Staying Friends With An Ex When You're Over 40

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Being friends with an ex-husband or boyfriend is easier when you're older, but there are rules.

Once upon a time, he may have been your knight in shining armor. But now that armor is tarnished. Or, if you didn't view him quite that romantically, at least he was Mr. Wonderful. But, as they say, that was then and this is now.

"Now" may be only a few short years after the beginning of the marriage (or perhaps this is not your legal husband but rather a Significant Other or serious boyfriend we are talking about), but is more likely a lot further on into the relationship). So here you are breaking up with the man you thought was so wonderful. In fact, you could still list the qualities he had that attracted you to him, and if you were to be honest, you'd have to agree that he still has most, if not all of them. ThirdAge: Boomers go to Flirt School

But maybe he has other qualities that offset the good ones. Or maybe he's changed in certain other respects. Or maybe he fell out of love with you, and he was the one to leave...or perhaps he cheated on you, or has developed a problem with alcohol or substance abuse or gambling that makes staying with him intolerable.

Whatever the problem, the relationship is no longer working for one or the other of you, or for both.

But has he really changed totally? If he's no longer someone you want to be married to or involved with...or someone who wants to stay married to or involved with you...does that totally disqualify him from having a good-even a friendly-relationship with you?

To begin with, especially if this was your husband, the chances are good that you have one or more kids together. And even if this was a relationship entered into only in recent years, and there are no kids, there are other things you have in common that might tie you together. Friends. Perhaps a club membership. Possibly even business interests. ThirdAge: Are Most Men Unfaithful?

But the single thing most likely to tie you together—if you'll let it—is all the great stuff you enjoyed about him in the first place. 

Read the rest on ThirdAge: How To Stay Friends With Your Ex

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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