"Celebrate" Ex's Bday

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
"Celebrate" Ex's Bday
Fri, 08-22-2014 - 10:22am

I am currently separated and on the way to divorce with my husband and tomorrow is his 40th birthday.  He's totally miserable and not in a good place because of where our marriage is headed.  I don't know what his plans are but I know him...he'd rather just not do anything and feel sorry for himself.  At the same time, I feel totally horrible that he's going to having his birthday and we're not even going to see each other.  I think I feel worse because it's a "big" birthday.  

I wasn't planning on doing anything with him (like dinner or something) because I know it would get his hopes up.  I was thinking to maybe stop there in the morning with our dog, just for an hour or 2 and bring coffee.  Just to acknowledge his birtdhay and break up the day.  I know I'm not responsible for his choices but putting that aside, I still feel horrible about everything.  

Do you think it would be a bad idea to do the morning coffee for an hour?  Or should I just stay away?  I mean- after all...he HAS been my best friend for the past 10 years.  It just feels wrong to not do anything at all.


Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Fri, 08-22-2014 - 11:29am

I see nothing wrong with it, unless you knew for some reason that he didn't really want you there. Seems like if you explain im just here for your bday, I don't see how that would get ones hopes up unless they were really desperate. Just because you are getting divorced doesn't mean you can't be friends and be in each others lives to an extent. Future events can change that dynamic, as in one of you starting another relationship then one can understand how it might be uncomfortable for the new love interest if their BF or GF is having too much contact with their ex.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Fri, 08-22-2014 - 11:50am


I think that would be a nice gesture but how do you know he would like that; but if you do go over and he accepts you coming in with the coffee okay and its a nice visit.. If not then you have to leave and feel rejected or bad..................If you can handle that then go for it............

There is nothing wrong with being friends with an ex................My sis and her ex husband are best of friends after many years and they both have other relationships...................I was sort of kinda friends with  my ex Husband when I was home less. He let me live at our marital home for awhile  when we divorced because I was trying to figure out where to go................In that time we kind of sort of were friends.. It wasnt easy as mine had a mental illness but I survived and when the time was right I moved..........

I would also think it depends on the time frame? I think it takes years to become friends with an ex.

Good Luck

Avatar for ananemus
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2013
Fri, 08-22-2014 - 1:13pm

Hi Lb2013,

I have not been divorced so I don't know how that goes. However, you've known your ex for a decade and were his best friend. And, on top of it, the 40th is a big event in anyone's life, let alone someone who was your best friend for a decade. As long as he has not harmed you in any way, and does not wish you ill, go for it. Show him that you still care for him. But, make it clear to him that while it won't change the divorce outcome, you still care for him and his welfare. The 40th B'Day won't come back again for him and the least you want is regrets.

In the short term, he will likely go back deep into his misery with your gesture - missing out on a caring person. But, in time, he will realize that he did not spend the decade in vain. Long term peace for him and you trumps the short term misery for him.

Go for it and make his day special!


The past is done, the future has yet to come. Live in the present moment honestly with few chances of regret.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 08-22-2014 - 1:47pm

What a great question!

Boy.....it really depends on the situation.  My xH didn't really want to get D, so I was the one that had to put the breaks on anything that seemed like we were still a couple.  Yep....he wanted to take me for dinner for my birthday and it honestly uncomfortable and we ran into people at the restaurant.  I just didn't like yet like you, I kind of felt bad for him, even though he had made some pretty bad choices in our M.  

With all of that said, only you know if stopping by for an hour will give him false hope, or not.  If you think it will do more harm than good, then don't go over there and simply make a guesture like a card or message.  But if you think it will give him a tiny boost without leading him on, then stop by.  

Be careful though.  

Serenity CL making a marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 08-22-2014 - 11:42pm

It would help to know what the reason for the divorce was or is.  You obviously have feelings for him if you're worried about his birthday "celebration".  If he's "miserable" because of where the marriage is headed, then why in the world are you two getting  divorced?  I think, since he's miserable, that he's not happy about the divorce.....and that you doing anything to make a big deal out of his birthday would only give him false hope for a reconciliation.  Also, doesn't have have any family or friends that might make a fuss over his birthday?  I thnk you would be better off to keep your distance.  Divorce means the end, and since it's pending, don't give him a reason to think there's hope.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
Sat, 08-23-2014 - 10:01am

Thank you for all the replies.

So after thinking more about it and seeing the responses here yesterday, I decided to ask him about coming by but he declined.  He said it would be too painful for him to see his family drive away and he can't endure anymore pain.  He added some other things that after reading it, I was crushed and felt horrible.  

Yes, I'm the one that wants the divorce- not him.  That’s why he's so miserable and unhappy about everything.  Of course I still have feelings for him.  Like I said, he was/is like my best friend for so long!  He's not close with his family at all and doesn't have many friends.  To add to it, he's the type of person anyway that if he's in a state like this, he'd rather be alone and feel sorry for himself.  He'll focus on all the negative and make himself miserable.  

At this point, I don't think he'd get his hopes up if we did do something.  I don't think it would be misleading to him.  From his responses, he seems to get the point that the divorce is pretty certain.  I'm going to make one last attempt to see if he wants to even go to lunch or something and if that doesn’t work- then at least I tried.  That's all I can do...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sat, 08-23-2014 - 11:33am


okay yes you tried.. You are a good exwife and maybe now just send a card or note or something..

by the way why are you getting a divorce? .. sounds like there is something still there and the single world isnt so great.. I have been divorced for years and now at the age of 60 the dating pool has shrunk.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
Sun, 08-24-2014 - 10:57am

Well, I made my last attempt yesterday and he declined again.  I tried and can be at peace with that at least.

Thanks again to everyone for your input!  

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2004
Mon, 10-27-2014 - 11:58pm

I'm kinda dealing with the same issue this week. Hubby and I separated 3 weeks ago and his birthday is this Wednesday. I'll be spending it with him and other friends as our daughter wants the family together, but I can't stand being there without others as a buffer. It's such an awkward situation. I want this week over.

The big difference is that he wants everything back to normal and wants everyone to think nothing is wrong or different.  He is very much in denial.  He won't even let me say "I left".  I have to say I needed time away or something similarly downplayed. 

Age 31
Colorado Springs, CO