When does an Ex stop being an Ex and become your friend, and is it fair to make your partner deal with it?

I'm trying a slightly different tactic here, and opening up the floor for discussion on what I feel might be a controversial topic.

There's a girl at work who's getting married in September and she maintains a close friendship with her Ex-fiancee (now thats a whole different story...). Now her current fiancee isn't terribly happy with this arrangement and I feel this is totally justified. She has told him that if he forces her to choose between the two of them that the ex will win and he'll lose her.
Now I would have thought that the man you were marrying was a little more important than the the ex? Or is that just me? I'd like some active discussion here people. I think she's being unfair, but at the same time, should we have to choose between friends and boyfriends? I will also allow here that the friendship you have with Jimmy Joe from high school that your partner "doesn't approve of (maybe because they make you do stupid things etc)", is entirely different to friendship with Exey. From my perspective she should be taking his feelings into account and distancing herself from this damaging friendship.
I would hope in this position that I could take my partners feelings into account and that he would also take into account my desire for the friendship to continue and we could come out in a balance for the two of us. Is that possible? Who wants to take up the baton?

4 kindred spirits ~ This bugs them too!:

Eca said...
May 25, 2006 10:06 PM

OK guys are always un reasonable about this. Mind you, could that be the reason that the last ex-fiancee is an ex......? That would be a worry, in which case you have to think that this girl needs her head read. And possibly the problem was using the phrase don't make me choose because you wouldn't win - doesn't do wonders for anyone's self esteem, especially not from your future wife. I think it should be possible, but if she's going to be nasty about it then maybe it's reasonable if he makes himself ex-fiancee # 2......

Zogg Jones said...
May 25, 2006 10:15 PM

Ok, I'll take the bait on this one...

"When does an ex stops being an ex and starts being your friend..?" When you feel NOTHING but friendship towards them AND the feeling is mutual. Simple.

The problem I have with this situation is that I believe that your partner should also be your friend, hell, even your best friend, and they have the additional bonus of being your naked snuggle-bunny, your human doona if you will.

If your partner is not being silly and jealous simply for the fact that this person is an ex, then I have to ask why? Are they picking up on some unfinished business hmmmm? Is there some sleight of hand, an immature comment designed to make him jealous just to "see how much he loves me"?

And then to say: "if I have to choose between my ex (who is nothing but a friend - btw - no nudie rights) and you, my friend and lover who I feel soOo close to that I am currently planning on committing life-long to" that I would choose the ex... ya what?@!?!

...I don't see how this works. If your partner is actually, honestly just feeling insecure (like we all do sometimes right?), how about a good ole chat and a cuddle and a "everything is going to be just fine you big silly, you have nothing to worry about - you are the love of my life" kinda conversation. If the tables were turned, what would you want?
You would be planning on being able to deal with difficult situations with this person and there's the mild possiblity that you're not going to win each argument right? Is it possible that you're not going to have to concede some small compromise, 'just because you love this person as they are, and you want them to be happy'? right. Compromise! Understanding! Concession! A little humility here and there...

All I can say is that I'm glad this is not my relationship.

Is it fair to make your partner deal with it? If there is complete honesty going on here, then yes, i think the partner should appreciate that he is the lucky devil who is with this fine young lass, she has chosen, and you is it, my man. Not the other guy.

What does she think she's communicating when she tells her partner that, essentially, it's her way or the highway on this? It's not really reeking of consideration is it.. And remember, this is not just one of the ex's, this is an ex-fiance. Not the same thing.

I'm not saying that human relationships are a 50/50 thing... I think it's foolish to think that men and women are the same. There are hidden powerplays and dynamics here that most people don't consciously know they're playing along with.
I've seen this situation before and I've seen the girl turn around and go absolutely ballistic when the guy decides he wants to have coffee with HIS ex. That situation IS completely unfair and unreasonable, and does not the basis of a successful relationship make.

I believe that a commitment like this should be made by a woman who sees herself as a woman and her man, who sees himself as a man. Not a girl who sees herself as a princess and the guy is a prince whether he likes it or not. I have more to offer than be your provider and I am not a prince. I am not here to save you. I am here to join you on a journey that we both design. Right?

this rant is over...
Zj, signing out.

Dataceptionist said...
May 26, 2006 8:42 AM

Whoa, massive comment there Zogg, and obviously well thought out and wonderfully articulated. Thank you for your input. There's no right answer, just musings from us all.

Eca, thank you for your input too! I especially like that point on things your future wife is telling you.

billylou said...
May 26, 2006 3:03 PM

You can be friends with your ex but only after a prolonged period of separation (i.e. No contact for a few months at least) and after that only on a limited scale. If it starts to get into the territory of 'best' friend then even if you're not having sex that is still a significant emotional commitment, and if you're in a partnership with someone else (PARTICULARLY if you're engaged!) then you are not focusing on the more important relationship. It's a matter of priorities. It doesn't mean you have to cut your ex out of your life and never speak to them again (although in some cases that is the only way it can be!) but it does mean you have to compromise your friendship to commit to your fiance. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Even though cake is great. Mmm, cake.

I think I'm hungry :p

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