We recently had one of our readers write in to get some advice on living with their EX. They face the dilemma of having boundaries while still living in the same domain as their ex-significant other. This is such a tricky situation and more and a lot of people find themselves in it. Some people have to live with their ex because they can't break their lease. Others have to live with their ex because of the financial burden it will have on them to live on their own. If you share a mortgage with your ex, it's easier to just continue to split the bills than to go off and start paying the mortgage on your own. While we completely understand the reasoning behind living with your ex it does take an emotional toll on you. While there are some Financial positives to living with your ex, usually I like to steer the route of advising people to just make a clean break and live somewhere else or on their own. But this is not always possible, so what can you expect when living with your ex?
1. Lack of boundaries
Most people that I know that are still living with their ex talk about this the most. There is just such a lack of boundaries when living with your ex. Whether it's them being able to see everything that you're buying, or knowing you come home at 2 a.m. from a new hot date, it's hard to separate your life from them when they know everything about it. If you come home later than normal, this might cause you both to start a conversation and they might ask you where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing. When you are trying to emotionally move on from someone this is not always the best route. By opening up this conversation and leave letting them into your life, you can't truly make a clean break.
2. Emotional Confusion
This is another big one. When you were ready to break up with your ex you thought of every possible bad thing about them. From the way that they chew to the way, they like to start arguments. When you're still living with them you can't help but try and see some good traits. Maybe you got home late from work and you didn't have time to take out the garbage. You know it was really your day to do it but you just didn't have the time. You wake up the next morning in the garbage is already on the sidewalk. You start to think, maybe they're not that bad of a person. This emotional confusion can lead to trying to reignite the relationship, which will just lead to the same problems and heartache all over again (not in all cases, but in most).
3. The need for your own identity
And last but not least, you will feel the need to remake yourself and establish your own identity. You're still in the space with someone who you either feel wasn't a good fit for you, wronged you, or you just wish to not have a part of your life. You want to try so hard to differentiate yourself from who you are now and who you were with them. You'll have this innate desire to show them that you are doing better than they are or that you're doing better than you were with them. This is a full-time job in itself because instead of truly living for yourself, you are living to set an expectation of yourself with others.
So, my advice is always just to cut the cord. I understand that you won't always have the resources to move out on your own, and if you fall into this category, we hope that you consider these three things that can happen and you find a way to potentially avoid them.