Advice – Is it okay for me to contact my best friend’s ex-husband to provide support?

One of my best friends (M28) just divorced his husband (M28) and moved across the country to start anew.

I (F26) was the maid of honor in their wedding. My best friend left him because he didn’t have any motivation, wouldn’t get a job, was basically useless financially because of several hinderances including anxiety.

Would it be okay to cross “enemy” lines and reach out in support of his ex? He’s gay so there’s no chance of him being interested in me, so it can’t be seen as me trying to snatch his ex man or anything. The ex has always been a great friend to me, but I don’t know if it would be seen as an asshole move to my long time best friend.

Would it be wrong of me to contact his husband to offer my condolences and tell him everything will be okay?

Stupid Libra, Reddit.

Dear Stupid Libra,

How very Libra of you – to seek harmony and diplomacy!

It sounds like your motivations are pretty clear on why you would want to reach out to a former friend of yours – to provide support and offer condolences. So it doesn’t sound like this would be a matter of your own intentions, but rather an issue of optics to your best friend who moved away.

I never truly understood why folks were so adamant about implementing a full scorched earth policy, especially following breakups. I guess it is WAY easier to avoid the difficult conversation with all the mutual friends following a breakup rather than to just cut them out and pick sides as a show of loyalty. It also makes sense in the context of the American culture where extreme boundary setting regarding friendships is not only socially acceptable but celebrated. That particular aspect of friendship – ephemerality of it all – has always confounded me as a person who came from a different cultural background. In short, I guess what I am trying to say is that your best friend’s divorce does not necessarily mean that all of your friendships revert back to before marriage. You can still choose to be a friend with your best friend’s ex husband.

Many of the queer circles I happen to be a part of also seem to harbor the same tenacity and perseverance I grew up with. I believe a part of it is due to the fact that there are a lot fewer queerfolks than there are cis/het folks. After all, there is power in numbers, especially in marginalized subgroups. And so, many of queerfolks I know seem to handle transitions and challenging conversations better than many of cis/het folks I know. But another important aspect to consider is that for many of the queerfolks I know, their chosen family is their family – in place of the biological ones who shunned them for their sexuality and identity.

And perhaps that very tenacity is a quality we should hold onto now more than ever.

Especially in critical, socially traumatic times like a global pandemic that forbids us from being close to the ones we love.

Based on what you have shared, it doesn’t appear that there was any great ill will or a specifically traumatic event that ended your best friend’s marriage to his former paramour, regardless of anyone’s sexuality or gender identity. But instead of looking toward your best friend’s perception, why not defer to what you really want? You say that his ex-husband has always been a great friend to you. So I assume that the inverse of that – that you have also been a great friend to him – was true as well.

If so, isn’t it imperative for you to reach out to a great friend in distress?

I don’t think this is necessary. But if you feel it is necessary, you might also consider reaching out to your best friend who moved across the country and let him know that you might stay connected to his ex-husband. Just to dot all your i’s and to cross all your t’s.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

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