I know this is an older post but this deserves a bump. WAL, this is genius... I guess this is how I always felt about the issue but never could quite verbalize as coherently as you.
[Quote] I don't believe in friendship with exes. I think can be "on friendly terms" with an ex (i.e., you ask how their spouse/kids are when you run into them at the grocery store), but I don't think it's a good idea to invite them into your day-to-day life.
My wife is on friendly terms with most of the guys she dated in high school to this day (not surprising: we live in a small town). Guess what? Every time we see one of those guys -- and we do; sometimes they were even coaches for football or whatever -- my first thought is always "That guy used to fuck my wife."
Which might sound odd, but if you live in a small town most of your life (and you're a dude, likely), you understand this. There's no animosity there, just awareness. And if you're the dude who used to fuck the wife in question, you're careful to be respectful to the dude who's fucking her now, especially if that dude is her husband and the father of her children. You don't talk about the "old days", and if you do, you explicitly avoid the old days when we were dating.
In other words, dude code means that you acknowledge what you represent to the husband (i.e., a sexual rival, even if that was way in the past), and you make it clear that you have no intention of presenting as a current rival.
The problem with exes is that the primary barrier to sexual activity in most cases is proposing it (i.e., getting over the wall of potential rejection). If you've had a sexual relationship with someone, then the big obstacle has already been scaled. Everybody involved knows that under the right circumstances, we'd fuck each other. I don't think you forget that. You can't go back to a place where that wall wasn't scaled.
Choosing to stay friends with an ex and invite them into a more intimate relationship puts the spouse in the position of having to stay aware of rivalry. It's demanding a level of trust that is overbearing, honestly.
(And I'm a firm believer that in every situation where one spouse wants to be friends with an ex that it should be a rule that the other spouse has to be friends with one of their exes, too. If *you* can be friends with an ex, but the idea of your spouse doing it with any one of their exes makes you squiggly, then you're exploiting trust for some sort of selfish payoff that you haven't acknowledged to yourself. You're probably saying something like "well, my exes aren't sluts" or "my exes and I have grown past that". I don't buy it, and likely can't be talked into it. If you're the exception to that rule, object all you want with the understanding that I find the point inarguable and have already concluded you're full of shit on this topic. It's not personal and I still like you.) [/Quote]