How well do you keep calm when dealing with an ex?
So whether it’s your ex or your husband/boyfriend’s ex, you have some serious RAGE when one of you has to deal with this person.
Maybe you imagine throat-punching them, or speeding up the car instead of slowing down if they were standing in the middle of the road, or...well...we won’t get graphic...but you get the idea.
There is something about the ex that increases your anxiety ten-fold and completely enrages you.
Is it their uncanny ability to never let anything go...ever?
Is it the snide remarks about your relationship with your husband/boyfriend?
Is it the negative talk they pump into the kids when they have them?
There could be a million reasons why you wouldn’t mind if an asteroid hit their house (when the kids weren’t there, of course…) but I’m here to tell you there’s a way to deal with it without becoming an irrational, emotional mess yourself.
If you’re new here, WELCOME!! I am crazy happy you found me and I’d love for you to check out this other blog post on co-parenting that I’ve linked below.
Before we go any further, I wanted to give you this free download that you can print or keep in a handy spot on your phone. These are tips that we used in our co-parenting situation that made things go from horrible to manageable.
Keeping calm when dealing with your ex or your husband/boyfriend’s ex can be a challenging task.
If we let it, these feelings can negatively impact our relationship with our husband/boyfriend and it can negatively impact our work relationships and performance.
Let’s go through what commonly happens
You’re sitting at your desk, working on your latest project and you’ve been fine all week long.
Your phone buzzes.
His name pops up in your text message alerts or your husband texts you and the preview refers to his ex.
Immediately your heart starts to race, your blood pressure skyrockets, thoughts of all the negative scenarios that this message could lead to start playing themselves out in your head.
My previous blog post talked a little about how co-parenting can affect our jobs. It mentioned that there might be a lack of understanding from people who have never been in a similar situation.
My advice there was to make sure your performance isn’t suffering and don’t feel like you have to validate yourself to anyone.
Here’s the thing...if the scenario I’ve laid out below is something that happens with any regularity, I can guarantee it’s affecting your performance and, as for validation, this is something that would need to be discussed with your boss for sure, but not necessarily co-workers if you didn’t feel comfortable.
How does the stress of just a text message affect your work performance
You’ve now been away from your desk for at least 20-30 minutes dealing with this shit.
And now you’re behind on your project, which means something else you have to do will be delayed as well.
Whether this is happening once a week, twice a month, whatever...think about the lost time you had on the job.
Think about what would have happened if you were ahead on turning in that project instead of behind.
Think of the potential accolades you would have gotten had you not entertained a 30 minute interruption.
Think of how those accolades would have worked towards your next promotion.
How to manage keeping calm at work
Now, the steps above specifically refer to when you’re dealing with your ex, but you can also use them when the text is from your husband/boyfriend and they are about his ex.
You can answer your husband/boyfriend about whatever he said, but keep yourself in check with these same steps.
TIP: Give these tips to your husband too...so he’s in on the idea...so that he can implement it and he can successfully keep calm too.
Remember, you 100% cannot control the other person but you 100% can control yourself.
I want you to know that these are the methods my husband and I used, at work and at home, to navigate our co-parenting experience.
With our experience, our failures and successes, we were able to take our co-parenting situation from unbearable, literally wanting to vomit with every interaction, to manageable and adult conversations between him and his ex...and even occasionally between her and I.
How does the stress of a text message effect your relationship with your husband/boyfriend
Having a previous life can present some difficult situations in your current relationship.
If the two of you can come at these situations with similar mindsets and similar plans of action, you will only become stronger.
You will learn to read each other’s cue’s; whether it’s body language, tone, facial expressions.
And you will learn to balance the other person out.
In our situation, when my husband would start to get heated, and even though I would be upset as well, I would consciously make the decision to let the stress and anxiety go so that I wouldn’t make his any worse.
I remember, back in our smoking days, standing in the garage having a cigarette after he received some nasty messages. We both read and re-read them, we read into them and we got upset. But we reminded each other that we were a team - that this was a test from God or the Universe to make us better parents, better partners, better people.
We feed off of the dynamics that are around us.
If you’re around people who are always angry or anxious, then you’re always going to be angry or anxious.
If you’re around people who tend to see the silver lining, you’re less likely to be negative all the time.
So, when you’re husband is getting upset over something that was said, it would be ideal for you to be the balance for him.
Remind him that he isn’t facing this alone, that you’re in it 100% with him.
Remind him that by replying to the message without emotion and attitude, he will be diffusing the situation. His ex won’t know what to do with a message that gives her little to no ammunition to cause more drama.
And the reverse is true as well.
When you’re getting upset over something your ex said, it is ideal for your husband to be your balance. To remind you of all those same things.
So...after all this, what exactly are the steps to keep calm
If you’re not ready for the coaching yet, I get it. You need to do it when the time is right for you...mentally, emotionally, and financially.
I hope you at least take advantage of the FREE download, Successful Co-Parenting Tips. Just click below and you can either print it or keep it in an easily accessible spot on your phone.
I would love to hear from you!
What are your working mom struggles?
What are your working mom wins?
Have you downloaded any of my freebies or eBooks?
How have they worked for you?
Comment below, shoot me an email at email@example.com, or DM me on the socials!
I’ll talk to ya’ later, mama!!
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.
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