A friend of mine, Eddie is on the best terms with his ex-girlfriend Nicole. Or vice versa. I should write the above sentence this way: Nicole is on the best terms with her ex-boyfriend Eddie. They are very good friends despite breaking up, seeing other people and eventually marrying other people. They are such friends that when one or the other has a problem or is in trouble, they look to each other for help.
I am amazed and full of admiration (and not a little envy) at how two people could continue to be close friends after breaking up. My admiration stems from
1. they must have broken up in a very gentleman-like way. Civilized, no acrimony, no recriminations.
2. they themselves must be pretty matured in their outlook to be civilized about the breakup, yet, still have the basic decency to care for the other as a true friend might.
My husband may not have such a friendly relationship with his ex-girlfriends as Eddie and Nicole, neverthless, he could meet any of his ex-es in a pretty friendly way. He could cheek-kiss them, hug them, enquire solicituously after their welfare (and not be given the cold shoulder).
I am filled with envy because I don't have that relationship with any of my ex-es. I'd rather not meet them and if I do accidentally bump into them, it's awkwardness all around. I am filled with anxiety about this seeming deficiency in myself:
1. Did I break up badly with them? Damn, the answer is Yes.
2. Am I not matured enough or do I not have enough decency to care what has become of them in their lives apart from me? The answer?
I am reminded of a quarrel I had with one of my ex-boyfriends (when he wasn't an ex, of course.) We had been invited to a wedding party, he turned it down when he found out his ex-girlfriend would be there. When I asked why, he said he didn't want to hurt her by showing himself with another woman. I couldn't understand that line of reasoning, I still don't today, 24 years later. He then accused me of cruel intentions, that I wanted to thumb my nose over her loss.
Therefore, with this particular ex of mine, I think I'm quite justified in not wanting to meet again...so as not to be cruel to him!