Breaking up is hard to do.
Amicable splits are one thing, but what happens when divorced duos still cozy up like couples?
Here, ahead of the new TLC series “You, Me & My Ex” that’s premiering Sunday, The Post meets former spouses who can’t — or won’t — let go of the past, and their current long-suffering partners.
They all live under the same roof
Whenever Kayee Lovey explains that she lives with her boyfriend Jerry Philippeau — and his ex-wife Jessica Rios-Philippeau — she receives a barrage of criticism.
“People say I’m legit nuts,” said the singer-songwriter.
But Kayee, 24, is so smitten with Jerry — “I have butterflies talking about him,” she said — the lovebird defends her decision to set up home with the chummy divorcees. Her arrival came around six months after Jessica returned to Chicago, Illinois, from Park City, Utah. The 40-year-old was on a mission to nurse Jerry, 54, while he recovered from a monthlong illness — and never left.
Despite Kayee’s initial enthusiasm, the arrangement has not gone well.
“We don’t have anything in common,” said Jessica, a physical therapist, whose eldest son with Jerry is just two years younger than Kayee. “Kay seems occupied with her own needs, not those of the family as a whole.”
Aware of the hostility, Kayee goes so far as to say she “pities” Jessica since “I now have her ex-husband.”
As for Jerry, he remains philosophical about the problem he created, noting: “It’s a bit of a train wreck.”
These exes got matching tattoos
John Kirk initially thought it was cute when he first caught sight of his wife April Kirk’s new tattoo — the coordinates of her son’s birthplace inked on her shoulder.
But the proud Marine was less impressed when he spotted the exact same design on the forearm of April’s ex-husband, and the father of her child, Roy Farner.
“It was irritating because I thought they could at least have given me a heads-up,” said John, 42.
The clandestine trip to the tattoo parlor is illustrative of the cozy relationship 40-year-old April shares with her 39-year-old ex, who is also in the Marines.
April, the manager of a dental office in Jacksonville, North Carolina, often treats Roy like her No. 1 guy. She still does his taxes and gives him honey-do lists, so he can help renovate the house she shares with John — who, along with his then-wife, Loren, 33, was their next-door neighbor when she and Roy were married.
“Our relationship is very unique and we’re extremely close,” April said. “When we divorced, there was never any hatred.”
John, who acknowledged that “Roy is a huge part of our lives,” said he’s more than OK with it: “We actually love each other to death.”
But that doesn’t mean he never gets jealous.“I would be lying if I said I didn’t worry sometimes,” he said.
They’re business partners — and talk constantly
Jimmy Marchica’s ex and current wife often get told they look alike.
But Lisa Marchica — who divorced Jimmy in 2003 after seven years of marriage — isn’t having it.
“I think I look better,” the 52-year-old said.
Wendy Waters-Marchica, 48, who has been married to Jimmy for 12 years, won’t dignify the remark with a response.
“She is a competitive person who likes to see me riled up,” said the elementary school aide. “But I’ve already won — there’s a reason Jimmy is no longer with her.”
Still, much to Wendy’s annoyance, Lisa exerts a huge amount of power over her ex.
The entrepreneur, who sells Bella D’Oliva extra virgin oil from her home in Long Hill, New Jersey, invited Jimmy to be her business partner six years ago.
The pair spends hours talking shop on the phone every day. “He’s my first call in the morning and my last at night,” said Lisa.
“Lisa never runs out of things to say,” said Jimmy, 54, of Bay Shore, Long Island. Much like Lisa’s fiancé, Jack Marchesi, a 55-year-old regional sales manager, he is largely unfazed by the tension.
If only their significant others felt the same way.
Appearing on “You, Me & My Ex,” Wendy puts on a brave face — at least in front of the cameras. “When I took on Jimmy, I took on a whole lot of baggage,” she says, with a note of resignation.
Lisa can’t hold back the snark, concluding: “I will always be Jimmy’s first love. And Wendy will always be his second wife.”
“You, Me & My Ex” premieres Sunday, June 20, at 10 p.m. ET on TLC
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