Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex? - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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post #31 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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I like it MZMEE!

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post #32 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 03:47 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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I like it MZMEE!
I would suggest the possibility the MZMEE's experience may not be typical, given the reference to "multiple" dissolved marriages. Practice makes perfect? I think a case can be made that at some point you create enough "baggage" that dealings with an individual ex become less emotionally powerful.
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post #33 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 09:49 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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I would suggest the possibility the MZMEE's experience may not be typical, given the reference to "multiple" dissolved marriages. Practice makes perfect? I think a case can be made that at some point you create enough "baggage" that dealings with an individual ex become less emotionally powerful.
Yes, if someone has more failed marriages than you, take cheap shots at them. Judging is completely fair. Of course, if someone who's never been divorced wants to sneer at us losers, I guess we deserve it.

EDIT: @Casual Observer has explained this isn't what he meant.

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post #34 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 10:23 PM
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I not only maintain a cordial relationship with my ex wife, but more than that she's my best friend, my first daughter with my now wife bears her name. She comes and stays with us, we go and stay with her. To my daughters she's auntie. We are her beneficiaries. If anything were to happens to me she would not let my wife and daughters to suffer any financial hardship that might arise. She's family to me. She's like a blood sister. My wife understood this from the get go o<f our relationship, and most importantly, she trust me, and I wouldn't never disappoint her in that respect because I do not see or feel for my ex wife anything that could be interpreted as a romantic/sexual feeling. Like I said before, she's to me like if she were my sister. There's a reason why she's my ex, and that's that.
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post #35 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 10:34 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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@Bremik, in response to your OP, I have kept a friendly relationship (not to be confused with friendship) with my ex.

He and I have a great and cooperative shared custody of our son. We communicate as necessary via text and email mostly about our son but we talk about other things when we see each other in person. We sit together at our son's events and are pleasant towards each other. He is welcomed at my home as am I in his and we both know we can count on each other if we ever need to.

I truly believe that our son is doing well and is happy BECAUSE his father and I are friendly towards each other. Trust me, it isn't easy (my ex left when he fell in love with another woman - he's still dating her) but making our son top priority makes it possible.
Yes when they are young children involved a cordial polite relationship is needed. Once they are older teenagers or adults having contact just isn't needed.
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post #36 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 10:35 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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I not only maintain a cordial relationship with my ex wife, but more than that she's my best friend, my first daughter with my now wife bears her name. She comes and stays with us, we go and stay with her. To my daughters she's auntie. We are her beneficiaries. If anything were to happens to me she would not let my wife and daughters to suffer any financial hardship that might arise. She's family to me. She's like a blood sister. My wife understood this from the get go o<f our relationship, and most importantly, she trust me, and I wouldn't never disappoint her in that respect because I do not see or feel for my ex wife anything that could be interpreted as a romantic/sexual feeling. Like I said before, she's to me like if she were my sister. There's a reason why she's my ex, and that's that.
So your ex is your best friend, what does that make your wife? My husband is my best friend.
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post #37 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 10:40 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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I hope his advice is good for them. Doing the opposite has been good for me, and other people I know. Know thine own self. History has provided a lot of "former experts".

In the first place, I wasn't desperate to maintain contact. There are lots of people I'd like to maintain contact with, but am not desperate to do so. There are also lots of people I would like to be friend/acquaintance with, but not be married to. My ex was someone who moved into that category.
I have known couples who just haven't moved on and cant seem to stop that contact. For us that part of our lives is past, we have a new life now with a marriage to someone else.
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post #38 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 01:14 AM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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Yes, if someone has more failed marriages than you, take cheap shots at them. Judging is completely fair. Of course, if someone who's never been divorced wants to sneer at us losers, I guess we deserve it.
Not at all. There are many scenarios, fortunate, unfortunate or neither, in which experience gained through them makes something easier to deal with. No biggie, no shaming involved whatsoever. I feel sorry for anyone who goes through something painful repeatedly, but who am I to criticize someone who's been through multiple marriages? Maybe they're more honest with themselves and their partners than others and for the second or third or whatever, it's not like their new partner isn't aware of their past.

This isn't a competition to put one person ahead of another based on... anything. I'm not a better person if I put somebody else down. That doesn't elevate me, it lowers me. I try really hard not to do that. Here on TAM, we do see situations where it's pretty tough not to make a judgment call and believe one party in a relationship is the worse of the two and doing harm to another. But having multiple marriages and divorces? That's not one of them.

So my humblest apologies for taking what I said as shaming or taking cheap shots. It was just about more experience with something might make each instance less arduous, easier to handle. As I type this, I can imagine it could, for some, be the exact opposite. But for the person replying, that didn't seem to be the case. I offered a possible reason why it might not have been the case, why it might be different from someone with just one ex vs several ex's.
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post #39 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Part of my reason for asking this was what I believe I have learned before and during the process of divorcing is preparation is often not a top priority. We blow up in divorce and deal with the collateral damage afterwards. If most of your family/friend network wasn't anticipating a divorce this can be quite traumatic.

Post divorce topics are dealing with the grief of losing whoever "sides" with the ex- your family, in-law family, friends, coworkers etc. From my experience when people I know have gotten divorced and at least publicly are amicable I don't have to take a side because they aren't broadcasting why they divorced. In addition, I don't have to worry of offending anyone if I engage with or greet either or both of the divorced couple.

In effect the couple had the support of these connections when they got married and they would more likely have more total support if peace exists than if it doesn't after a divorce. And yes I realize in most cases in-laws will still heavily side with family, that's expected but still much more likely to be less dramatic if there isn't fighting.

More importantly the children could benefit the most. At one time in the marriage most couples would agree that would be important- what's in the children's best interest

It doesn't need to be a long term deal. You divorce, both people are amicable and everyone relaxes the best they can, then acceptance and eventually you fade away to your new life. Minimize collateral damage
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post #40 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 11:25 AM
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@Bremik, in response to your OP, I have kept a friendly relationship (not to be confused with friendship) with my ex.

He and I have a great and cooperative shared custody of our son. We communicate as necessary via text and email mostly about our son but we talk about other things when we see each other in person. We sit together at our son's events and are pleasant towards each other. He is welcomed at my home as am I in his and we both know we can count on each other if we ever need to.

I truly believe that our son is doing well and is happy BECAUSE his father and I are friendly towards each other. Trust me, it isn't easy (my ex left when he fell in love with another woman - he's still dating her) but making our son top priority makes it possible.
Yes when they are young children involved a cordial polite relationship is needed. Once they are older teenagers or adults having contact just isn't needed.
Mine is a teen. I still maintain a very good relationship with his father.

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post #41 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 07:23 PM
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@Diana7: Look Diana, let's not get into that narrow minded mindset of tags and definitions. We as people, all say things that means something that it's understood like: Billy (my next door neighbor since childhood) is my best friend. That doesn't mean that he's above my wife's in hierarchy of who's who in my life. My wife's is above all that and anybody, including my children; which are in a whole other category.

If I had said: Billy's my best friend (a male, rather than a female), would it had made you bat an eye about it?
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post #42 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 08:05 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

My ex and I have been civil or even friendly since the separation. When her grandfather died 6 months later, I drove her around and was her designated driver after she had a drink. When my mom died 6 months after that, she volunteered to drive me around that day so it wasn't something I needed to deal with. I am a bit uncomfortable with her doing things for me because the last couple years we were married (IE after she had decided to leave but wasn't ready to tell me and wasn't done preparing for it) any time I asked her for something I could tell that it was done with resentment. Having her do things now without a negative attitude is kind of a reminder of how bad things really were. She was also good at making things unfun. I have done fun things with her since and like the services, it ends up just being a reminder of why we're apart. When the kids have their own mobility, I doubt that I'll see her face to face more than the few big kid events a year (musical, dance recitals, etc).

We haven't finalized the divorce yet so this might change but I don't think either of us harbors true animosity towards each other anymore. I will not in any way pursue a real friendship with her though. There will come a time that I don't communicate with or think about her at all for months or years which is kind of sad for someone I spent 20 years with.
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post #43 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 09:17 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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My ex and I have been civil or even friendly since the separation. When her grandfather died 6 months later, I drove her around and was her designated driver after she had a drink. When my mom died 6 months after that, she volunteered to drive me around that day so it wasn't something I needed to deal with. I am a bit uncomfortable with her doing things for me because the last couple years we were married (IE after she had decided to leave but wasn't ready to tell me and wasn't done preparing for it) any time I asked her for something I could tell that it was done with resentment. Having her do things now without a negative attitude is kind of a reminder of how bad things really were. She was also good at making things unfun. I have done fun things with her since and like the services, it ends up just being a reminder of why we're apart. When the kids have their own mobility, I doubt that I'll see her face to face more than the few big kid events a year (musical, dance recitals, etc).

We haven't finalized the divorce yet so this might change but I don't think either of us harbors true animosity towards each other anymore. I will not in any way pursue a real friendship with her though. There will come a time that I don't communicate with or think about her at all for months or years which is kind of sad for someone I spent 20 years with.
"Resentment" was obvious then, but if you're not picking it up now, why do you think it's there? You might be one of those unusual couples that has a better relationship not married than when.
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post #44 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 09:37 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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You might be one of those unusual couples that has a better relationship not married than when.
I donít think itís that unusual but perhaps it is and Iím just not aware of it. I got along with my ex-husband much better after our divorce than I ever did when we were married. Ours was a very long marriage that should have ended decades before it did for several reasons. Maybe it was relief at being free again that made it easy for me to be friendly. Who knows. But it worked out well for our family and made their lives easier and that was what I cared about. Not everyone can or will do that and itís okay if they donít.
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post #45 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 10:14 PM
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Re: Who has maintained a comfortable relationship with their ex?

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"Resentment" was obvious then, but if you're not picking it up now, why do you think it's there? You might be one of those unusual couples that has a better relationship not married than when.
I think one of the main sources of resentment during the marriage was that she expected ESP while as ex spouses she just evaluates what is *actually* happening without all the unmet expectations. There's probably some guilt helping for now since she's not leaving for faults of mine but just a change in what she wants or finally figuring out what she wants. In a way I don't think she feels like I "deserve" the divorce. That won't last forever. I don't know if she's still carrying the resentment but it is going to stop being my problem if it hasn't already.

There has been an interesting progression.

A month after she moved out I was stuttering my way through a tough talk about divorce logistics and she said, "That's why going to counseling or talking about reconciliation is stupid because at the end of all that talking you would still be you."

Months later when her grandfather passed away, I was there for her freakout about death. The hug she asked for turned into her asking for other things and I gave them. She asked about the possibility of a FWB situation shortly after that and I told her that I didn't think that was how I worked and I couldn't be that for her in any case.

Nearly a year into the separation (mandatory waiting period since we have minor children), she asked me if I thought we might get back together sometime in the future. I told her that years of her thinking about leaving without a serious conversation with me didn't make me want to. Losing the security in our relationship where I believed that we would always try to work through our problems made me reluctant to trust in her and any relationship with her.

As for a friendship, I might get over our relationship enough that it could happen. A year of decent behavior from her hasn't been long enough. It will still be a while until the thought in the back of my mind, "why didn't you do this when we were married?" doesn't pop up when she's being nice and supportive.

I think it's entirely possible that if I pursued it, I could (or could have) restart(ed) a relationship with her. I would have to believe that it would be an improvement over being single. I would have to believe that she was committed to the relationship and trying again and not just stringing me along until something better came along or she was more prepared.

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