Maintaining a good relationship with you ex

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Keeping it civil is a matter of cooperation and collaboration.

How to maintain a good relationship with your ex

Ending a committed relationship with your partner can be difficult, especially when there is something binding you to each other. Kati Dijane unpacks ways of maintaining a good relationship with your ex in such a case.

As wonderful and beautiful love is, the fact of life is that sometimes it ends. Recently, some of our favourite celebrities such as Unathi Msengana, Melanie Bala and Masechaba Ndlovu have announced an end to their relationships with their partners.

According to 2016 Stats SA fewer people are getting married and divorce is on the rise, and black women at the average age of 40 represent the highest proportion of divorcees. Relationship coach Shelley Lewin advises that the best way to maintain a relationship with an ex is to be respectful, cooperative and collaborative.

Friends. Relationships with the same circle of friends may become divided, difficult or awkward when you go through a break-up or divorce. And the question would be, who should give them up? Life coach Rudzani Mashige says it’s better to establish new friendships different from you ex’s, especially when you are going through the healing process. However, this doesn’t mean you must cut off your friends completely, particularly when they understand that you are not comfortable talking about your ex or being in the same space with them.

Children. Break-ups can affect others around you, especially children. In this case it’s important to set your feelings aside and focus on their well-being. Being respectful, cooperative and collaborative is especially important when you and your ex have to be in the same environment such as the workplace, running a business or co-parenting. Your children are not pawns to use to manipulate or control each other. You need a fair and reasonable parenting plan so that there are no grey areas. Both parents must know their responsibilities and roles in raising their children.

Assets. When it comes to dividing shared assets it’s important to go the legal route. If you have accumulated assets together like your dream home, dividing assets can cause a lot of bitterness and tension.  Some of the channels you can take are a legal divorce or divorce mediation. Lawyers can assist you with dividing assets, enabling you to reach financial autonomy after the divorce is finalised.

Healing. Maintaining a healthy relationship after you break up must be a joint effort, especially when there are children and other important factors involved. You have to forgive yourself and your ex in order to move on. For some people, having a support system such as family and friends, and a resilient personality, make moving on easier. However, sometimes the break up can be overwhelming but as Joseph Campbell assures us in his well-known quote: “We must be willing to let go of the live we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us”.