No Sex with Your Ex! (and 5 More Lifesaving Tips)
If you are going to successfully disconnect from your ex and your old life, and connect yourself to a happy, radiant new future, you need to establish―and stick to―some ground rules that will keep you from complicating the disconnection process and the practical aspects of your separation.
Ground Rule #1: No Sex with Your Ex!
Sex is not some kind of glue for a broken relationship, and it does not help dissolve bottlenecks in your separation. By going to bed with your ex-partner―or even just kissing and snuggling on the couch together―after the decision to separate has been made, you will not gain any extra influence over his or her actions and choices. Instead, you will introduce confusion and blocks into both of your emotional sub-processes and complicate or delay the entire separation process.
Ground Rule #2: Don’t Rely on Your Ex for Emotional Support!
Even if you end up being friends once the separation is complete, you cannot turn to your ex for comfort, emotional support, or advice during your separation process. Remember, that window is closed, and your ex is going through his or her own emotional turbulence and rearrangement. Expecting your ex to “be there for you” on an emotional level is damaging for you both and compromises your ability to move forward in an empowered way.
Ground Rule #3: Don’t Play the Victim!
Even if you can no longer control or influence your ex, you can control yourself. This includes managing the way you feel, think, act, and engage with your ex, third parties (like new partners), and the entire separation process. Blaming your ex for your current situation and feelings is not helpful, nor does it empower you to create a better future. Same goes for basing your decisions on what your ex does, says, or feels.
Ground Rule #4: Don’t Wait for Your Ex to “Save” You!
If you relied heavily on your ex for help with your daily tasks in the past, or counted on him/her to make you feel good about yourself, it can be tempting to let your life fall apart and wait for your ex to step in and save you―and, by extension, your relationship. This is never a healthy relationship dynamic, and it won’t save your union now. Guilt, like sex, is not glue for a broken relationship. Instead, get a member of your Personal or Professional Winning Team to talk with you about this need to be saved, and how you can instead empower yourself to be your own savior in your life.
Ground Rule #5: Don’t Try to Save Your Ex!
Being a savior is the flip side of being a victim. This dynamic can be especially strong if your ex was opposed to the separation, or if s/he struggles with illness, addiction, or other challenges. However, it’s important to put up some solid boundaries. You have your own life to manage. If you try to manage your ex’s life, too, you will end up burned out, stressed, and feeling trapped.
Ground Rule #6: Don’t Forget to Grieve!
You have disconnected from your ex-partner. You have unplugged from your old life and closed the shutters on that window. You have a right to feel sad, lost, and even angry. Once you’ve chosen to disconnect from your old life, it can feel tempting to move on and never look back. But you can, and should, allow yourself to grieve in a healthy way―a way that doesn’t involve hurting yourself, trying to manipulate your ex, or lingering in the past. You can feel sad and still make healthy decisions that will move your life forward.
Positive Separation starts with you. If you choose to avoid things that will complicate an already emotional situation, you will be much more empowered to create your happy future.
Choose a Star Action as a
Gift to Yourself Today!
The Star Actions are part of my Positive Separation Method and give you a positive boost in the direction of happiness. When you’re feeling down or your heart is hurting, try doing one of these simple actions. Chances are, you will feel better almost immediately! Learn more about Star Actions in this post.
Emotions Diary: This journal is your ally during emotional thunderstorms. Make a front ( 😊 ) and back ( 😡 ) to your diary. When emotions get high and heated, or you miss your ex’s arm around your shoulders, put your Emotions Diary into action. Set an alarm or cooking timer for 10 minutes maximum. In the back side of your diary, write today’s date, and as many feelings, emotions, and terrible things as you need to. Cry, scream, stomp your feet, or sit and stare at the wall. Whatever you need to do is okay―but as soon as that alarm goes off, stop what you’re doing, and flip to the front side of your diary. There, write today’s date and at least three happy things that have happened for you in the last 24 hours. Even if these happy things are very small, put them down on the paper. Then, relax, make yourself a cup of tea or fruit juice, and ask yourself what you need right now. (Don’t answer “to be with my ex,” or “to have him/her love me again”―but everything else is okay!)
Boundary Challenge: Get out some chalk, or several pieces of paper. Standing in your favorite room, draw or arrange a wide circle around you. Stand with eyes closed for a moment, then open them. Feel the boundary of the circle. This is your space of freedom and emotional recovery, where you can connect to yourself and what you want for your future. Only you can choose what enters this boundary―so respect it to fully allow yourself to travel on your new road to happiness. This adventure is yours now.
Dollar Jam Jar. Write the 6 Ground Rules (or any boundary-related challenges you find difficult) on a piece of paper. Post it where you can see it every day. Then, underneath it, put an empty jam jar. Every time you have the urge to break one of these Ground Rules, put a dollar in the jar (then, stop yourself from breaking the rule and choose a different course of action). It may sound silly, but this actually works! At the end of each week, use the dollars in the jar to buy yourself a bunch of fresh flowers, a delicious latte at the café, or a fun lunch with a friend. Compliment yourself for averting boundary challenges and staying on course!
Eveline Jurry is the creator of the Positive Separation Method™ and the author of three books, including ‘Happy Again! The Art of Positive Separation’. From her home base in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, she teaches people how to create a happy future during and after divorce or separation.