After a divorce, the two biggest challenges are setting new boundaries with your ex-spouse and balancing grieving with moving forward with your life. Communicating and having to deal with your ex-spouse after you have divorced is a necessity, especially when the parties have had children together. In order for one to handle a new relationship with your ex-spouse without slipping back into the same old habits of interacting with each other does require breaking the emotional ties that keep you bound to these old habits.

To truly be divorced one must put forth great effort and inner healing that will sever your ties to your ex-spouse and you must build a structure that will facilitate that work.

A positive way in which one may want to determine the nature of this new relationship with your ex-spouse is to set boundaries or put rules in place which may include the following:

1. Communicate with your ex-spouse in writing, or by way of a short telephone call. Keep all communication  limited to only what is necessary in respect of the children.

2. Speak to one another in a respectful manner. When your ex-spouse starts to speak to you in an inappropriate way, stop the conversation, hang up or walk away.

3. Ensure that your home is your home. It is not a place for your ex-spouse to visit the children and treat the home as if it were his/her home.

4. Keep your conversations clear and to the point. Protect your privacy and treat the conversations in a business-like-fashion.

5. One must NOT involve the children in any communication between the two of you. 

6. Stay out of each other’s lives. 

7. Do not look to your ex-spouse for advice or support. This might be the hardest tie to break. Rather look to friends of family for support.

8. The maintenance you receive from your ex-spouse is not a gift. The Court determines what financial support is required for the child or children and it does not give your ex-spouse the right to comment upon, or berate you about finances.

9. You are not a wife or husband anymore and you are not required to assist him or her as you did when you were married. 

You will be much more successful in healing yourself and moving forward with your life if you are able to adopt rules and create an environment that keeps you physically and mentally separate from your ex-spouse. Don’t squander your time and effort on your ex-spouse after divorce. It’s all about you, and the exciting and wonderful future in front of you.

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Author – Kate Bailey – Hill

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