Saturday, 5 January 2013

# 2 (2013) Why An Ex Should Remain An Ex

If you split up with your partner there is a reason for it. And all things considered you should really go your separate ways and be thankful for another chance to make the right choice. But this isn't always possible. Today, the number of couples who split but are forced to remain living under the same roof for financial reasons is increasing. If it's amicable day to day life should be bearable. But you don't know what's around the corner and it can seriously cramp your style.

xojane gave both sides of the argument in a couple of entries earlier this year on living with your ex and why it could be the stupidest decision you ever make. I can totally understand the transitional thing. Property is expensive. Getting out of rental contracts can be a nightmare and if you're used to living in a house that's all your own, downsizing and paying your own bills is going to be a nightmare. Most houseshares have limited space so you might find yourself getting rid of a lot of your possessions. In any case, if you're going to stay there are boundaries that you don't necessarily think of in the early days that can become a massive pain later on. And even if you have thought of them, you're never quite prepared to actually deal with them.

Household responsibilities:

The first is that despite the new situation someone is still playing the 'housekeeper' in the relationship. At best you'll have to make a cleaning rota. At worst you may still find yourself in the 'wife' role whilst the ex continues to behave as if they're living with their mother. By this I mean you will be the one brandishing the hoover every week, putting out the rubbish, dealing with the bills.

Addressing it isn't easy if the other person digs their heels in. And unless you are prepared to go all the way nothing much will change. Rest assured you will get your revenge when you both finally go your separate ways and they have to learn how to run their own accommodation. Unless of course they find a substitute. Which brings me on to point 2.

New partners:

There will invariably come a time when new partners hove into view. Some of them will bear with the weird freakish scenario that you live in (but you have no right to demand that they do). Others will find it a threat to the new relationship status just because it is weird. And even though you have no feelings whatsoever for your ex you will instantly regard any new partner appearing on the horizon with utter hatred for no other reason than that they are there.

Perhaps it's because it signifies that they can move on without you. Perhaps it's just because there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon that one day they will be happy again and this makes you mad as hell. Mainly it is because it's just weird.

Personal time:

This scenario is followed by an even bigger problem. It's an issue in houseshares in general and when 'thinner than you would like' bedroom walls do nothing but amplify the bedroom activities emanating from within. And there's nothing less attractive than hearing your ex partner in the next room f*****g their new partner. Even more so when you know all their secrets (especially the ones they don't know you know). It's hard not to conjure up less than palatable images in your head. At best you may try not to laugh and bang on the wall. The rest of the time you'll be trying to smother yourself with a pillow or turn the tv up as loud as you can.

The 'do not cross' line: 

You may get territorial vibes from the new partner in the house if they know your history. This is hilarious because as far as you're concerned you wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. But you are still regarded as a threat because you are the ex. And they're trying to impress, be the good partner and ignore all the faults that are already starting to appear.

Now that there's a new partner in the house you may become territorial about your things. Good bathroom products particularly, are a coveted luxury that you're not used to sharing. Bear with it. You'll start to notice if things are being used without permission.

Your investment:

If there's a glimmer in sight that you may be moving you'll start to tally up your possessions. And you may discover that you invested a lot more than they did. You may be pleasantly surprised to find you have a fully functioning flat. They'll be wondering where the cutlery has gone. And regardless of whether you're planning to take it all with you, you'll be damned if you're going to leave it behind.

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