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How to Keep Your Ex from Ruining Your Relationship

When it comes to your love life, are your past and your present on a collision course? Prevent a crash by asking yourself some tough questions.


  • Step 1: Assess the situation Ask yourself why your ex is still enough of a presence in your life to be creating problems in your current relationship. Unless it's because you share children, consider curtailing your involvement with them -- or cutting off contact completely.
  • Step 2: Do some soul searching Do some soul searching: Do you like having rivals for your attention? Are you keeping your ex as a back-up in case things don't work out with your new partner? Do you harbor hopes of getting back together? If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, you're not being fair to either person.
  • Step 3: Prioritize Put your current partner's needs and feelings ahead of your ex's. If you can't, consider what that says about your present commitment.
  • Step 4: Don't engage the ex Don't play along with an ex who's intentionally trying to cause trouble. If they come by unannounced, don't let them in. If they call and text incessantly, ignore them. If you have to call them back, do it in front of your current partner.
  • TIP: Beware of an ex who only wants you back when you are happily settled into a new relationship.
  • Step 5: Be above board Don't contact your ex behind your current lover's back. Live by this rule: If you wouldn't feel comfortable telling your partner about it, you shouldn't be doing it.
  • Step 6: Present a united front Present a united front when possible: It will show your ex you've moved on, and reassure your partner that your past isn't a threat. Remember: Your ex can't destroy your relationship without your help.
  • FACT: Divorced couples who don't have children get along better than those who do, according to studies.

You Will Need

  • Self-awareness
  • Priorities
  • Relationship transparency

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