Try saying that a few times without fumbling the words. My best friend is my ex-husband’s first ex-wife. We have our intro’s down pat. When people ask us how we met, that’s exactly how I explain it (for her it goes more along the lines of ‘she’s my ex-husband’s new ex-wife). It’s the easiest, most straightforward way to explain it. But the way our friendship started wasn’t exactly easy or straightforward.
When I was still with my now ex-husband, he obviously spoke with me a little about his ex-wife. She was admired by his friends and family, they all spoke highly of her. Which I never actually felt jealous of, the way they spoke about her made me feel like she was a really nice person. And even at the younger age, I was, I still knew that some relationships just don’t work out and figured theirs had been just like that.
They had been together for a long time, the better part of a decade. So it didn’t really bother me when my mother in law would accidentally call me her name, or when friends of my husband would give him the ‘update’ on what she had been up to. The truth was, I felt even then that if I had known her, I’d like her too.
I even said this to my husband once. I told him that if he and I weren’t together, I’d bet that she and I would be great friends. He didn’t really appreciate that. I can understand why.
About a year after our divorce her name flashed up on my Facebook feed as a suggested friend. Funnily enough, a few days prior, her business had also shown up in my Facebook feed. And, I had been thinking of her often, wondering how she was going. It’s hard to explain really, but I felt like I had a pull towards her. I felt like I needed to reach out to her. But I had no idea why.
After seeing her name on my Facebook feed I realised the universe had been criss crossing her across my path and I needed to take notice. So I did. And I reached out to her.
She was cautious at first, of course, concerned it was a setup. I assured her it wasn’t and gave her my mobile number, email address (and I think even my physical address) as a sign of good faith. I could have just walked away, I could have let it all go, but I felt like I needed to talk to her. Not about our ex-husband – but about her.
We spoke a little, and then a little became a little more and we realised how alike we were. Aside from a few personality differences, we were pretty much the same person in a whole lot of ways.
Soon we were speaking every day, years later that’s still remained the same. And we barely even speak of our ex-husband. The only time he ever really comes up in conversation is when we are asked how we met.
I have told her time and time again that I believe wholeheartedly the universe had a plan for us to be friends. Because there are some people who are just meant to be in your life, and she is one of them. Despite living almost 5 hours away from each other, we still talk all the time, video chat whenever we can and are each other’s biggest cheerleaders in our business endeavours.
We even go on an annual retreat to the beach together and stay in a lovely fancy hotel room, just us, no husbands and no kids. It’s bliss!
It makes me wonder, how many people are missing out on wonderful friendships and relationships in their lives because of fear. Fear of what others will think of you, fear of putting yourself out there and fear of the unknown.
There were so many opportunities for me to just ignore this gut feeling to reach out. I could have used the excuse of ‘that would be too weird’ or ‘she will think that I’m crazy’ (she did, I’m okay with that) or ‘she won’t want anything to do with me’. But I didn’t, and I am so grateful.
We have this incredible understanding of each other, I felt like I knew her for years before we even met and we have been through such similar situations, literally with the same person. Now we are both pregnant (10 weeks apart) with our second children and going through that together has been amazing.
She is one of my closest friends and I am so grateful to have her in my life.
Sometimes putting yourself out there, despite the fear of what others will think, can lead to the most amazing things.