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Stay Away From Your Ex if You Value Your Marriage

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I've been reading your column for many years. I'm sure you've had a question similar to mine before, but I'm not sure of the advice you gave.

I want to know what is the harm in staying friends with my ex-boyfriend? We're both from California, but now we are both living in Fayetteville, North Carolina. We dated for two years in high school and ran with the same crowd. We both joined the Army and then went our separate ways.

Maybe we split up because of the distance and the time away from each other while we were both dealing with the stress of being in the Army and being away from home.

I only did one tour and got out, but he's still in the service. I've been married for three years to my husband, who is also in the Army.

I want to be honest with my husband and not hide anything from him. I want him to know that I crossed paths recently with my ex. I don't have a problem with it, but I don't know what I will do if my husband tells me that I can't be friends with him anymore.

-- He's Just a Friend

Dear Just a Friend,

Yeah, that's what everyone says. I'm telling my age, but I also remember the song by Biz Markie, titled "Just a Friend." You are doing the same thing. You are flirting with disaster.

Yes, he is a friend, but you know the truth. The truth is this is someone with whom you still have an emotional and physical attachment.

Your paths have crossed again as they eventually would because you are both from the same town and now you are both in the Army. The military is really a small circle. What happened is that when you saw your ex, your mind and body went back to a time when you were together and ... now you want to be his friend. Who do you think you're fooling? Not me.

My advice is leave him alone if you want to have a healthy marriage. Sure, your old boyfriend will hook up with you as often as you like, but your husband will soon find out and it will ruin your marriage.

You haven't been married very long at all. Keep focusing on strengthening your marriage, grow up and stop thinking and behaving so impulsively. Start making good decisions using good judgment and wisdom. These are my thoughts.

Write me back and let me know what you decide to do. Something tells me you won't take my advice.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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