The ending of your relationship doesn’t always mean that you will never see your ex again. Whether you have kids, work together or live in the same community, you will most likely see your ex at some point. While it naturally takes some time to adjust to the new status of your relationship, you can keep things civil by following these six tips.
Put the Kids First
Co-parenting with your ex requires a careful balance of diplomacy as you negotiate on issues such as visitation time and house rules. As you work with your ex on raising your kids, it helps to remember that your kids benefit from seeing their parents work things out the right way. Keeping your conversations based upon the kids also gives you a safe place to begin talking with your ex again. For instance, bringing up your kid’s homerun at last weekend’s baseball game is an easy start to a positive conversation.
Avoid Harping On Past Issues
Things likely got rocky before your breakup, yet dredging up your ex’s affair or spending habits does nothing to help you move on now. If you find yourself ruminating on the past, then reach out to a counselor online who can help you work through your relationship issues. This way, you can bite your tongue and stick to safer topics when you see your ex.
Pick Your Battles
Until you heal, many of the things your ex does can drive you crazy. However, arguing with your ex about forgetting to return your kid’s shoes or showing up late for visitation will only cause your ex to tune out. Instead, focus on finding actual solutions for your problems such as purchasing an extra pair of shoes that stay at your house. Focusing on only bringing up serious issues decreases the negativity in your relationship, and it makes it more likely that your ex will listen if a real problem occurs in the future.
Focus On Self-Improvement
Jealousy can still creep in after your relationship ends. Feeling like your ex is doing better than you will interfere with your ability to stay friends. Instead of worrying about how great they look or who they are dating, focus on rebuilding your life. Knowing that you are getting in shape or studying to get that big promotion, allows you to see that you can both do well as you move on from the relationship.
Never Insult Your Ex to Others
Trash talking your ex may make you feel better, but harsh words have a unique way of traveling beyond the initial conversation. Remember that anything you say may be relayed to your ex. The last thing you need is their stewing about something that you said. This also applies to social media, so be careful not to post anything that your ex could misconstrue as being about them. If you have kids together, never insult your ex in front of them because it undermines the other parent’s authority and just makes kids feel bad since they love both parents.
Set Proper Boundaries
When you practice these principles, it is possible to be not only civil, but actual friends with your ex. However, you want to establish boundaries that avoid confusion. For instance, you may find that it’s best not to share every detail of your new dating life, or you may prefer to avoid spending time alone together if you still feel a romantic spark that shouldn’t be rekindled. Setting appropriate boundaries allows you to maintain control as you rebuild a relationship that is based upon friendship and mutual respect.
Keeping things civil with your ex requires a commitment on both of your parts to focus on respecting each other. While your relationship will never be the same as it once was, it is possible to create a new one that benefits everyone.