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Establish boundaries with an ex to protect your future happiness

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2019 | Divorce |

The chance of divorce in a second marriage is even higher than the first, which makes the healing process essential for future happiness. Despite being legally divorced, many couples still interact with each other as they did when they were married, making it hard to shake off resentments, emotional patterns, and anger. If this pattern is not corrected after divorce, it will continue and often negatively impact any subsequent relationships you form with a new partner, your children, and stepchildren. So, what can you do to increase your chances of a successful second marriage?

Blended families are not the same

First, do not expect your second marriage to work the way your first one did. This means that you need to have your eyes open to the fact that a relationship with kids and exes is going to be different from the one you had the first time around. There will be rivalries between ex-spouses, ex-spouses and in-laws, and divided loyalties among stepchildren. This does not make a blended family any less, it is simply different. You and your new spouse will need a different set of skills to manage the terrain.

A meddling ex can ruin a second marriage

Many women with a partner on his second marriage leave the relationship due to the power and control that the ex-wife exerts on their lives. They feel powerless from the influence of this third party on their relationship. However, this is a direct result of the failure to sever emotional ties between the former spouses. The relationship between exes needs to change in order to eliminate or reduce this problem. But how is it accomplished?

Boundaries and disengagement

Boundaries are essential. When a marriage ends, the focus needs to be on the children. This means that you do not share the details of your personal lives or relationships with your ex, other than information that may impact the kids. Do not lean on your ex for emotional support, or vent to them about problems in your new relationship.

Form a business-like relationship instead

The easiest way to accomplish the appropriate distance is to view it as a business relationship. Would you tell a business colleague intimate details about your current partner? Walk into their home uninvited? Call or text twenty times in a row? No. So, do not do this with your ex-spouse, and do not allow them to do it to you. Instead, narrow your communications with the other parent to focus on: who, what, when, where, and how in order to resolve scheduling or financial conflicts.

Time and consistency heals wounds of the past

The difficulty with boundaries is sticking to them consistently, or establishing them to begin with after being locked into a pattern with another person for years. If you and your new partner have done the work of processing the grief from the divorce, established new healthy boundaries and maintain open lines of communication with one another, you will be on the road to beat the odds.


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