Unhealthy marriages tend to lead to many negative outcomes. So it is better to separate after a failed marriage or a divorce and create boundaries with your ex-spouse, even if the divorce was amicable and grudge-free.
Sometimes both spouses seem to have come to an agreement about the necessity to divorce, and so it can seem like maintaining a close friendship is possible. In fact, it can seem like becoming best buddies after divorcing is a great idea and very possible. But more often than not, it’s a horrible thing to do.
Why staying close with an ex-spouse can be a curse in disguise:
People who were in a failed marriage may feel overwhelmed, lonely and depressed after the divorce. So it is natural for them to want to hold onto each other even after the fact. But, in the long run, this close friendship may cause more heartache and sadness.
Ex-spouses may also have trouble focusing on other tasks in life since their mind keeps returning to their ex or failed marriage. And, this could lead to wanting to stay around their ex-spouse who is the only person who seems to be able to relate to how they feel as they’re going through the same thing after all.
But, failing to acknowledge that staying around their ex will only delay their healing process will only make their anxiety and sadness worse. This is why taking the time to recover from a failed marriage, away from the ex-spouse, is a must. Setting good and healthy boundaries with an ex-spouse to avoid confusion or catching feelings over and over again is also necessary.
So in this article, we will help you understand a few possible consequences and bad outcomes of staying too close to an ex-spouse.
5 possible consequences of staying too close to an ex-spouse:
1. She gets involved in your private life:
When you were married it was normal for your ex-wife to be the first person to know what was going on with your life. However, now that you are no longer together, it doesn’t make sense anymore to let her be in your private circle. The main reason for this is because when you were married she was supposed to have your best interest at heart, but now her priorities could have changed.
If she tries to keep in touch daily and ask for updates about your private life, you should reply with vague answers. All you can do is act invasive and hope that she will understand that you no longer want to share a close and intimate life with her until she gives up.
The same thing goes for if she tries to ask your friends about you. To avoid having her know things about your life that you don’t want her to know, tell your friends directly not to give too many details about your life to your ex-wife.
2. You can’t move on easily:
The worse thing about this is that you don’t always notice it at first. You were so used to having your ex-wife in your life that now that you aren’t married anymore, her presence can give you comfort, even if what you wish is to move on.
So you need to think of it this way: if you don’t have the right boundaries with your ex-wife, and she is constantly present in your life, you may never be able to look for someone else or give yourself a proper shot at love again.
Being too close to your ex-wife will create an illusion and confuse your brain. Even if it’s just at a subconscious level, you will tend to believe that you are already in some sort of relationship. Essentially, while you still have your ex-wife around, you won’t be able to move on. Maybe you will be able to have a different relationship in the future, but while you are both still healing, it would be best to live completely separate lives.
3. It makes you seem emotionally unavailable:
When you finally feel ready for a potential new relationship, but you didn’t establish boundaries with your ex-wife, it can be difficult to date again. Even though you aren’t interested in that relationship anymore, unfortunately, other people will perceive that you aren’t emotionally unavailable. People may know that you are no longer married, but the moment they see that your ex-wife is still around, they will doubt that you are emotionally available for a new relationship.
If you suspect that this is what has been stopping you from moving on, you need to talk with your ex-wife so you can explain why you need to see each other less frequently. The moment a new woman enters your life she will be more than worried to learn that you’re staying in touch with an ex-spouse.
She may even think that your divorce is a break and you will go back to your ex eventually. Nobody wants to compete with an ex-spouse because that ex was once worthy enough for marriage in your eyes and so she will be perceived as a big threat. Women in a similar situation would much rather leave you alone and move on rather than be thrown in an unfair competition that can render them nothing more than rebound girls that you will eventually get bored of and go abck to your ex.
For this readson, you need to think about the insecurity you may cause to the person you will end up being in a relationship with next.
4. Whatever good there was left in the relationship, can be ruined now:
Unfortunately, you and your ex-wife are no longer together because your relationship had flaws that you couldn’t fix and overcome. However, as frustrated and sad as you might be about the end of your marriage, you have to agree that things were not always bad and you built memories that even after being separated you can cherish.
The negative thing about not having boundaries with your ex-wife is that you are creating a chance to ruin the good that was left in the relationship. When you got divorced, you didn’t really solve the problems you had, you simply figured out that it wasn’t worth fixing any of it.
So, if your ex-wife is still around in your life, the same conflict and arguments you had when you were married can arise again. And if you don’t have any boundaries, your relationship can go from ok to uglier to the point that you will never be able to talk to each other again. In the end, you will have to leave your marriage behind, and the only good thing that you should keep are whatever good memories are left.
5. She might get the wrong idea:
When a relationship ends, it’s normal for one person to try to resuscitate it. That’s why you should give space to each other right after the divorce so you can keep a cool head and think about what’s best for you.
However, if you are sure that you don’t want to go back to that relationship, it can be easy for you to allow your ex-wife to be in your life with moderate frequency. But that’s not how she might see things.
What if your ex-wife only wanted a break from the relationship and not a definite separation because she still has feelings for you and believes that it’s possible to get back together? If that’s the case and you let her in your life, she will misinterpret your kindness for romantic interest. As someone who is trying to heal from a divorce and move on, this could hinder the process.
In the end, you may have hopes of getting together again with your ex-wife yourself, if you are missing her a lot, in that case, we recommend that you try a more direct approach. It is always better than just being close or having a friendship that is charged with romantic feelings, jealousy, and other inappropriate emotions that can make it all toxic real quick.