex best friend has caused relatively no complications for the 2 years in which we’ve already been together, and this situation now is simply a minor, potential disagreement that we are working to resolve in the most appropriate manner.

I think that having a relationship with my love is worth enduring such a disagreement.

wundayatta's avatar

As a general principal, it seems to me that this is something that has to be worked out between the partners, regardless of the facts of the case, and any so-called objective view of things. This issue is subjective, and it has to do with respect for feelings. The argument is probably about how much Josh feels you respect his feelings. You might find that if you say, “Honey, you’re right, and I’ve been a jerk for trying to insist on this,” he will be satisfied, and maybe even, after a suitable amount of time goes by, tell you that he’s thought it over, and it wouldn’t bother him any more if you IMed him (although maybe not have him as a FB friend).

I find it interesting the “Liz” was able to recognize herself. What are the chances of that?!? So who know; maybe some kind of reconciliation may come out of this.

When my relationship with my wife was first getting going, I had contact with my ex, and she had contact with hers. For a while, ironically enough, both exes were living in the same house. Her contact with her ex made me uncomfortable (they were physically present with each other), and, although I don’t remember her saying anything, I suspect my contact with my ex bothered her. Both of these were purely platonic contacts.

I think that the problem is more the symbolism of the contact than any actual worry. If you trust each other, and you are solid, you’ll know the ex has no power any more. You partner may think it exhibits bad judgment on your part to talk to your ex, since he is such a reprehensible character. You may be annoyed that he is impugning your character. In any case, the right and wrong of it don’t matter. What matters is your negotiation with your partner. Feelings are feelings, and they might exist regardless of the facts of the case. That’s what you’re dealing with. That’s what you need to focus on.

casheroo's avatar

@daloon Of course I recognized myself haha. I knew who GoS was, from a mutual friend, but decided not to make it known that we know each other, since it was an awkward situation. She and I have no issues with each other (i hope!)

@girlofscience I didn’t mean to say this would destroy your relationship, sorry to imply that! I think with my situation, it was much different, since there was no history between my exes (you know who they are) Yours is a different situation altogether. If it really bothers him, which I imagine it does from what you are saying and having known Josh, I guess it’s best you don’t talk to Mark until you figure things out with Josh. I’ve noticed, with my DH that sometimes we need to stew on things, just to think it over and then we come to our senses. Josh has to know that the conversations can’t possibly mean anything, is he misinterpreting them as something else?

also, there Daloon goes with an example of my other post! Why is being Facebook friends so important?! I do not understand this. It is just Facebook, it does not mean anything. I just can’t comprehend why IMing is okay, but god forbid people are friends on Facebook haha

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: Sorry I disappeared when you were IMing me before; I was called into a meeting.

Josh doesn’t think the conversations mean anything; he just thinks that having them could be considered disrespectful because of the history between him and Mark.

I think the issue with being friends on Facebook is allowing too much insight into one’s life, through pictures, etc.

What was the conversation with @rockstargrrrlie that involved Fluther?

casheroo's avatar

@girlofscience (why didn’t you get a nifty fake name!? haha) I just messaged her on FB when I saw her screenname on here, because I recognized it. I didn’t recognize yours, but she told me who you were. This was the day I joined. I wasn’t sure how to approach you with it, I didn’t know if you’d feel uncomfortable about it. I’m shocked you didn’t recognize me lol. re: Facebook. Pictures? I’m pretty sure “Mark” knows what you look like ;)

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: Haha. So you just joined Fluther on your own and then noticed her on here? What a small world. I might have recognized you, but I’m not sure if we were really participating on any of the same threads since you have joined.

Yes, of course Mark knows what I look like! The potential issue here is that Josh may not want to give Mark the right to have insight into our lives, see all of the photos from our outings, and know what we’re up to, etc.

casheroo's avatar

Oh yeah. We might pack up and come stalk you guys, better watch out! ;) Also, don’t let Josh tell you who you can and can’t be friends with on Facebook. You’re better than that.

lukiarobecheck's avatar

It is not like my views count for a whole lot, and I might be stating something that has already been stated before. (I just read the back and forth between casheroo, and girlofscience.I tend to keep people who are from the past in the past. Yes, they were a big part of my life at some point. However things and people change so much. I just never found anything redeeming about keeping in contact with EXs. With that said, the fact that this is not a deal breaker between you and Josh makes the situation easy. If Mark is someone you have to keep in your life, because thats just the way you operate than go for it. You already said this will not end your relationship with Josh. And I am assuming that Josh is secure enough in the relationship to know that. He might not be happy about it, but it sounds like he would at least respect it. And Josh does not have to talk to Mark. Not sure if that all made sense. But that is how I see it.

jca's avatar

this has been a soap opera, to say the least. i printed it at work so i could read it on the down-low and i gave up trying to follow who’s who. my opinion is if you care about the present bf, and what he’s asking isn’t something too restrictive, then just do it. if he got crazy with control issues, then you’d have to put a stop to it. but this thing seems important to him and it’s a relatively minor request, so i would appease him and not keep in touch with the ex. his feelings are understandable in this case.

girlofscience's avatar

@casheroo: Ahhhh, stop misinterpreting so much! :)

By “insight into our lives,” I just meant that Josh might prefer you guys to not have knowledge of the things we do day-to-day… Not that he’d be concerned about what you might do if you knew where we were (lol), but more that, emotionally, he’d prefer the people he dislikes to not be privy to his activities and so forth.

And secondly, of course I don’t let Josh tell me who I can and can’t be friends with on Facebook. That’s ridiculous, and that’s not what this is about. If that were the case, this thread wouldn’t even be necessary because I would have just automatically complied with his thoughts. However, people in relationships are allowed to make requests of their partners, and it is up to their partners to determine how reasonable/important/necessary complying with the request may be… usually through a discussion and through compromises.

I think many people who wrote here can understand why Josh would be opposed to my Facebook friendship with Mark, and I don’t think that his expression of his opinion and my consideration of his request in any way translates to me allowing him to dictate my Facebook friendships.

If any of that came across as hostile, I did not intend it. That’s the bad thing about text – no tone! I just meant to correct possible misconceptions.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

If you really care for the person you’re with and want to avoid any chance of ruining the good thing you have, I’d say no.

TheFonz_is's avatar

ask my wife, there is no circumstance when we’re together that either one of us should speak with our exes..

believe me i thought this was unfair, i disagreed and was worried i would lose some good friends.

What actually happened is that im now married with an amazing son and happy…there are a reason exes are exes, how would you feel talking to the person who slept with your husband or wife?

i know its not something i would want to do

lovelace's avatar

He’s your ex and I totally understand the “being friends with your ex” deal. I wish my ex and I could be cool but he’s not a cool person so it would never work. I am friends with ALL my other exes. We talk occasionally. I think you should just view this as any other person your bf would not want in your lives. I don’t think Josh feels this way because of you and Mark’s relationship, but because of his relationship with Mark and I totally understand that. If I were you, I’d let Mark stay where he was. You probably wouldn’t want him to be cool with another girl you hated. I’m with Josh! :)

VS's avatar

Here’s my thought: Mark moved on with his life. I suggest you do the same. If Josh doesn’t want Mark to be part of your lives, respect that. He may have additional reasons you know nothing about. The only good reason I can see for exes to have continued contact is if they have children and HAVE to continue contact for that reason. No other good reason exists for going against your current boyfriend’s love and affection for the ‘possible’ friendship you might have with your ex boyfriend. I’d also be curious to know how Mark’s wife feels about him staying friends with you.

girlofscience's avatar

Mark’s wife is fine with him staying friends with me. Oddly enough, she turned out to be a Fluther member, and she recognized whom I was speaking about, based on the content of the story. She joined in the discussion above (casheroo).

In any event, I agree that Josh has legitimate reasons for his not wanting Mark to be a part of our lives, so I’ve decided to stop communicating with Mark.

casheroo's avatar

Mark’s wife likes calling herself Mark’s wife, even if her husband’s name is no where near the name Mark.

fireside's avatar

I think Mark’s wife is cheating on him with someone whose initials are DH

casheroo's avatar

DH=Dear Husband. It’s from my babyboards, it’s a hard habit to break. I hate sounding pretentious and saying my husband over and over.

Sellz's avatar

That’s tough ma ma. If I was involved with someone and were in that situation, I would assure my girl that the past is the past and it will stay there. That we both have moved on and are not looking for a “second time around”. If they insist that i do not continue to cominicate with my ex, i would respect their wishes. But it seems as if the problem isn’t that it was your ex, the problem is personal and between the two of them. He should work that out with his friend. It is not healthy to hold a grudge..


ronski's avatar

People say it’s not healthy to hold grudges, but sometimes I think grudges are necessary to not let yourself get hurt again.

From the perspective of Josh, I would definitely feel the same way. Whatever the reasons, the rights and wrongs of the situation that occurred, or your past relationship with Mark, feelings are feelings.

I was best of friends with a girl for 8 years, and than we had a falling out, not really over anything but over many little things that resulted in a huge problem. Regardless of whether she was an ex of my SO, I wouldn’t want him hanging out with her because I find her behavior despicable. I wouldn’t want to hang out with anyone that associates with her, and it would probably be smart to trust your boyfriends instinct, and not hang out with people that he thinks are untrustworthy…

Sellz's avatar

There’s a difference between holding a grudge and being smart.


shortysith's avatar

I am in this situation currently. I am dating a guy who was friends with my ex, and though they don’t speak anymore, I don’t feel the need to make concessions for either of them. I talk to and see my ex occasionally, and though we aren’t at a stage where we can be friends yet, I know we will be. My SO isn’t pushy about it, but I know he would prefer that i not speak to him. I think that if you wish to continue a friendship with someone you were close to, you should do so. You didn’t have the problem with your ex, your guy does. If your guy loves you and cares for you, he will respect the fact that u can be friends with someone who he no longer wants as his friend. You aren’t forcing him to reconnect with this person, so what’s the big deal? Leave the baggage at the door and don’t speak about the situation between the two of them, and let your friendship continue.

moorpheus's avatar

I always maintain occasional contact with respected EXes, just as I maintain contact with any old friend.

I feel there is no reason for jealousy from my partner, as I don’t choose to be in a relationship with those EXes, but with HIM! I have found the people who are most insecure and threatened are those people who would cheat on me, and who cannot comprehend a non-sexual friendship with a member of the opposite sex.

After I ended my relationship with one man, who was the MOST threatened and angry that I occasionally talked/emailed old boyfriends, I found that HE had been cheating on me all the time, with one woman (who had broken up his marriage) and had several other women on-the-side.

If my partner cares about me and loves me, he needs to be secure and trust me. If he’s not, then he’s the wrong partner.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

I just did that myself. My policy is to tell my girl with a brief description of the excange. I’ve also asked her to be frank with me as to how she feels about it.

I’ve also asked her if she wishes that i didn’t want to have any contact with my ex, she says no.

She says her first concern is with my ex manipulating or upsetting me (she hasn’t) and i believe her.

A little background: my ex and I were involved for many years and split without resolving anything

AnnieB's avatar

It would be appropriate to converse with your ex if you have children with them, or you include your new S/O in the “friendship”. It would be inappropriate to converse with your ex, while in a new relationship, if you still have romantic feelings for them, or you’re talking/meeting behind the back of your new S/O.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It is not appropriate if you’re discussing anything while having sex with them.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I have no idea if you are still with Josh, but I’ve read several of the comments here… and I think I’d be more worried about what would happen to me if I ended up pregnant if I were in that situation. Josh didn’t seem to treat Liz very respectfully when he thought she was pregnant and even seemed to try to ruin her reputation over it with you, so who is to say that he wouldn’t do the same thing to you if he thought you were pregnant? It looks like Mark and Liz came out on top and Josh is the one who has (or had) the problem. If I ever end up in a situation like that, I hope I would talk to Mark, hear his side of the story, respect his marriage, and end things with Josh. Josh doesn’t sound like a great person to me. It sounds like he was projecting his own faults on to Mark and Liz. It sounds like you were unfairly placed in the middle. Not only that, but it also sounds like he had an ulterior motive in not wanting you to talk to them: It sounds like he didn’t want you to find out the truth.

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