If you are one of the truly lucky ones, you won’t have the misfortune of running into your ex in public, like me, until you are ready. If you are not so lucky and your ex has moved back into the neighborhood, it is just a matter of time before your paths cross unexpectedly – like at the grocery store. Happy, happy, joy, joy! This happened to us at a time when things were still hot. I strolled up to the ice cream isle and who should be standing there, but Jim. There wasn’t another soul around just the two of us. Jim had obviously come to the store for just one item – ice cream. He had a small basket, while I was doing my weekly shopping. Picking out ice cream is something that takes a little time, so we both stood there staring at the ice cream. Finally I broke the silence and said hi. I received a very trite hello back. It made choosing my flavor that more difficult. So I grabbed a carton and moved on to finish my shopping. It’s one thing to cross paths in an isle, but it was quite another to get stuck behind each other in the checkout line and act as if we didn’t know each other.
Perhaps your ex doesn’t live in your neighborhood, but the potential for seeing them at one of your children’s sporting events is a very real and present danger. I say danger in a tongue-in-cheek, but to those whose wounds are still very raw, this can be an extremely uncomfortable event especially if you were the one who did not want the divorce. I remember I used to feel physically ill before going to one of my children’s functions. I was so afraid of seeing my ex and possibly the new woman in his life.
Yes, we could avoid the situation entirely and just not let our children attend these functions, but they are the ones that lose in the end. So for their sake, we have to muster up the courage and force ourselves to be strong and do the right thing.
The experience of running into your ex in public before you are healed is a very unpleasant one. It is a nerve-rattling experience to say the least, especially if they are not alone and have their new someone with them, but you are stronger than you think.
We basically have three options when we run into our ex with their new someone. One, we can dodge the bullet and high tail it out of there; two, we can hide; and three, we can make our presence known.
Most people would choose to avoid any communication. But here is how you shine in this situation. Let’s face it, we all describe our ex’s as somewhat abnormal to our friends. It helps us cope. Our ex’s do it about us too. They tell their friends how we are off our rocker. So your number one goal is to appear very normal, not quirky. If your ex is alone, your goal is still the same – to remain normal and calm.
Information provided by:
Tomi Tuel, Author of 101 Things I Learned After My Divorce
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