Going through a divorce is one of the most challenging experiences you can have in your life. Your finances and emotions will be greatly tested and it can be incredibly difficult to get by.
What can complicate matters is if you need to stay with your partner during separation. Whether you lack the money to move out, need to finish the terms of your lease, or have kids together, there are many reasons why you may stay with an ex-partner.
Unfortunately, this can make your situation worse as you encounter difficulty cohabitating and moving on romantically. The emotional and legal challenges of a new partner moving in during divorce illustrate how a messy home living environment directly restricts your ability to make changes you want in your new life.
While you may feel like your life is on hold, there are a few important things you can do to make living with a separated partner more manageable. Let’s dive into those now.
An essential starting point is to divide responsibilities between you and your separated partner.
This is particularly important when it comes to logistics like finances, taking care of the house, and parenting. These were all responsibilities that were covered together, but now you must find a way to fairly distribute them.
This becomes challenging with a separated partner because your priorities no longer align. Now, you prioritize yourself and they prioritize themselves instead of compromising for the best of both of you.
This means you’ll need to find a way to agree with someone who will no longer willingly overextend and make sacrifices to accommodate your needs. Instead, you’ll have to sacrifice more so that all logistical responsibilities are still tended to.
Find time to have a conversation with your ex-partner about what still needs to happen and how you’ll both fulfill it. Determine terms for how you’ll split costs, take care of any children and pets, and tend to household chores.
When you agree to a plan and both stick to it, there will be fewer chances of arguments happening and this is essential to living peacefully with a separated partner.
Establish Ground Rules
You must also work together to establish ground rules for how you’ll live together.
When you’re living with someone who’s caused you a lot of pain, it can be easy to overlook and ignore their needs in favor of your own.
Inconveniencing them might not be a concern for you any longer. A good example of this is choosing to play music or television loudly at hours when your separated partner is trying to sleep.
The issue with this is that a lack of respect between the two of you will only result in further conflict. Your ex-partner may also choose to engage in behaviors that disrupt your peace and this can result in an unhealthy cycle of pettiness.
With this in mind, you should view your separated partner as a roommate and devise a plan where you can both operate as you please. Important topics to discuss include how common areas will be used, when you might both be in the house, and how you can both respect one another’s space.
When you have clear ground rules in place, you can avoid upsetting your separated partner and ensure that you will also be respected.
Avoid Emotional Complication
It is also critical to steer clear of emotional complications with your separated partner.
This is especially important because break-ups are painful and complex situations that need time and space to resolve. The more complication that is added to the mix, the worse the situation becomes and the harder it is for both of you to move on.
Concerning a separated partner, there are two key scenarios to avoid.
The first is rekindling your relationship with your separated partner or blurring the lines by becoming friends with benefits. If your goal is to move on from your relationship, you cannot still have physical and emotionally intimate interactions with them.
On the other hand, bringing a new love interest over can be seen as flaunting and disrespectful. Your separated partner doesn’t want to see you with other people and you likely aren’t ready for another relationship yet.
When you and your ex partner decide to go separate ways, you must accept that decision and both choose to refrain from behaviors that confuse or hurt the other person while you are still living together.
Communicate Clearly and Respect Boundaries
A final point to consider is communicating clearly and respecting each other’s boundaries.
There is a great possibility that part of the reason you and your partner separated is poor communication. Expecting good communication now may seem ridiculous, but continuing to argue and fight will only exacerbate the situation.
You don’t have to talk to your old partner all the time, but at least having a conversation initially to divide responsibilities and establish ground rules as we mentioned earlier will greatly help to avoid conflict when you do interact.
Once you understand what your partner needs, give it to them and focus on yourself. You both need time and space to heal and grow, so don’t make the last of your time with them more painful than it needs to be.
If you’re separating from your partner but still need to live with them, you need to find a way to cohabitate peacefully. This may seem impossible, but putting effort toward working together is the best way to ease the suffering for both of you.
When living with a separated partner, there are a few strategies to follow to minimize problems. This includes dividing essential responsibilities, establishing ground rules for respect, avoiding emotional complications, and opting to communicate clearly and respect each other’s boundaries.
Even though your lives are going in different directions, you don’t have to continue toxic behaviors that may have ended the relationship initially. Understand that your old partner was a significant part of your life and ending on the most positive note possible is the least painful way to heal.