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Post-divorce friendship or 'no contact'?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Cheating, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 July 2011) 4 Answers - (Newest, 7 July 2011)
A female United States age , anonymous writes:

My exH and I have known each other for 20 years of which 18 we were married. We had a very close relationship and considered each other best friends. Money, material things, and flaunt have always been very important to him as it gives him power. His dad had strong narcissistic tendencies and so does he.

My ex started risky investing and got us into huge debt. At about this time, he had an affair with someone we both knew. It was full of hurtful lies and deceitful manipulation and incurred more expense to impress the partner. After 6 months, I told him to leave, he begged to come back, and I let him but told him if he did it again, I wouldn't stay married. 2 years later, the same thing happened except this time he moved out with her. I divorced him a half a year ago. He bought a business with her, they moved across the country and 2 years later, are still living together.

He still sends flowers and calls, to chat and tell me he eventually wants to come back but he cannot because he does not have enough money to move back and support himself (he knows I will not let him move back in with me). In the back of my mind, I believe he wants to come back or he wants to keep me on the sideline until he decides. Is it possible to remain friends or would that be unhealthy in order for me to move on? It hurts to know he chose to be with someone else and I wonder if I should go cold-turkey with no contact?

View related questions: affair, best friend, debt, divorce, flowers, money, move on, moved out

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 July 2011):

you are now in your 50s...........why are u throwing away your life on this worthless man??????

you gave so much, now you are you are still giving.......

TIME TO STOP!!!!!

get rid of this man once and for all.

hun, dont waste any more time waiting and hoping.

heal. move on and go write the rest of your staory.......with another man.

LoveGirl

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A female reader, chocoholicforever United States +, writes (6 July 2011):

he cheated on you, lied to you, got you into debt, then left you for someone else, now he's still living with her yet tells you he "eventually wants to come back"? why are you even entertaining his "proposal"?

I think you should end all contact with him. It's hard to remain friends with someone who has betrayed you, lied and deceived you (and more than once too) and who even now is trying to act as if none of that happened or wasn't that big of a deal.

Ask yourself what you mean by being "friends" with him, after all he's done. What kind of a friendship do you envision this to be? You could be friends with him in an arms length sort of way, like some distant cousin perhaps, but I dont' see how you could not be harboring extremely negative feelings towards him. Also, since you only divorced him half a year ago, ask yourself if your willingness to stay friends is more of clinging to something familiar in the midst of divorce upheaval and not because you truly would value his friendship, or value him as a friend and vice versa.

Maybe at some point in the future when you've healed more fully from the divorce and re-adjusted and re-stabilized your life , then you can decide if you want to allow him in your life as a 'friend', and what that would mean. but right now you should probably focus on moving on, and cutting off all contact would probably really help with that. (or rather, NOT cutting off contact and staying "friends" for now would probably hinder that)

You can tell yourself - and him - that you're not ready to think about whether you can be friends now, but in the future you'll revisit the idea.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 July 2011):

I think remaining friends would be completely natural and good, considering you spent so much time together. But it doesn't sound like he is talking friendship...it sounds like he wants to somehow pick up where he left you hanging. That's not healthy for you at all, and I would not allow that based on how manipulative he sounds. He is an "acquirer". He acquires things to feel better, and it sounds like he treats people as acquired things...a "business venture" if you will. Love is not a business...it is love.

Move on to find a soulful, heartfelt love. If a friendship is in the works, it will find you both...no need to search for it or create it. Let it happen...but let it happen on YOUR terms.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (6 July 2011):

aunt honesty agony auntIf am honest with you I think the best thing that you can do is to cut all contact with him. It sounds like he is very confused and doesn't know what he wants. It sounds like he wants to keep the both of you in the pipeline as he cannot chose between the both of you. Being friends with him will never work it will only prolong your pain honey. He done an awful thing and I really could never see it working out with you both. Your trust in him must be gone completely and I think you could never be happy with him again because it would always be in the back on of your mind wondering if he is still in contact with this other woman. I think the healthiest thing that you can do is to tell him to leave you alone and move on with your life. Yes I understand that 18 years is a very long time and some part of you will always probably love him but he done an awful thing to you and now you are left to pick up the pieces. It will take time to get over him properly but in time you will feel ready to move on again. Just give yourself that freedom to recover.

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