Not all marriages are meant to be – while some spouses can pull along together despite the inevitable individual priorities and dreams, some end up going their different ways. However if this does not mean that ex-spouses cannot remain put their divorce behind and move on towards a mature friendship. Children, shared interests and common friends are other aspects which can provide fillip to this kind of relationship. Here are thus a few ways on how to be friends with your ex-husband.
An amicable divorce helps
Divorce brings with it the inevitable pain of a disintegrating life. However if you and your spouse can put aside mutual animosity and keep a level head, there is no reason why you cannot approach the process in a mature way. The most aspect of keeping the divorce amicable is to deal directly with your estranged husband and ensure all channels of communication are open. This will not only help you to cut down on the expense of a mediator during a divorce but also bring about greater transparency between your respective perspectives and priorities. Use the one-to-one meetings to thrash out issues like alimony, child support, visitation rights if you have kids, the possibility of continuing to remain in touch with each other’s family and how best to let the other person know if either of you happen to start seeing someone else.
More importantly, go for collaborative instead of adversarial litigation. Even if you both cannot come to agreement on key issues like alimony or child custody by yourselves, there are legal processes to assist you. Mediation is one such option in which a mediator trained in conflict resolution and family law facilitates discussions between you and your estranged spouse along with providing information and resources required to reach a mutually satisfactory deal. The collaborative process is yet another way to an amicable divorce even though this involves greater participation of attorneys and leaves you or your spouse less room to do your own negotiations. But then any option which allows you to avoid the bitterness and trauma of an adversarial litigation should be explored if you want remain friends with your ex-husband later on.
Get back with your ex with this step-by-step guide.
Make joint parenting a priority
If you have children together, remaining friends with your ex-husband after the divorce may prove invaluable in helping them cope with the divorce. The breakdown of a family and a known way of life is bound to expose your kids to feelings of insecurity, abandonment, grief and perhaps even guilt. But the end of a marriage need not mean that children should lose a parent. Firstly try to come to a reasonable agreement on child custody, visitation and child support issues. These are some of the most difficult decisions that one needs to make during a divorce but seeing eye to eye on them will go a long way in keeping the process less stressful for everyone concerned. Try to make your ex-husband party to all major decisions affecting the kids so that raising them continues to be a joint effort. Even if the kids are staying with you, make sure their dad is kept well-informed about their needs and progress at school. Avoid making negative remarks about the other parent before your kids or they might feel compelled to choose between the two of you. Also continue to stick to any rules - like no body piercings or eating in bed - that you may have made when living together so that kids don’t feel insecure about their lives. Even if you make new rules, ensure that your ex-husband knows about them so that kids cannot play one parent against the other. Finally do not your kids as messengers between you and your spouse. Firstly the system is bound to fail as an effective means of communication and more importantly your kids can do without the added strain of being used as ping pong balls between parents.
Continue to pursue shared interests
If you and your ex-husband had been close enough to marry, chances are that you shared significant interests – it could be a love of experimental cuisine, jazz of the 1940s or a thing for hair-raising extreme sports. Continue to use those hobbies and interests to provide meaning and a new direction to your new friendship; this will help both of you to keep the focus away of your past as a married couple and open up other avenues of discussion and interaction.
Respect new boundaries
However if you wish sincerely wish your friendship with your new ex-husband to work, ensure that you meet on a neutral ground. It is important to recognize the fact that now you both have been reverted to the status of single persons, each of you is free to develop new relationships. Thus if you constantly keep dropping in your ex-husband’s place, no matter how innocent your intentions, you could soon find things turning complicated between you two. For the same reason, avoid calling him at times when you know he is at work or out on a date, unless it is an emergency that warrants such an interruption. Likewise check with him before making plans like a Sunday lunch or a picnic with kids and don’t assume that he would drop everything to be out with his former family.
Finally learn to adapt to a single way of life
If it has been a long time since you were on your own, you may be daunted at the prospect of being single again and keep asking your ex-husband to do things for you. While this may seem to be keep you close, in the long run this will turn into a relationship of unhealthy dependence instead of a well-adjusted friendship. Just take one day at a time and enlist the help of close family, friends and co-workers to cope with the challenges of a newly single life. Introduce small changes in your routine that will prevent memories of your married past. For instance if taking an after-dinner walk with your spouse had been a ritual, use another route or join a gym. Also work towards inculcating new interests, getting to know new people and having an active social life apart from your ex. Learning to adjust to a new way of life and enjoying your own singlehood is essential to keeping your relationship with your ex-husband healthy and mutually satisfying.