My Ex is Dating my Friend! How to Handle it and How to NOT Go Insane


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By Jackie Pilossoph, Divorced Girl Smiling Editor-in-Chief

There are a few different instances that happened during the time I was newly separated that caused me to classify myself as temporarily psychotic, one of those being when I figured out “my ex is dating my friend!”

I seriously felt like I was going to go insane. Here was a woman who I thought was my good girlfriend. We had gotten together a few times and I had told her things–personal things about my ex and our relationship, why I was getting divorced, etc. etc. I shared things with her and trusted her. Weeks later, I saw my ex leaving her house. It was like a stab in the heart. Not really because of him, but because of her. Utter shock and disbelief. I felt like I’d been burned. I felt stupid. I felt like a naïve chump who was the subject of their laughter.

After those feelings came anger. Immense fury like a caged tiger. I wanted to punch both of them! How could they do this to me?! I hated them and everyone else who I thought could possibly know about their relationship. I felt like a victim of deceit. I thought about them giggling and laughing and kissing and being blissfully happy.

The relationship lasted for about 6 months (I think) and years later, I’ve come to realize how silly and stupid I was for having the reaction I did.

I think, “My ex is dating my friend” is very common. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips on how to handle it and how NOT to go insane:

1. Your ex and “your friend” are the ones who should feel stupid, NOT YOU! What they are doing is really uncool and unacceptable. YOU have done nothing to warrant their behavior.

2. Their relationship is working because of the “scandalous and forbidden” element. That’s half the fun for them. When that wears off, and everyone in the community moves on to the next piece of gossip, and your ex and your friend really get to know each other, the appeal will fade.

3. He or she could be doing this to you to act out his or her passive aggressive anger. How sick is that? Don’t even put yourself into that venom. Remove yourself from it and rise above.

4. Grit your teeth, accept it, act classy and show grace to the outside world. I remember people in my neighborhood would tell me they saw them out and I would seriously cringe, and then go home and cry. The people weren’t trying to be cruel, by the way. Make sure not to react in front of others because it could get back to your ex and your friend. Plus, when the relationship ends, the only thing people will remember is how you reacted.

5. DO NOT make a scene and get into a girl fight with the girl. It’s unproductive, psychotic and immature.You don’t’ have to be overly friendly to your ex and your friend. In fact, if you are a little icy that’s okay. Just don’t go postal.

6. Call your REAL girlfriends. The fact that this girl did this to you is probably making you feel insecure about girl friendships. So, call your girls up! Call the ones you know are your true friends. They will support you more than you could have possibly imagined. They will assure you that they are your best friends and that you are loved.

7. The relationship probably won’t last. What are the chances they are going to end up happily ever after? Especially if he is newly separated. If it does, you can handle it because of tip #8.

8. Focus on your own life. It doesn’t matter what HE is doing or what SHE is doing. SHE obviously is a bad friend and you and he are getting a divorce, regardless of her, right? So, let them have their fun and concentrate on making your own life better. Focus on your kids, your career, and your love life, if you choose. A good friend used to say to me, “You’re on your own road. Travel it!”

Lastly, if you are on the other end of this, meaning if you are the one who starts dating your friend’s ex, PLEASE handle it this way. Confront your friend and apologize. Say something like, “This isn’t personal. We really like each other. I hope you understand that we don’t want to hurt you. I’m so so sorry.”

She will still be upset, but at least you’re thinking of your friend’s feelings. It’s an unselfish act. If she goes off on you, at least you can say you handled it the best way you could have.

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15 Responses to “My Ex is Dating my Friend! How to Handle it and How to NOT Go Insane”

  1. Sheila

    My 10 year old son has requested to go live with his Dad. Our divorce is not final yet, but 10 months ago when he moved out I had to move 3 hours away in order to keep my job.
    I feel as though I am giving my son away and it is killing me. His grades have dropped and he just got suspended from school for the first time for fighting. My head tells me maybe he needs his father right now, but my heart screams no. Please help me understand.

    Reply
  2. Kelly

    This is funny, ironic funny. My divorce was caused by my then husband cheating with a good girlfriend and then using another good girlfriend as his sounding board. Talk about betrayal. I still don’t know who to trust as he has come out smelling like a rose. I have lost several friends over this as they have chosen him in this divorce. Where no sides should have every been taken.

    Reply
  3. Samantha

    My husband of 10 years and my best friend left me for each other. She was like a member of our family and was the children’s director of our church. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt, and it’s been really confusing and upsetting for my children. I really wish he’d chosen anyone but her to betray us with.

    Reply
  4. Nicole Geiger

    I feel very blessed to have found this article. I’m newly divorced and my ex started dating a good friend prior to our divorce. I’ve acted irrationally at the thought that my son would form a motherly relationship with her. I felt at fault and betrayed. The article made me feel not so alone. I’ve got this! My son will figure it out without me!

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      That’s up to you. I have to know more before I can offer advice. If there are kids involved than you probably have to communicate with your ex. As for the friend, I can’t say for sure, but I would probably be cordial (for the kids sake) and not go beyond that.

      Reply
  5. Ann

    Your kids will figure it out. It may take years but they will get it. How pathetic are these people to leave their spouse for a neighbor/ friend . The ex’s that are together should feel like idiots!!

    Reply
  6. Justin

    My not yet ex wife is dating my best friend of 20 years after two weeks he has already said he loves her. She told me two days after I had a traumatic wreck and they have been talking ever since and I’m a fucking mess

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      I am so sorry!!! Please breathe. This will pass. Try to remember that the two of you are on separate roads now and you should focus only on yourself and your kids. As for your friend, I am absolutely disgusted by him. As for your wife, she might think she is in love, but part of her is only trying to get back at you–subconsciously even. It won’t last. But I get it. It’s brutal.

      Reply
    • Anne

      Your life will only get better as you realize that you deserve so much more. Choose your next girlfriend as a person who will treat you as well as you are willing to treat her. You have a bright future. Just get through this one day at a time and remember that you are deserving of better people in your life. Take care of yourself, exercise, do your best to sleep, stay away from addictions and allow yourself to grieve. Each day will improve and you will see the sunshine again. Hang in there! It really sucks now, but this is the worst of it. It will get better as you take care of yourself. You can make it.

      Reply
  7. Carol

    My ex-husband that I have been supporting both emotionally and financially while he was going through a rough few years (I supported him because we have a child) just informed me that he and my friend have decided to start dating. The worst part is that I am independent contractor and get abut 80% of my business from her. How do I handle this?

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      What a nightmare. I am so so sorry. Please don’t lose her business. In other words, keep business separate if you can. You kind of have to hold in your feelings if you want to keep the business. That’s awful. The biggest advice I can give is, go out and find other jobs so you don’t need her business. Shame on them. I’m so sorry.

      Reply
  8. LD

    There are many reasons people have a romantic relationship, and it’s short-sighted to angrily assume your ex, or friend, is being intentionally hurtful. Furthermore, labeling a union as “scandalous and forbidden” between an ex and a friend seems a convenient excuse the hurt party uses to remain a victim. (This is presuming there was nothing untoward before the divorce.)
    I divorced after 9 years, and the last 3 were awful. I’d already fallen out of love, grieved, and was ready to be myself again. My best male friend was there for me, impartially, during the most stressful moments, as he was for my ex.
    It was during those moments of deep conversation, reflection and quiet understanding that we connected on a different level. After everything was final we had a ‘Harry Met Sally’ moment. This is a real selfless love we have for one another, not a childish retaliation or a rebound. I know this is painful for my ex, and I don’t enjoy that. I also know that if he has loved me, he will see that we are all in a better place mentally to move forward and grow.
    It’s a good idea to try and see past our own hurt, take a deep breath, and explore the possibilities of a situation. With understanding and patience, for ourselves and others, life’s trials can be positive and enriching. Keep a level head.

    Reply

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