Ex-spouses are a part of remarriage. I get asked all the time by my coaching clients, “What should I do when it comes to my fiance's ex-spouse?" Today, let's look at one of the biggest mistakes you can make so you can be sure to avoid it!!
Let your fiance deal with this person, NOT you While you might be tempted to jump in and rescue your fiance if you see him/her being upset by this person from their past, it's not your place. It's pretty natural to want to protect someone we love. If you hear screaming in the other end of the phone or watch your fiance break down crying after a conversation with their ex, it's going to upset you. You love this person and you don't want to see them hurt. You've more than likely already heard story after story about the things this person did to your beloved when they were married. You point of view toward them isn't all that positive to begin with.
Dealing with the ex-spouse is something your fiance needs to sort out though. In order to leave that chapter of their life behind and be able to start a new life with you, they must learn how to deal with this person from their past. Continuing to be upset by this person shows that the ex still has an awful lot of control over your new partner. They have an advantage because they've known them longer and know which buttons to push to have the greatest effect.
This is part of the healing your fiance needs to do in order to be fully ready to marry you. It's called “emotional divorce. " They need to be minimally affected by the antics of their ex. Remember: the opposite of love is NOT hate! Both of those are very strong emotions. The opposite of love is apathy. It's when your partner reaches the point where they just don't get bothered by the things their ex does.
During those difficult times, there is a lot you can do. Here's just a list of possible options:
- You can support your partner by offering advice, but you can't jump in and “do it" for them.
- You can point out things you've seen their ex do to purposely hurt them.
- You can suggest different ways of handling common situations
- You can just listen and be present
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By Alyssa Johnson at Remarriage Success