When you break up, whether it is a break-up from a committed long-term relationship or marriage, mutual or nasty, it is an extremely painful experience. It brings out different kinds of emotions; anger, grief, bitterness, relief or hurt.
But what happens after you go on your respective ways? Are you interested in keeping in touch with your ex-partner? Do you feel interested in talking to your ex?
It is a different scenario when you share kids or something common. For instance, business or say, you both work at the same place. But what if there are no kids and no common workplace or no joint business. You can be pleasant with them, but do you really want to be their friend?
Also, men and women behave differently. Many women don’t mind communicating with ex. They are also okay to initiate the first talk after break up. In the case of men, I did my own little research sending questions to find out how they think about communicating with ex.
I found out that men like to cut off completely regardless of how amicable the break-up was. It makes it harder for them to move on with their lives if they keep in touch when there are no kids or common venture involved. They said when it is done, it is done with zero open lines of communication with ex.
But again, it varies from individual to individual.
There are some dos and don’ts for communicating with ex:
1. Communicate your boundaries with your Ex
There is a reason why you are calling them your ex. Have a heart to heart talk and discuss the boundaries with each other. I know it is not that simple in many cases. But whatever you can do to let the other person know, the better it is.
If you are communicating with ex because of children involved or a common workplace or joint business, then more self-restraints are required of you. For example, don’t flirt when the dust settles down.
It is very easy to get back into your old behavioral patterns but remind yourself why you broke up in the first place. It won’t be a good idea to get yourself in the same situation again.
Communicate with your current partner honestly about how you are keeping up with your ex. Keep them in the loop as well so that they don’t feel left out and keep guessing what’s going on which can as a result strain your relationship. Be open about it. Effective communication is the key to all kinds of relationships.
2. Don’t depend on your ex for your personal needs
After the break-up, you require time to heal and move on, and for that, you’re going to need help. That help should come from your support system which is your family and friends or your therapist but NOT from your ex.
And ladies, you can’t call your ex and use him if you need some help around the house. That is not appropriate. The same applies to men. If they do, then you need to be firm and kind at the same time to let them know that you are no longer their support system.
Should I talk to my ex? Well, no!
Communicating with ex should be the last thing on your list.
3. Don’t badmouth your ex
Remember, it always takes two to tango. So, what they do is, they express their bitterness by publicly bad-mouthing their ex. Or they will try to poison their children’s minds.
Not a good idea at all.
If your child has some questions, you need to be extra careful how you phrase it and communicate with your child. How would you feel if your Ex is doing the same? And even if they are doing it, you don’t need to stoop to the same level and retaliate. Rather, show a touch of class. It will only help you move on.
4. Handle with grace if you run into your ex
If you live in the same city and by any chance, you run into your Ex, don’t take it as a sign from the universe that you ran into them because you are meant to be together. It’s not at all necessary to start a conversation with your ex or wonder about topics to talk about with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend
It is meant to teach you something.
Stay calm and strong, smile politely, and excuse yourself from the situation as soon as possible without being rude. And if your ex is with a new partner, there is no need to get jealous. Again, be graceful and get out. Remind yourself of their flaws and why you’re so much better off without them.
5. Work on yourself
When you decide to give yourself a good amount of time to heal, you reflect and see what areas in the relationship you can better yourself. You both need to grieve and heal separately and in your own way. Avoid communicating with ex during this period It will help to make your next relationship successful and fulfilling.
Get involved in various activities that you always wanted to but could not.
Like it or not, it’s what’s best for you. It is best for all – you, your ex, their new partner, and your new partner.
If you are already following these rules, congratulations, you are amazing.
“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect”. – Bruce Lee
It’s okay if your relationship did not meet the finish line. This does not mean that you should keep going back even after things are over.
The first and foremost rule is Acceptance. And once you do that, everything else falls in place whether or not you decide for communicating with ex or keeping in touch with them in the long run.
The video below, Clayton Olson talks about two sets of people- one, who use the breakup as a fuel to work on the next relationship while the second set of people who are not able to come to terms with what happened. The difference is the power of Acceptance. Know more below:
So, think rationally about communicating with ex and don’t be swayed by your impulsive emotions and get swayed at the moment of decision.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sonali Kukreja is a Certified Relationship & Life Coach, Psychologist, Visual Artist, Writer and an Ordained Minister. Her Ph.D research studied Marital Adjustment as she was always interested in working with intimate relationships. Being divorced herself, she made her a mission to help others by presenting thought provoking questions and spreading awareness about relationships. Born and raised in India she currently lives in South Florida, United States.