There is no second thought to the fact that reconnecting with an ex when married is equivalent to playing with fire. Not only you run the risk of jeopardizing your current relationship, but also sabotage your own well-being and respect.

In this digital age, staying in touch with anyone has become easier than ever. Reconnecting with an ex after 20 years or 2 months is just a friend request away. Seeing their name pop up on your mutual friend’s list or running into their profile while scrolling could be totally intentional (?). Nevertheless, it will spark the urge to know how they are doing without you.

A research suggests that while some individuals can maintain a genuine friendship with an ex, many dive into this rabbit hole with unresolved feelings, past attachment and unrealistic expectations. Simply said, this is unfair to all the three parties involved, you, the ex, and your spouse. Another fourth party that burns from this fire is the spouse or partner of your ex.

Is it ever a good idea to reconnect with someone whom you loved with all your heart once? Is it worth holding onto the memories or wanting to revive the connection? How does reigniting an old flame affect your marriage? It it ever justified?

We have carefully explored the topic in depth and have arrived on the potential dangers reconnecting with an ex can bring about in your life.

Is It Okay To Contact An Ex After Marriage? 

Whether it’s the husband talking to his ex-girlfriend on Facebook or a married woman receiving a message from her first love, the stages of reconnecting with an ex start with a simple “hi” and take you through a whirlwind of emotions. For many, it’s a trip down memory lane, filled with fond memories from high school or the exhilaration of rekindling first love later in life. But is it a good idea?

What starts as an innocent catch-up chat turns into a full blown emotional affair blurring right from wrong. In the absence of clear boundaries, conversations tread to the dangerous lingering questions of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what could bes’.

The heart gets torn as old feelings reignite and doubts about your current relationship start to surface.

The journey of reconnecting with an ex while married is not just about two people; it’s about the intricate web of emotions, past experiences, and the potential impact on the present. So, before hitting that ‘accept’ button or diving back into old conversations, one must consider the consequences and the potential ripple effects on their current life.

Statistics On Reconnecting With An Ex

Diving back into the past and reconnecting with an ex  can be a complex journey, especially when one or both parties are happily married. With the ubiquity of social media, reaching out to a past love is just a click away, awakening dormant emotions and recollections.

What happens when a married woman or man receives a message from an old flame? What unfolds when a married individual is approached by a blast from the past? Let us look at some numbers here

  • 44% of Americans say they’ve gotten back together with an ex after breaking up as per this source.
  • According to a study, approximately 70 percent of former spouses with children remained in contact after a decade.
  • However, this number drops to 40 percent for divorced couples without children.
  • In another research conducted on 2000 people, it was concluded that 41% of them tried to get back together with their ex at some point in their life.
  • Has an ex ever come back after marrying someone else? Yes, the infamous Elon Musk and Talulah Riley were wed from 2010 to 2012 and again from 2013 to 2016. And if you are looking for successful remarriage after being divorced, take the case of The celebrity TV justice Judith Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy, and Jerry Sheindlin..

As it evident, many of us go through the similar pattern of carrying baggage in our minds and hearts. A small misunderstanding or an unhappy marriage can propel us to this rabbit hole of emotional attachment. This reconnection can lead to misunderstandings, possibly straining the bond with one’s spouse and sometimes, the damage is irrecoverable.

While some believe in open communication and see no harm in maintaining a genuine friendship with an ex, others argue it might raise a red flag, especially if there’s a lack of transparency with the current partner. So, is it just about fond memories, or is there more lurking beneath the surface? The debate continues.

Read This: 15 Tell-Tale Signs Your Wife Likes Another Man 

Potential Consequences Of Reconnecting With An Ex When Married 

So, you’re scrolling through your social media feed, and boom! There’s that ex or a married ex-boyfriend sliding into your DMs. Maybe it starts with a casual “Hey, long time!” or a cheeky meme share over Facebook. Next thing you know, you’re up at 2 AM talking to them, swapping old stories and throwing in some flirty emojis.

Catching up with an ex can feel like getting into your old super comfy pyjamas, with some naughtiness in the play. But marriage needs commitment, and crossing a line here and there will pop open a whole can of worms. The drama that unfolds will complex the matters further.

Unless you are sure what you are signing for, and you understand the profound impact reconnecting with an old flame can have on your current life, we strongly suggest to tread with utmost caution.

Can people truly stay friends with an ex without old emotions resurfacing? Or is it a red flag, a sign of unresolved feelings? As we delve deeper, let’s explore the 9 consequences of reconnecting with an ex while married.

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1. There is a definite risk of breach of trust

Re-establishing a bond with a lost love while in another relationship can be a silent destroyer of trust. Keeping interactions with a former partner hidden or becoming emotionally reliant on them can create rifts in your bond with your current partner.

It feels more uncomfortable when you have been hiding it from your partner. Such secretive actions might be considered cheating, even if it’s just emotional. Remember, emotional cheating is just as hurtful as physical, if not more.

People often struggle to maintain a platonic friendship with an ex, given their intimate history. There is a profound sense of emotional satisfaction but you need to weigh it against against the potential harm it might bring to your current relationship. To make sure you are not crossing the line and do not wish to make your partner suspicious of you, you can:

  • Always involve your spouse in any interactions, avoid meeting your ex alone, and keep conversations casual
  • Keep reminding yourself of your commitment to your current relationship
  • If you feel weak or feel like you are thinking too much about your ex, take a step back and analyse your situation
  • If you think maintaining a friendship with your ex can reignite your feelings and risk your marriage, consider severing all ties with them, once and for all

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2. Your commitment and loyalty are on the line

The daily rut of routines and responsibility can render any marriage boring. Couples often drift apart and romance seems like a fleeting visitor that knocks on the door once in a blue moon.

Interest in the partners wane and couples who do not make efforts to bring the spark back to their marriages succumb to its effects.

During times when a committed relationship hits a rough patch, temptations can make you deviate from your ideals. Revisiting past relationships can seem harmless, except they aren’t.

Your ex casually asking how you are could turn you into an emotional wreck venting out all your frustration. That could serve as a breeding ground for an emotional affair.

You do not even realize, but diving into old memories can threaten your commitment to your spouse –

  • Venting intimate details of your married life is actually betraying your partner’s trust
  • Your ex could gain more information than necessary and that they can use to their advantage, using you to fulfill their physical or emotional needs
  • Instead of talking your problems with your spouse, you share details of dissatisfaction in your current relationship with your ex, with none benefiting from it
  • A few words of comfort from your ex could make your day dream and you may find yourself caught in an emotional web of ‘what ifs’
  • When you are discussing your problems with someone who has nothing to do with them, you do not end solving them at all
  • Your marital bond, communication with your partner, trust, loyalty and commitment take a backseat because this past relationship starts to cast its shadow on your present relationship

Before considering rekindling an old friendship or more with an ex, think deeply about the potential impact on your marriage.

3. You are playing with the idea of an extramarital affair

IUS psychologists Kristina Coop Gordon and Erica A Mitchell reported in a research carried out during COVID-19 that as many as 13 per cent of people in a committed relationship admitted to contacting an ex-partner.

When the honeymoon phase of a marriage wears out, you may be tempted to respond to or reach out to an ex because you are not in a great place. Most of the times, we tend to forget the reasons of breakup, the pain and the trauma, but reminisce the good times.

But is revisiting past relationships always a good idea? You may be just aiming for a genuine friendship with your ex, but the chances of you or him crossing over are quite high, given the connection you once shared.

playing with the idea of an extramarital affair
Image by ArthurHidden on Freepik

A married woman or man reconnecting with an ex doesn’t necessarily have ill intentions. However, the temptation of reigniting a first love later in life can sometimes overshadow rational thinking, especially if there are issues in the current relationship. You might not plan it, but you are playing with fire.

Don’t fall for thoughts like ‘How to know if your married ex still loves you?’ because your lost love is gone. And let bygones be bygones. It’s vital to introspect and understand the motivations behind such reconnections to avoid potential pitfalls. 

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4 You risk being emotionally attached

Delving back into past connections can awaken old feelings, leading to false hope about the possibility of rekindling what once was. The potential for reigniting a deep emotional attachment is significant.

The feelings may have been dormant, but given the comfort you both share even now, they may surface. It would not take a long time or many conversations to talk just like how you did years ago.

It may just start with a birthday text to your ex, just like that. Then, you start asking things like “Do you still wrinkle your nose when you don’t like your food?” or “Is the old bike we had so many memories with still with you?” It will be very easy to revive the same connection, to reignite the same feelings even when that is not the intention.

It’s essential to be aware of the red flags that indicate a growing attachment, such as:

  • Updating your ex about everything in your life through texting or social media apps
  • Expecting to be updated about what is happening in their life
  • Feeling an urgency to respond and unintentionally delving more into reconnecting with your old crush, 
  • Sharing songs/memes/quotes that point to your memories gone by
  • Stalking them continuously on their social media channels
  • Thinking of second chances and wondering if you can go down that path

It’s crucial to remember that while the past may seem comforting, it can also blur the lines of your present commitments. Make sure you understand when it’s okay to reach out an ex and when its not.

5. You give your ex wrong ideas

You may have just connected with your ex as a friend, but perhaps your ex is not in a great relationship. He may still have feelings for you, and your frequent messages, checkins, or casual meet-ups may be interpreted as a sign of your interest in them.

This is how easy it is to give wrong ideas to anyone. While you may be happy in your marriage, with no intention of starting an extramarital affair, the same may not be the case with your ex.

These difference in expectations can turn things complicated, affecting all parties involved. Above all, you may lose your peace of mind because of such misunderstandings and wrog interpretation of your actions.

Perhaps you are dealing with the classic, “my ex got married but still contacts me” situation, and this one time you decide to give in. What started as innocuous friendship turns into a serious affair and your ex is now thinking of leaving his current partner for you. Imagine how many lives are at risk! Not only this-

  • You constantly juggle numerous doubts like, ‘I’m married but thinking about my ex, which is unfair to your partner’, but your ex tells you its alright to listen to your heart
  • Your ex may be already planning a secret rendezvous with you, which is unfair to his/her current partner as well
  • Your ex may be tempted to take advantage your confused state of mind
  • It’s like being in two places at once, leading to a constant state of emotional confusion and indecisiveness

A message from an ex while married can stir a cocktail of emotions. It’s not just about the nostalgia of high school days or the allure of lost love. It’s about the potential pitfalls of “what ifs” and “maybes.”

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6. Familial repercussions

When you are married, everything you do not just affects you but your souse, children, extended family members and your and your family’s social status.

A casual catch-up with an ex is not a problem, but getting carried away with your emotions can be. Reconnecting with an ex when married can have potential consequences on all who you love and all that you have made all these years.

Happiness is paramount for any individual, and while there is no debate on that, it is unfair to just get carried away with a whirlwind of emotions and not give a though to the emotional, social, financial and familial implications is not a sensible act. Ask yourself, have you really given up on your marriage?

Before you decide to reconnect with an ex for the sake of being happy again, consider the below:

  • You are married and rekindling your lost (or first love) can impact your marriage
  • Doubt, mistrust, strained personal relationships, confrontations, accusations and betrayal will loom large in your life
  • Has an ex ever come back after marrying someone else – sometimes, but is it worth it?
  • The spouse might feel betrayed or insecure, questioning the intentions behind the reconnection
  • If you have children, this extramarital attachment can make their childhood difficult, and repercussions may last a lifetime

Given these potential repercussions, one must carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider if revisiting the past is worth the potential drama and complications in the present.

You give your ex wrong ideas
You give your ex wrong ideas

7. Peril of persistent comparisons

Reconnecting with someone you thought was perfect can set unrealistic benchmarks for your current partner. The nostalgia of old feelings can cloud judgment, leading to unfair comparisons. This can strain the bond with your spouse, pushing you apart from each other.

Over time, these comparisons can erode the foundation of trust and understanding in your current relationship, leading to feelings of inadequacy and resentment. And you can face even more:

  • Your husband/wife feels distant from you 
  • You both might not see eye to eye as before
  • Your spouse may feel inadequate and this may affect their self-esteem
  • There is indifference manifesting itself in your sacred bond

It’s like adding fuel to a small fire, making it bigger. It’s important to consider how it might affect your marriage before getting back in touch with an ex.

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8. Monetary missteps with past partners

While we have normally heard of romance scammers online, exes can also scam you for money. Trusting an old love with money can be risky, especially if intentions aren’t clear. Such dealings can spiral into disputes, dragging current partners into the fray. Financial entanglements with an ex can also lead to misunderstandings, causing further strain on your present relationship and potentially affecting your financial stability.

  • Your ex-partner may have hidden agendas and ulterior motives, seeking financial gains under the guise of rekindling a bond
  • Emotional decisions can lead to misguided conclusions. A romantic relationship can often
  • sway financial decisions made with an ex, based more on emotions than on logical reasoning
  • It can impact your joint finances. Any monetary involvement with an ex can jeopardize joint finances or savings with your current partner
  • You might face legal complications. At worst, financial disputes with an ex can lead to legal battles, adding to the emotional and monetary costs
  • Your partner might have trust issues with you: Even if no money is lost, the mere act of engaging in financial dealings with an ex can damage the trust with your current partner

9. Widened gap with current partner

Rekindling communication with someone you dated can create a chasm between spouses. The renewed bond might fulfill certain emotional needs, reducing the incentive to address issues in the current relationship.

This can lead to communication breakdowns and increased distance between partners. As emotional needs get fulfilled outside the marriage, the motivation to work on existing issues diminishes, potentially leading to long-term relationship damage.

  • Your current partner might feel like a secondary priority, leading them to question every late-night work call or unexplained absence
  • This constant doubt make them second-guess even the genuine moments you share
  • Discovering the reconnection can lead your partner to revisit old insecurities
  • They might overanalyze past arguments or moments of distance, wondering if those were influenced by your past relationship, leading to a spiral of self-doubt

Your partner, caught in this drama for no fault of theirs may be oscillating between self-doubt and fear of losing you. Should they remain silent? Should they confront you?This emotional tug-of-war can be mentally exhausting and strain the relationship further.

Are you Still in love with an ex
Image by nensuria on Freepik

Can You Be Married But Still Love Your Ex?


Love does not go away even if you are not with the one you love. You may still be in love, and thanks to this digital era, keep getting reminded of your old love with just a click.

Trying to rekindle a broken relationship isn’t an odd case. A statistic claims 50 per cent people try to give their broken relationship a second chance.

It is not necessarily cheating if you are just harboring feelings for an ex but being faithful to your spouse? Yes. Let’s delve into the intricacies of this emotional conundrum:

  • If you two broke up for reasons other than your own, like family pressures
  • You could still be invested in an ex if you are stuck in an unhappy relationship
  • You have been cheated on by your spouse and you find your current relationship devoid of love and trust
  • You never got closure from your ex
  • There is emotional residue from your past association that was never addressed
  • You are caught between nostalgia and genuine love

While it’s possible to have strong feelings for an ex, it’s vital to prioritize and nurture the current marital relationship. Recognizing and addressing these emotions can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s relationships

Infographic On 9 Consequences Of Reconnecting With An Ex While Married

Infographic On 9 Consequences Of Reconnecting With An Ex While Married
Infographic On 9 Consequences Of Reconnecting With An Ex While Married

Key Takeaways

  • Reconnecting with an ex while married can lead to numerous emotional and relational consequences
  • Data-driven insights reveal the commonality and potential outcomes of such reconnections
  • Feelings for an ex can persist in marriage, but it’s crucial to differentiate love from nostalgia
  • Prioritizing and nurturing the current marital relationship is essential
  • Lingering feelings for an ex may require seeking understanding and closure

Reconnecting with an ex while married can shake things up in your current relationship. If you and this ex were tight friends before and your partner’s cool with you two chatting, then maybe it’s okay. But if not, it’s probably best to leave old memories in the past and focus on the now.

After all, there’s a reason they’re an ex, right? Keep your energy on building a stronger bond with your current partner and cherishing the moments you share together.