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My Wife and Ex-Wife Are Best Friends! Help!

Surviving scrutiny when it’s two against one

Two engagement ring boxes talk to each other
Matt Chase

My wife, Kerri, sat on the opposite end of the couch, engrossed in her phone.

“Who are you texting?” I blurted.

“Jen,” she said, still tapping at her screen.

Jen is my ex-wife.

Kerri and Jen are best friends. Besties. BFFs. There is not a single day when they aren’t talking or texting or making plans.

It’s a remarried man’s dream and worst nightmare all rolled into one. Because they know things.

There’s frighteningly little research on what it means when your ex and current amours become buddies. Most of the science focuses on whether it’s a good idea to remain friends with somebody when you’ve stopped sleeping with them.

But why the hell would two women who both slept with the same guy (one currently, the other formerly) need to stay in close contact?

My divorce wasn’t acrimonious, but it was still a divorce. Nobody gets a divorce because you and your partner are super-enthused about each other. 

If there was a bad guy in all this, it was probably me. I’m the one who asked to end things. Jen and I had been together for over 20 years, and married for 15. Our two children were 8 and 5 at the time of our separation, and to this day the conversation we had with them tears me apart when I think about it. 

I started dating Kerri in 2010, roughly 18 months after Jen and I separated, and we married in 2013. My wives didn’t start as best friends. Not even close. 

In the beginning, it was mostly sideways glances and head nods. Jen and I share custody of the kids, and whenever she’d drop them off or pick them up, she and Kerri wouldn’t say a word to each other. It was just those nods and glances.

“I wish you and Jen would just talk,” I would tell Kerri. “You have so much in common.”

Yes, I encouraged it. Like an idiot. A few texts here and there about recipes and exercise routines soon evolved into full-on manifestos.


Her phone chirps again. I have a hunch I know what they’re texting. Kerri and I just had a fight over money. Did she text Jen to complain about me?


Now what? Are they discussing my lackluster penis? Is Kerri being made aware of things about me she hasn’t discovered yet? Things I’ve tried to fix since the divorce?

When Kerri and I were first dating, we texted constantly. And they were all aggressively NSFW. But since our marriage, the texts come less often, and they’re less dirty. They usually involve asking if the other person needs anything from the pharmacy.

But Kerri and Jen text constantly. She giggles at her texts like she used to giggle at my texts. There’s an intimacy in their exchanges that makes me feel left out. It’s almost like ...

Holy shit, I’m jealous of my ex-wife

Things could be worse. There could be animosity. The four children in my family all get along and are true brothers and sisters. Jen invites Kerri and the kids over on hot summer days to swim in her pool. She babysits my step kids when Kerri and I need a night out. 

My kids, now both in college, love that their moms are friends. I guess I should try to do the same.


I couldn’t take it anymore. So I did the unthinkable. 

“Are you guys talking about me?” I asked.

Kerri burst into laughter.

“Oh, sweetie, no,” she said, gently brushing a hand against my cheek. “We have way more interesting things to talk about.”


My wife turned to her phone, read the incoming text, and smirked.