"I still love my ex, but she is not my friend."

The above statement was made by a fellow I know in describing his relationship with his ex-wife. The remark sparked a conversation in the group we were in, as some persons believed the comment to be incoherent but others felt it made perfect sense. What do you guys think?

I get it. I think unless you’ve actually lived that reality, the statement will remain incomprehensible.

"I still love my ex . . . " – translated, “I’d still like to bang her.”

" . . . she is not my friend." – translated, “I want nothing else to do with her.”

My version: “I love my ex but she was never really the person I was in love with. She remains not that person. Still a friend.”

Another possibility is that he still “loves her” in the sense that he cares about her, and cares about what happens to her, but there’s enough about who she is (or who she’s become over time) that he no longer feels that he could maintain a friendship with her.

Makes sense to me. “I love her” = “I wish her the best” and/or “I still find her attractive” and/or “I still feel a connection to her”

“she is not my friend” = “I don’t like her” and/or “I don’t get along with her” and/or “I don’t enjoy her company.”

It would also make sense if someone said “I love my sister but she is not my friend.”

“She is not my friend” could also mean she does not want to have anything to do with him.

makes perfect sense to me, I’m living that right this very moment.
I fucking hate my ex with almost every fiber of my being, but she is still a charming, beautiful, desirable woman, and I still care deeply about what happens to her and in a lot of ways I pity her. I’m very conflicted at this time in and circumstances of my life.

Yup. All the things I fell in love with are still there, but over the years she’s covered them over with layers of things that drove us apart.

It all depends on how you define your terms, doesn’t it?

I love my ex - I wish him well. I hope he has a good life. I am happy when I hear good things, sad when I hear he is suffering. There is no residual anger or resentment. I care much more about his welfare than I do for a stranger. Rather like a cousin or aunt or uncle who I see at reunions.

We are not friends - we don’t do things together any more or talk over important issues. Like a college roommate - good memories, but no longer a close part of each other’s lives.

If you define love differently (sexual attraction, desire for emotional intimacy, exclusivity), well, then, no I don’t love him that way. If you define friendship differently (follow casually on Facebook, glad to see each other when we run into each other), well, yes, then we are friends.

SIGH, it was the exact opposite for me kunilou over the years she peeled away all the things I loved about her and forced me to look at all the signs of her true self that I’d willfully <wishfully> overlooked about her that drove us apart. Yet, her charm still has a bit of a grasp on me, it’s sort of like I was in a cult or something and I’m slowly being “deprogrammed” or whatever. Thus I still love her, but she’s not my friend and never will be again in any sense of the word.

Someone being “not my friend” can also mean “does not wish me well” or “influences me negatively”.

I can’t stand my ex, I like very little about her but I still lover her in that the thought of something bad happening to her really bothers me. Her Alzheimer took a turn for the worse a couple of years ago and I found myself highly upset. I just don’t like having anything to do with her if I can avoid it. We have remained friends or friendly but I keep our relationship very superficial.

Exactly this.

The statement makes perfect sense if you still care for someone who’s disappointed you or let you down.

Not incoherent per se, but it does reflect a lack of clarity. When a tie is cut, the tie should be cut - that is, you should endeavor not to care about people you don’t get along with, or who don’t get along with you. For your own self-preservation mostly. It’s just good emotional hygiene. Your friend should reel that line back in, reclaim all that wasted energy, and either save it for later or use it for something/someone else.

The only people you should be saying this about are public figures e.g. “I love Cecil Adams but he’s not my friend.”

Oddly enough, I (and my Wife) are still friends with several of my exes. Just because we found we were not quite right for each other long term does not make any of them a bad person.

You cannot reason a person out of a position they didn’t use reason to reach.

Yeah, I get it. Especially if they have kids together. He still cares for her, wants the best for her, but does not want to interact with her socially or any other way.

This is how it is with me and my ex. We stayed on [del]friendly[/del] civil terms to minimize trauma to the kids when we split up, but I couldn’t and wouldn’t allow anything more ‘close’ than that. The thought of something bad happening to her, as you put it, troubles me, and is the chief source of resentment I have for her. Just as I can’t control how she triggers my PTSD, I can’t not care or wish bad on her. I wish that I could hate her, but love & hate don’t answer to reason or justice. The fact I still care in spite of not wanting to probably means I love her on some level.

But we sure as hell ain’t friends.

As an addendum, the one ex I have had nothing to do with is my first fiancee, otherwise known as The Bitch From New Jersey. It may be a product of foiled expectations.

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Makes sense to me.

I sometimes miss my latest ex. Then I’ll think about it a little longer and think to myself: “No I definitely DON’T miss my ex!”

I still love her good parts. It’s just the bad p[arts that kept us away. And I’m sure she would say the same about me. (Which is probably why it took so long for us to finally break up)