Q My husband and I have been married two years. I have always heard what a she-devil the ex is. This past weekend their daughter graduated from college, and although I was dreading spending time with the ex-wife, I was determined to be pleasant for the daughter's sake. I told my husband that I thought we should treat her politely — on a business level — and he agreed. Then I had to sit there while they reminisced about all their good times. The kicker was when they tasted each other's desserts using the same fork. I was horrified. He thinks I'm being unreasonable. What do you think?
A: We think your husband was incredibly insensitive and should have known better — and so should his ex-wife. And that's why we think there is something not right here. Sharing desserts, eating from the same fork, can be a very intimate act. And to do this in front of your current spouse is bad ex-etiquette.
An unwritten rule of good ex-etiquette is: "Don't discuss past intimacies with your ex," but there's a postscript: "especially in front of a new partner or your ex's new partner!" Intimacies include remarks that could possibly make someone participating in the conversation uncomfortable. Your husband blew it. If he'd been having dinner with one of us, he would have ended up wearing the dessert, when the kids weren't looking, of course.