Friday, July 17, 2009

Friends With Exes

So, one of the reasons why I went on a trip earlier this month was to attend the wedding of my ex. While in Manila, I stayed with one of my closest friends who is married to my first boy friend. I also caught up with another friend who is the ex-fiance of my ex whose wedding I attended. If that isn't enough to confuse anyone, I don't know what will.

I seem to stand alone on this, but I'm a believer of "becoming" friends with your ex. I know it may not be possible to do so right after a break-up, but after time has allowed each side to heal, I think there is no greater sign that you have grown from the past relationship than friendship.

Almost all my friends disagree with me. They told me they would not even allow their partners or husbands to be friends with their exes. Even my close friend D and my other friend the ex-fiance G, both stand by this "rule". So I asked them how come we're all still friends then? They both said I'm a special case and we laughed that maybe its just because they don't see me as a threat. I say it all boils down to trust and insecurities.

Hubby is good friends with 2 of his exes. One of them was even in our wedding entourage. The night before we had our wedding in Manila, I hung out with both of them while Hubby was exploring the streets of Burgos with his Ozzie friends. Thinking back I should have asked them for some pointers of what not to do! haha!

But the reason why I have no problems with Hubby remaining friends with some of his exes and him with me remaining friends with some of mine, is that we trust each other and are both secure about our feelings for each other. If your relationship is truly over and there are no more feelings of love or romance left, then what is wrong with becoming friends instead? I always ask my friends to give me a reason why they don't allow their partners to be friends with their exes and all they can give me is "because". I think the reason as to why they are so unwilling to divulge is because there are no good reasons.

I try to place myself in their place and think about why I would not want Hubby to be friends with his exes. A few come to mind. I could be the jealous type. I don't trust him or the ex. I am insecure about his feelings for me. I'm worried that their friendship will turn back into romance. All these stem from distrust and insecurities.

Don't get me wrong though. I'm no superwoman and admit I do get jealous at times. But because I am secure enough with how Hubby feels about me and trust him enough, these jealousies are put at bay. And because this is how I feel, I can't seem to fully understand how someone can forbid their husband or wife to be friends with their exes.

I used to be friends with a ex, M. We started off as really good friends and after things turned into something more than friendship, we tried it out for a few months. While we were dating, he told me he was really upset with a good friend of his. He said his friend had to report to the girlfriend where ever he went and at almost every hour. M couldn't understand how his friend could put up with that. He felt like his friend was put on a very short leash. Those seemed to be famous last words, because he pretty much ended up like his friend not too long after. We broke up a few months later and decided to remain friends. We would often meet up for lunch still and whenever I needed advice on something, I'd text him or give him a call. The very last time I saw him was over lunch and he showed me pictures of the girl he was dating. I also told him about who I was dating and everything seemed fine. A few weeks later, he stopped answering my texts and sounded distant when I called. I suddenly figured out what was going on and texted him, asking him if his girlfriend did not want him to be friends with me. He texted back with a simple yes and I deleted his number from my phone then and there. I was heartbroken, not because he was an ex, but because he was a really good friend.

That's the thing about relationships. Isn't it always those ones that start off as true friendship that lasts? What better thing than to marry your best friend. Isn't your spouse suppose to be your best friend too? And when that relationship doesn't work, why do you have to throw away the friendship as well?

I was asking my friends shouldn't they feel more secure about exes because you know your spouse has been there and done that and knew that wasn't what he or she wanted? They've done the test drive and know that's not for them. And if they do decide they want to get back with their ex, doesn't that mean there was something wrong with your relationship in the first place anyway? If its not going to be with an ex, then it'll be with some other person.

All I'm saying is that I wouldn't be friends with D today if she didn't make an exemption to the no ex rule. She's one of my dearest friends. My trip wouldn't be as fun if I didn't get to meet up with G either. I wouldn't have met and become good friends with Hubby's exes and their family and kids. Their friendships have made my move to Australia easier and more welcoming.

So for me, friendships with exes have only brought about positive results. I wouldn't be friends with some of those I hold close to me today if I had bound myself to that rule. And as for those I have lost, guess their leashes had been put on tight.

How about you, are you still friends with your exes?

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