So what's a girl to do? Do a Google search. But Google didn't give me anything on this sort of subject matter. So I went to the next best thing to Google ... Sarah Storer, Blogger of The Naked Redhead.
Here's what she has to say!
First, while it might seem like the "adult" thing to do, I don't feel like anyone HAS to be friends or make nice with the ex or the ex's new partner. I'm not saying you have to be rude, but you do have to do YOU, and sometimes doing you means that you can't have the ex in your life, and I get that. Considering that an ex can literally have the same addictive effects on your psyche as cocaine or nicotine addiction, in some cases, it's highly advisable that you stay "cold turkey" on your ex. So, for any of you out there wondering if you "HAVE TO" be friends with the ex and the ex's new squeeze, no, you don't HAVE to, especially if you're unsure if it'll be a truly healthy decision for you.
But let's say you do want to be friends with either the ex or the ex's new partner (or both)...this situation isn't easy, and it's going to require a little extra on your part by way of graciousness and patience, not because your ex's new partner will be particularly difficult to work with, but because these situations are bound to be chock full of emotion and delicate social nuance.
For example, you might WANT to have a bitch-fest about your ex, and the new partner may actually encourage or join in ("Oh my god, he ALWAYS loses his keys! You're right!), but trust me when I say you will lose in this situation, because you'll be the bitter harpy who still can't forget his lack of responsibility while she gets to go home and bone him and his irresponsible ass at the end of the day.
So here's how I've handled it with my ex-husband and his fiance...hopefully it'll work for you!
1. Give up any bitterness about your ex
Like I mentioned before, this situation is going to be fraught with enough emotion already without you still hating on your ex. So you may need to go through a hearty period of emotional reckoning before you can be friends with your ex's new partner. For me, I had to get to the point where, no matter what, I truly wished the best for my ex. I genuinely wanted (and still want) for him to be happy, and I had to be that way before I could even approach an acquaintance-ship with the ex. Remember, they're a team, and you'll not likely be able to hold any bitterness or ill-will up against their united front. So let it go, and get to the point where you can be happy for him, even if it means his happiness is with someone else.
2. Be prepared for awkwardness to start
It's likely that your first meeting with the ex's new partner isn't going to be terribly comfortable. After all, you've both seen his penis at one point or another. You both know exactly how he smells in the morning, what he likes to eat for lunch, and any weird quirks he has...and one of you probably thinks all that is cute and lovable while one of you is all like, "Ewwwww."
So be prepared to have a few moments of, "Oh hey, we both know he cries after sex. Weird," thoughts while you find whatever the common ground is that the two of you uniquely share outside of the relationship with the ex.
In my situation, we both had to figure out that we both enjoyed working out, and we both had some crazily unmanageable curly hair. And yes, that seems a little shallow to base a new friendship/relationship on, but you gotta start somewhere.
3. Don't assume or expect...anything
So let's say you are able to forge a working relationship with the ex. You like each other, even. And maybe she's even more than willing to pull you more deeply into her life and social circles. Awesome...just don't assume that this means you get to really be a part of everything.
For instance, my ex's fiance and I now have what I would call "warm regard" for each other. I like her as a person, she likes me as a person and our like for each other is apart from our common bond with the man we both know. We've hung out at bars, done some yoga together, even hung out with mutual friends with the ex there.
But I expect nothing from our friendship, and I am deferential to her need for territory and space when it comes to their life together. I never assume that I'll be invited out with them, or that she would want me involved in any part of planning or talking about their future together. In fact, I'm even very careful when we're all hanging out together and my ex wants to have a conversation with just me.
Because, again, I genuinely want happiness for both of them, and I may not factor into their personal equation for happiness. I am owed nothing from either of them, regardless of my history with him, and I do not expect her to "just get over it," if she should ever feel uncomfortable or jealous or whatever.
So that's about it! Just take it all one step at a time, and if for any reason during the process you feel like forging ahead with the friendship/relationship is unhealthy for you, then graciously back out. Nothing wrong with guarding your own sanity here, at all.
Check back for my next post on Something Unexpected Happened ...