The Evil Twin and I met after I had graduated college - I was 23, and he was 33. So, it stands to reason that we had both dated other people prior to meeting one another.
One of his long term relationships ended about 25 years ago and it wasn't an amicable split, but once the dust settled, they did have very sporadic contact with each other. It never bothered me. I knew they had a history and keeping in touch, even if it was every 5 or 10 years in between, they still had that earlier history.
I'm not going to get into the details because it's their story and not mine to tell.
But, I think in longer term relationships, there has to be a basis of a friendship under all the relationship baggage - at least I would hope there would be.
Years after the end, the water is under the bridge and the hurts and disappointments and stupid decisions fade.
Recently, this ex (let's call her ETF, for Evil Twin's Friend) has been going through a difficult time and she gave him a call to talk. Later that day, he told me she had called. I said, "Oh, if she's in town, you should invite her over for dinner or drinks." When he relayed that message to her, I think she was a little taken aback. Like I would dislike her or something.
I never had a reason to dislike her as far as I was concerned. Some time passed and we finally talked for the first time. We have so much in common. We laugh about the same things, we have similar (weird) interests.
Anyway, we've become fast friends. Who knew? I wish we had "met" earlier. She lives in a different state, so we still haven't met in person, but her family lives in this area, so I'm sure we will meet at some point.
Every now and then, I'll think about the circumstances and reflect on what an unusual situation it is, but then again, it's not so strange if I consider her to be his friend AND my friend. Not necessarily his ex and my friend, know what I mean?
But, as I told her the other day, it makes sense that we'd get along. She dated him for many years and for him to have stayed with her long term, she had to have the qualities he likes most in a person. I have many of those same qualities, so.... I knew we'd like each other.
I'm honored to call myself her friend. I'm reserved when first meeting people and until I feel "comfortable" with them, I can be a bit on the shy side, but she is even more reserved than me, so for her to drop her guard and give me a chance really means a lot to me.
It's funny what life will throw at ya sometimes. And, it often turns out to be the perfect thing!