Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
My ex and I are very good friends. He relocated to the city where I live
after having a major heart attack. We live very close and are good
friends, enjoying meals together several times a week and sharing
responsibility for our pooch, which lives primarily with me. But now he
is in a new relationship with a woman whom I know from synagogue.
There’s nothing about her that I dislike. In fact, I’ve been social with
her in groups in the past, occasionally going to a movie or the opera
together. But something about seeing them together as a couple rubs
me the wrong way. He and I had made plans for Thanksgiving and a
variety of other events. Now he wants to include her. I don’t want to
be the pissy ex, but I DON’T WANT TO!! What can or should I do?
Eventually either the relationship will dissolve or you will adjust to it.
But in the short run it is natural that you’ll have feelings of anxiety and
jealousy. If your true goal is to remain in his life as both a friend and
an ally, you’re better off acting like a happy friend than a jealous ex.
That’ll feel hard, so use your own friends or your counselor to process
your feelings, not your ex. To him you should be as gracious as
possible, and as supportive of his health and happiness as your facial
expressions and vocabulary will allow. Remember his new beau is also
someone who’s there to help in case of another future health
Do not, repeat not, bad mouth his new sweetie to anyone who might
repeat what you say. Focus on events where you can be with them in
a larger group. Thanksgiving dinner or other dinner parties are good
examples. Avoid being the third wheel alone with them, and be
cautious about anything that might resemble a double date, even if
you start dating someone new yourself. Concentrate on being calm
and relaxed when you are around them. It might take a drink, but be
careful about drink number two, three, or more.