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Can you be friends with your spouse’s ex?

I left my marriage of twelve years after putting up with an abusive husband. I’m into another relationship with another man who is also divorced.…

I left my marriage of twelve years after putting up with an abusive husband. I’m into another relationship with another man who is also divorced. My intention was to remain single, but somehow we met and started a relationship which is heading towards marriage. My kids like him. He has grown kids. The only problem is that his ex-wife wants us to be friends.”
Now, while we are bound to meet friends everywhere and at every point in our lives, it’s weird when a friend turns out to be the ex-wife of your husband-to-be and it certainly sends warning signals.
Aisha Musa, 34, and a mother of four, says she could talk to said ex-wife out of courtesy.  “But you cannot take her to be an actual friend in the sense of the word. What would you talk about, anyways? How you’re enjoying marital bliss with her ex who is now your husband or how their marriage failed? Please, stay away,” she said. “Love his kids just like you love your kids, period. Leave his ex-wife out of the mix and look forward to giving yourself a second chance to finding love,” she added.
Joy Ononye, a civil servant, is totally against any kind of friendship with a spouse’s ex.  “What on earth does she hope to achieve? She should stay away from the woman as far as she can because she most likely is up to some mischief. Better still, she should ask her husband-to-be if he is comfortable with it, and then act based on what he says.”
Likewise, Jemilah Salim, a 40-year-old housewife and mother of four, is also against such a friendship. “It sounds fishy. No matter what, do not allow opportunity for frequent meetings between your spouse and his ex. Men are moved by what they see. Her wish for friendship could be for genuine reasons or for selfish reasons too, so care needs to be taken.”
On the other hand, Mariamme Saidu, 34, sees nothing wrong with it. The caterer says: “If her kids are young, maybe she wants to know more about the woman that is going to be raising them in tandem with their dad. If that is the case, then that is OK and wise of the ex. But if it a friendship based on something else, then the new wife needs to be careful.”
James Olubunmi, 37, and a father of two, feels it’s a precarious situation, with the future danger involving a woman who might feel you stole her joy and may seek vengeance by getting close.  
Mercy Marvin, a mother, says she’s best friends with her husband’s ex-wife. “In fact, we exchange social engagements. My husband was comfortable with it from the start, as he’s from another culture. At first, family and friends thought I was crazy and I understood their fears, being Africans and all that.”
Wasilat Ogunbunmi, 42, is a teacher and she says for the sake of the children and peace in the home, no relationship should be established with the husband-to-be’s ex. “No one can really say what separated them and if the woman is still interested in him, she may do anything, even if it means getting close to the current wife. She should be avoided, even if in a diplomatic way.”
Many argue that the past is past and has a way of contaminating the present. Many suggested that the new wife should stay from the ex as far as possible. But how many have put themselves in her shoes? She is the one going to be in charge of the children and what treatment or what good relationship can she get from the children if she isn’t in a good relationship with their mum?  
But Marriage Counsellor, Hajiya Maryam Abdullahi, says occasional chats and discussions with a spouse’s ex cannot be avoided, especially if there are children involved. “Matters concerning the children will allow the separated couple have discussions once in a while, and as the woman in charge you wouldn’t want to oppose that. If you do, you will be seen as a bad person. But if there aren’t children involved, there is actually no basis for the friendship, only if you want trouble for yourself. She should move on while you concentrate on a future with your new husband.”

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