Ending a relationship when you’re living together

How to heal from a separation when you still share a living space with your ex ? How to move forward ? How to preserve your privacy ? How to avoid arguments ?.

In addition to the breakups that happen during lockdown, there are a lot of people around the world living with an ex right now because there’s no other option right now for them.

Many couples who planned to separate or divorce before the outbreak of the coronavirus had to scrap their plans to move because they simply didn’t have time to coordinate logistics before the lockdown began. Some couples are now facing complicated financial situations (one of the partners may have lost their job) which can prevent them from moving and separating physically, even after the end of the confinement.

In the meantime, other couples have decided it is safer to continue living together, so they sleep separately or live in different rooms or parts of the house. Other couples had to get together because they had no one else to turn to, and this is especially true if someone fell ill and needed care. Everyone has their own reasons, but the reality is that there are many “couples” who now live together (or live nearby and have a close relationship) when it was not really intended.

But it’s not just because of the lockdown and the coronavirus. Many couples must continue to live together after deciding to separate or divorce, whether for financial reasons, children, schedule, pets, work or simply logistics.

So how do you deal with a breakup when you live together (or stay in relatively close contact)?

1. Find what makes you feel good

What can you do to increase your comfort and sense of well-being at home? Maybe it’s not having breakfast in the kitchen at the same time as your future ex-spouse, in order to have some alone time in the morning to meditate and keep a journal without your ex don’t drink his coffee in front of you. Maybe you could wake up a little earlier to have that alone moment before your ex wakes up. Think about your ideal day and figure out how to get closer to it, given the current situation.

Next, think about the boundaries you may need to set with your ex. Are there boundaries that would make you feel better or help you be productive (when you need to be)? Maybe it’s postponing all conversations about finances until Saturday afternoon so you can stay focused on your homework during the week. Maybe it would be to not dwell on your breakup to your ex for a few weeks. Just because you’re together all the time doesn’t mean you have to keep talking things over and working them out. Give yourself a break.

2. Have a talk with your ex

Once you figure out what will make you feel good (including any boundaries you might want to set), find a time that works for both of you to discuss those two things. Acknowledge that this is a difficult situation and that you want to talk about it together to find a solution. Share what you plan to do so that he thinks about what will make him feel good. Ask him if there are any boundaries he would like to set to feel more comfortable. Share yours.

If there are conflicting boundaries, which they probably will, take the time to figure out which compromise might work for both of you. If you can’t reach a compromise, take it in turns to make it as fair as possible. If emptying the dishwasher is a big stress point, set up a rotation schedule so you don’t have to worry about who’s going to do it.

3. Look for support outside of your ex.

Just because your ex is there doesn’t mean they’re the best support system for you. Don’t forget to get out of your forced cohabitation by scheduling Facetime or video calls with your friends and family members. She can also help you solve your problems if you get confused. Dealing with a breakup while living together is difficult, and it will help to find someone who can listen to you and give you advice.

4. Make sure you make room for yourself

If you have a corner of your apartment or house that you can make your own, do it. Whether it’s your bathroom, a guest bedroom or your garage, it will be helpful to find a place that you can make your own. Keep it clean and organized, and place keepsakes of the things you love in it. You can even try to meditate on it daily so that it is associated with this ritual. It’s really helpful that this space allows you to physically separate from your ex, even if it’s just for an hour or two, but of course that’s not always possible depending on your situation.

5. Don’t give up on making plans

It may seem like things are incredibly uncertain right now, but there will be a time when you won’t be living with your ex anymore. You may not be able to visit apartments just yet, but you can start researching neighborhoods and streets that you like. You can also review your finances and determine your moving budget and what you will need to complete the move. You can check real estate sites to see what listings are available and get a rough idea of ​​what your budget will bring you. You can also start rummaging through your belongings, especially if you have things in common, and organize yourself so that separating your belongings will be easier once you can move house. Take this time of confinement and cohabitation to get a clear idea of ​​what you like about your current life situation and what you would change. Make yourself a wish list.

The goal is to figure out how you can get through this time and be respectful or respectful of the person you’re living with, even if it’s your ex. You may not be in a relationship anymore, but you are certainly human and can empathize with the fact that this is a stressful and uncertain time for everyone. If you’re stuck together, you might as well try to make it as smooth as possible.

6. Be tolerant of yourself

Living together adds an extra element of difficulty to a breakup or divorce that you cannot immediately control or change. Try to be patient with yourself if you are in this situation. It’s not ideal to live with someone who broke your heart, or cheated on you, or someone you’d rather avoid altogether. Know that you are not alone – right now there are people all over the world who are locked up with exes – and know that you will come out of this with many lessons learned about yourself. Try not to be hard on yourself if you’re having difficulty, and also be tolerant of any deadlines you set for yourself. Once you are no longer living together, you will begin to feel the benefits. Waiting,

We know you may feel trapped, but we know you can create mental space using the strategies above. You have the power to make the best of your situation. We support you and send you all our good vibes for this difficult time.