Woman, 35, reveals she is ‘best friends’ with her partner’s ex-wife

People often do anything they can to avoid their partner’s exes, but one woman has formed an unlikely friendship with her partner’s former wife. 

JJ Barnes, 35, from Stafford, admitted she initially felt ‘weird’ when her partner Jonathan Mckinney, 38, revealed he was still ‘good friends’ with his ex-wife of five years Kate Marris, 36.

But five years on, and screenwriter JJ calls Kate one of her ‘best friends’ as the pair see each other every day, go to the pub together, and have even spent Christmas as a trio.

JJ admitted she was intimidated of Kate when she first met her back in 2015, but said she realised that Kate had parted with Jonathan as friends and the couple had kept in touch for their son Ezekiel, seven.

JJ Barnes (left), 35, from Stafford, admitted she felt ‘weird’ when her partner Jonathan Mckinney, 38, revealed he was still ‘good friends’ with his ex-wife Kate Marris, 36 (right)

But five years on, and screenwriter JJ (front) calls Kate (left) one of her 'best friends' as the pair see each other every day, go to the pub together, and have even spent Christmas as a trio

But five years on, and screenwriter JJ (front) calls Kate (left) one of her ‘best friends’ as the pair see each other every day, go to the pub together, and have even spent Christmas as a trio

She explained: ‘When I first met Kate in 2015, I was intimidated by her beauty and intelligence.

‘I did find it quite nerve-wracking that she was still on the scene. But their marriage ended because they were more like friends than lovers.

‘They kept in touch for their son Ezekiel, seven, which is amazing.

‘I instantly respected Jonathan when he made it clear that Kate is an important part of his life because she is his son’s mother.’

Jonathan was going through the divorce in 2014 when he met JJ, who had recently become a single mum to Rose, then three, and Buffy, then five months.

After a couple of months of dating, the women were introduced and have been inseparable ever since, while JJ, Kate and Jonathan complete the school run together every single day.

JJ (left) said she was intimidated of Kate when she first met her in 2015, but realised Kate had parted with Jonathan as friends and the couple kept in touch for their son Ezekiel, seven

JJ (left) said she was intimidated of Kate when she first met her in 2015, but realised Kate had parted with Jonathan as friends and the couple kept in touch for their son Ezekiel, seven

Jonathan was going through the divorce in 2014 when he met JJ (left), who had recently become a single mum to Rose, then three, and Buffy, then five months

Jonathan was going through the divorce in 2014 when he met JJ (left), who had recently become a single mum to Rose, then three, and Buffy, then five months

Jonathan (left) admitted that he never imagined the two women forming a friendship, saying his main focus was his son growing up with his parents being 'positive' about one another

Jonathan (left) admitted that he never imagined the two women forming a friendship, saying his main focus was his son growing up with his parents being ‘positive’ about one another

Kate is often invited into their home for a cup of tea, a glass of wine or dinner so the children can all play together, and they also spend Christmases together and enjoy many child-free nights out.

JJ continued: ‘It was strange at the start for me to understand it all, but never weird because they always included me.

‘I had to get used to how their friendship works. Then it suddenly fell into place.

‘Kate became someone a friend who we hang out with. We see Kate every day because she lives a five-minute walk away.

‘My daughter Buffy, four, calls her Aunty Kate because she has always been a part of her life.

‘Our friendship is like any other – we text a lot and sometimes I even complain about Jonathan not picking up his socks because we have a shared frustration.’

JJ, who is also a divorcée, admitted that her friends and family were ‘confused’ and ‘worried’ at the start, but she insisted that break-ups don’t always involve ‘hate’.

She added: ‘There is an assumption that a break up means you hate each other. But relationships can end for all kinds of reasons.

‘Most people think it is strange and weird that we are all pals, but now they have got used to it. Kate is like one of my best friends now.

‘I think women are often cat-fighting with an ex’s new partner and it’s not necessary.

‘If there is children involved then it is important that everyone gets along. It makes everything healthier, our children don’t see angry or hatred.

‘It doesn’t occur to our children that Mummy and Daddy would fight.’

Kate (left) is invited into their home for a cup of tea or dinner so the children can play together, and they also spend Christmases together and enjoy many kid-free nights out

Kate (left) is invited into their home for a cup of tea or dinner so the children can play together, and they also spend Christmases together and enjoy many kid-free nights out

JJ (left), who is also a divorcee, admitted that her friends and family were 'confused' and 'worried' at the start, but she insisted that break-ups don't always involve 'hate'

JJ (left), who is also a divorcee, admitted that her friends and family were ‘confused’ and ‘worried’ at the start, but she insisted that break-ups don’t always involve ‘hate’

JJ (left) said that her daughter Buffy, four, calls Jonathan's ex-wife of five years 'Aunty Kate', who has always been a part of the young girl's life

JJ (left) said that her daughter Buffy, four, calls Jonathan’s ex-wife of five years ‘Aunty Kate’, who has always been a part of the young girl’s life

Jonathan, however, admits that he never imagined the two women forming a friendship, saying his main focus was his son growing up with his parents being ‘positive’ about one another.

The musician explained: ‘People have relationships, sometimes they come to an end, it can be sour at first but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

‘I’m glad that JJ and Kate get on. I hadn’t really considered that they would develop a friendship.

‘My main thing early on was to ensure that I was respectful of the various emotional dynamics that I could predict.

‘I wanted my son to grow up in environments where the adults parenting him were positive about each other, and reinforced each other’s rules and philosophies and so on.

‘Their friendship is their friendship, really. As long as we’re all on board with how our parenting impacts all of the kids, I’m easy going about everything else.’

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