Being Friends With Your Ex After Divorce

Jolene and her husband were together for almost 10 years when he said he wanted to end the marriage. Although it wasn’t what she wanted then, she says they are still friends.

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We’ve always been friends and that was the way we ended our marriage. It wasn’t my choice but I’m actually glad my ex made that decision. It sounds cliché but he said he loved me but was not in love with me. He felt we were more best friends than husband and wife. At first I didn’t understand that. I didn’t see it but looking back now I think it’s true. I think in all marriages you have to work at keeping that spark going and somehow we lost it and didn’t ever really get it back or work to gain it back. Our relationship has always been a friendship and once I got past that, I thought maybe he was right,  I thought, ‘Maybe it is better that we end this now before we end up hating each other.’

We never fought. We never had arguments. This was basically our first argument and that was part of the problem. We didn’t communicate enough. Neither of us are confrontational people so we just kind of agreed on things and let things slide that maybe we shouldn’t have. I think I’ve learned from that – a little healthy fighting is probably a good thing. Not anything major but a tiff here and there should get out what you need to get out and then you move on.

Now, we’re actually friendly and we talk quite a bit. Much of it still has to do with the house and before that, the paperwork for the divorce but our relationship has evolved into a friendship and for me that’s been good. I know it will continue to evolve and eventually once the house is sold and I’m living in my own place we might not have much to talk about. But right now we have a good relationship and that’s good for us. It works for us. Heck, I even give him dating advice.

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I always enjoy hearing stories about women who have positive relationships with their exs. Maybe it’s just the optimist or the romantic in me – it seems so sad when two people who cared enough about each other to get married end  up being  really mean to each other. My ex and I have what I would describe as a civil relationship – it’s not what I would call friendly and that’s intentional on my part. One of the reasons our relationship wasn’t working for me was because I felt he was overly dependent on me. I felt I had another dependent, a petulant teenager at times, rather than a partner. I’m scared that if I open that friendship door that dependency will start again. At the same time, I know it’s important that we communicate on a regular basis that we demonstrate a civil relationship to be good role models for our children.  How’s your relationship with your ex? Have you been able to negotiate a workable arrangement? Any tips?

You can read more about Jolene’s journey through the “Jolene” tag and more too at her blog, To Be Determined.

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