What you need to know:
- If you mutually agreed that you were not a fit for each other, make it clear that you can never be together again regardless of your future interactions.
- Choosing to forgive an ex-lover over mistakes and hurt does not mean you’re reconciling with them.
- Do not become his go-to person when he needs to talk about his personal matters or confide in someone.
You were once happily married, but today, you and your ex-husband cannot boil in the same pot! You may have been dragged through a messy divorce that left you and your ex-hubby sworn enemies. You don’t greet each other in the streets and every interaction between the two of you ends in a nasty exchange.
Although the chance of reconciliation may be farfetched, there are steps you can take to lessen the hurt and disdain you feel towards each other.
Choosing to forgive an ex-lover over mistakes and hurt does not mean you’re reconciling with them. You can choose to release the fold of pain, grudge, or disappointment against your ex-husband and opt to go after your own happiness. According to psychologist Dr. Chris Hart, you should bear in mind that you are solely responsible for your own happiness.
If you mutually agreed that you were not a fit for each other, make it clear that you can never be together again regardless of your future interactions. “These boundaries are especially critical if one of you is seeing someone else or if there are children involved,” says family therapist Susan Gacheru. “These boundaries should be mutually set, and your new places in each other’s lives must be accepted. For instance, you cannot be productive co-parents or friends when the environment and rules around you are full of animosity.”
Do not attempt to rekindle past emotions or start to re-allocate blame on why your marriage ended in the first place whenever you disagree. “It doesn’t mean that you will always agree just because you are no longer a couple. If one of you is on the wrong, do not remind them that it was the same faults that ended your marriage in the first place,” says counseling psychologist Patrick Musau.
Respect and communication
This is the pillar that will support your future interactions. In addition, when having a conversation, do not tell him your private issues. “Making him your leaning post will only re-invigorate forgotten emotional entanglements,” says Musau. Similarly, do not become his go-to person when he needs to talk about his personal matters or to confide in someone. If he attempts to, firmly and politely assert that his best friend is the right person to listen and offer him the requisite advice or support.
Unless your ex-hubby is a threat to the well-being of your children, you should not put a gag order on him or the children. According to Mrs. Gacheru, it is important to understand that while things may not have worked out between you and him, he did get along well with his kids. Discuss and agree on an arrangement that will allow him to be in his children’s life,” she says. In the same vein, you will need to avoid the habit of sending each other messages through your children or using your children to dig dirt during visits. A healthy co-parenting relationship will be critical to the healthy development of your children.
This will be most likely if you have kids together. However, if your ex-husband drops by to take kids out for a visitor to return them from a day out, make it clear that he is a guest and not a host! If there are no kids involved, and there are issues you need to handle together, ask for a meeting in a neutral environment. This will help you avoid conflict, especially if you are already seeing someone else, have moved in with someone else or if you have remarried.