Dating my acquaintance’s ex

I recently met up with the ex-husband of a woman I went to high school with. I met him once many years ago and I'm not overly close to this former high school friend, but I like and respect her – although not as much as I once used to.

The trouble is I like him and respect him too, and what I thought would just be a bit of fun between us has turned into more. His wife cheated on him and has not treated him well for years, and he deserves to get on with his life and find happiness.

His ex-wife and I are similar personality-wise. We get along great and she has moved on, although I do wonder about the longevity of the relationship she is in and whether she'll regret leaving her ex-husband.

At this stage, until we establish direction in our relationship, this man and I have chosen not to make it public. We haven't told anyone, particularly our children. But should we decide to make a go of things more officially, how do we handle this with with his ex-wife for the best possible amicable outcome for all of us? I'm interested in hearing an objective approach to compare with how I feel it should be done.

– Planning ahead


It's not on you to reveal this relationship. The man you're dating should be the one to communicate with his ex-wife.

When ready, he should let her know that he's been seeing you, and then they can decide as a team how and when they want to approach this with their children. Once things are official, you can reach out to her to let her know you'll respect all boundaries. You can make it clear that you want to be kind, and that your first priority is doing what's right for everyone's kids.

She might shut you out, but that doesn't mean she's rejecting the news. You are an acquaintance, not a close friend, and she has every reason to minimize your place in her life as your relationship with her ex-husband grows.

In the meantime, though, try not to spend too much time anticipating the next steps. Instead, focus on what you've started and whether this connection is turning into something good. If you think too much about all of the possible questions and conflicts, you might forget to figure out why you're doing this in the first place.

– Meredith

Readers? How would you disclose this relationship?