How to treat an ex-lover: It's complicated.

Redi Tlhabi recently read and open letter by a woman addressed to her ex-husband’s new partner here. She asked listeners to share their colourful experiences with exes and received a range of responses.

We highlighted some of the listener’s stories below, but first, here’s what Redi Tlhabi had to say:

You can’t legislate human relations. We don’t know what the things are that draw us to certain people... Relax. People break-up, people make-up. People meet new people.

Redi Tlhabi

Mandla in Fourways says relationships with exes all depend on maturity and boundaries. He said that if exes do choose to be civil, they need to establish limits.

“If we’re done, we’re done. Then there’s no business between us; business is closed.

Mandla, in Fourways

Tarryn in Constantia said that the length and intensity of the former relationship is a major variable for how she treats an ex. She felt that if it wasn’t serious, there is no need to maintain a friendship. Tarryn expressed that if there are other family members involved, she may make a greater effort to be amicable with an ex. She asserted that it’s less about whether or not exes should be friends, but more about the nuances of the situation.

There are reasons and there are bonds that have been made over time

Tarryn, in Constantia

Matilda in Mondeor, who is twice divorced, said that she and her new partner were very good friends with her first ex-husband. Matilda also mentioned that she and her current partner frequent her second ex-husband's home for family visits.

We are friends because we found a way of making it work for all of us, and for our children and grandchildren

Matilda, in Mondeor

Matthew in Germiston called in to share his situation. He said his fiancé did not appreciate the fact that his ex's family made contact with him, albeit to arrange a meeting with his child from the previous relationship. He said it was a difficult situation.

I’ve had a wonderful relationship with my exes. So I’m very happy, I love my exes!

Anne, in Randburg

Redi Tlhabi hosts an open line for listeners to call in every weekday between 09:00 and 12:00.


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