Blended Families: Boundaries with the “Ex”
The toxic/vindictive ex-wife or husband that doesn’t respect the boundaries of their relationship with their ex is because they have never really let go emotionally and will hang on for dear life all the while undermining the Ex’s capability to co-parent with them and move on to a new life. It would be nice if everyone involved could just get along, or at least be cordial but we all know that isn’t always the case. Setting firm boundaries helps everyone involved in a blended family situation.
Boundaries allow everyone involved to have a clear path with realistic expectations with sharing information and face to face meet ups. The goal of setting boundaries is so that while you are co-parenting you will develop and maintain a healthy, mutually respectful relationship.
Let’s look at what weak boundaries look like:
1. Fixing his/her leaky faucet, cooking him/her meals, etc.
2. Having sex with your ex
3. Loaning him/her money when you’re struggling to pay your own bills
4. Looking at your ex’s social media posts and photos and becoming angry
5. Allowing your ex to have/use keys to your home or car
6. Using your Ex for emotional support in happy or sad times
7. Sharing banking, email accounts with your Ex
8. Allowing your mail to go to your Ex’s home/not changing your mailing address
How to set Healthy, realistic boundaries with your Ex:
1.Make a list of the reasons why boundaries are needed.
2.Make sure that you understand the boundary you’re setting and why you’re setting it.
3. Disconnect yourself from your ex’s responses.
Remember you owe no explanation for boundary setting.
Be stable. Do not waver on your position.
Seek support from a friend or Professional source such as a Family Therapist.
Let’s be real we all know that when a relationship ends (divorce or break-up); you may feel wounded, betrayed and/or angry. These emotions you do not want to transfer to your children. You want the children to remain respectful to your Ex their parent.
In all of your actions keep in mind you are modeling good or bad behaviors for your children. Intentional interfering with the relationship between your children and your Ex their parent is wrong. Setting clear boundaries helps you heal and creates a safe and healthy environment for you, your Ex and the children that you two co-parent. It may be challenging but worth it over time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are bitter and still emotionally connected to your Ex reach out for support from a friend or professional source. Call Cherlette McCullough at 407. 230.4582 or email her at Cherlette@cherlettemccullough.com