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  • So recently I had a client of mine ringing me up

  • and she was in a really tricky situation.

  • Her and her boyfriend of three years have basically just broken up.

  • Now, they live in the same flat together

  • and they've got five months left on the contract.

  • So not only are they going to have to share the flat

  • for another five months, but because it's a one bed flat,

  • they're going to have to share the same bed.

  • Can you even imagine how difficult that must be?

  • I remember helping one couple in particular whose communication

  • had become so toxic, that they could no longer hear and understand

  • what the other was asking.

  • All they heard were their worst fears.

  • Let's face it, breaking up is never easy.

  • But when you're in a situation that forces you to get on with an ex,

  • it can be a really difficult divide to cross.

  • People fall madly in love and in my experience,

  • they fall madly out of love as well.

  • You might find yourself in a tricky situation

  • if you live in the same halls as your ex at university

  • or you go to a party or a wedding of a mutual friend

  • or you happen to work together.

  • Often the people I help share children and assets.

  • And although you may not like them at the moment,

  • your ex is likely to be your best possible resource

  • to help you look after your children

  • and create the life that you want for yourself.

  • A messy breakup means that you need to find creative ways

  • to cross the divide.

  • I know it's not always possible

  • but really try to give one another proper space after the breakup.

  • Ideally commit to going around six months to one year of no contact,

  • just so that you give yourselves the chance to get each other

  • out of your systems.

  • Take advice from all sources -

  • Accountants, tax advisors, benefit officers -

  • whatever is going to help you the most.

  • If you have an area that you're afraid of,

  • if you're afraid of finances... get help.

  • Don't ignore it or stick your head in the sand and hope it will go away,

  • it won't.

  • Embrace it and grow.

  • When you do see your ex in a social situation,

  • go out of your way to take the high road, however difficult that may be.

  • Say hello, be graceful, be mature.

  • So I was in a situation like this myself a few years ago.

  • I had been asked to do a speech at a festival

  • about a book that I'd written, now this book was mainly

  • about a really painful breakup that I'd had with an ex.

  • And my new boyfriend of a year had come to watch me do this talk.

  • And as the workshop started,

  • in walks my ex, from the book, with his new girlfriend.

  • And look, this could have been such an awkward situation

  • for my new boyfriend, but as soon as the workshop was over,

  • he went right up to my ex, introduced himself

  • and they ended up really, really getting on.

  • So much so, that he has very recently asked my ex

  • to be an usher at our wedding next year.

  • Get in touch with the new you and who you want to be.

  • Think about where you might want to be in a year's time.

  • Be curious about those options, think about your wider context.

  • Get back in touch with your passions, your friends

  • and the person that you may have compromised in the relationship.

  • Focus on the future and the person you want to be,

  • rather than the painful events that may have taken place.

  • Whatever you do, do not put your mutual friends

  • in an awkward position by making them choose between you and your ex

  • or talking really negatively about your ex behind their back.

  • Trust me, this does not put you in a good light.

  • Mentalise and empathise with your ex-partner's needs

  • and try to be objective.

  • It takes a great deal of emotional effort

  • to see your ex through that lens.

  • But remember you did love them once,

  • and you did see their positive attributes.

  • They still have them, you just can't see them right now.

  • Thanks for watching! :)

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So recently I had a client of mine ringing me up

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A2 situation breakup madly boyfriend workshop flat

Six tips on how to get on with your ex (when you have to) | BBC Ideas

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    Summer posted on 2020/10/15
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