Dear Amelie, How do I go Cold Turkey?

workingwithyourex

Dear Amelie, how do I go cold turkey when I work with my ex?

From co-worker to lover back to co-worker again–do you fit into this scenario? Creating deliberate distance from your ex is a key ingredient in the prescription for recovery. So what do you do when you still have to see them each day at work? You can employ some unique solutions to combat your unique challenges. Let’s first examine these challenges.

Challenges Unique To Working With An Ex:

Undercover Lovers. Romances that develop at the office are often not made public. For various reasons – company policy, unwritten rules, negative connotations, extramarital status – people keep office relationships under wraps. The issue with any clandestine romance is that the break up is also concealed. Not that you want to send out announcements about your broken heart, but keeping your relationship private denies you the support from friends and co-workers that help you through this difficult time.

Contact Overload. Office relationships often come with lots of emails, texts, ims, and hallway looks. You are in the presence of this person all day and are experiencing the effects of “in sight and in mind”. Going from constant correspondence to normal communication can be grueling.

That Little Something Extra. Regardless of your level of professionalism with one another, when you are dating in the office, you always get a little something extra in your exchanges. Whether it is a wink in the hallway, an email with a smiley, or a special lunch together, there are often veiled signs of affection. After the break up, the extras vanish and this can be difficult to bear.

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How To Curb Communication With Your Ex

Curbing your communication with your ex may be one of the most difficult transitions after a break up. If you share a home, workspace, or children, this can be an even greater challenge; however, it’s worth a try. A little space from your ex can provide tremendous benefits including a real kick start to your healing process. If you’ve had trouble going cold turkey or even reducing the amount of times you contact (or want to contact) your ex, this video can help.

Do you still communicate with your ex?

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Change Has Come a Knockin’ – Let Her In and Embrace Her

changeI was once told that if you are not on the right path in your life (job, marriage, etc.), the universe will tap you on the shoulder. This tap is received in the form of clues like your boss being difficult or fighting with your mate. If you ignore the tap on the shoulder, you will receive an even stronger nudge such as warnings about your job performance or a betrayal in the relationship. If you continue to ignore the messages, you’ll eventually get a kick in the gut.

Your heart being broken is a kick in the gut. It is painful and unwelcome, but the universe is telling you it has a different plan for you – another life experience for you to embrace. At this point, your instincts may tell you that you are not ready to read this article. I think you should. This post is about change.

I want to explain to you how to embrace the current change in your life. If you pick up any book, visit any site, or talk to any relationship expert about getting over break up, change is generally the last step offered, if at all. Stages like denial, anger, tears, blame, bargaining, and realization are addressed first. However, if you set your sight towards the change to come early in the process (now), you will open yourself up to the healing process.

Let’s begin with any indications that you had that your relationship was not working. For those of you who were taken by complete surprise or found the break up to be a shock

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Divorce Support: Labels Do Not Define Us

Check marital status here: You’re at the dentist’s office and you notice while filling out the new patient application that there is a question about marital status. It’s just a little box on some little form, whose purpose you cannot be certain about and whose presence you might resent.  Why do they want to know your marital status?  Why include “divorced?”  Wouldn’t “single” be good enough?

A check box does not define you. If you find yourself asking that question before checking that box (and wondering if being single is good enough), try to remember that it’s just a box – just a label.  It does not define who you are or how you are in the world at large.  Yes, single is good enough.  So are you.

The following are a few tips to help adjust your lens and increase your resilience during this time.

Changes. It may seem difficult to cope with all the changes that come with a divorce, even the mundane ones.  They seem to come at you, one after the other.  There was the literal change of address when I moved into my new place, then the change of address form at the post office, and then the change of address cards I mailed to my friends and family. While you’re mending your broken heart and working hard to start fresh, focus on these things as action items and don’t let them get you down.

Stigmas. Bristling at the idea of having to tell even everyone that you’re divorced may represent the strange stigma that divorce brings.  That stigma may stain even the relationships with those whom you are the closest to.   The trick is to remember that your perception doesn’t necessarily represent reality.  Do not judge your friends and family based on their initial reactions. Everybody needs time to adjust to change, and those who love you are no different.  It’s a tricky time for everybody, a tender time for all concerned—and a great time to remember that these people who may be walking on eggshells around you are just trying not to say the wrong thing and hurt you further. Let us not forget they can be our greatest pillars of strength.

Labels. When we marry, our identity becomes wrapped up in that new status and so, when we divorce, our identity feels wrapped up anew.  Suddenly, we don’t know who we are.  It’s natural that your break-up can cause your “make-up” to look unnatural for a while.  It will take time to see yourself more clearly, as being distinct from the status and undamaged because of the change.  Identity is not static, but we forget that as we get older.  The truth is that we’re always forming and re-forming the idea of who we are. Remember, you are not defined by a label. There are dimensions and depth to your person that could never be classified under one grouping, so do not let it get you down.

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