Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Six steps to handle issues with the ex (by PJ)

Some time ago fabulous PJ supplied with us great tips for handing issues with the 'ex' that we'll be posting on this blog over the coming 6 weeks...

Things have gone off the rails. A crisis has hit you like a bomb. You didn't see it coming, you have no idea what is happening next and you can't even work out which way is up. No, you aren't a victim of a terrorist attack - this is merely a snapshot of your every-day-garden-variety stepfamily knocked sideways by a ‘surprise attack' by an ex-partner - and could be just one of the many issues you are forced to face on a daily basis.

Turning to friends won't help - they don't understand; your mother freaks out each time you mention your stepchildren because she can't handle the situation…and you can't get an appointment with your therapist for the next six weeks! While you might feel like you want to curl up and die, the fact remains that the rest of the world (not least of which is your loving hubby) needs you! So how do you handle yourself and your family through this??

Here's a few tips that might help:

1. First of all get back some control.
Part of the reason you feel so off-balance could be because you have handed more than a reasonable share of control to the other party. Now is the time to sit down and discuss or list the things over which you do have control and those over which you don't. Loosely, the things you tend to have control over are what goes on in your home. The things you don't have control over are what happens outside your door. You need to start fiercely guarding what is important to you and learn to let the other stuff go. Let your family in on what is expected of them and trust that the rest will take care of itself – at least for now.

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