Ask Cindy: Should I be Friends with My Ex?

I am recently divorced and have remained friends with my ex-husband. Usually we get along fine and will go out to breakfast with him just as a friend and to talk. Sometimes he will come to my apartment to fix things and I’ll make him dinner.

We do not have any children. I do not hate him, however sometimes, I feel this overwhelming anger towards him, especially because I could not afford to keep our family home and constantly compare my apartment to the beautiful home I once owned. What are your thoughts on this? Tammy in Colorado

I commend you for remaining friends with your ex. However, I would have to question the level of your friendship. You got a divorce for a reason. Usually that reason has to do with lack of communication and not liking the way you feel when you are around the other person. I have found that when a woman wants to remain “friends” with her ex there are often underlying factors.

Why are you holding onto your ex?

Do you want to reconcile?

Are you holding on to him as a security blanket?

What is it that you are getting out of this friendship?

What are you afraid to let go of?

It sounds like you have some pretty strong emotional ties to him. It’s best to examine your feelings so that the both of you can move forward in your life. If he began dating someone seriously and his new girlfriend didn’t like your relationship, he would probably cool things down. How would this make you feel?

On the other hand, if you started dating another man seriously, how would he feel about your relationship with your ex?

Most couples who do not have other ties, go their separate ways. Some couples do remind friends for their children’s sake and that is a good thing. But, their conversations should revolve around the children and parenting issues, not the latest gossip.

As for the anger, you blame him for losing the house - otherwise you wouldn’t have these emotions. You feel angry because you believe he should be punished somehow. Blaming someone means you are not taking responsibility for your own feelings. You are not accepting the reality - you lost your home. It was nice why you have it but now you don’t. You are wanting something that is in the past, rather than being grateful for what you have in the present. Here are some tips on letting go of blame.

Every morning when you wake up think of five things that you can be grateful for, with at least one of them being related to your current home, such as how it reflects your personality, the coziness or the location of it.


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  1. My parents got divorced when I was a baby. They’re good friends now. She’s remarried (a few times now but recently to a pretty good guy) but they’re good friends. When I was younger conversations were only about me but now that I’m an adult I think they’ve been able to get over what happened when they were young and remember that while they don’t want to be romantic with each other, they were together because they liked each other.

    I know not everyone is like that but I do know from friends who have gotten divorced, there are a lot of emotions early on. If you want to be friends with an ex, it’s probably something that should come after you’ve had time apart to deal with your emotions.

  2. Thanks for the interesting article. “Why are you holding on to your ex?” is a great question to ask! Once that is figured out . . . then the question “should you remain friends” becomes much easier to answer.


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