Men Who Are Friends With Their Ex-Wives Make Me Nervous

Some years ago, I found myself once again single and trying to find guys to date. Ugh, just put a hot poker in my eye. I'm sure there are plenty of good men out there, but absolutely none of them were on the dating site I selected to start my dating journey. Well, except one guy. Let's call him Jim. Jim was cute, witty, gainfully employed, and had 2-year-old daughter. He was also divorced. Which would explain why he was on a dating site. But there was just one problem -- he was still very amicable pals with his ex-wife.

He seemed eager to assure me that his wife, whom he'd divorced a year ago, was a cool woman and they still got along well. No doubt he didn't want me to think that I'd get mired in some kind of bitter divorce muck. And I totally appreciated it.

But the more he assured me about their fabulous relationship, the more doubts began to sprout in my mind. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't nervous about their relationship. I didn't worry that he was still in love, or that she was, or that they'd get back together -- they had just sold their home and that seemed like a lot of trouble to go through if they still wanted to work it out -- but I began to wonder why they didn't work it out.

Especially since they'd just had a child. If they still got along, still cared about each other, and both loved their kid -- why not plow through whatever rough patch they hit?

I began to wonder, frankly, if they'd just gotten divorced out of boredom, or maybe because the baby had put a crimp in their sex life. Which made me wonder if this guy was the type who was gonna flee when the going got a little tough.

More From The Stir: 5 Types of Guys You're Stuck Dating After 40

Of course, there's no way I could know everything. And he could have been concealing some vital information since we were still early days. Maybe she had an affair. Maybe she was a drug addict. Who knows.

I never asked the reasons for his divorce, I felt it was too early for that, but he volunteered that at some point he felt like he was living with a "friend" instead of a lover.

Doesn't everyone feel like that eventually? Especially after a baby, when everyone is tired and overwhelmed?

I just felt like if they still liked each other, there was a chance, and with a young kid, they should have tried harder.

As it turned out, I didn't have to worry about his character or his ability to stick things out because we quickly decided he lived too far away from me to make a relationship work.

But I was a bit relieved. Because a man who still cares so much for his ex -- but not enough to stay in his marriage and raise their child together -- is a man that makes me a bit nervous.

Do you think if you still like your spouse but aren't passionate about him or her anymore you should try to make it work if there are kids involved?


Image via TobyOtter/Flickr

exes, dating, divorce


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Bruic... Bruickson

I think you overanalyzed things. I mean if I were to date someone divorced (which wouldn't happen since I am married) I would think that would be an ideal situation. I would rather be with someone who was friendly with his ex than have to deal with drama.

kisse... kisses5050

Exactly... a man that thinks it is going to be alll whawm bam fireworks sexy time lover  forever is a man who has a problem with reality and will not ever be satisfied. A relationship grows and you should be living with your best friend... the worst relationships are the ones where you are living with a lover and not a friend...that is someone you do not want to have kids with....

You can turn a friend into a lover.... but a lover into a true friend..never

nonmember avatar Jesse

"They should have tried harder."
You are judging him too quickly. Not everybody agrees it's best to stick it out for the kids. What is a friendly, safe relationship now could grow into a pit of anger and resentment in ten years. I think it's best to not let that kind of relationship set the bar for a child. One could even argue it's best for them both to give themselves another chance to find the right partner before the child grows old enough to know any different. And being friends with the mother of your two-year-old is not creepy or wrong. It is commendable and the right way to bring up a child, whether they are married or not.


Love the child more than you hate each other comes to mind. If they have a friendly divorce good for them. I'd be worried if the exes were still friendly without kids.

nonmember avatar Friendly Ex

While I agree with the comments above mine concerning it's better to get along with the ex than the drama and early judgment, etc., I'm from the other side of the coin.

I'm an ex-wife who gets along with her ex-husband and we divorced over 5 years ago. The majority of the men I have dated since my divorce react that this is a negative thing .. most were surprised that there wasn't some sort of drama or negativity with my ex but we are friends and chose to take the higher road of peace. (It's not like we hangout together!) It just came across that this was a threat to some of the men I had dated. While I understand the writer's point-of-view, she read too much into it and judged too quickly.

nonmember avatar mel

I agree with you . There is more to that then meets the eye and you are smart to be nervous.

Punch... Punchyobuns

My ex husband and I get along fabulously, because we're adults with kids together. Deep down I hate him and he destroyed my life, but I don't have issues getting along with anyone.

nonmember avatar Suzanne

I see what she's saying. It was very important to me when I met my current husband to know he'd tried as hard to keep his family together as I did. I don't think this is judgemental, I don't care, really, what anyone else does with their life or marriage, except in this instance, where it's someone I see as a potential partner.

I would wonder why, if they were both reasonable people who had loved each other at some point, they wouldn't have tried harder to get that spark back. Especially since such a young child was involved.

I obviously don't think that every marriage is going to work, or that if things are truly bad you should stick around just for the kids, but I like knowing my husband takes the promises he made to me and our family seriously.

Billi29 Billi29

Wow really? i agree with the first commentor she way overanalyzed it. My ex husband and i are still friends took a little to get there we have a 5 year old together, and it's nice we can discuss her without wanting to kill each other. He's not my best friend but still a friend. I'm having surgery in a few weeks he's coming over ot my place ot get her on and off hte bus being i'll be at hte hospital. We didn't stay together because there were things we couldn't work past. it wasn't because he didn't want too it was because at some point you need to stop screaming at each other and just agree it's not healthy for your child.  just cause were friends tho don't mena there would ever be anything ever again!!!!! 

Randi... Randijt154

My ex (8 years married, 3 divorced) is one of my very closest friends. Things happened in our marriage that I couldn't get over. He's a good man that made awful, hurtful, selfish choices. Our daughter is amazing and loves her daddy very much. We are still a family, we just have a different shape than most. I think he'll be an incredible partner to someone else. I think he learned from his mistakes.

1-10 of 20 comments 12 Last