Splitting up from your partner can be difficult at the best of times, but staying close after a divorce can put off new love interests. Coleen gives a divorcee her advice.
I’m a man in my early 40s and recently divorced after separating from my wife about 18 months ago.
She kind of talked me into the divorce – the marriage wasn’t brilliant, but I loved her and wanted to try to save it.
However, she’d already moved on in her head (not with someone else), so I had no choice.
She said we’d be better off as friends as the physical side of our relationship was nonexistent and we’d gone too far down that road to come back from it.
My problem is, while I’ve accepted we’re no longer a couple, I’m still close to her and she’s still the person I talk to most and I see her quite a lot too.
She also relies on me for some things (she’s still single), so our friendship has very much carried on. This was fine while there was no one else on the scene, but I’ve recently met a woman I like and she thinks it’s weird that my ex and I still have such a close bond.
I’ve sensed that she’s losing interest or worried that I’ll end up back with my ex, which would never happen.
I want to be less reliant on my ex, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to cut her off completely. Can you advise?
Well, you say a reconciliation would never happen, but I wonder if deep down that’s what you’re hoping for.
Of course, it’s hard to move on from a serious, long-term relationship, but I think you’re hanging on because there’s comfort in the familiar and maybe you’re just a bit scared of taking that leap into the unknown.
I think it’s great if you can be friends with your ex, but I also think you need a bit of time properly apart from each other to give your own lives a chance to flourish independently.
At the moment, it’s as if nothing’s really changed between you except you’re not living under the same roof and, of course, that’s going to make this other woman wary of getting involved with you.
You’ve separated, but not really!
So I think you need to have a heart-to-heart with your ex and talk about where you go from here.
You need to have the space to grieve for your marriage and heal, so you can form new relationships if that’s what you want.
I’m sure you can be close again one day, but right now it feels too soon to be so reliant on each other.