Contributed By Jacklyn F.
One of my female friends broke up with her ex over a year ago. She initiated the break up after feeling unsatisfied with how he was treating her. He didn’t share his feelings, was passive aggressive and was too shy to hang out with her friends. When she wanted to talk about her feelings, or if she would ask him what is wrong, he didn’t want to talk about it. He would talk later. But later would never come. If he were upset about something she did, he would not talk to her about it, but would get back at her in silly petty ways. Yet, after they broke up, she wanted to be friends. However, whenever they were in touch with each other, she was left upset for weeks. So, why did she keep doing that to herself? Her reasoning was that, even though he was her ex, she considered him one of her best friends.
But my relationship with my ex was different. We treated each other with respect and kindness. We talked about how we felt and our break up was an amicable one. We both loved each other but … it just wasn’t a good romantic match. We speak weekly and spend time together a couple of times a month. There is no sexual aspect to our relationship anymore, and that is the way we like it.
But, before I got to this stage, I went through various experiences with exes. My first relationship ended after 8 years and we decided to be friends. But our friend relationship mimicked the romantic one: no involvement in my interests or friends, everything on his schedule, etc. When I moved out of the immediate area, he could never travel to visit me but he could travel father distances to see his other friends.
Another ex of mine treated me poorly. He would put me down and make me feel inadequate. He didn’t do that when we were partners but being his friend made his actions okay in his eyes. Then there was the ex I tried being friends with who kept hitting on me and expecting our sexual relationship to continue.
Why did I bother wanting to remain friends with them?
Will it help me get over my feelings of rejection? Am I hoping we will get back together? Do we think it will help us get over the rejection? Was I looking for a reason for the breakup that made sense? Am I trying to avoid the full pain of the relationship ending? Am I trying to be the bigger person?
I think it might have been a combination of all of these reasons but I can honestly say that my friendship with my most recent ex works for two reasons. Firstly, we treat each other with love, respect and compassion. Secondly, we gave each other space to get over the breakup.
My friend is still trying to be friends with her ex, do you try to be friends with yours? Does it work? We invite you to share you opinions and stories in the box below.