Setting Boundaries: With Your Ex
Yes, you’ve known this person on an intimate level perhaps for years. But now that you’ve separated and started building your own lives no longer together, it’s time to set boundaries.
Your house is not your ex’s house, and vice versa. Relinquish keys. Don’t just walk in the door. Don’t assume you can.
Don’t stop by unannounced, even if you’re friends or friendly.
Don’t be friends with benefits. As good as the sex was when you were married, it will mess with your mind if you keep sleeping together when you’re trying to move on.
Learn to do things on your own –from changing a light bulb to having your furnace checked to doing your laundry or cooking food or cleaning the kitty litter.
I realize it’s scary every time you do something for the first time, but you need to set those boundaries so you can move forward with your life.
Respect the other person’s space. Don’t ask if he’s dating. Don’t pry information out of the kids.
Even if there’s a comfort in bouncing ideas off one another or asking her opinion, try to hold back. Think about whether that’s really a good idea because even a couple who appears on the surface to be so laid-back and easy with one another may be hurting deep inside.
And when one of you jokes, “Oh it’s so funny I’m going to be your wing man, I’ll take you out and find your next girlfriend or wife,” think twice. It’s not a good idea. You’re still holding on.
Part of setting boundaries with your ex also means trusting the other parent to parent. You don’t need to hover or check in. He doesn’t need your advice – unless he asks for it.
Share information about the children in a safe space – perhaps via email or when you exchange the kids. Involve one another in shared parenting time endeavors like school activities, doctor appointments and sports matches.
Work collegialy together. But don’t encroach on one another’s space.
Read more Collaborative Divorce posts
Have an honest conversation with yourself before you embark on a divorce, so that you can be prepared and realistic about what lies ahead – and know how you’ll manage all the emotions that are likely to arise.
November is often considered a month to focus on gratitude, and I believe gratitude and patience are important assets in divorce. First, you can’t be angry and appreciative at the same time. One must outweigh the other.
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