Is it ever possible to stay around an ex’s family?
Even though Elaine Ventura had dated her ex for about half a year, their breakup was relatively painless. “We just weren’t on the same page,” she says. “Not to mention that I was a lot older than him.” They stopped speaking shortly after the breakup and she has not heard a word from him since. Even so, Ventura stays in touch with his mother. “It was harder for me to let go of his mother,” she says. “We were the perfect trio: my ex, his mother and me. I loved that his mother treated me like I was their own daughter. I would literally go out with her anywhere if I wasn’t with her son. “Ventura says that once when she and her ex were fighting, his mother even stepped on her side. Even years after Ventura and her ex split up, she and his mom still like each other’s Instagram posts. But while Ventura doesn’t feel like talking to her ex again, she says that his mother is still in her heart. Everyone’s relationship is unique, so it’s difficult to make a blanket statement about how to deal with an ex’s family after the breakup. But Rachel Sussman, a marriage and family therapist who wrote The Breakup Bible, says there is generally one approach that will help you heal the fastest. “I recommend taking a temporary or permanent break from certain people, places, and things: mutual friends and family; the restaurants you used to go to; and the things you used to do together, ”she says. (She also recommends not contacting your ex.) View this post on Instagram Posted by Maddie Zahm (@maddiezahm) However, it is very common not to want to let go of those bonds, notes Sussman. Very often, when you date someone, your social circle merges with that of your partner. and if you date her for a long time, her family will become your family. After a breakup, you may already feel lonely and vulnerable. Losing your partner and the family they made you through all of a sudden can feel unfair or even devastating. Kristin Marquet Chester, for example, has come very close to her friends’ parents over the course of their longstanding relationship. “They were nice people, almost like pseudo-parents,” she says. Then she entered her boyfriend in bed with another person. “It was absolutely horrible,” she recalls. “I went out. That was it. I have no patience and tolerance towards people who are disrespectful. “She had no qualms about cutting off her ex, but it wasn’t that easy when it came to his parents. So she stayed in touch, “via email, text and phone. [My ex] was probably angry [that I stayed in touch] right after it happened – but I can’t say for sure because I haven’t spoken to him, ”says Chester. Over the next two years, her contact with her ex’s parents slowly decreased and then ceased altogether. “I was sad after our relationship faded,” she says now, but she hasn’t made contact in years and it doesn’t bother her anymore – maybe because it was an organic ending that she was in control of and not an abrupt one about which she had no. Sussman emphasizes that it doesn’t work that way for everyone. “Imagine every time you see your ex’s sister she tells you how you are,” says Sussman. “You don’t give yourself time to heal when you’re constantly tossed into a memory of the relationship or the person.” Be 100% honest with yourself before turning to a mutual connection after the relationship with a partner has ended: are you over the relationship and at peace with the breakup, or are you hurting yourself? Are you really just trying to say hello, or are you using your relationships with your ex’s family members or mutual friends to help you feel connected? Even if you feel just fine after things are over, Sussman says she would encourage you to take a temporary break from people you know through your ex – to be respectful of you and your former partner for the sake of you. Be open with them: Explain that as you overcome the breakup, you may be far away, but that you appreciate their friendship and will keep in touch again when you feel a little more stable. Even if you reconnect, you may have to ask them not to give you any updates on your ex. Your ex could also ask his family to cut you off, Sussman points out. It can be hurtful to find that your ex’s sibling hasn’t made friends or blocked you on social media, but Sussman recommends taking the streets: let go of the relationship and focus on your others. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It is common to feel like you have no one to rely on during a breakup, especially if you are ending a long-term relationship or marriage and your life and social circles are very closely connected. Then therapy can be helpful. But Sussman also suggests sliding past your comfort zone to find connections. “Go through everyone in your life. Who hasn’t been so involved in your life as a couple? There should be people – a friend from college or high school, a former colleague you liked, a friend who lives in another city and whom you don’t see that often, ”she says. Yes it will be uncomfortable reaching out to people you are no longer so close to, but any kind of social support after a breakup is vital and most people will be flattered that you would consider time to achieve them in a difficult environment. You don’t have to go into the most intimate details of your life right away. Just reopen that connection so that you can rebuild your life outside of the relationship. Of course, some people can’t part that easily. For example, you may share children with your ex-partner, and you may need to speak to your ex frequently, and sometimes your ex’s family, to clarify issues like custody. In these cases, according to Sussman, keeping your communication to a minimum is still a good idea, especially in the period immediately following the breakup. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to your relationships with your ex’s family forever. “You can get in touch with these people again at another point in your life, when you are healed,” says Sussman, “if you still want to.” Do you like what you see? How about a little more R29 grade right here? The Coolest Couple Tattoos On Instagram Right Now Get The Handkerchiefs: It’s Spring Break (Up) SeasonTexting Your Ex Today Would Be Messy Nasty