Bringing up ex partners,or spouses! What’s the problem?

Interesting chat yesterday about the issue of your partner always or often talking about their ex on your nights out or in your company.

Yesterday’s query related to the listener’s male partner always talking about his deceased wife. We also touched briefly on the matter of divorced spouses or exes.

Listen back below.http://www.newstalk.com/podcasts/The_Hard_Shoulder/Highlights_from_The_Hard_Shoulder/216554/Realtionships_Widower_talking_about_his_widow

Just a few further thoughts

Divorce.. Divorce is an all consuming event for all parties involved. it is a time of great uncertainty for each spouse and of course for the children.

Speaking about your ex in this context is similar but perhaps more obvious in that the one divorcing is going through a great adjustment, the ending of the marriage, the promises, the dreams for the future, the knowledge of pain and upset for the children if they are there.. there is so much to deal with.

Men more than women tend to move in to new relationships more quickly.

The result can be that there is working through of the emotions while settling in to this new relationship.  This is where and why it gets spoken about a lot.

Just like our listener today I believe it is reasonable and correct to draw lines around the issue. For example you may agree that there are times it is good to talk about it , but over a nice dinner out together or in the bedroom is not the place for those chats.

If your partner needs to talk about divorce or his ex more than is comfortable for you then you must say so.

NAME IT – IDENTIFY WHAT IT IS LIKE FOR YOU

SAY IT – SO THAT HE/ SHE CAN UNDERSTAND IT , COMMUNICATE IT

SHARE IT – IF YOU DON’T SHARE IT , YOUR PARTNER DOES NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIX IT.

Post relationship

Talking about one’s ex raises  many things especially if it happens a lot.The biggest question is why and what are you achieving by it.

It can be habit, you may drift back in to memories and if so that is a habit you need to break as it is not pleasant or nurturing for the one you are with.

You may also be doing this by way of ensuring that your partner does not feel 100 % sure of you.  Maybe it is your way of saying I am not ready to give 100% of me.

It may be that you are not over the person and you may need to tidy all that up before you go in to a new relationship. Clearly if you are elevating your ex the problem will be even worse for your partner.

ENDINGS ARE IMPORTANT AS BEGINNINGS AND HOW YOU END YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS IMPORTANT TO THE QUALITY OF THE NEXT ONE.

 

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Thoughts on family culture clashes.

 

This week on Ivan we heard from a young man who had a number of concerns about the prospect of introducing his new love to his mother see below if you want to listen back.

He was afraid his family would not like her, or accept her and indeed that they would not give her the welcome that he hoped for.

This made me think about a whole host of pressures that are there when it comes to meeting the parents and it made me think about family cultures and how they impact on relationships.

We all know that there are norms in families, what is more accepted, what is considered normal, who we think is cool and we know that we each have our own kind of family communication style. You notice that you will find the same things to be quite funny. This closeness that comes from shared history, shared happiness and often shared sadness or dysfunction can bind us as family.

But everyone has a family and the person you love will too. They will likely love them and like them quite like you do yours and it is important to keep in mind that this hoped for acceptance cuts both ways.

Relationships, especially those that go the long term, involve the coming together of these two family systems/ family cultures so to speak and it is not only in the actual meeting of the people involved, like our young man on Monday’s show but also the meeting up of these two sets of what is internalised in your mind as normal.

Your expectations of your partner, what you know to be the role of mother, father are all utterly determined by your family story, what you have experienced and what you have come to love or hate.

Again we have to remind ourselves that our way is not the only way. It is in fact only one of two ways in the relationship and both must be valued, heard and all differences discussed.

We see clashes of culture most especially after marriage and or after the arrival of children, because the expectations that until now are unspoken  become alive in the new situation.

You will have an internalized view of what fathers should do, and or mothers and or husbands or wives so disappointment or dissatisfaction begins to rear it’s head.

As a clinician what I see very often is that a couple can be happily going along but the bump in the relationship commences right at the point where the front door closes and they are now a family unit and the family culture clash begins.

Criticism becomes more frequent, tensions rise and fractures can begin.

What was lovely and loving now changes. Understanding what is driving your satisfaction or dissatisfaction is important.

 

http://newstalk.com/podcasts/The_Hard_Shoulder/Highlights_from_The_Hard_Shoulder/215924/Relationships_Introducing_a_Partner_to_the_Parents