How many times have your family or friends “How’s the Ex”?
You know all too well that divorce requires an adjustment in how you see yourself outside your marriage. When you’re used to saying “we” or “ours”, it takes some time to make the shift from being a part of a couple to being divorce.
The same goes for your family and friends. They are still used to viewing you and your ex as a couple. Asking how your ex is doing may just be part of their habitual behavior. Of course, now that you’re divorced those old habits can start to grate on your nerves.
Just as it takes time for you to adjust your self-identify from being “part of a couple” to “being divorced”, it takes family and friends time too. This question can also be a subtle invitation to begin gossiping about your ex, which is not the best use of your time and energy.
Start to train these people to recognize the new configuration of your life by setting some boundaries. Next time someone asks you how your ex is doing, you can politely, but firmly, tell them “I don’t really know. We’re not together anymore. Why don’t you ask him?” You may get some snide looks, but you have made it clear that you simply don’t wish to discuss it.
One of the gifts of divorce is that you can re-create your life as you want it. Remember, you teach people how to treat you.
Success Strategist, coach and author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThriveAfterDivorce.com and ThrivePrinciples.com. Her mission is to empower others to turn adversity into opportunity so they can improve relationships, increase self-confidence and reach their highest potential. She is the award-winning author of The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. To receive a special gift, visit ThriveAfterDivorce.com.
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