Let me start by saying that I’m not one of those ultra-friendly, “love everybody” type of guys. In fact, I generally dislike others. And I’m not one to hold onto friendships that have reached their expiration date. When it has run its course, I have no problem moving on. So with this history of cutting ties and never looking back, I am honestly impressed with my ability to maintain a very close friendship with my ex-wife.
I wish I had some juicy story about how she ran off with the pest control guy, or got mixed up with some rich sugar daddy, or joined a cult. I’m sorry to report that it was nothing like that. We just grew apart as a couple and found ourselves heading in different directions. After 10 years of marriage, our divorce was final in November 2011.
Despite our separation and eventual divorce, we have and continue to talk three to four times a week. We sent each other Christmas cards. I’ve given her advice about her relationship with her boyfriend. (She asked. I didn’t force it on her.) I even bought him a Christmas gift in 2010. And tomorrow when she brings her Christmas tree over to store in my basement (they don’t have room in their new apartment), I’m going to give her a delicious bottle of 1975 port as a housewarming gift.
When I tell people how civil the divorce was and how strong our friendship still is, they typically don’t get it or think it’s weird. We don’t see it that way. We have been big parts of each other’s lives for 13 or 14 years. It would be strange to lose that just because the marriage didn’t work.
We’re closer now than we’ve been in years. I know that I can talk to her about anything. She’s seen me at my worst, and she knows all of my issues. There’s no judgment, there’s no bullshit. She’s like the sister I never had. She will always have a special place in my heart. She will always be my friend.
Of course, I know we aren’t unique in this situation, but I’m pretty sure it’s more rare than not. But if I can maintain a friendship with my ex-wife, then there’s hope for others. There is much to be gained by keeping your ex-spouse close and regarded as a trusted friend. I have needed her support over the last year, and she was always there when I needed it.
If you are in the same position, I’d love to hear about it. Maybe we can help dispel this notion that once a marriage ends, so should any relationship between the two.