In our recent workshop about managing a breakup during Covid with Dr. Lynn Saladino, one of the attendees asked an interesting question (paraphrased), “Since Covid, I’ve been talking to my Ex everyday? Is that ok?”
Dr. Saladino’s answer was, under certain circumstances, this may not be as bad as you think. These are unprecedented times, so it’s only natural that you’d want support from someone who knows you so well. And temporarily, this may be quite helpful. But Dr. Saladino also encouraged our attendee to dig a little deeper into her own question. Do the daily talks limit her interactions with others? Do they make her feel good in the moment and badly an hour later? If so, they may be doing more harm than good.
We decided to take a little poll in the C2C community and see if people are leaning on their Ex’s more and has that been helpful.
“My kids are older now and 1 came home to live with me. This pandemic definitely softened the communication and relationship with my Ex husband. At the beginning of the first lockdown, we checked on each other, made sure there were enough supplies for each of the homes and swapped things. He had extra hand sanitizer and I had an extra thermometer,” said Jennifer. (Using only 1st names for privacy.)
On the other hand, Stephanie told us, “My Ex basically actually tried to blame the pandemic on me! We got a divorce last year and a couple of months into Covid, he lost his job. And he called me yelling saying all of it was my fault.”
A C2C member who is in the middle of her divorce now thought that they would try to make it work and stick together during the lockdown and they tried it for a couple of weeks and with both of them working at home and no one wanting to do dishes, this arrangement didn’t last.
“I hadn’t talked to my Ex in a couple of years. I’ve been divorced for 10 years now. But during this pandemic I have been hearing from old friends I’ve lost touch with, past boyfriends and my Ex husband . . .maybe people have more time on their hands or maybe they are taking the time to reflect?,” said Gretchen. “We had a good marriage but it never really was a friendship so it’s kind of weird to hear from him now after all of this time. It’s like getting to know a new person.”
It’s interesting and sometimes rewarding and sometimes painful to see how people in our circles have been reacting to the stress of this global situation. If we concentrate on the good from this, you could is give yourself a chance to make stronger bonds or new ones and if that involves your Ex husband or not should be decided based on what feels right to you. Can you maintain this relationship without going back to past hurts or vulnerabilities? Can you approach it and take and give the support based on a new dynamic?