DOES RELATING TO ONE EX AFTER MARRIAGE GOOD ENOUGH? IT MAY COUNT TO…
DOLAPO AKITOYE writes about the suitability or otherwise of relating with one’s ex after marriage
It is a thing of joy to be married to the person one loves, but some partners, who, despite being married, are still tied to their exes. They just cannot let go. Rather than break such bond, they continually give reasons why they cannot do away with such relationships. Some of them even say that the relationships are harmless and their partners should not lose sleep over them.
This situation is one that many people face in modern society. Keeping in touch with an ex is a big issue because people do it for several reasons.
A woman, only identified as Dupe, still keeps in touch with her ex because she has a baby for him. She told SUNDAY PUNCH, “I keep in touch with him as a result of friendship and also because I have a child for him. However, that does not give him the right to call me anyhow or at his will.”
She added that they could not discuss anything else other than the welfare of their child, stating that her ex was also aware of the boundary.
Asked if the situation was so vital to warrant keeping in touch with her ex, Dupe said her husband understood. She said, “My spouse trusts me and understands the situation.”
Some people believe that there is nothing bad in staying in touch with one’s ex-lover after the relationship ended, especially if it didn’t end on a bad note. They, however, noted that it could be a problem if either or both of them were married and refused to carry their partners along.
Another woman, Mrs. Peju Osazuwa, told SUNDAY PUNCH that she kept in touch with her ex out of friendship. She noted, “We were friends before we started dating and when the relationship did not work, we returned to our former state as friends.”
Asked how her spouse felt about it, she stated that he was indifferent to it because of his trust in her.
But there are those who believe that keeping in touch with an ex-lover after marriage is not proper or advisable.
Speaking on the matter, a psychologist, Prof. Oni Fagboungbe, said every human being had emotions capable of provoking jealousy.
The don stated, “Human beings have emotions. We have feelings; so, it can easily provoke a behaviour amounting to jealousy. It can cause a lot of psychological dislocations such as mistrust, suspicion, loss of confidence and so on.
“Suspicion is very delicate in a marriage because it will breed mistrust and where there is mistrust, it may have a spiral effect on other things. It can also affect matrimonial effect.”
While there are some spouses who do not mind their partners maintaining a relationship or friendship with their exes, there are others who are not comfortable with the idea.
Mr. Okechukwu Ochuko keeps in touch with his ex-lover, but he told our correspondent that his wife was not comfortable with it. He, however, said he would continue talking to her ex as long as “it is just to say hello because she had friends before I met her.”
It is the same with Mr. Love Itseghosimhe who said he maintained friendship with his ex because of the mutual trust they shared when they were together.
“There is nothing personal in the friendship. My wife might not be too comfortable with the idea but there is a level of understanding between my wife and me. Most importantly, I don’t allow anything affect my marriage. My conversation with my ex is on a platonic level with nothing deep attached,” he added.
A marriage counsellor, Bose Fawehinmi, noted that it was not advisable to maintain friendship with one’s ex after marriage.
Fawehinmi said, “It is not advisable to keep in touch with a previous partner because if you have said a relationship is over, you being in contact means that both of you probably have something going. It may not be emotional or romantic but it is not right.
“Your life does not depend on that relationship. You need to let it go. Whatever it is that you feel is a benefit you want to derive by still being in touch with the person, you can sacrifice it for the peace of the new relationship you are in. This is because your partner is going to feel insecure.”
She added that being friends with an ex could lead to morally questionable behaviour without being done intentionally.
“It can actually be an avenue for you to start something again because an old friend is always somebody you feel safe with. If you have issues and your spouse is not able to offer you comfort or understanding at the time, that person will seem to be just there.
“So, it’s easy for you to run back and divulge your issues to the person. Of course, it could be friendly and ‘no strings attached’ but it could lead to emotions running wild again.”
According to Fawehinmi, keeping in touch with an ex-lover can leave room for comparison.
She stated, “Another reason why you should not maintain a relationship or a friendship with an ex is that it can give you the opportunity to keep comparing your ex with your partner. The person you are currently with will be different from your ex; so, the more you see your ex, the proximity will remind or reinforce what you are missing.”
She advised that in order to keep the peace in one’s marriage and home, it was important to fully detach from one’s ex.
She added, “If you are with someone new, be fully committed to that person and don’t be playing around with emotions. You might say you don’t want to feel anything for this person but what if the person is feeling something for you? You can only control yourself but cannot control the other person’s feelings.
“Also, that person’s relationship suffers because if the partner of that person sees that he or she is still talking to the ex, it might cause problems.”
Saying nobody would welcome his or her partner’s ex hanging around a marriage, Fawehinmi stated if one didn’t want to be a homebreaker, the best thing would be to leave one’s ex alone for peace to reign.