Hax: Friendship with ex-wife rankles

The Washington PostSeptember 10, 2013 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Carolyn: I have been dating “John” for the past year. He has been divorced for two years from “Heidi,” his wife/partner of 30 years. They had no children and she lives a few states away, but they are “bestest buddies” and were in contact almost daily until I put my foot down.

Many of her calls came in when we were together. I told John how I saw Heidi’s contact as interference in our relationship. John finally told Heidi not to contact him unless it was divorce-related.

I recently found out they are still in contact.

DON’T WANT DRAMA

Drama isn’t a bestest-buddy ex-wife. Drama is seeing a bestest-buddy ex-wife as your cue to try to push her out of the scene.

Certainly it’s just good manners for him to let calls go to voice mail — hers or anyone’s — when you two are together.

Certainly, too, friendships with exes vary, and so John and Heidi can be anything from healthy buddies to a co-dependent mess.

But this is not up for debate: He has every right to this friendship. You can point out things that bother you but you can’t tell him whom he can or can’t care about based on the way you think coupled people are supposed to behave. So, figure out what you are and aren’t comfortable with. Then talk to him about it; ask him why they haven’t moved on.

I’ll get you started with a can’t-live-with item: his yessing you on ending contact and then calling her anyway.

Re: Ex-wife:

Your advice wasn’t what I expected.

What exactly is his right to have? A friendship with his ex-wife? For what purpose? They do not have children or assets together. Apparently they are communicating as if they are still married!

ANONYMOUS

The solution is to know your own priorities and stay or go based on whether his priorities align with yours. The answer is not to impose your priorities on others.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service