Duchess Digest / The Ex Files, Part 1

divorceduchessTo date or not to date your ex? That is the question.

Okay, it’s not what Shakespeare originally intended, but isn’t it the dilemma we’ve all come face-to-face with at some point in our lives?

I have been very much thrown back into the mix with my ex. Make that ex-husband – not just simple an “ex” – does that take things to a different level? Nine years of life together that ended last spring after the relationship broke down. Nine years of inside jokes, travel, love, but more then anything, friendship. Ours was not a messy divorce with tears,
judges, bitterness and fighting. Ours was a few months of quiet after I left, followed by a gentle rebuilding of what was and has always been one of the greatest friendships of my life.

With his father’s recent incurable cancer and brain tumor diagnosis, followed by his passing last weekend, we have come back together in a fairly intense way. Having not seen one another in almost a year we now find ourselves living together as hospice is paid for, estate paperwork is sorted through, burial arrangements are made, obituaries are written and a wake is planned. My departure from this household companion position is unknown; which means the proximity to relationship can only continue as my presence here remains.

Our conversation a few nights ago went like this:

Ex: “What if you stayed?”

Me: “Until when?”

Ex: “Until whenever, like really stayed and tried this out again.”

Me: “Hmmmm . . .”

It’s not that I’m opposed to the idea – it’s just, does this ever work?

When I stay present in the moment it seems like things have changed with him, with both of us. Our reasons for divorce were never disagreement, infidelity or anger. They were based off of workaholic tendencies which kept him in a state of constant stressful, incredibly dangerous (nine months a year in Baghdad, for nearly five years!) conditions that further led to bad coping techniques. With that job no longer a part of his life and a year plus of life on his own (not to mention of year of life on my own – and some adequate feasts of humble pie); things seem calm now.

Markedly different. And while this relationship doesn’t get the 110% elation that my last “relationship” had, it equally does not come with the marked crash, crippling heartache and devastating disappointment of failure that were the hallmarks of the last relationship either.

I’d say it’s a 93%. Not 110%, but still an A.

Is that enough?

What do you say ladies? Do we give our ex another shot when the parting
terms were good? Or is this grounds for disaster every time?

–Jill Brown

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com


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