Back in prehistoric days when nice girls married their first sweetheart, there were no ex-boyfriends, let alone ex-husbands. But today, when people are marrying later, and then often marrying again (and again), it’s a whole different story.
Do you stay friends with your ex? Or don’t you?
JACEE: Richie and I lived together for three years. Afterwards, we tried to remain friends through texts. He came to my house one day and told me he got married. I told him how happy I was. But I could tell he wanted me to be sad and jealous.
After he’d been married a year, he sent me a text saying he wanted to get together “as friends” for a beer. There was a sexual undertone to his email. I know Richie. He’s always looking for that greener grass.
I told him that it wouldn’t be appropriate and that I didn’t think his wife would approve. I know I wouldn’t!
GAGE: My husband and I have been married for five years and we have a rule regarding opposite sex friends, whether an ex-lover or not. We include the other in the friendship. The theory behind this is that the opposite sex friend is less likely to want to mess around if he or she actually knows our spouse. This has worked quite well for us.
I do have one ex-boyfriend who checks in occasionally to make sure I’m still married. Of course he’d never admit that’s why he’s calling. I no longer return his calls.
ALEXA: Ken and I dated in college. After graduation, we kept in touch and visited occasionally. I got married 34 years ago and am still married. Ken married several years later. He’s visits me and my husband. But when we visit him, we do it without his wife’s knowledge.
She has never approved of our friendship. I found this out one year after I had sent him a Christmas card but didn’t receive one from him. Worried, I called his home and his wife answered. She wouldn’t let me talk to him and told me that she didn’t want me keeping in touch anymore.
I then called him at work and found out that she had thrown the card out! He said from now on, he’d send me a card first telling me when to mail his card to him so he could check the mailbox every day. So now that’s how we keep in touch.
BEN: My wife and I are both in contact with our exes. I don’t think it’s a problem as long as the current spouse feels superior to the ex-spouse. I do.
Her ex recently got married. We have socialized together as a foursome. We both find his wife strange. My wife says her ex lacks self-esteem. The fact he married someone with some obvious personality issues is not surprising and only increases my feeling of superiority.
My ex-wife lives across the country and has been married for over 10 years and has two kids. We email each other weekly. I go over to her house for dinner whenever I’m in her town, and my wife knows it.
If meetings with exes are done in the open, and occasionally include all the spouses, then it’s obvious that the relationships are purely friendly with no secret motives.
Do you keep in touch with your exes? Send your thoughts along with your questions and problems to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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