Is Your Ex Stressing You Out?

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

4 Tips for Pulling the Plug on Negative Energy

You’re broken up, and now your ex is stressing you out.

After a couple breaks up, there is inevitably going to be some level of tension between them—especially if you share kids and custody. Add to that any property you hold together, unresolved hurts and disappointments and watching each other move on, and there is bound to some stress.

Maybe you were the one who decided to end things, or you mutually agreed, knowing it was for the best.

But now, your ex seems to be seething with anger at you for actually moving forward with your life. Or, things were rosy between you and your ex until you met someone new, got involved and closer, and either moved in together or you married them. Your ex may feel some sadness and jealousy—something that is difficult for anyone to admit to.

For a lot of people, this is a sign that things are truly “over,” and they can react in strange ways.

For example, you and your ex used to have no problem making arrangements about what time to pick up children or who would handle taking them to a dental appointment. But suddenly, your ex is lashing out and causing you a great deal of stress by being uncooperative, or not showing up when they are supposed to, or doing one of countless things to show just how ticked they are at you.

How dare you move on, right?

When you are feeling stressed out by your ex and it’s causing you a great deal of upset and aggravation, it’s time to step back and analyze the negative energy—and then put a constructive stop to it. Here are 4 tips for how to do that:

  • Isolate each incident: Let’s not discount your own emotional aspects when it comes to dealing with an ex. You may feel extra-sensitive to their negative moods, as it carries you back to a place you probably want to forget. If you aren’t careful, the negative attitude that you are getting from your ex can get blown into something bigger in your world, simply because there are a lot of feelings and history attached to this person.  And if you’re not careful, it can be carried into your new relationship, discoloring your mood and tiring you out. If you are feeling upset by something your ex has done or said, try to look at the incident as an isolated thing. Think of a news report: who, what, when, where, why. In your mind, keep it to just the facts and be wary of coloring the incident with the wand of ghosts past.
  • Consider the source: When your ex is pushing your buttons, it can be an enormous challenge to remember that this person is only human—especially when they are behaving in such a monstrous way. But consider what may be prompting the negative reaction. Usually it stems from hurt, jealousy, abandonment issues, the emotional works. When you look at it from the deeply human aspect, it may help you to take a deep enough breath to tackle the next tip.
  • Have a calm discussion: If your ex is behaving in such a way that it is negatively affecting you and/or your children, call a time-out. Ask to meet in a neutral place, such as a coffee shop, or if you can’t abide a face-to-face, arrange a phone meeting. Express your concerns to your ex by using very specific details. For example: “When you yelled at me in front of Little Annie, she thought she had done something wrong. I don’t want any of us to feel bad, so in the future when you are upset with me or I’m upset with you, can we agree to use a neutral tone of voice?”
  • Pre-plan your discussion: What’s difficult when having a discussion with an ex is the temptation to go back and rehash past sins, transgressions, and hurt feelings. One thing that can help you stay on track is to have notes, an outline or a script. By planning ahead, you know what you want to discuss and you can plan the outcome you hope to achieve, and it will help you stick to the issue at hand. Also, remind yourself—even if you have to write it in your notes—to listen to your ex’s point of view with an objective mindset.

Let us know…

Does your ex stress you out?

If so, what does your ex do, or not do, that causes you stress?

How is it impacting your life and new relationship, or your kids?

Recent Posts



    Tell Us More About Your Second Wedding!

    1. How much did you spend on your second wedding?

    $0 - 1,000
    $1,001 - 5,000
    $5,001 - 10,000
    $10,001 - 20,000
    $20,001 or more


    Here's What You're Saying

    “I find your site extremely helpful and resourceful in dealing with the many and daily issues of parenting, co-parenting and life issues that come along.” –J.P.

    “I love the information you all provide. The magazine was so helpful in trying to navigate the remarriage with kids territory. Thank you for all of your information and inspiration you provide.” –K.W.

    “Have I mentioned HOW MUCH I love your site?!?!? It's really cool. . . . I'm getting married to a man that has two kiddos, and it's quite a lifestyle change for me!” –M.M.

    Win a Copy of
    Eat, Drink and Remarry

    This is not your mother’s second wedding! Getting married again? Wondering why the planning is harder than you thought it was going to be? Enter to win a copy of Eat, Drink and Remarry by Stacey Tucker!

    Tweets from RemarriageWorks!