12 TIPS WHEN DATING YOUR EX-SPOUSE
If you have gotten divorced and want to date or still have a crush on your ex-husband or ex-wife, here are 12 tips:
1. When getting divorced, make a list of the reasons why you made that decision to refer to later, said Catherine Tucker, a therapist in Sacramento, Cal. "When people are getting divorced, you keep a list of the reasons you get divorced, and you pull out that list. It's obviously a much bigger list of the problems, because if there weren't reasons, you wouldn't be divorced," she says.
2. Set aside a group of people to rely on as a neutral party for future help.
"I also recommend for people that get divorced that they have an accountability panel. They don't have to necessary like them, but these people need to be trustworthy and honestly speak the truth, and when they call them, they need to honestly tell them, 'This is why you got divorced.' That should be set up before they're even divorced," Tucker said.3. Remember that if you are interested in getting back together with your ex, you must try twice as hard this time.
"I think it's rare - I think it can work, and absolutely, it takes a lot of work from both people to do what they need on themselves and together, and it can't be just one person doing it. It has to be both," said Tucker.
4. Talk with your kids about it, and tell them the truth.
"If you're dating the person you broke up with, I think it's important to have a conscious communication with your children about what's up and what's going on, because they could have their expectations, and they don't really know what your expectations are as a parent, dating dad again, or dating mom again," said Jessica Bollinger, a therapist in Lexington, Ky.
5. Never stay together if the relationship's problems run deeper than disagreement, like abuse.
"If there's not domestic violence or sexual abuse, addiction, and no one's willing to get help, there are certain conditions where I say, 'Forget it,'" said Tucker.6. Look to your own mistakes that you made in the first attempt at the relationship.
"I think you need to take a step back and do some pretty honest self assessments. Ask, 'What's going on that would make me want to do this?'," said Kevin Rhinehart, a therapist in Boise, Idaho.
7. Then study how the relationship has changed. "If it made you that difficult the first go around, what's changed? 'How am I different? How is my partner different? How is the nature of our communication? We do have a newfound love again, but why?' I think reconciliation can be very helpful, provided that the issues have been addressed," said Rhinehart.
8. After all this, then make the decision to stay with your ex or leave him or her. "If the people have truly examined what the issues are, not just topically, about it, that's when you don't get back with a spouse," said Tucker.
9. Keep in mind that some problems will always be there, and you will have to change your reactions to them. "If there aren't enough conditions, sometimes, it's worth fighting for. For example, if someone has a jealousy issue, they're going to have a jealousy issue no matter where they go," Tucker said.
10. See if you can try to change your own issues that have become part of your routine. "The question is, 'Have I truly invested the amount of energy and time that this relationship is worthy of, and if i have then, it's time to let go, but if I haven't, the truth is I'm gonna take my faults into the next relationship no matter where I go,'" said Tucker.
11. Follow your heart, regardless if other people gossip about you. "Just stay open, and be conscious. Do not make any judgments. Coming back back and dating each other again to know, 'Oh, it does take work, and maybe with some work, we can have a good, conscious relationship,'" said Bollinger.
12. Remember that if you still feel like your ex is special, it's worth a try. "You might not have known that breaking up might not have been the right thing to do. You might have made a hasty decision there," said Bollinger.
13. Don't talk yourself into giving up. "I think most, not all people, give up too easily in our society, in terms of marriage," said Tucker.