Running into Ex-Spouse Post-Divorce

If you are still in the midst of divorce, it helps to set the ground work for accidental encounters with your ex-spouse down the road. The relationship charity Restored Lives, suggests wishing them well. The objective is to close that chapter in your lives so that you can move forward. You then part ways on a good note. Giving them directions to Hell – makes it more difficult when bumping into one’s former partner socially. Some people go to great lengths to never see their former spouse again, such as by moving across the country. Others are glad to keep in touch and consider them as a friend. What to do if you are somewhere in the middle of this continuum?

  • When running into an ex, have a pleasant expression and ask a few general questions as you would for an acquaintance. It is okay to keep moving slowly while talking, in order to make the conversation brief. If on friendlier terms, feel free to suggest a quick cup of coffee.
  • If it looks like she is about to kiss you and you are uncomfortable, copy Oprah Winfrey. She is not a hugger and has mentioned a way to get around this awkward moment. Quickly extend your arm and grab their hand to shake it, with one or both of your hands. Your ex may not be sure how to greet you and this gesture can be helpful for her too.
  • If your ex has not have spotted you in the crowd, retreat slowly so as to not draw attention to yourself. Do not stare, but rather stay focused on your get-away without her knowing you are nearby. If seeing your ex strolling down an aisle at the grocers or a shop, turn around and get to the cashier’s for a speedy departure. Avoiding their favorite cafes, coffee shops, etc., lessens the chance of an unwanted encounter. Restaurants where we frequented as a couple, were dropped during my divorce. Divorce brings the opportunity to discover new dining spots and replace old memories with better ones.
  • Former spouses may attend the same event, particularly if it is for their child. They say hello and then go to the opposite ends of the room – as boxers do in the ring. The kid has the benefit of both parents being present. This strategy is also used when one’s ex has remarried and their new spouse is accompanying them. Above all do not make a scene, especially at a daughter or son’s wedding. One is more apt to make a fool of themselves when alcohol is thrown into the mix. Too many drinks can have you regretting words and actions to your ex the next day (or your offspring will).  Please read more http://mensdivorce.com/bumping-into-ex-spouse/

Dealing with Grief when an Ex-Spouse Dies

Going through a divorce encompasses the stages of grief. There may be anger or signs of depression during divorce. One may be in denial about the whole process and thus delaying the sessions. One mourns losses – identity, lifestyle, or losing some mutual friends. It takes time getting through the grief process with divorce and moving on.

When an ex dies, this grief cycle can be reactivated again. Even if the former spouse is a dim recollection, their death can trigger a myriad of emotions. It can start one on a trip down Memory Lane with rehashing both the good and troubling ones. Shock may be the first reaction. Take a pause in your busy life to acknowledge and then process these mixed emotions. Pour out your feelings to friends over lattes, get some fresh air with a walk in a leafy area, or release tension through physical activities. There are no “shoulds” – “I should feel sad” I should have done…..” You did what you felt was best at that time. Whatever you are feeling is fine.

In some cases, the death of a former spouse brought up the issue of abandonment all over again, as it had with divorce. Other folks I interviewed, claimed that they felt absolutely nothing upon hearing about their former partner’s demise. It felt impersonal as if it was someone in the news who had died. Their divorce was behind them and their ex had not been in their thoughts for a long time. Three women who had divorced abusive husbands, felt a sense of relief when these men died. It was closure for a traumatic time in their lives and they no longer had to worry about bumping into these toxic former spouses.

People can be devastated when learning about their former spouse’s passing. This death firmly closes the door to fantasies of reuniting when one has carried a glimmer of hope for their ex’s return.  Please read more… http://www.divorcemag.com/blog/things-to-consider-grieving-the-death-of-former-spouse


Psychological Abuse in Marriage and After Divorce

Psychological Abuse during marriage can leave a former spouse questioning their own capabilities and mental status. It is debilitating and can have long lasting effects. Psychological abuse is sometimes referred to as “gas lighting” after the 1941 thriller starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. In the film, Paula is a newlywed returning to the house of her murdered aunt. Her new husband manipulates her into doubting her memory, experiences and eventuality her sanity. Paula sees the gas lights flicker and hears footsteps overhead when her spouse is supposedly not home. He convinces Paula that she is going insane for his own sinister purpose.

A spouse committing gas lighting may be setting up a situation (as in the film) and telling their spouse that it is all in their head. The goal is to have someone question what is real and exert control over them. Psychological abuse is using words and actions to destroy another person without physical violence. Partners may be told that they are too sensitive, suspicious or jealous. Making a “joke” that demeans a spouse when the intention is to tear them down is abuse. It is a stream of criticisms and cruelty over a period of time.

A psychological abuser often attempts to isolate the person from their friends and family. This increases their power over the spouse and lessens the chance others will persuade them to initiate divorce. When someone feels helpless, they are less likely to leave. The target of this abuse questions their intelligence and being able to be on their own. Think about your marital situation. Have your friends fallen by the wayside? Are you out of touch with relatives? Are you doubting your talents? Are you belittled when in the presence or others?

If feeling uncomfortable and doubtful about your well-being and abilities, get some help. A family doctor can recommend a therapist. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for example, can help change faulty perceptions, and give a reality check. A professional can help you sort out your situation to decide which path to take.

This is an unhealthy situation for children to witness. They do not know how to help and can be caught in the middle. Parental alienation can occur when one parent is constantly putting down the other and children might question the targeted parent’s authority. If the kids think this marital situation is normal, then they run the risk of emulating it down the road in their own relationships. Please read more… http://divorcedmoms.com/articles/what-you-need-to-know-about-psychological-abuse-before–after-divorce