Are You Friends With Your Ex?

Okay, I’ve always been bad at this…this whole “friends with your ex” thing.  In fact, I have a hard time understanding how others do it.  My post-relationship procedural is quite simple:  “If you are my ex, unless you are face down in a river somewhere, you are dead to me.”  And the “face down in a river” means I’ll only acknowledge you by whispering to my friends, “Did you see my ex?  She/ he was found, face down in that river.”


To me, in order for a relationship to be truly over, it has to be cut off like a limb gone gangrene.  I, truly, do not think this is too harsh.  If I have taken the time to let you into my heart and into the inner most circle of my life and into my bed, well, when it goes south, I feel that nothing short of an exorcism is in order.


“Go towards the light, Carol Anne.”


Other people remain friends with their exes.  They have play-dates with their ex’s kids and their new kids.  I do not understand how one does this.  All I would be thinking is a) you’ve seen me naked and b) you were an a**hole.  And I would find it hard to have any thoughts after that.


Lesbians are THE worst when it comes to this.  I’d say 90% of them remain friends with their exes.  I’m pulling the 90% out of the air to make it sound scientific.  I don’t have actual numbers, but the truth is that it happens A LOT.  This annoys me even more than when heteros do it because when girls who like girls do it, they end up forming this emotional threesome.  I don’t think they’re shagging together, but there is an emotional – if not a physical – threesome going on.


Wifesy had one with her ex.  Her ex had an ex and the THREE of them were constantly together.  You have got to be kidding me.  There is no way I could be involved in something like that.  No way.  I’m too greedy.  I’d be like, “Get your ex the f out of here.  I don’t like the way she looks at you.”


I’m too possessive.


I understand the value of my love and holding dear things dear.


And I feckin’ like it that way.


Thankfully, Wifesy has NO relationship with her ex.  They had one pet in common, this cat (yes, very lesbo, I know), and this feckin’ cat kept them communicating for a very short time after their breakup.  I have never said this before and I will – I’m sure – never say it again, BUT I have never been so happy for an animal to die in my entire life.


When that pussycat passed, finally, their p*ssies were severed.  (Well, not their actual p*ssies, but the bond between them.)  It left them with no reason to contact one another.


Get your claws out of my relationship, pussy-dear.


I tried to hide my elation while my Wifesy grieved the passing of her feline.  Thankfully, I was able to.  But, it was a long time ago and now I am coming clean.  I’m glad that cat went to the catsey heaven in the sky because I was ready to drown my Wifesy’s ex.


God, it feels good to say that.


I know there are people who will read this and think, “Wow, she’s tough.  Wow, can’t you just let it go when the relationship is over?”


Nope.  I can’t.  You see when I love, I love fully.  It’s a full body and mind kind of thing.  There are no halfsies or halfways.  So, when the relationship falls apart, there’s no going back to a less than relationship of “we’re just friends.”  I am better off swimming towards the next fish and forgetting that “genus” I left behind, all together.


Gratefully, like really, gratefully, this is not a problem any more.  Now that I am fully wed to the love of my life, I can keep these exes face down in the past.  Wifesy, lost a lot of friends in her breakup with her ex.  Initially, she felt bad about that.  You know how it is.  You have a breakup and some people go your way and others go the way of your ex.  It’s lame that people can’t find a way to stay friends with both of you, but they can’t.  Most of them are not capable.  Confrontation scares them.  They understood you as a whole, but separately you confuse them.


Wifesy had tried to re-connect with a few of her past friends that were satellite friends of her prior relationship and I have to say I am unimpressed.  There are a few choice ones who have come back, the full monty, but they are usually the ones who say to Wifesy, “I have to be honest, I never really liked your ex.”  Those are the ones I get along with the best.  The friends who have tried to come back gingerly, no way.  We’ve met up with a few on occasion, all I can think is, “Good riddance.”  Very, very few have seemed worth it to me.


In the end, I’m glad.  It gave Wifesy and I a clean break from all the utter nonsense.  Together we’re completely happy.  So, river-littered-with-my-exes and river-littered-with-my-Wifesy’s-exes, keep your cadavers.  Keep the ex-friends who went the other way.  We don’t give a sh*t about them.



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85 thoughts on “Are You Friends With Your Ex?

  1. SM,
    Well. I am attached [scratch that] chained to my son’s mother until he’s at least of legal age… Parents for life, they say… Sigh. I have kept in touch with a long term girlfriend of mine, mostly. She’s good people. It’s a Facebook thing though. The Ringmistress as also kept in touch with a few exex, which I’m very comfortable with… It’s a personal thing, I guess.

    1. Exes vex, varying only in degree. Yeah, there’s a few people I wish were floaters. Some I don’t want dead, but don’t need to have them in my friends list, and then some that I don’t mind “liking” their funny cat video. None I would go out to dinner with or have over fro craft night without Le Clown. And thank fucking gawd, none I have shared an animal or a child with. Le Clown is much cooler with my exes than I am with his. And I’m ok with that.

      1. i know the sharing an animal, kept the orbit happening for way longer than it would have. a child… well, i can’t even imagine, but wifesy’s parents are divorced and they barely spoke. although they spoke through her like some little dysfunctional pawn. sigh. anyhoo, it is personal choice, but i love the term ‘floaters’ and will use it often now… 😉 sm

    2. kids is an entirely different issue. for the most part, there, you have to keep in touch. but, if you didn’t make a little creature, i say feck it, leave em by the side of the road. but, true. it’s a personal choice. 😉 sm

  2. I so agree with you SM, and I laughed at the idea of your ex being face down in a river because I believe I have uttered similar sentiments. Any ex’s I have (it’s been a long time) are dead to me anyway so the river is not necessary. My neighbor’s ex-girlfriend comes over every single day and hangs out with the new girlfriend and it blows me away that people can be so civil. What on earth do you talk about without any kind of resentment or jealousy? I not understand such enlightened concepts.

    1. roller, i think that’s a kind of enlightened i never want to be. sometimes i think anything short of cutting all ties is unhealthy. but, there are cases where it works… just not for me. loool. much love, sm

  3. I am so like you. I am an all or nothing kind of person. Friends with exes? Please. Really, who does that?? I think that’s wonderfully displayed on sitcoms, soap operas and movies, but real life, not so much. Don’t wanna be around my exes, hubby’s exes. I guess it’s a territorial thing. Not so much jealously, but I JUST DON’T WANT YOU AROUND. I think that’s the WHOLE reason why they’re exes.

    But that’s just me.

    1. i’m so with you, brig. done is DONE, in my book. that’s it. finito. no mas. i could go on, but i do not get it when people hang on. if there’s a child involved, different scenario, obviously, but otherwise CLEAN BREAK…is my motto. much love, sm

  4. There is only one ex for me. Husband was the second guy I dated. I was a bit of a wallflower, what can I say? I’ve only seen him at my reunions. We’re friendly, we’re friends on FB, but that’s about it. Husband has many exes, but isn’t friends with any of them. I would find it weird to be friends with an ex, like hanging out all the time and calling each other, unless there are kids involved.

    1. yep, we are of one mind on this, fishes. i don’t get it, but especially in the lesbo world, sometimes people are still really tight. i think it’s b.s.. if you’re still holding on to a relationship when it’s over, somethings up OR it wasn’t that serious in the first place, which is possible…to go, we dated, but naaahhh, we’re better off friends. as long as that transition happens before a lot of time passes, i think. xo, sm

  5. If by “Are you friends with your exes” you mean, “Do you make voodoo dolls of them and set them on fire,” then yes. The ones that ended amicably/peacefully, we just went our separate ways and didn’t really have any interest in staying in touch. The ones that didn’t, well, let’s just say I’d be fine with hearing that they had met some sort of horrific demise. Mr. Weebles isn’t in touch with any of his exes, but I’m not sure how thrilled I’d be if he were still friends with his ex-wife.

    1. ugh and when people were married…especially if they bought property or something together, this issue can go on forever. thankfully, in my case, it was a cat. tho wifesy loved that cat. still. they needed to severe all ties and i’m glad it happened. and i LOOOOOOOOVE, lurve, the voodoo dolls line. i have a headache today. i’m juicing. sigh. much love, sm

  6. Nice thought. I don’t have any exes, so I lack personal experience in this subject. But, I do know this: I hate baggage, and having to lug it around. Emotional baggage is an extremely vicious one at that, and is better off being ‘ectomized than being managed.

    1. …and i think so many people (women in particular, i hate to say) just manage it. and it’s an equation that sets you up for disaster in the long run, i believe. much love, sm

    1. rain away. 😉 some people make it happen. i find gay men to be particularly good at this. not all of them, but some. lesbians still stay entwined in each other’s lives like parasites. men, sometimes, i think, can go from more intense to casual, once it’s over. i’m not sure women EVER switch off the intensity. they just take the sex out of it… i could be wrong, but that’s my current thought on it. anyway, portia, you know i love you. and as always, to each her own. 😉 much love, sm

  7. I’m with you on this to a point. Immediately after the demise of a relationship, I need to cold-turkey it. I can’t have any contact or interaction with the ex. As time passes and people move on, I think there is a window for, not friendship but perhaps the occasional coffee or chat. I’m now friends with all my ex’s, friends being that I’ll speak to them occasionally and catch up.

    I personally think it’s unhealthy to remain friends after a break-up unless it was a total 100% mutual thing but that’s not usually the case. Usually, there’s one person who has had their heart broken, or two, and it’s easy to fall back into old habits with someone who you were so close to. Sometimes the person who had their heart broken will continue to have it broken and won’t be able to move on.

    Cold-turkey, for me, is definitely the way to go after a break-up.

    1. me too. there are several of them in the river and there they will remain. anyway, so well said, saira. thank you for saying it here…and for reading. much love, mother

  8. I think the post-break-up-future (not immediate)-friendship-potential is tied to how or why the relationship ended. I mean, my First Boyfriend Ever and I broke up after 4 yrs, college, etc. It was mutual. That was 20 yrs ago and we’re friends (FB mostly). No animosity. Same with every other man I’ve dated (but that doesn’t necesarrily mean we’re friends, either). On the other hand, the Idiot I married and totally screwed me over, no way. Thankfully, he stayed out of my daughter’s life until recently, when I’ve been forced to become… occasional business associates… with him. I can’t be his friend because I don’t trust or respect him. But he’s good fodor for jokes. Now that the anger is gone, I just don’t care one way or the other.

    1. a lot of truth said there, laura. true. if something doesn’t go as deeply or end as violently (where the violence may simply be limited to the emotions) then yep, a relationship can transition into something else. but, i think this is so rare. i think when people do this in a healthy way, it’s just the exception and not the rule. unfortunately, i think the great majority of people are hanging on and doing themselves damage. i could be wrong. but, at the moment, that’s my theory. 😉 much love, sm

    1. it’s feckin’ true, chef. they just can’t wrap their brains around you separately. so, never take it personally. which is, of course, WAY easier said than done. stay strong. much love, sm

  9. Most of the time I can’t be friends with an ex. There have only been a few that I could. Mostly because those were the only ones where the breakup wasn’t ugly. If it falls apart in a bad way, it has to stay buried deep in the past.

    1. sounds very fair and as it should be. mine have all either not added me or unfriended and i am so fine with that. isn’t it funny how we all have a real life way and an fb way that all of this shit gets dealt with… so crazy. i’m juicing and it’s making me insane. loool. much love, sm

  10. hahaha…Sweet Mom i love the way you put down a major point with such an awesome tone of humor …
    friends with exes..? nah i am not..
    but yes i too would have the same reaction if my better half was friends with exes…i get the whole possessiveness thing..only first i need to find someone, fall in love, then i shall plan to drown the exes..till then i can dream of it 😉
    love the post Sweet Mom…

  11. Ahh…the “lesbians friends with their exes syndrome” or LFWTES 🙂 (I just made that up, btw, that is not a thing)

    I had not one, but TWO cats with my ex. When my wife and I decided to buy our house together, and I couldn’t take them with me due to my wife’s allergies, I decided to give the cats to the ex. We had been in on again, off again contact for a few months – not friends, mind you, but cordial. After all, this was the woman who cheated on me and lied to me for FOUR YEARS! Needless to say, my wife hated the contact between us. Once the cats were with her full time, the contact ceased and my wife could not be happier. She feels the same way you do about exes. It took me a little while, but I feel the same way about them too!

    1. oh, lesbian, i so hear you. this is a syndrome that is deep, DEEPLY, felt with in our people. it’s sort of like native americans and alcohol, lesbians and exes. i swear, there should be a gov’t program for it, ‘how to detach from your ex.’ step 1: give her the feckin’ cats!! it seems you have done so and your wife is very smart… looooool. much love, sm

  12. I am lesbian and I am not friends with my exes. Whether they’ve ditched me or I’ve ditched them, I think it’s healthiest to just move on. For the life of me I don’t get what it is about gay women that still associate with their exes. That said, at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite I have one ex from a decade ago who I wish I still knew. We were a romantic mis-match but I really liked that woman. I regret jumping her bones and wish we had just been friends. My current companion is okay with me getting in touch with her but I think it could be a bad idea so I’ve made no effort to make contact. Once you’ve seen each other upside down naked you can never erase that image so it would probably behoove me to follow my own advice and not travel down that road.

    1. “once you’ve seen each other upside down naked…” truly truly, lameadv, this made me laugh out loud. indeed. indeed. i think we les of the no friendships with the exes are a rare breed. i think you are completely right in NOT contacting that woman from way back. if your gut says no, then i say it’s a no. i know what you mean though. there are a couple of female ‘hookups’ i’ll call them, less exes as in they weren’t that serious, where i’m like, ‘oh, for feck sake. we should’ve just had coffee.’ looool. anyway, thank you for the great laugh. much love, sm

  13. It took me a long time to be able to be friends with my ex. Shortly after we broke up and I started dating N, he wrote nasty things about him on MySpace (this is dating this incident quite a bit) and long, angst-ridden posts about how he was going to win me back. Needless to say, we ceased to be on speaking terms for several years. But his new girlfriend and I connected through an odd series of events and became incredibly good friends, and then my dad got very sick. Once he found out about J and my friendship and my dad’s disease, he called me to talk about all of it, and we’ve been friends again since. And I’m glad, because we had been friends before we’d dated, and he’s a great person to be friends with. It helps that J, now his wife, is amazing and one of my very best friends.

    So I guess what that long, rambling story was meant to say is that under normal circumstances, I don’t think he and I would be friends. But I’m glad we are now.

    1. i know, you raise such a good point, the lashing out that can sometimes happen post breakup. wifesy’s ex did that to me with a crazy assed fb post. i read it and asked wifesy if i should say something and rightly, she said, just erase it and ignore it. it was the right thing to do, though i wanted to tell her off. she was just hurtin’ i suppose. ay yay yay. it’s not an easy river to navigate, but it sounds like you have done so, fads. much love, sm

  14. I have no exes, a matter of perception rather than fact. The way I see it, we served a purpose in one another’s lives, when that ended, we moved on. The end. Probably why I’m not on FB or anything else: have no reason to look anyone up, no desire to be looked up by anyone. It’s good to leave excess baggage behind! 😉

    1. so well put, margarita. i would say it this way, ‘i have exes, but i don’t regret them.’ meaning each ex – whether it was through the breakup or a realization that they were not the one – helped me form who i am today. but, i don’t want to know what they’re doing. a couple of mine are in my business, so whether i like it or not another friend will say, ‘hey, so and so is doing this… and didn’t you once date her…’ blah, blah, blah…and all i can think is, i truly don’t care. but, i also don’t want to be told. so, i understand you totally. much love, sm

  15. I’m 100% ex-friendly, stereotypical lesbo. Two of my very dearest friends are also exes. Dear Wife is uncomfortable with my friendship with my she-ex but also really enjoys my he-ex.

    Sure there are a few exes who’s names I look out for in the obituary column but for the most part I don’t mind a casual Facebook chat with exes.

    At the end of the day he-ex and age-ex will always be very special people for me but DW won…I married her, had her babies and we are living happily ever after. My she-ex even asked us to be godparents to her twin girls (which we very gently declined) and we are way past any relationship baggage there once was. I’m happy, she-ex is happy, he-ex is delightfully tortured but linda happy, no harm no foul.

    So what is the big deal?

    1. i just loooooove she-ex and he-ex. it’s just brilliant. completely brilliant and very ‘french twisty’ if the whole thing were to go wrong. lool. i also think it’s REALLY interesting that dear wife is uncomfortable with she-ex, but comfortable with he-ex. for some reason, that makes so much sense to me. yet, i can’t totally put a finger on why. in the end, you’ve said it – dw won as did my wifesy and truly, that’s the most important part. great comment, fabs. as always. much love, sm

  16. I live with my ex. True story.

    I think we had a different breakup because we realized we weren’t “in love” anymore. We never fought or anything, and just came to the conclusion that we were going different directions. Some people do find it very unconventional, but it works for us.

    Actually, I’ll be writing about it soon. You’ll get to hear about how weirdos handle this 😉

  17. I don’t believe in doing anything half-assed either. A relationship is either on or off, unless there is a shared dependent/pet involved. And I’m super jealous so there is no way in hell I’d put up with an ex hanging around.

    1. me too, wendos, me too. there’s no way it would work for me. and the cat thing drove me crazy. so, i was very glad when that ended quickly. poor cat. but, maybe he also was like, “this has got to end, so i have got to go.” after all, they seem smarter than us sometimes… loool. much love, sm

  18. 17 years of marriage, most of them good and a child are good incentives for me and my ex to stay ‘friendly’. It wasn’t always that way but we did try to be civil for the sake of The Daughter and once the anger and hurt faded it became a lot easier. Now we chat via email every few months and more importantly we help each other out when things get tough.

    The way I see it, I invested 17 years of my life, 17 years of my /history/ in someone. Things didn’t work out but those 17 years made me who I am today. If I cut my ex out of my life completely then those 17 years would have to be cut as well and I can’t see the value in that. Then again I’ve always been a ‘keeper’ where possible.

    1. meeks, you are one of those few people who it does seem to me – through our interactions on here – has the true heart to do something like this. with my exes there would’ve always been ego involved. or with wifesy’s ex, she was so arrogant, that it just never would’ve worked. but, when there are kids involved, of course, you have to. and i am the worst childless mommy blogger in the world, for not having said as much. 😉 much love, sm

      1. You’re pretty clued in for a childless mommy blogger but nothing helps the memory like having ankle-biters chewing on your toes! And please don’t think I’m some kind of weird saint! I haven’t kept up contact with all my exes! Some bits of history /are/ best forgotten. 😉

  19. For me, the few relationships ended with no hard feelings, but we didn’t stay in contact. Hubs is the same way. Maybe it’s a bit of “what’s past is past” and doesn’t relate to the present relationship.

  20. A letter arrived in the post today, an important letter. It was from my second ex.
    My gorgeous, delectable little wife is applying for her settlement visa on Monday and we can’t find my original of my second divorce decree. We need an original to take to the visa office with us. One phone call to ex (who I haven’t spoken to in about four years) and it was in the post a.s.a.p.
    She’s a lovely person but it just didn’t work out for us.
    I have other and varied ex stories, some involving rivers, but that one seems most appropriate today.

    1. that is such a great story, mee. and the exact opposite of wifesy’s ex. wifesy needed some papers signed from her and of course, she couldn’t get them without the ex launching into a tirade about her ‘character’ or some other such nonsense via email. and meanwhile, they are broken up going on almost 5 years ago now! good god. i’m so glad they’ve severed all ties. i’m telling you. but, it is truly nice to hear that some people can do this sort of think with civility and humanity. now that makes me smile. much love, sm

  21. Totally unrelated to this post, but I like that you updated “daily” to “dailyish”. Not that I don’t want to read you every day, but that it takes a little of the pressure off…great post as always SM. =)

    1. stacie-loo! i miss your ass. which sounds weird, but you know what i mean. your blogging ass. and you just have the vibe of a girl i can say that to. lool. yeah, the ‘rules’ of this blogging once a day thing have been rules set by me. so, if i break them, i break them. what i won’t break is the 365 posts. clean posts, fully written posts. not just photos that say, ‘i’ll be back tomorrow,’ which i’ve done a few of. so, it will be more like 380 posts, truly written ones, once i’m done. then after that, i’ll probably go down to posting a couple of times a week on specific days. that’s my thought at the moment anyway. 😉 much love, sm

  22. I am friends, great friends in fact with my dead ex’s ex wife. She is my wife-in-law and the biological mother of my two sons. She has been my wife-in-law for 28 years, we shared child rearing duties for all that time and I had full time custody of the boys for much of their childhood, even after her ex became my ex. When that happened we actually finally talked about why he was our ex. Now he is our dead ex, but really he was dead to both of us before he was really dead. We are still what we have always been wifes-in-law, friends of heart and mothers to our shared sons.

    Other than that, no way in hell. I purged them like snaking a drain.

    1. val, i seriously, ALWAYS, love your comments. christ. this is such a good story about being wife in laws and raising the kids together and your really shed a light on how you came together through one man, but it was undoubtedly the two of you who were meant to “keep” or last if you will as friends of the heart. and then after you say all that, you say, ‘other than that, no way in hell, purged them like snaking a drain.” dying. dying. laughing. so, thank you. much love, sm

  23. My dad was very close to his ex-wife, which I always thought was truly admirable, so In the past I’ve emulated him and remained friendly with exes, but it was often complicated. Now that I’m married and truly emotionally severed from any past relationships I don’t really have the urge to stay friends with anyone.

    1. i think it’s admirable, only if he wanted that. if he wanted to remain close. otherwise, there’s something else there, i think. and it sounds like, ff, you know exactly what you’re doing. if it feels that way, go with it. at least that’s what i try to do. much love, sm

  24. I’m about to step in it here.
    Most of my exes remained friends with me. We were friends before we messed it up with the whole sex thing, why can’t we be friends after? Unless, they did something really bad to me, then of course I wouldn’t remain friends with them.
    I have always had more male friends than female friends. If I eliminated exes from the equation I wouldn’t have any friends. Now He-Who, on the other hand thinks along the lines that you do. He was very intimidated by this and had a “chat” with some of them at some point and they faded from view. When I found this out I was devastated and furious. We got through it, and the ones that called “bullshit” on him are still around and he is friends with them too. The others, I guess weren’t willing to fight for our friendship.
    The ones that stuck around I have known for most of my life. We were kids together. We have been through deaths together, illnesses together, I have been to their weddings, I have babysat their kids. None of us even remember the sex stuff or think of it as it was a minuscule part of how we became close friends. We respect each other and we respect each other’s partners.
    This may be the first time I haven’t agreed with you,(I know! How could that happen?) But, this really touches a nerve with me.

    1. hey there mg, it’s okay to disagree with me. i think of the stuff i write on here as GOSPEL, but lord knows it’s ONLY the gospel ACCORDING TO ME. so, if it works for you, it works. it works for some. BUT, i do think you are a rare breed of woman (or man for that matter) who can pull it off successfully. much love, sm

  25. Not only am I friends with my ex fiance but my muse made friends with her also. THAT is a bit bizarre, except my 3 way thinking…never mind TMI. The only exes I am not on friendly terms with are all the rest and especially those that tried to kill me. Yea…especially those ones.

    1. lol. lawd! strange, it is good to see you on here and i need to give your blog a visit too. it’s been a crazy end to the summer. not that anyone trying to kill anyone is a good thing, it’s not… but, HELL, there has got to be a post or two out of that. lol. sorry, always the thinking, writing, comic-girl. much love to you and yours and can’t wait to visit your writing again soon. momma

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