Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Coping with the Ex Factor

Published:Monday | April 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM

It is never easy to end a relationship especially if you have been in it for some time. It is not always easy to just sever the ties and block and delete, even for men who are seen as being the more emotionally balanced sex. Even after he has emotionally checked out, there are times when he still lingers in the relationship for fear of retaliation as described by counselling psychologist AndrÈ Allen-Casey.

The female's reaction might be unpredictable and depending on the character that he already knows, he might fear that she could destroy his property. If there is a child involved, he might fear that she might use said child against him, so in order to ensure that he sees the child, he stays. Then there are the privileges to relationships that he might enjoy even though he might no longer be interested in the individual.

There is also the fear of reputation according to Allen-Casey. He might worry about what she might say after he leaves and some men might not take kindly to their name being dragged through the mud. He might also not want to burn the bridges. They had a relationship and not because you cannot see this person as your life partner means that you do not want them around.

After making several attempts to achieve similar goals together without success, then then it is time to throw in the towel.

Some men try to play nice and maintain a relationship with the ex, but the new partner is not obligated to accept it. In fact, if the ex is imposing, Allen-Casey states that it should not be tolerated. He also states, however, that the new partner should not enter into a relationship with the intention of being the enemy of the ex-girlfriend. They should speak with their partner to establish boundaries.


Gradual Separation


It is encouraged that you make a gradual separation. Distancing yourself in increments, not all at once.

When it comes to severing ties there are four tips that Allen-Casey left with men:

1. Take responsibility for the choice to end the relationship and do not blame or shame the soon-to-be ex.

2. While sharing your decision to end the relationship consider the feelings, hurt and disappointment of the intended ex. This should inform you of what to say and how you should say it.

3. Plan to support after the break up by calling and the occasional visit if you are allowed (please note that the boundaries that you have established with the current partner will affect this). You should also show support within boundaries and they should be clear.

4. Remind the intended ex that you are never the enemy even if you be treated like one thereafter.