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Help Dealing With The Ex
From the first stunning blow to starting over, remember that what you do with your life now is totally up to you!
If you absolutely cannot talk with your Ex, find a neutral third party to exchange information. Children are not a neutral third party. This webpage is here to help you find alternatives and advice to help you deal with your ex positively.
Few things in life are as painful as a breakup. Dealing with an ex is no picnic, either. Here, you can learn how to understand the different types of emotions connected to dealing with your ex, AND make them work to your advantage! We're here to help.
Help and advice dealing with the ex husband, ex wife, ex girlfriend, ex boyfriend, or ex lover
How to Deal With Your Ex
Un-attach Yourself from you Ex
Attachment and heavy dependency on others defeat and crush one’s
overall well being, unfortunately. One can feel so meaningless when he
or she is away from the "usual" external source of love and comfort.
Such a dependency defeats one to his or her core being, because choices
are recognized as the byproduct of something “larger” than the person
him or herself, something that is believed to be “love.” This type of
“love,” unfortunately, is not the love that heals.
When choices are not the byproducts of self-respect for one’s self and for others, they place themselves into everlasting “love-seeking” dreams. Dreams for perfection, dreams for the safe heaven. Dreams that are hard to realize, dreams that lead them into the death of personal creativity, individuality and ability to comprehend the world in a genuine way.
However, is there a perfect world in a perfect safe heaven in this world? The answer is simple. Yes, there is. But where it is? It is within you.
Being totally attached and heavily dependent on others won’t open this door to the tiny place inside our hearts called inner peace. As it goes without saying, without this inner peace, one is less likely to be self-empowered. Thus, without self-empowerment, being alive is like being tortured. You’ve better get used to unexplainable sudden sadness and feelings of incompetence, not to mention finding yourself hard to adjust in new environments (regardless of how supportive the new environments are).
Life is a process of change to progress and to regress. We need to
fully acknowledge and realize that. Otherwise, we won’t feel fit
anywhere we go and in anything we do. Biologically speaking, mature
adults experience regression, while at the same time progressing career
wise and psychologically. We have been experiencing changes all our
lives, thus one tiny step ( a relationship break-up) shouldn't be
magnified in a manner that hurts our potential to self-empowerment.
Being able to acknowledge this and be willing to appreciate the change
as a process of growing up and getting empowered would be the best
attitude to help ease the pain of this type of transition.
Life is an odd thing. Being alive is not. Seek the inner peace within you, then you’ll realize that you’re born a winner. A winner who understands him or herself. A winner who respects life and self-respect.
Some Things To Remember About Dealing With Your Ex
1. Exes are rarely 'The One'
How can they be? No, really, it's not technically possible, there are just too many of them. 'The One' is still to come...
2. Revenge is a dish best served cold
Avoid hot-headed schemes, however hot your head. I know of one woman who, when dumped, immediately rented the flat next door to her ex and set about monitoring his comings and goings. If she suspected he was out with someone else, she'd wait up all night for him, then hang out the window and shout 'Here comes the c***!' as he walked up the path. The result: he moved out, she was stuck with a rental she did not want.
3. Let your friends keep you real
Another true story: a friend of mine was so distressed by her break-up she spent days putting together a flyer detailing her version of events. 'Women of Henley, Beware!' it read, before going on to dissect the poor man's business failings and sexual idiosyncrasies. We talked her out of actually posting the thing. When it comes to exes, listen to your friends. As a general rule of thumb, what works for Samantha in Sex and the City does not do so well in the sleepy English towns and villages...
4. SF-ex really can work
If you can't get your ex out of your head, try these visualization techniques: picture him as a cartoon character, in black and white, speaking in whispers or a high-pitched helium whine. Believe it or not, these mental special effects will help create the psychological distance you need.
5. Exes are not new best friends
It may seem like a good idea when you're looking for any last crumb he'll offer, or indeed if you're the one trying to soften the blow, but you can never be best friends with an ex. At best there'll be some awkward introductions when you do meet someone new, at worst, you'll get stuck in a rut of comparison shopping and never move on. Unless you share children, stick to Christmas cards.
6. Exes reunited...
We've all heard the Friends' Reunited stories: we're a nation obsessed with our exes, even from years, decades, ago. By all means exchange news - how gratifying it is to learn that while you've been moving and shaking in the Big Smoke with the best hair cut money can buy, he's been stuck in a cubicle in a call centre with no hair left at all. Just don't expect to rekindle that heat you once felt over a pint of cider between A-level English and Geography. It won't happen, not for long, at any rate.
7. There's a fine line...
...between setting the record straight and actual harassment. Do send an outpouring of the heart in letter form, even seal it with a kiss if you must. That's just closure. Don't leave wreaths on his car windscreen and boiled bunnies in his pots - that's a matter for the police.
8. Everybody hurts
It's not just the dumped who've got their hearts in their boots, dumpers feel bad too. So don't believe that as you slowly atrophy on the sofa, watching a series of Friends a day, he's back out there, happy as Larry, looking for love. He's not. And if he is, then thank God he's out of your life in the first place.
Avoiding an Argument Dealing with The Ex
So what are some of the techniques for getting
along with your difficult ex?
One of the basic premises of conflict management is stepping away from an argument. (We hate it when somebody points this out to us, but it really does take two to make an argument.) Defusing an angry verbal assault will help you reduce your own stress level appreciably.
When your spouse or ex begins ranting about your shortcomings as well as those of your children, his or her boss, your mother, the bank, car mechanic, or the world in general, you instinctively feel defensive. You want to set the record straight, and your adrenaline surge makes you want to fight. The result is a pointless shouting match which only ratchets up the mutual level of anger.
Instead try this technique: look him or her in the eye and listen, but don't react. Acknowledge what is being said (or shouted) with replies like:
"I can hear you're angry." or "I can see you're upset." This acknowledges their right to an opinion, and says that you're listening rather than tuning out. It doesn't indicate agreement or disagreement.
A slight variation that accomplishes the same purpose is called mirroring in which you simply reflect back what they've said:
"You're saying you feel frustrated with the visitation schedule." or "You feel I don't keep you up to date on the kids."
With either of these approaches, it's important to avoid loaded language. Resist the temptation to use sarcasm or supposedly innocent emotional jabs. Also avoid using the words "ever" and "never." They can be even more infuriating than shouting and your objective is to de-escalate the heat of the exchange.
Notice, you're not saying you agree or disagree. All you're doing is acknowledging that you hear what the other person is saying. These techniques will let you accomplish two things:
When you refuse to get into an argument, therapists say you're not
picking up the rope (as you would in a tug of war). By the same token,
if you stop arguing back, they say you've let go of the rope. Either way
the argument can't escalate if you can stay relatively calm and firm.
The other thing is that some people just love to fish you in and push your hot buttons until they can get you to say something dumb. Then they light into you for that. If you remain neutral, you won't give them any ammunition.
After such an encounter, you may need to go for a long walk, work out at the gym, or gripe to a friend to relieve the stress. But you'll feel far more rational and in control than if you'd joined in the yelling match!
Dealing with the Ex: The Dos and Don’ts:
Keep in mind when you're dealing with an ex:
1) That the “high road” is always a good choice.
2) Ninety percent of the emotion associated with a conflict-laden exchange with your Ex stems from the history (yours, theirs, and your shared history) rather than the event itself.
3) Conflicted incidents with your Ex actually trigger thoughts that produce your negative emotions, which, in turn, lead to your making a negative response. This sets the stage for more negativity in any subsequent interactions with them. You can choose to substitute a negative-emotion-inducing thought with a more productive thought.
4) Anger is the most frequently cited feeling associated with conflict-laden exchanges with the Ex. However, anger usually masks a more specific and accurate feeling.
5) If you are feeling “controlled” or “suffocated”, chances are that you are acting in irresponsible ways.
6) If you are feeling “overwhelmed” and “unappreciated”,
chances are that you have been overly responsible in your actions.
To find out who owns the problem, sort out:
1) What, precisely, is the problem?
2) Who is having a negative reaction to it? If it is you, ask yourself: “What thoughts are provoking these feelings? Change the thought(s) if necessary.
3) Who brought the issue up?
4) Who is responsible for the solution? Usually, the person who brought up the issue is the one who “owns” the problem and needs to do something about it.
5) Ask yourself: “Is this a big deal?” If not, don’t sweat the small stuff.
When an issue needs to be addressed dealing with your Ex:
1) Book a time with them to address it.
2) Keep it to one issue at a time.
3) Use a neutral location.
4) Be clear, ahead of time, regarding your feelings concerning the issue.
5) Know why you are feeling the way that you are.
6) Be clear on what you want them to do differently.
7) Be able to state, in a positive way, what you want them to do differently (e.g., I want you to leave earlier so you will be on time to pick up the kids.) rather than in a negative way. (e.g., Stop being late.)
8) Avoid using “never” and “always” as in: “You’re never on time”.
9) Keep your voice tone in check.
10) Have an “out” prepared. For example, “We’ll have to keep this brief because I have to pick up the kids in five minutes.”
11) Have enforceable consequences (for non-compliance) identified before hand. Ensure that you can follow through, and will follow through with any consequences you decide to impose.
12) Use an “I message” that is formulated to include the following four parts:
The action that gives you concern
The way you feel about that action
Why you feel the way you do about the action, and
A statement of the desired action.
[If you are addressing a female, put the "feeling" segment at the start of the “I message”. If you are addressing a male, state the “desired action” first.]
If the discussion is simply not moving forward, it may be necessary to “be a broken record” and reiterate the desired behavior several times during the discussion. The goal here is to get the focus clearly on a particular point, not to inflame the situation. So your tone of voice should convey your clarity of focus.
Do not use this strategy in a situation that is becoming hostile or
in a situation where aggression may erupt.
If the exchange provokes hostility when dealing With the ex:
1) acknowledge their reaction (e.g., I can hear your displeasure in the tone of your voice.),
2) assert that further discussion is necessary,
3) propose another time when you can reconvene to discuss the issue, and
If your Ex indicates they have no intention to comply, or they fail to change their behavior in the way you have requested, put your consequences in place—and stick to them. If you fail to stick to them, you can be sure that they will be more difficult to deal with the next time—and there will be a next time.
As a general rule, don’t agree to any revisions or changes of plan without first “touching base” with your partner. For example, say: “Before I can give you the ‘OK’ on that, I’ll need to make sure that it won’t conflict with any existing commitments. I'll get back to you later today, or tomorrow to let you know for sure.”
Don’t ‘hang the blame’ on your partner. Your Ex needs to know that you have a backbone.
Don’t be stampeded. If your Ex is demanding an answer ‘right now’,
say: “If you have to have an answer right now, it’ll have to be ‘No’.
However, if you can hold off until I can see how things are shaping up,
my answer might be ‘Yes’.
If communication through verbal means is too emotionally charged, try written or electronic communication.
If you absolutely cannot talk wit your Ex, find a neutral third party to exchange information. Children are not a neutral third party.
Lilly is an experienced professional who has specialized in helping people with loss, heartbreak, and abandonment for more than two decades.
Books About Dealing With Your Ex: Help Dealing With An Ex After A Relationship Ends
- I Need Your Love - Is That True? : How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead - Katie helps you question everything you have been taught to do to gain love and approval. In doing this, you discover how to find genuine love and connection. This book helps you illuminate every area in your life where you seem to lack what you long for most—the love of your partner, the respect of your child, a lover’s tenderness, or the esteem of your boss. Through its penetrating inquiry, you will quickly discover the falseness of the accepted ways of seeking love and approval, and also of the mythology that equates love with need. Using the method in this book, you will inquire into painful beliefs that you’ve based your whole life on—and be delighted to see them evaporate. Katie shows you how to move on, unraveling the knots in the search for love, approval, and appreciation brings real love and puts you in charge of your own happiness.
- Closure and the Law of Relationship: Endings as New Beginnings - "The universe teaches us that relationships don't end," Coffey says. "We remain connected to the people in our lives through our memories and shared experiences. Coming to terms with the changes in our relationships is what will bring us closure." With real-life examples, Transformation Applications, and Wisdom Affirmations throughout, Coffey has created a practical, spiritual guide that offers a five-step process to help us move on and achieve a sought-for peace of mind and greater Self-realization.
- Letting Go: A 12-Week Personal Action Program to Overcome a Broken Heart - Are you crying over sad songs? Seeing his or her face in every crowd? Aching with loneliness and hoping the phone will ring? Feeling that no one else can give your life meaning? Losing a loved one is the most devastating crisis of intimate living. It can jeopardize your health... even your life. You might think only passing time will ease your pain, but now you can begin to end the hurt today. Within three months you can erase painful memories, regain control of your feelings, and be free to love again. Discover how to: Short-circuit acute symptoms of grief and depression; Turn hurt into healthy anger; Fall out of love; Rebuild your self-esteem; Break the "sex hook" to your ex.
- Extreme Breakup Recovery | Maximum Healing in Minimum Time - This is the proven shortcut to moving on and recovering completely after any breakup. “Better than a $1,000 worth of therapy.” It shows you the quick way to transform and benefit from your breakup. Extreme Breakup Recovery will show you: How to recover from a breakup faster than you thought possible with step by step guidance through the FAST method. How to get over your ex once and for all, taking control of your life immediately. How to use this breakup to transform your life and relationships forever. Includes powerful exercises and worksheets for truly self-help amazing results.
- The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life - Susan Anderson's book clearly defines the five phases of grieving over a lost relationship. This book is designed to help all victims of emotional breakups whether they are suffering from a recent loss, or a lingering wound from the past; whether they are caught up in patterns that sabotage their own relationships, or they're in a relationship where they no longer feel loved.
- He's History, You're Not: Surviving Divorce After 40 - This is one of the few divorce books that addresses the fact that divorce has a different meaning at every age. Manfred is so candid about her own divorce as a woman of a certain age’ that readers are sure to feel they’ve found a wise friend to see them through the trauma of divorce and help them discover their post divorcÚ selves.