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Should You Be Friends With The Ex?

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Question: Should You Be Friends With The Ex?

I have been separated since May, and find myself in a roller coaster of emotions every day. I have far too much contact with my ex and it pains me to see him happy. I was blindsided with the separation and love him dearly.

My question is... When will things start to make sense again? I love him so much but enjoy the alone time and whole house to myself, I love having my friends here, but I just love him so darn much?

How do I begin to reconcile these feelings? I don't want our relationship back, but I miss him in my life as my best friend and someone to share my kids' lives with.

Does this even make sense?

Stacy

Answer:

Hi Stacy,

You’ve only been separated a few short months, you may be expecting too much of yourself as far as how you should or should not be feeling. It isn’t unusual for the “roller coaster of emotions” to last for several months. It takes time to come to a place of acceptance of what is and let go of how we wish things were.

Coping with and coming to terms with an unwanted divorce is difficult. I think you will find it especially difficult since you seem to still have a close relationship with your husband. That relationship is like a habit you have to break and a need you have to let go of.

I encourage people to put effort into making the divorce process civil but it sounds like you’ve crossed the line from civil to unhealthy. Your emotions are taking a beating because you are choosing to continue to expose yourself to pain.

How do you begin to make sense of it all and begin to reconcile your feelings? You distance yourself from those things that cause you pain and seek out things that promote happiness and comfort.

Make a decision, do you want him and if you do then do what you need to heal your marriage. If you don’t want him, then be civil but have minimal contact with him. It is really that simple and I think you already know this. For you to be able to rebuild your life, you have to stop putting yourself in situations that cause pain. Share your children with him but not your heart.

Good luck!

Cathy

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