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Issue 001 2009
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WEIRD STUFF
Genevieve
  

 DEALING WITH THE EX .... By Lilly

We have all being there.  Broken relationships, Some bad and some mutual.  So how do you deal with keeping a relationship with your ex.  How do you handle moving on with the ex in the picture especially in a situation where kids are involved.  These are afew Tips from an Expert.

Un-attach Yourself from you Ex

Attachment and heavy dependency on others defeat and crush one’s overall well being, unfortunately. One can feel so meaningless when he or she is away from the "usual" external source of love and comfort. Such a dependency defeats one to his or her core being, because choices are recognized as the byproduct of something “larger” than the person him or herself, something that is believed to be “love.” This type of “love,” unfortunately, is not the love that heals.

When choices are not the byproducts of self-respect for one’s self and for others, they place themselves into everlasting “love-seeking” dreams. Dreams for perfection, dreams for the safe heaven. Dreams that are hard to realize, dreams that lead them into the death of personal creativity, individuality and ability to comprehend the world in a genuine way.

However, is there a perfect world in a perfect safe heaven in this world? The answer is simple. Yes, there is. But where it is? It is within you.

Being totally attached and heavily dependent on others won’t open this door to the tiny place inside our hearts called inner peace. As it goes without saying, without this inner peace, one is less likely to be self-empowered. Thus, without self-empowerment, being alive is like being tortured. You’ve better get used to unexplainable sudden sadness and feelings of incompetence, not to mention finding yourself hard to adjust in new environments (regardless of how supportive the new environments are).

Life is a process of change to progress and to regress. We need to fully acknowledge and realize that. Otherwise, we won’t feel fit anywhere we go and in anything we do. Biologically speaking, mature adults experience regression, while at the same time progressing career wise and psychologically. We have been experiencing changes all our lives, thus one tiny step ( a relationship break-up) shouldn't be magnified in a manner that hurts our potential to self-empowerment. Being able to acknowledge this and be willing to appreciate the change as a process of growing up and getting empowered would be the best attitude to help ease the pain of this type of transition.

Life is an odd thing. Being alive is not. Seek the inner peace within you, then you’ll realize that you’re born a winner. A winner who understands him or herself. A winner who respects life and self-respect.

SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR EX

 1. Exes are rarely 'The One'

How can they be? No, really, it's not technically possible, there are just too many of them. 'The One' is still to come...

2. Revenge is a dish best served cold

Avoid hot-headed schemes, however hot your head. I know of one woman who, when dumped, immediately rented the flat next door to her ex and set about monitoring his comings and goings. If she suspected he was out with someone else, she'd wait up all night for him, then hang out the window and shout 'Here comes the c***!' as he walked up the path. The result: he moved out, she was stuck with a rental she did not want.

3. Let your friends keep you real

Another true story: a friend of mine was so distressed by her break-up she spent days putting together a flyer detailing her version of events. 'Women of Henley, Beware!' it read, before going on to dissect the poor man's business failings and sexual idiosyncrasies. We talked her out of actually posting the thing. When it comes to exes, listen to your friends. As a general rule of thumb, what works for Samantha in Sex and the City does not do so well in the sleepy English towns and villages...

4. SF-ex really can work

If you can't get your ex out of your head, try these visualization techniques: picture him as a cartoon character, in black and white, speaking in whispers or a high-pitched helium whine. Believe it or not, these mental special effects will help create the psychological distance you need.


5. Exes are not new best friends

It may seem like a good idea when you're looking for any last crumb he'll offer, or indeed if you're the one trying to soften the blow, but you can never be best friends with an ex. At best there'll be some awkward introductions when you do meet someone new, at worst, you'll get stuck in a rut of comparison shopping and never
move on. Unless you share children, stick to Christmas cards.

6. Exes reunited...

We've all heard the Friends' Reunited stories: we're a nation obsessed with our exes, even from years, decades, ago. By all means exchange news - how gratifying it is to learn that while you've been moving and shaking in the Big Smoke with the best hair cut money can buy, he's been stuck in a cubicle in a call centre with no hair left at all. Just don't expect to rekindle that heat you once felt over a pint of cider between A-level English and Geography. It won't happen, not for long, at any rate.

7. There's a fine line...

...between setting the record straight and actual harassment. Do send an outpouring of the heart in letter form, even seal it with a kiss if you must. That's just closure. Don't leave wreaths on his car windscreen and boiled bunnies in his pots - that's a matter for the police.


8. Everybody hurts

It's not just the dumped who've got their hearts in their boots, dumpers feel bad too. So don't believe that as you slowly atrophy on the sofa, watching a series of Friends a day, he's back out there, happy as Larry, looking for love. He's not. And if he is, then thank God he's out of your life in the first place.
 

Avoiding an Argument Dealing with Your Ex

So what are some of the techniques for getting along with your difficult ex?

One of the basic premises of conflict management is stepping away from an argument. (We hate it when somebody points this out to us, but it really does take two to make an argument.) Defusing an angry verbal assault will help you reduce your own stress level appreciably.

When your spouse or ex begins ranting about your shortcomings as well as those of your children, his or her boss, your mother, the bank, car mechanic, or the world in general, you instinctively feel defensive. You want to set the record straight, and your adrenaline surge makes you want to fight. The result is a pointless shouting match which only ratchets up the mutual level of anger.

Instead try this technique: look him or her in the eye and listen, but don't react. Acknowledge what is being said (or shouted) with replies like:

"I can hear you're angry." or "I can see you're upset." This acknowledges their right to an opinion, and says that you're listening rather than tuning out. It doesn't indicate agreement or disagreement.

A slight variation that accomplishes the same purpose is called mirroring in which you simply reflect back what they've said:

"You're saying you feel frustrated with the visitation schedule." or "You feel I don't keep you up to date on the kids."

With either of these approaches, it's important to avoid loaded language. Resist the temptation to use sarcasm or supposedly innocent emotional jabs. Also avoid using the words "ever" and "never." They can be even more infuriating than shouting and your objective is to de-escalate the heat of the exchange.

Notice, you're not saying you agree or disagree. All you're doing is acknowledging that you hear what the other person is saying. These techniques will let you accomplish two things:

  1. When you refuse to get into an argument, therapists say you're not picking up the rope (as you would in a tug of war). By the same token, if you stop arguing back, they say you've let go of the rope. Either way the argument can't escalate if you can stay relatively calm and firm.

  2. The other thing is that some people just love to fish you in and push your hot buttons until they can get you to say something dumb. Then they light into you for that. If you remain neutral, you won't give them any ammunition.

After such an encounter, you may need to go for a long walk, work out at the gym, or gripe to a friend to relieve the stress. But you'll feel far more rational and in control than if you'd joined in the yelling match!

THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF DEALING WITH YOUR EX

Keep in mind:

1) That the “high road” is always a good choice.

2) Ninety percent of the emotion associated with a conflict-laden exchange with your Ex stems from the history (yours, theirs, and your shared history) rather than the event itself.

3) Conflicted incidents with your Ex actually trigger thoughts that produce your negative emotions, which, in turn, lead to your making a negative response.  This sets the stage for more negativity in any subsequent interactions with them.  You can choose to substitute a negative-emotion-inducing thought with a more productive thought.

4) Anger is the most frequently cited feeling associated with conflict-laden exchanges with the Ex.  However, anger usually masks a more specific and accurate feeling.

5) If you are feeling “controlled” or “suffocated”, chances are that you are acting in irresponsible ways.

6) If you are feeling “overwhelmed” and “unappreciated”, chances are that you have been overly responsible in your actions.

To find out who owns the problem, sort out:

1) What, precisely, is the problem?  

2) Who is having a negative reaction to it?  If it is you, ask yourself: “What thoughts are provoking these feelings?  Change the thought(s) if necessary.

3) Who brought the issue up?

4) Who is responsible for the solution?  Usually, the person who brought up the issue is the one who “owns” the problem and needs to do something about it.

 

5) Ask yourself: “Is this a big deal?”  If not, don’t sweat the small stuff.

When an issue needs to be addressed dealing with your Ex:

1) Book a time with them to address it.

2) Keep it to one issue at a time.

3) Use a neutral location.

4) Be clear, ahead of time, regarding your feelings concerning the issue.

5) Know why you are feeling the way that you are.

6) Be clear on what you want them to do differently.

7) Be able to state, in a positive way, what you want them to do differently (e.g., I want you to leave earlier so you will be on time to pick up the kids.) rather than in a negative way. (e.g., Stop being late.)

8) Avoid using “never” and “always” as in: “You’re never on time”.

9) Keep your voice tone in check.

10) Have an “out” prepared.  For example, “We’ll have to keep this brief because I have to pick up the kids in five minutes.”

11) Have enforceable consequences (for non-compliance) identified before hand.  Ensure that you can follow through, and will follow through with any consequences you decide to impose.

12) Use an “I message” that is formulated to include the following four parts:

1) The action that gives you concern

2) The way you feel about that action

3) Why you feel the way you do about the action, and

4) A statement of the desired action.

[If you are addressing a female, put the "feeling" segment at the start of the “I message”.  If you are addressing a male, state the “desired action” first.]

If the discussion is simply not moving forward, it may be necessary to “be a broken record” and reiterate the desired behavior several times during the discussion.  The goal here is to get the focus clearly on a particular point, not to inflame the situation.  So your tone of voice should convey your clarity of focus. Do not use this strategy in a situation that is becoming hostile or in a situation where aggression may erupt.

If the exchange provokes hostility:

1) acknowledge their reaction (e.g., I can hear your displeasure in the tone of your voice.),

2) assert that further discussion is necessary,

3) propose another time when you can reconvene to discuss the issue, and

4) leave.

If your Ex indicates they have no intention to comply, or they fail to change their behavior in the way you have requested, put your consequences in place—and stick to them.  If you fail to stick to them, you can be sure that they will be more difficult to deal with the next time—and there will be a next time.

As a general rule, don’t agree to any revisions or changes of plan without first “touching base” with your partner.  For example, say:  “Before I can give you the ‘OK’ on that, I’ll need to make sure that it won’t conflict with any existing commitments.  I'll get back to you later today, or tomorrow to let you know for sure.”  Don’t ‘hang the blame’ on your partner.  Your Ex needs to know that you have a backbone.

Don’t be stampeded.  If your Ex is demanding an answer ‘right now’, say:  “If you have to have an answer right now, it’ll have to be ‘No’.  However, if you can hold off until I can see how things are shaping up, my answer might be ‘Yes’.

If communication through verbal means is too emotionally charged, try written or electronic communication.

If you absolutely cannot talk wit your Ex, find a neutral third party to exchange information.  Children are not a neutral third party.

 
 
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