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Do you tolerate your partner's friendships with their exes?

(37 Posts)
normalishdude Thu 14-Nov-13 14:37:58

Hi All

As above- do you let your partner stay fiends with their ex? To what extent? Do you set boundaries?

ModreB Thu 14-Nov-13 19:30:18

It depends on the relationship. DH is friendly with some of his ex-girlfriends, but friendly as in platonic on all sides, and who respect me as his partner, chat at things we are all at etc.

The 1 who made it clear that I was not part of the "friendship" deal I am not happy for him to remain in contact with, and after we (DH and I) discussed it and I explained my reasons for concern, he cut contact.

I am still friends with the person that I was with when I met DH, as is DH, as again, the respect is there on both sides.

SockQueen Thu 14-Nov-13 20:24:01

My DH is still friends with one of his exes. They'd split up about 18 months before we got together and were already in a fairly healthy friendship stage by the time I came on the scene. Initially I had a few jealous moments (she does have boobs bigger than my head!) but as our relationship progressed those feelings went away. I know her quite well now and she's lovely.

I have no contact with my ex, but I don't think DH would mind if I did.

EBearhug Fri 15-Nov-13 00:15:49

I'm friends with some of my exes. I'm the tenant of one of them - we went out in our early 20s, (we're now early 40s,) and the sexual side of the relationship is long gone, but the friendship is massively important to me, and any future partner will have to accept that. I've made sure that other boyfriends since him have met him at some point, because he is part of my life. Usually they've got on pretty well (to the point of taking the piss out of me together. Gits.) We usually only meet up 3 or 4 times a year, but we do also chat on the phone fairly often. Mind you, some of it's pretty dull - "Did you get the information I forwarded on about that planning application down the road?"

I've got on really well with a couple of his girlfriends, and I'm still a bit upset that I lost touch with one of them when they broke up. One of his girlfriends did think it was really weird that he was still in touch with any ex, but she didn't stop him. His current girlfriend I haven't met - and I find it difficult - from what he's said, she's emotionally abusive, but because I am his ex, I can't really say too much. I've limited myself to comments like, "If one of your friends was telling you this, what would you say to them?" And I recommended he look at MN... (Don't think he has, though.)

But it's normal to me, still being in touch. We had an ex-fiancee of my father's at his funeral. They broke up before he met my mother, and he and my mother had been married 30 years when he died - she also knew the fiancee, and we (sister and I) had met her every few years from our childhoods. In fact, she may have had something to do with them meeting, but I'm not entirely sure about that. Lost in the mists of time.

Terrortree Fri 15-Nov-13 00:38:57

'Let' is a very powerful word - who are we to make those decisions? It is the nature of the relationship that is of more important - is the ex in any way (with or without their input) a means to threaten/control or manipulate your behaviour? Some people, few and far as they may appear to be, may recognise that your current partner was not the one for them (and vice versa) so there's no need for animosity.

But vitally: are there children involved?

I met my DH between nisi and absolute. It was a difficult time as you can imagine. Best friends rarely need to divorce. However, there was a small child involved. It was imperative we ALL acknowledged, like it or lump it, we were all going to be a big part of one another's lives for the next upteem years. It took around 2 and a half years to get things very amicable. That is beyond tolerance, but acceptance and respect. It wasn't easy to get to that point, but it was imperative. Since then things have gone from strength to strength. So my point is that DH and his former wife regularly chat, and I'm glad of that. I can chat to her, we can have differing views, and these can, tactfully, be discussed.

'Let' is the wrong word. Trust is the issue.

I was ditched by my current man a few months in, because his ex was having a crisis.
She rang him around midnight and must have known I'd be at his place. I'm afraid I couldn't deal with that, with him walking off into the bedroom to talk to her on the phone.

It's now clear a year and half later he was still emotionally attached to her, and we did make up again after a week or so apart.

But I have never bought this 'just good friends' concept because I have direct experience of that.
I was friendly with 2 of my 3 significant exes to the point I'd be chatting to them on the phone for 3 hours in the evening, yet I knew back then they still held a torch for me and this contact whilst supportive in that it helped them deal with the break up, also meant that inevitably they couldn't completely move on if I was still always in the background.

Last year my man's ex's friend asked him to visit them over Christmas at his ex's house and to my dismay he did actually dither over the decision. That hurt, but I pass it off now as perhaps him not having significant enough feelings for me then that he preferred to spend a holiday with his ex and their mutual friend rather than his new girlfriend. Or that he wanted to please everyone equally, as is his nature, but couldn't find a way of doing that in this instance.

A Christmas card, or once in a blue moon email or text is fine. But if you no longer live in the same part of the country and so don't socialise anymore, well, an ex is part of your history, your past life, and in my opinion they belong only in your past.
It's an attitude I have only recently learnt to apply to myself, too.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Fri 15-Nov-13 01:33:22

My DH is still friendly with his girlfriend from his university days, although since they currently live in different countries it's mostly a Facebook friendship. They met up for lunch the last time he was in London on business. He didn't ask my permission to have lunch with her, although he did mention it to me in passing. I haven't met her very often, but she seems like a nice woman, very entertaining company. I can see why he's stayed friends with her.

In all honesty, I did have pangs of jealousy when DH and I were first dating and I found out he was still in occasional contact with her. Particularly when I saw a photo of her and thought she was prettier than me. But I got over it eventually. I will admit I did get a little insecure again when she got divorced a few years ago, but ultimately DH is responsible for his own behaviour. Whether his ex is available again or not should be irrelevant, because he's not available.

Ultimately you have to trust your partner to either do the right thing or not. Also, as a poster above has noted, sometimes exes morph into friends over time. In my DH's case, he and his ex split up 17 or 18 years ago (I don't remember exactly), several years before I even met him. Maybe if it had been a recently-ended relationship, I would've been more unsettled by the fact that he still liked her. It was weird for me at first, in spite of all the rational reasons not to find it weird. People do get jealous, it's just the way we are.

MistressDeeCee Fri 15-Nov-13 03:12:59

OP - No, I dont. Whilst I dont mind at all DP saying hi and having a little chat if he comes across an ex, I definetely dont want them in our social circle. Personally, I dont have my exes in our social circle either. I dont feel any need at all to introduce my DP to someone I was in a relationship with, used to sleep with, etc. We can manage just fine without all that. There have been couple of DPs exes in the past who've been out of line - FB messages, phone calls etc. He put a stop to it, which was fine. But I wouldnt have put up with it continuing. Nothing worse than the ex who wants to be the spectre in your relationship, all behind a smile

It all depends on boundaries I suppose. If you're both on the same page about this kind of thing - as we are - then its fine. But if you feel uncomfortable re. your partner's ex then there's normally a reason for that. Gut feeling and intuition is very telling.

Lavenderhoney Fri 15-Nov-13 04:33:21

My dh has an LTR ex who occasionally calls with some disaster. He talks to her and she goes away again. I assume - I don't know really, I don't monitor his emails. It wouldn't bother me if they were in touch more, she lurches from one crisis to another and it doesn't impact on me and the dc as far as I know. He has never put her before us to my knowledge. I have no interest in meeting her though, she sounds hard work.

He showed me her emails once as he didn't know what to advise her, and she is very familiar with him and clearly from her words would like to jump into bed with him. He replies ignoring that part and just helps her. I think he feels guilty for leaving her years ago, and her life is a mess.

I have an ex who I am still friends with. Dh knows but ignores it. He has never met him but dislikes him anyway.

normalishdude Fri 15-Nov-13 09:45:29

Hi, no children were involved. Thanks folks.

struggling100 Fri 15-Nov-13 11:30:59

Yes, absolutely. My partner's ex is a close friend of mine as well as his now! I think provided the appropriate boundaries are in place, it can be really healthy.

KissesBreakingWave Fri 15-Nov-13 11:53:16

It's all about the appropriate boundaries and, indeed, the health of the current relationship. I stayed friends with my last-ex-but-one, and my then partner was decidedly shady about me even talking to her, never mind that she'd moved on and got engaged to a new chap.

She got as far (I found out much later) as sending nasty emails and so on to her. WIth hindsight, should have spotted that that one was red and definitely flag shaped.

Current relationship, GF and ex-but-one are in regular touch and gang up on me, the cheeky cows. Immediate ex is giving regular, public demonstrations as to why the relationship didn't work.

Damnautocorrect Fri 15-Nov-13 12:00:42

My partner is a tradesman so is 'useful' to his ex's so is in contact with all of them at least a couple of times a year. I eye roll in my head as let's face it, it's nicer if they just fuck off. But on the flip side it means he was also always decent to them.
I did think when we first got together that lending an ex 3k was a but much though

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