Oh, that reappearing ex! You either have heard of one, had one, or helped support a friend with one. We understand you do not want to disrespect or jeopardize your current relationship, but getting your ex to understand this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Let’s face it, boundaries with your ex need to look different than the boundaries when you were in an intimate relationship with this person.
Learning how to create boundaries with an ex can be frustrating but Relationship Coaches, Antonio & Laura Moore have made it possible for you to create a healthier relationship with your ex – so that you can have peace in your relationship with someone else.
In order to establish a different kind of relationship with your ex there first needs to be some clear guidelines, boundaries and limits set. It is equally important for you to ensure that you’re not responsible for sending your ex mixed signals too. If you’re liking their photos, or texting them when your disappointed, those are signals that you might be receptive to keeping the lines of communication open.
It’s Time to Take Action
While receiving messages every now and again from an ex who is drunk isn’t the worst thing, it can be nerve-wracking to have your ex continuously pester you – especially when you are in a new relationship. Start by asking yourself if your ex does any of the following?
- Contacting your family members to convince you to talk to them
- Disrespecting your new partner
- Emotional blackmailing by saying they will kill themselves or harm you if you don’t respond or give them attention
- Keeps making promises to change or do better
- Not allowing you to see the kids or restricting your parenting time
- Repeatedly stalking you on social media or sending private messages
- Repeatedly texting or calling you
- Showing up to your work/home/school
- Threatening you with blackmail
- Trying to make grand gestures to “win” you back
The fact that your still reading this article is proof that you realize such behavior is definitely not healthy for you; or your new partner. However unique your situation might be redefining your life minus your ex, can be a very difficult and challenging. No matter how picture perfect you may have imagined things would be it is simply not working!
Work on What Boundaries are Most Important
Deciding what you need right now is important. You should take this time to figure which boundaries are important to you, and you do not worry about how they may change in the future. Start by taking the time to write them down some things that frustrate you or your partner one by one. There is no reason to rush this list, take your time while you are writing them down. You should mull it over and decide if they are right for you, or are you trying to appease your ex.
Think about the reason for setting each boundary that you are thinking of to make sure that it is something you want and need. For some people, there are some boundaries that stand firm and aren’t ever going to change.
You should know that while no boundary is set in the stone, you should never ever ignore anything. This will end up in leaving yourself vulnerable to issues in the future. If you don’t set up tough boundaries right now, it can get messy.
Be Open to Changes
If you or the person you are with is still talking to the ex, or exes and you are not on the same page about it, it will harm your relationship. If you’re dealing with a divorce and kids are involved, you may have no choice but to communicate with you ex.
Right now, you may be setting some boundaries because you need them. This can be due to your mental state, situation, or even feelings of vulnerability. As you go on with your new relationship, you may even find that some of the boundaries that you are setting currently need to be tougher or stronger. They may not be enough to form a new relationship with as is.
Regardless of what the reason is for the new change, you should still be open to the idea that some of the boundaries with an ex may not be permanent. As your life changes in hopefully better ways, your boundaries might change too. You may end up with more struggles and aggravations if you force yourself to keep the same old boundaries you had when you where in the relationship.
You need to adapt as your ex adapts too. If they continue to find new ways to bother you, you have to set more new boundaries to adapt to that. While it sounds hard, this is something you need to understand.
Go Ahead and Block Them if Necessary
If the ex is bothering you to the point where you need to block them, then they probably won’t respect the boundaries you are trying to maintain, either. It can be tough on your new relationship if you keep receiving calls and messages from an ex. Your new partner may not be as understanding when it comes to an ex since there may be some obvious jealousy and insecurity involved. An ex you had a history with shouldn’t have such power over your new relationship.
While you are attempting to move on from them by getting into a better relationship, you can block them if you need to. If you think it will make it easier for you to maintain boundaries with an ex, then you should take the step to block them. Relationship coaches recommend going ahead with it since it is a healthy decision to make.
You should make a plan when you do block them. You should ask yourself a few questions. How long will you block them? After you have unblocked them, do you still want to follow their updates and posts? Or do you want to keep it hidden so that you only get to see it when you are seeking it out? Do you want to remain connected to certain social media platforms or just specific ones? Do you only want to keep them unblocked on your phone so that they can just call or text you?
If you have kids together, you can’t keep them blocked forever. This is why asking such questions is important. If they aren’t respecting your boundaries and your mental health is suffering because of them, it can be a great idea to block them. Remember, nothing is above your mental health and peace of mind.
How to Create Boundaries with your Ex
Communicating with an ex can cause feelings of jealousy to surface on their part. But is there a reason to be? Setting these new boundaries with your ex is an important piece of forming a new relationship with him/her too. While it may be challenging, we are confident that you will find it worthwhile in the long run. Start by making a list of the reasons you need to create these boundaries.
- Be firm. Restate your position if needed.
- Detach yourself from your ex’s response. It is OK if s/he is angry, sad, or resistant. You aren’t responsible for his/her feelings.
- If you are feeling badly about it, challenge your negative thoughts to see if they are accurate.
- Politely and calmly state your position. This is simply being assertive.
- Reward yourself for working toward positive change.
- Seek support from a friend or family member who gets it.
Discussing Boundaries with Your Ex
Once you have some clarity on what boundaries you should be set with your ex, it is now time for you to talk to them. Perhaps the most crucial step out of all of these is laying out the boundaries so that the ex begins to mind them.
This is a serious step that may require face to face conversation, especially if you have any children together. Relationship coaches suggest that you follow up on the boundaries you have agreed to in writing if you feel like you should. However, if you feel like having a face to face conversation isn’t safe, it is better for you to stay away from them. Communicate however you can that won’t include continuous harassment or jeopardize your current relationship or health.
Seeking a Relationship Coach
You need to see things clearly before you can set clear limits on your old relationship and move onto a new one. Some breakups can be harder to process than others can be. Even when you don’t think it will affect you too hard, you may find yourself spiraling if your ex doesn’t leave you alone. Be sure that you set boundaries with an ex, but you may have no clue about how to set them or what they should even be. Perhaps you need to work through some issues or just vent so that you are ready to rebuild a new and different relationship with someone new.
If you think it can help you stand anew, you should seek a relationship coach for a structured approach. You can talk through anything you want to in a confidential safe environment. This will help you get some clarity over your situation, and you can even get advice and help in setting up boundaries. A relationship coach can also help you realize everything that was wrong with the relationship, which will allow you to have not make similar mistakes with your new partner or love interest.
Relationship coaching can help you put yourself in a much healthier and better mindset. This will only ensure that you are able to set clear boundaries with an ex and work towards building a new relationship that can be better for you.
In some cases, setting boundaries with an ex can be tough. If you are raising children together, sticking to and coming up with good boundaries can be complicated for sure.
If you are struggling to come to a conclusion about what boundaries you may need to reach an agreement, you should consider getting a third party to help you out. This can come in the shape of relationship coaches, or even a court mediator. They can help you flush out the boundaries that you need to have a healthier relationship with an ex.
Getting friends and relatives to understand what you are going through is important too. An ex who doesn’t respect your boundaries and continues to pester you can also turn dangerous when you don’t respond or give them attention. While giving in is not the answer, it can be safer for you to communicate with your loved ones about the problem so that they can be careful too.
Your New Partner’s Feelings
Knowing that your current partner is still in touch with an ex certainly can create jealousy. In the age of Facebook, we often know if a partner is still in touch with ex’s. If your partner is communicating with an ex, it doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on your relationship. If that ex is just part of their larger social network, it’s more likely that they are actually satisfied in their relationship with you. And if they’re still friends with an ex or have invested a lot of time in that relationship in the past, it doesn’t necessarily relate to how they feel about you. Having clear boundaries with your ex creates safe and healthy relationships with everyone involved including you, your new partner, your ex, your kids, and even your ex’s friends and family members.
Talking to Your Current Partner about Ex
One more important thing that you need to do is to communicate with your current partner that your ex won’t leave you alone. Your new partner may be glad that you opened up to them instead of trying to hide it. If you attempt to hide it from your partner, it can also put you in danger of losing the relationship or them getting into harm’s way.
If maintaining boundaries with an ex seems hard, it can be even harder when you are constantly trying to hide it from your new partner. Your new partner may even be able to give you some valid insight into how to maintain boundaries with an ex. They will also never be swayed by the ex if they already know what the situation is and your side of the story.
While communicating your grievances can be hard with a new partner, you should think about what you want to say beforehand. Once you have something in mind, approach them, and have a calm discussion. Listen to their side, too, and make sure that they don’t feel like you still have any feelings for the ex. Communicate your love for them and make sure they know the reason you are telling them is that you trust them.
Having boundaries with an ex is crucial since it can help keep you in a healthier relationship. You may need to amicably co-exist together for your children or some other reason, but doing so is only possible once you have a clear image of the boundaries you have set.