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Amicable de-coupling from your ex

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Many people who are separated struggle to de-couple from their ex, slipping into a mode of unfamiliarity which catches them by surprise.

They may have relied on their ex to organise everything in their marriage or relied on their ex to manage the finances, so when they separate, they are surprised when their ex stops performing that role, finding it hard to adjust. Conversely, the one that use to do all the organising or financial management gets so frustrated during the separation process that their ex struggles to take action to get these tasks done to finalise negotiations!

It can be hard to adjust to doing everything now, whereby for years some tasks were done by you and others by your ex!

There are tasks that impact the separation process such as finances or moving house whereby other tasks may be impacting your daily life such as budgeting, coordinating kids’ activities, household chores & repairs.

Frustration can occur during separation when things your ex use to do for the family suddenly doesn’t happen anymore and you are struggling to know where to start or know how to do it.

The most organised person may have assumed the role to;

Make appointments with schools, doctors or professionals, manage the bills, collect financial household information for loan applications, filling in paperwork, online banking, get the kids uniforms and equipment for school or organise quotes for house repairs etc.

The most hands on person may have assumed the role to;

Fix simple repairs in the home, troubleshoot why the TV isn’t working, install new technology devices, assemble a flat pack cupboard, mow the lawns, clean the pool, check the oil in the car, change a flat tyre or weed the garden etc.

All of a sudden, we need to be able to do all these things amidst already feeling overwhelmed during a separation!

It can be hard to know when these tasks no longer are contributed to by both parties especially if it is in regards to the family home which is still being negotiated as part of the financial settlement.

Do you stop paying your contribution towards the rent or mortgage now that you are paying for accommodation elsewhere?

Do you stop doing repairs because you no longer live there?

Do you continue to manage the finances of the family wealth pool on behalf of you both until financial settlement?

Do you continue to help coordinate and arrange all activities?

Sometimes you feel so hurt or angry that you don’t want to continue doing any tasks for the benefit of your ex, but is it detrimental to your negotiations to cut off support and create conflict resulting in an adversarial battle?

If you stop contributing to the mortgage because you don’t live there……. may jeopardise your credit rating, possible foreclosure by the bank, and reduced sale profits when financial settlement occurs.

If you stop doing repairs on the family home because you don’t live there……may impact the value of your investment giving you less to rebuild your life.

If you stop organising important tasks such as collating information for financial settlement, getting valuations, or setting up meetings with divorce professionals……. may delay the process and cause frustration.

To support each other through separation, de-coupling amicably will actually reduce stress, anxiety and conflict so you can accelerate your recovery and rebuild your life once the financial settlement and child custody is finalised.

Author – Cheryl Duffy

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