Relating To Your Ex After Divorce
The divorce is final. But if you have kids, the relationship doesn't end here. You'll still have to be in touch. How do you work it so you can interact with your ex without slipping into the bad habits you developed during your failed marriage? The key is in severing the emotional bonds that kept you tied to these old behaviors.
The piece of paper that represents your divorce decree is one step toward the process of creating life after divorce. But the true divorce is the one in which you manage to break free from the physical, mental, and emotional ties that remain between the two of you: you and your ex. This is the hard work necessary for you to recover from your divorce. The end goal is you as a single woman who has great self-esteem, bountiful confidence, and a lust for life. Of course, you can't achieve any of that without a total severance from the emotional turbulence that brought you to the brink of divorce in the first place.
It's all too common that women continue to feel the same feelings and follow the same behavior habits when dealing with their ex-husbands. There may be constant bickering, an inability to avoid reacting to his pushing your buttons, the resultant emotional upset, and too great a dependence on him. On his side, he may continue to hurl hurtful insults he knows full well will affect your self-esteem.
The only way to make the divorce really real is to summon up all your energy toward breaking those ties to your ex. If speaking about your children sets up the same old hurtful behaviors, you'll know you're not really divorced yet. You are still married to this man with your emotions. There is an attachment that has yet to be severed. You will need to reach deep inside of you to find how you are yet tied to this man.
Only once you acknowledge that the marriage is finished and there is not a hope or a wish for it to continue, will you be able to accept that you are divorced and move on. It is acceptance that enables you to carry on with your future, free of the past.
In order to move to this stage, you may have to set some ground rules for your ex. It may be as simple as requiring him to ring the doorbell before entering the home you once shared and in which you now live alone or it may be more complicated than that. It's a process. You have plenty of time to figure it out. Your whole life is ahead of you.