Having an amicable relationship with your ex (is it possible)?
Is an amicable relationship with your ex possible?
It’s much easier, legally speaking, for two people to become one couple, compared to a couple breaking apart into separate individuals.
There’s usually plenty of emotional pain, whatever the circumstances leading up to the split. There is the physical act of dividing up a household, from furniture to finances, which can be equally exhausting. Even under the best of circumstances, when both couples know a divorce is the right move, and a split goes “better than some,” there still could be some lingering feelings of regret, uncertainty or heartache.
Some people use this pain as a way to say “never again” to future legal unions. Others try to be more selective in choosing future spouses. Whether or not you find future love the next time around, the bigger question is what kind of relationship you’ll now have with your ex. This is easier said than done especially if one was the wronged party in a fidelity or a criminal situation.
But circumstances may come up where you’ll be encouraged to call a temporary truce and appear unified. For instance, jointly sharing the upbringing of a child may require mutual decisions, or at least attending parent-teacher conferences together.
Some experts say the boundaries can go even further and exes serve useful roles, while others say the break needs to be clean and swift, with limited exceptions. Forcing people to still be friends may falsely keep a door open, even just a crack, and prevent either person from fully moving on.
If you want to try to make things work, here are some do’s and don’ts.
- Get honest advice. Who better to give you a reality check than someone who knows you well and can “tell it like it is.”
- Plan for your children’s future. Children, especially, may require collaboration on costs, discipline, scheduling of school events or even joint-decision making.
- Be a buddy. Inviting them to social gatherings like movies or parties might be confusing to them and to your peers, even though people will either remark how nicely things are going or wonder if things aren’t as rosy as they appear.
- Discuss romance. If they’re still tender, they may not be delighted to learn that you found someone new. They also won’t want to hear any romantic failures either. There are plenty of other pals you can gossip with.
Keep in mind individual circumstances may vary and time can heal many wounds. A “never ever” to the friend question today may be “I’m not as mad” in a few years.