Back in prehistoric days when nice girls married their first sweetheart, there were no ex-boyfriends, let alone ex-husbands. But today, people are marrying later, and often marrying again (and again). Having an ex is a whole different story.
JACEE: Richie and I lived together for three years. Afterward, we tried to remain friends through texts. He came to my house one day and told me he got married. I told him how happy I was for him. I could tell he wanted me to be sad and jealous.
After he'd been married a year, he sent me a text saying he wanted to get together for a beer "as friends." There was a sexual undertone to his email. I know Richie — he's always looking for the greener grass. I told him that it wouldn't be appropriate and that I didn't think his wife would approve. I know I wouldn't!
GAGE: My husband and I have been married for five years, and we have a rule regarding friends of the opposite sex, whether that person is an ex-lover or not: We include each other in the friendship. The theory behind this is that the friend is less likely to want to mess around if he or she actually knows our spouse. This has worked quite well for us.
I do have one ex-boyfriend who checks in occasionally to see if I'm still married. Of course, he'd never admit that's why he's calling. I no longer return his calls.
ALEXA: Ken and I dated in college. After graduation, we kept in touch and visited each other occasionally. I got married 34 years ago and am still married. Ken married several years later. He visits my husband and I. But when we visit him, we do it without his wife's knowledge.
She has never approved of our friendship. I found this out one year after I sent him a Christmas card, but didn't receive one back. Worried, I called his home and his wife answered. She wouldn't let me talk to him and told me that she didn't want me keeping in touch anymore. I then called him at work and found out that she had thrown the card out! He said that from now on, he'd send me a card first telling me when to mail a card to him, so that he could check the mailbox every day. That's how we keep in touch now.
BEN: My wife and I are both in contact with our exes. I don't think it's a problem as long as we both feel superior to each other's exes. I do.
Her ex recently got married. The four of us have socialized together. We both find his wife strange. My wife says her ex lacks self-esteem. The fact that he married someone with some obvious personality issues is not surprising, and only increases my feeling of superiority.
My ex-wife lives across the country. She has been married for over 10 years and has two kids. We email each other weekly. I go over to her house for dinner whenever I'm in her town, and my wife knows it.
If meetings with exes are done in the open and occasionally include all the spouses, then it's obvious that the relationships are purely friendly with no secret motives.
Do you keep in touch with your exes?
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."