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Old 03-19-2014, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for some inspiration here. 

Long story short, my ex and I have had a rocky relationship

for 12 years. We have a 4 year old and I'm 21 weeks pregnant.

He decided to end our relationship and I'm dealing with it (it still hurts) but also realizing why he wanted to split and  that I actually enjoy being alone, or at least without the drama of being in a rocky marriage. We have always had great chemistry as friends. We separated 2 months ago and I want to be friends with him and I'm wondering if it can actually work. I have yet to come across anyone who has been able to remain besties after a split, especially when children are involved AND one side wasn't ready to throw in the towel.  Either one of us are dating yet and we live in the same building. I mean I KNOW I'm not dating, and I have zero desire and it'll be a darn long time till I'll be able to.

My number one concern are the kids, I wanted them to have two parents who loved each other and were good to each other. And if I can somehow make the friendship work, then maybe they still can? 

 

I worry that  if I jump into a friendship I wont face my anger and pain but at the same time it's so darn easy to just be around him and not be mad.

 

Thank you guys in advance, I need the support


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Old 03-19-2014, 11:09 AM
 
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Someone told me today if you really loved someone, sometimes you need distance and bad feeling to keep you separate.

However if you can leave behind those feelings I think it is possible. Especially once a little time passes.

How are you coping?
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:06 PM
 
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I think that it's definitely possible to remain on good terms. Having said that, I would take things slow and make sure that you're establishing healthy boundaries for yourself as you move forward. Things can become a lot more complicated as you establish your new lives, including new partners, and especially if you live in the same building. 

 

If you can get along, I think that's fabulous. I envy you. :nod We have an incredibly rocky co-parenting relationship with my dh's ex because she's created this narrative in her mind and in her social circles where we're awful people who are out to hurt her, and there's nothing we can do that won't be interpreted as abusive, controlling, etc. If we're friendly, it's manipulative/trying to push her boundaries/trying to control her/whatever and if we're distanced, we're cold/angry/aggressive/whatever. It makes even basic things very difficult, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it because attempts to talk it out are interpreted as attempts to control and manipulate her or something. For what purpose, I don't know. I just know it sucks. If you can avoid ex spouse drama, for the love of all that is holy, DO IT.

 

I will add that when I started dating my now-husband, they were slightly more amicable. She and I spoke on Facebook occasionally. We were never "friends" but it was cordial and casual. I thought we could all at least be relatively "friendly". shake.gif Things change. I'm not saying it will go that way for you and your stbx, but be aware that it could.  


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Old 03-19-2014, 12:18 PM
 
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I would say I am friendly with my ex but I can't really say we are friends. We had a very amicable split, though I still didn't want it and was very hurt by it. He has some abusive tendencies, which keep me on-guard and tend to crush any good feelings I work up for him and I am unimpressed by how he has cut his time with our kids (moving 20 miles away on the other side of LosAngeles traffic), but I do think he's a mostly good guy and loves his kids. We were best friends for nearly 10 years so it was hard to stop thinking of him in that way, but ultimately, it was healthier for me to have distance. Oh, and he moved into the house next door when we split and lived there for over 6 years until he moved in with his now-fiancee 6 mo ago.


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Old 03-19-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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One of the more interesting stories I ever heard was from a co-worker.  She said when her parents got divorced, they walked hand in hand together into the courtroom.  They just figured they were better off as friends.  They both re-married and all were cordial, if not friendly.  I think they all lived fairly close to each other as well (like within blocks).


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Old 03-19-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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I do think it's possible, though somewhat unlikely, to be friends, but I think you have to give each other time to get there first.  No matter how amicable or mutual (and it sounds like it wasn't mutual in your case at all), there are still reasons one or both of you no longer want to be married, and I think you need to allow time for those feelings to fade a bit. 

 

Now, I definitely think that being friendly with each other is possible pretty quickly-the difference being, I guess, that it is a much more superficial relationship that would mostly just exist for the kids. 

 

Ex and I can be friendly when we see each other in front of the kids, but we are not friends-and I don't really want to be at this point, nor do I think a true friendship would be possible between the two of us.  But people who see us interacting likely have no idea that things are less than amicable-we get along better now in front of the kids than we did when we were together (sad, but true, and now that I think about it, probably pretty confusing for them!). 


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Old 03-19-2014, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@ Katy&Joey. Sounds pretty great, thanks for the reply


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Old 03-19-2014, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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greenemami how long have you been split?


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Old 03-19-2014, 06:49 PM
 
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Nine months since I moved out, about a year since we officially decided to split.


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Old 03-19-2014, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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keakiepie 

Quote:
 I think that it's definitely possible to remain on good terms. Having said that, I would take things slow and make sure that you're establishing healthy boundaries for yourself as you move forward. Things can become a lot more complicated as you establish your new lives, including new partners, and especially if you live in the same building. 

I liked what you said and that last part hit it on the head. I have to figure out what those boundaries ought to be cause he seems just fine being friends


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Old 03-20-2014, 05:46 AM
 
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It's been nearly a year since my husband left, and we've been able to be quite friendly and pleasant (it's best for our 2 year old) but it requires an insane amount of effort on my part. He broke my heart and I work really hard at dealing with my hurt feelings on my own, so I don't keep arguing with him about it. It's tough, but it has gotten slightly easier with time.

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Old 03-20-2014, 07:17 PM
 
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We are still cordial. I wouldn't say we are good friends, but we socialize with our old friends in groups and it goes OK. 

 

The thing is, when the relationship breaks up, you get to see what he was really doing. You know, I think we don't give enough thought to how physical attraction overdetermines women's feelings toward their male partners. You think he's your best friend, but after he moves out and he's not all handsome and good-smelling in your space,  you're going to realize that he is really annoying. There won't be this softening impact of attraction. At least, this has been my experience.

 

I still like him, but I don't know how much I want to be close friends with a person who is so inconsiderate and self-centered. 

 

There are many people in my life whom I admire and like much more. 


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Old 03-20-2014, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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  • @ rainface, I'm there with ya. I've been working really hard to not seem offended over things that are
  • appropriate to be upset by in a relationship but not as "just" friends. Kudos to you
  •  

@ captain optimism, I love your reply.

I have been feeling pretty irked lately by things I used to find endearing. Quite frankly I'm looking forward to not being attracted to him any more

hopefully I can get over this overwhelming fear of him boinking someone else


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Old 03-20-2014, 08:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChippyHippyMom View Post
 
  • @ rainface, I'm there with ya. I've been working really hard to not seem offended over things that are
  • appropriate to be upset by in a relationship but not as "just" friends. Kudos to you
  •  

@ captain optimism, I love your reply.

I have been feeling pretty irked lately by things I used to find endearing. Quite frankly I'm looking forward to not being attracted to him any more

hopefully I can get over this overwhelming fear of him boinking someone else

 

I'm still attracted to my ex. He's a good looking guy. He's still the same annoying dude, still messing with my head on all the same issues of punctuality and responsibility. Oh, man, you can't even imagine how difficult it was going through a divorce with his passive aggressive routines. Yes, he has a new girlfriend, but she's long distance so he hasn't transferred his passive-aggressive bullsh*t to her. 

 

You know what? I have a boyfriend now, finally, someone local who smells pretty damn good. It turns out I'm not dead yet. He can boink whom he likes. 


Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:25 PM
 
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My ex and I have maintained a great relationship - and it is very good for our kids.  So, there's hope.  It's definitely possible.  Over time, dumping the pressures of sharing a home, finances, a social life etc. allowed 90% of what made our relationship "rocky" to just fade away, leaving mostly good memories of when we were happy together, a sense of valuable history, and a mutual love for our children.  It has also made our families feel OK about continuing good relationships with each of us - which is also very good for our kids.

 

But let me emphasize that having boundaries - NOT being "besties" - has been essential.  There's simply no way to move on from such a long, close relationship and to feel truly comfortable and hopeful about your new life without him, except to go ahead and experience those inevitable feelings of loss, sadness, rejection, fear of change, embarrassment about perceived failure, guilt about breaking up your kids' home, etc.  There's no way around it:  that's hard.  Especially while you're pregnant and post-partum!  You need a "bestie" - and a mom and a sister, too, if you have them - to be there for you as you adjust.  But that best friend simply cannot be the same person who has caused the heartache and change you must deal with.

 

The thing about those feelings is that they go away.  Really, honestly, they do.  You have a whole, wonderful life ahead of you, raising children who are still young, and most likely finding a new love who will be better-suited to you, so things will last.  Believing that can make this period more bearable - and help you avoid the temptation of telling yourself that things haven't really changed all that much:  you and your ex are still best friends.  Things have changed.  You probably have reason to be angry with him.  After you let yourself be angry, you'll realize that there's no sense in continuing to be.  He can't help who he is and he's just not right for you - and you are a lovable person whom some future man will really appreciate.  So, it's your ex's loss.  And after you regain your core confidence, you'll be able to face whatever you contributed to the break-up, without hating yourself or feeling hopeless.  You'll admit what behavior you should try to temper, in yourself, and realize that you're still worthwhile and lovable, if not perfect.  THEN you'll be ready for the rest of your life, and for someone new (who's more than just a "rebound").  But none of that starts until after you "cut the (emotional) cord" with your ex.

 

So, enough generalizing.  Here's what my ex's and my relationship looks like:

> We always celebrate our kids' birthday together, at a big party with their friends, both of our extended families, and - after the 1st couple years - whomever each of us was dating.

> He (and sometimes family members or his signficiant other, or whomever he wanted to bring) spent every Christmas morning at my house, until recently.  (Our kids are nearly adults and he and his new wife have young kids, now.)

> Sometimes, he and I (and our significant others/family) have celebrated Thanksgiving or Halloween together, and other life events, like our subsequent kids' birthdays, or when his wife finished her degree.  My ex's wife threw a shower for me, when my husband and I were expecting our first child together.

> My husband and my ex have taken all their boys camping, together.

> When our kids have far-away sports meets, my ex and I drive together, to watch them.

> When he has traveled a lot for work, my husband and I have invited his wife over for dinner, so she can catch up with the kids.

> All 4 parents/step-parents attend all school events together, like conferences and awards ceremonies.

> We invited each other to our weddings and have visited each other in the hospital, when each of our kids (with our new spouses) was born.

> We just took our kids (twins) on their 1st college tour and really had a fun time, razzing each other about things we remembered from our own college days, together.

 

Here are some things we avoid:

> When we first split up, my ex felt guilty and wished that I would tell him everything would be OK.  I wasn't mean to him, but I told him clearly that he couldn't leave me with 2 kids and expect me to be the one to make him feel better about it.

> When he broke up with his first major girlfriend, after me, he wanted to hang around at my house more than usual - beyond just being friendly for a few minutes while picking up/dropping off the kids.  That was several years after we broke up, but I still saw a potential for confusion and hurt feelings, if he was just using me because he was lonely and would then stop hanging out as much, when he started dating someone new.  So I would make excuses that I was busy, until things got back to normal.

> We communicate a lot, but only rarely about things that have no loose connection to the kids.  I mean, we may digress and chat for a bit about something else that interests us both, but nearly always the conversation originated with something about the kids.


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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