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Managing Your Ex

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Divorce Detox: There are many kinds of endings in life. We endure the end of life with death, the end of a marriage with divorce and the end of pregnancy with birth. These different kinds of endings all share one thing in common: After the ending comes a new beginning. 

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Regardless of the struggles that existed in the relationship pre-divorce, most divorced (or divorcing) people tend to treat their exes the same way they treated them when they were together. Here are some of the common mistakes divorcing couples make:

Continuing to Relate as a Married Couple
Marriage presumes intimacy, loyalty, priority and support. Many couples assume that these relational qualities remain after a divorce. It's hard to face the harsh reality that someone you once loved (and who once loved you) is no longer your "go-to" person. This is one of the most painful losses of divorce: the loss of someone whom you'd presumed would be there no matter what.

Sharing Personal Information
It may seem natural to share your most intimate secrets with your ex, since that's what you did throughout your marriage. Talking with your ex about your dating life, your new partner or even how you are spending your time is not necessary or productive, however. Finding more appropriate outlets for sharing is an integral part of managing your ex-relationship and moving on from divorce.

Acting Like Enemies
On the flip side, many people forget the value of what they shared with their exes while they were married and only see the negative aspects of the person they once loved. Extended negative interaction could cause irreparable damage to the relationship and the children. Whether your goal is to never see or speak to your ex again or to learn how to endure your ex because you share custody, managing the relationship in a healthy, productive way is in everyone's best interest.

Expecting Certain Actions and Behaviors from Your Ex

Expecting your ex to behave the way he did when you were married will set you up for failure and disappointment. Expecting that your ex will suddenly start treating you better than he did during your marriage is unrealistic, too. Unrealistic expectations lead to feeling let down and frustrated, which in turn leads to negative and unproductive interactions. Realizing that your ex has no obligation to treat you the same way he did when you were married will help you to set realistic expectations. 

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