Divorce is never simple and establishing separate lives after the split is never easy. But, you need to establish personal boundaries that let you start a new life. Your ex should not be able to interfere with a new life. But, what can you do if they have a key to your home? If the two of you have children together and there are visitation rights to consider, things may remain complicated. Getting the locks changed on the house you live in may give you some peace of mind and a safer feeling.
Setting Boundaries After Divorce
There are some helpful guidelines for setting boundaries after a divorce and establishing yourself in a new independent life.
1. Keep communication with the Ex to a minimum. Communicate by writing or short phone calls related to the children or legal matters.
2. Keep communications respectful. Don’t keep the fighting and name-calling going. When the ex begins to speak to you in inappropriate or abusive ways, walk away or hang up. Talk to your ex explaining that communication will only happen in a respectful way. Any inappropriate language or conversation will not be tolerated.
3. The house you live in is your home. It is not a convenient place to hang out with the children or his home. He must be treated as a guest when there, nothing more. Discourage unannounced visits or any visits not connected to child visitation or picking up the children for shared custody. Each person must build new separate lives.
4. When communicating, keep the conversation impersonal and short. Guard your new life privacy. Do not allow new emotional entanglements to form. Don’t tell him your troubles or ask for advice. Discourage the ex from talking about their new life or personal problems.
5. Keep the children out of your joint communications. Protect the children from the ill-will between the two of you. Don’t expect the children to carry messages to your ex.
6. Keep your lives separate. There is no need for either person to know the other person’s business, comings, and goings, or personal relationships. Now is the time for each person to move on to a new life with new friends and experiences that don’t involve the other. If an ex is not honoring your personal boundaries and interfering in your new life, seek legal help such as a restraining order.
7. If there is child support or alimony, consider it like any other income. It is court-ordered money, not a personal gift and it does not obligate you to him. If support checks are late or not forthcoming, go to your lawyer. Do not beg the ex or give him power over you through the money. There are legal processes to recover missing alimony or child support. A lawyer can be effective in dealing with an ex-spouse who is not fulfilling court-ordered financial obligations.
8. Be cautious with relationships with the exes family. Forbid conversations about the ex. Maintain a relationship only if it is based on friendship.
9. Don’t leave the locks the same if you live in the family home and your ex has a key. Contact a locksmith and have all the locks changed. Visit txpremierlocksmith.com for more information on locksmith services. Once all the locks have been changed, make sure the ex does not get a new key. Sometimes getting new locks for the family home may not be enough. If the ex still comes to the house and wants to come in or tries to talk the children into letting him in when it is not a legal visitation time, more drastic measures may be called for.
It may be necessary for everyone’s best interests to sell this house and use the money to purchase a new house in a different area of town. Moving to a new house can be like having a new start in life and getting rid of sad memories. Keep the ex out of the new house as much as possible if there are children. If no children are involved, you don’t have to let the ex come to the new house at all. If you must meet with them, do it in a neutral setting such as a restaurant.
Recovering From divorce and Grabbing a Happy New Life
Divorce is damaging and heartbreaking to both people no matter who filed for the divorce. There may be a time of mourning the failed relationship with good days and bad days. This is normal. Don’t beat yourself up or let yourself feel like a failure. Get counseling to help build up your self-esteem and forgive yourself. Remember, it takes two to cause a divorce and your spouse was partly responsible.
Next, learn from the mistakes that were made and move on a little wiser. Rediscover the person you were before the marriage and develop a new sense of independence and self-reliance. Even self-reliant people need friends for emotional support and social interactions. When enjoying time with family and friends, don’t rant about the ex incessantly. It is ok to get everything off your chest one or two times but then move on with your life and enjoy friends and family without the shadow of the ex. Make new memories and enjoy new shared experiences.
Moving to a new home with the chance to start new memories and to feel secure may be just what is needed. But, when moving to that new home, call a good, trusted locksmith to change all the locks in case there are keys floating around. A single person must take responsibility for their own safety. Making the new home secure is a good start. It may also be a good idea to have a security system installed. The added security will bring peace of mind.
One final problem to overcome might be finances left over from the marriage. When the divorce is in process, make sure to get as much protection from spousal and shared debt as possible. Have your lawyer separate your finances from the exes as much as possible and put protections in place so you will not be saddled with the exes debt. It might be a good idea to cancel all joint credit cards and open new ones in your name alone. Shared debt might haunt a person even after the divorce is final, but it can be dealt with.
Establishing personal boundaries and moving on to a new life with little contact with the ex will allow a person to have a better new, single life.