12 Women Reveal How They Became Friends With Their Partner's Ex

Wendy Robinson | Mar 16, 2017 Love & Sex
12 Women Reveal How They Became Friends With Their Partner's Ex
Image: iStock.com/lorenzoantonucci

female friendship

Before I met my husband, I'd never dated someone who was divorced. Once I knew we were serious, and I faced the prospect of meeting my partner's ex, I was super nervous. Would it be awkward? Would she hate me? It never really crossed my mind that we could be friends. 

But then I met her and discovered she was smart, pleasant, and a great mom. While we didn't become best buddies, our interactions have always been friendly -- something I feel confident that my stepsons have noticed and appreciated.

There are, of course, plenty of times when being friends with someone who has seen your man naked is just not in the cards. But I talked to 12 women on the surprising, and sometimes funny, reasons that they make being friends with his ex work. (Grab your tissues for #9!)

  • The Face


    "My husband has this cringe face he gets when me and his ex start talking too much about him. I think he'd die if he knew that, yes, we'd talked about what he's like in bed! She makes me laugh, and I'm unclear about why I can't be friends with someone just because she and my husband used to bone. As long as it is all past tense, right?" -- Sheila W., Duluth, Minnesota

  • Stand Together


    "My husband's ex-wife [Jessica] and I had never really connected. We were more like planets that were in the same orbit, I think. And then our lives changed forever when my 7-year-old stepdaughter got diagnosed with a brain tumor. I ended up spending hours in the hospital with Jessica and we came to rely on each other. We all had to stand together to take care of her. 

    "She's 12 now, and she is doing great. And so are Jessica and I. I think we'll be bonded for life. How could be we not?" -- Marianna S., Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Dinner Club


    "We have dinner club once a month with his ex-fiancée and her new husband! We were all friends in college, so it isn't really that weird. Like, if I think about the fact that we've both had sex with my husband, that would be weird. But mostly we just laugh about our college years and eat wings." -- Pamela S., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

    More from CafeMom: 16 Celebrity Exes Who Do Co-Parenting Right

  • Similar Taste


    "My husband and [his] ex own a business together, so it is in everyone's best interests, money and stress wise, if we all get along. She is actually pretty cool. We aren't like BFF, but we can hang out and it is fine. She's smart and we obviously have similar taste in men!" -- Katrina C., Des Moines, Iowa

  • For the Kids


    "I love my stepkids and I feel like loving them means that I need to like and respect their mom. I feel like we're trying to be a new kind of blended family. We are intentional about all of us doing stuff together and for the kids to see us interacting and stuff. It is easier, I think, because their divorce wasn't ugly or mean." -- Bonnie R., Jacksonville, Florida

  • Mommy Dearest


    "I'm going to be kind and friendly to anyone who can help me deal with my mother-in-law! [My husband's ex] Brittany isn't my always my cup of tea, but she is always good for a vent session about Mommy Dearest. Nobody else gets exactly how crazy this woman is." -- Anonymous

    More from CafeMom: 18 Ex-Wives Give Advice to His New Younger Woman (PHOTOS)

  • Pray On It


    "My husband and I met at Bible college. He was dating Jenn then, and they were almost engaged, but then they broke up when she transferred to another school. Then, Matt and I got together. And then, we broke up, and he and Jenn briefly got back together and then broke up. 

    "We eventually got married and a few years ago joined a new church that is pastored by, you guessed it, Jenn's husband. Now, we are in the same Bible study. It could be weird but it isn't. I've prayed on it, and I think we have a lot more in common than just Matt. 

    "It was funny, though, when some of the kids in the youth group figured it out. They were SO weirded out by it. Imagine that -- the pastor's wife had a life before the church!" -- Dionna J., Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • More the Merrier


    "My ex-husband and his new wife, my husband and I, and my husband's ex and her new husband celebrate almost all major holidays together. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, all of them. We never want the kids to have to miss a parent on big moments. So we're all in the 'more the merrier' mode. I'm sure it would be strange for some people to see the three wives in the kitchen cooking and laughing together. But I like it. I'm even meeting them later this week for coffee and Easter dinner planning." -- Audrey B., Chicago, Illinois

  • Lost Love


    "My husband's ex-wife Janea is my best friend. We both loved Rick, and we were both devastated when he was killed by a drunk driver three years ago. Her daughter was 4 and mine was just barely 1 when it happened, and we were drawn to each other in grief. Nobody else really understood what it was like without Rick. He was frustrating and funny and smart and a pain in the ass in equal measures. He had a huge personality and my life is too quiet without him. Janea understands this like nobody else. 

    "Last year, Janea and her daughter moved in with me. We're raising our daughters together, like the sisters they are. I wouldn't have survived these past years without her." -- Anonymous

  • The Mentor


    "Dan's ex is 17 years older than me, and she is basically having my dream career. Thankfully, she is really gracious and has been a mentor of sorts as I try to figure out my career stuff. I think it's proof that women aren't the bitchy backstabbers that people sometimes think we are." -- Beth R., Tucson, Arizona 

    More from CafeMom: 10 Women on the Pros & Cons of Love With a Big Age Gap

  • Best Buddies


    "My daughter is in the same preschool class with my husband's ex-girlfriend's daughter, and they LOVE each other. They are total best buddies, so [his ex and I] ended up getting to know each other via playdates. I think we'll be friends as long as our girls are. We don't actually really talk about the fact that she and Seth used to date. It seems like a lifetime ago." -- Heather H., Lansing, Michigan

  • Sister Friend


    "Of course I'm friends with his ex -- she's my sister! They dated for about six months in high school, and then he and I started dating after college, so they were mostly just a blip on each other's dating radars by that point." -- Irene L., St. Louis, Missouri

    More from CafeMom: Confessions of Women Who've Been Divorced More Than Once

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