Can You Be Friends With Your Ex?
Here, 5 indicators you can be friends with your ex-partner.
In a perfect world ex-spouses would be friends. They’d be kind and understanding, extending sincere best wishes as their ex-partners moved on.
Probably, but it is possible if certain conditions exist, according to Dr. Guy Grenier, a London, Ont.-based clinical psychologist and author. “There are things that are good predictors and things that are bad predictors,” he says. “But the more good predictors that are absent, the less likely it is that it’s going to happen.”
Here are Dr. Grenier’s top five good predictors you can be friends with your ex:
1) A relatively non-acrimonious separation and divorce: If your break-up was a vicious and pull-no-punches process, forget it. If, as Dr. Grenier puts it, it was more a matter of, “well, we’ve grown apart and we both still have lots of life to live so why don’t we call it a day?” then that’s one good sign a friendship is plausible.
2) There are no ongoing issues: If you’re still arguing about the family cottage, the family business, who got what – or anything else for that matter – these will likely remain bones of contention and obstacles to you becoming friends.
And here are Dr. Grenier’s top two bad predictors:
1) An affair was the root cause and he/she is the ex’s new partner: If your ex is now in a relationship with the person she/he had an affair with, well, forget it. “But if the ex is now with a different person, a person subsequent to the affair, then there’s a little higher probability it could work,” says Dr. Grenier.
2) If you’re a grudge holder: If either of you (or your new partners) is really good at holding on to resentment, kiss the thought of being friends goodbye.
“For the most part you usually see acrimony or détente among exes,” Dr. Grenier says. “Usually the exes and their new partners will show up at a graduation or a wedding and there’s an agreement that everybody is going to be civil, but there isn’t any going out for drinks afterwards. There isn’t socializing.”