WHEN Wendy rang to ask me if I’d go on a date with her, my first reaction was that she’d gone completely insane,” recalled Jubril, a university lecturer. “Our relationship was great when we first got together but it ended badly and since then we’ve only seen each other occasionally.
“I was her first serious boy-friend but called the relationship off because we never agreed on anything. We were constantly rowing, then making up. We must have worn each other out as she quickly went into another relationship and came out with a child. I’ve had two kids myself but still single but I wasn’t desperate. I’ve always believed getting back with an ex is a bad idea and I worried we wouldn’t get on.
“It was good fun going out with her again and we went to our favourite restaurant. After a few drinks, we talked a lot about the past. But the spark wasn’t there. I can’t ever see us getting back together– Too much has changed for us to get back what we had before.”
“I did my Higher School Certificate in a mixed school and that was how I met Gabby” recalled Sade, an IT manager. “We were very much in love but whilst 1 got admitted to a university in Lagos, he went up North. I missed him like crazy the first year but whilst absence could make the heart grow fonder, with us it eventually became out of a sight, out of mind.
“I was in the office when he just walked in. It was a shock to see him. I almost didn’t recognise him. He looked much better than I remembered and has spent a lot of time at the gym because he looked well built. Things were a bit awkward for about an hour but once we got over our nerves, we were our old selves! He took me to lunch and grown-up Jubril was a more intense version of the funny witty man 1 knew years ago.
“I was amazed by how easy it was to talk to him about everything work, family and other people we’d been friendly with in our school days. We even talked about our break up without hurling insults at each other. It was obvious the old chemistry was still there and two years later, we got married!”
Is It Possible To Have A Happily-ever-after Divorce?!
Can the end of a marriage ever be something you can get over? According to a relationship councellor, “Going through a divorce, is a taxing time where emotions run high. There may be custody battles, housing crisis and countless financial issues to contend with. All this causes a ticking time bomb. And the fallout can leave you wanting to cut your ex out of your life for good. But circumstances don’t always allow that, particularly if there are children involved. And besides, it doesn’t have to be that way. we just have to look at celebs to see cases of couples not only divorcing amicably, but staying friends afterwards.”
And to help you do just that, here are five secrets experts swear could help you towards having a happy-ever divorce …
- 1. Don’t rush: When the anger, confusion, regret and sadness have subsided, friendship can grow from the seed of love that was once there. But it’s important to allow yourself time to grieve the end of this chapter.
If you can’t avoid speaking to your ex during this time – for example about issues relating to your children – then stick to the topic at hand. Don’t address anything that causes further distress. If you have mutual friends, ask that they don’t plan events where both of you will attend.
2.Assemble a break-up support team: Surround yourself with people who will keep you feeling positive. Talking to others about how you’re feeling will help stop negative emotions festering – which could otherwise lead to physical and mental health problems. It’ll also help you to be level headed when dealing with your ex-partner.
3. Be kind to you: Focus on what you want. Think how you want to live your new life. Travel, eat new foods and broaden your horizon – it can help improve your relationships with others, including your ex.
- 4. See the bigger picture: Try not to view the divorce as a failure. Psychologist Seth Meyers says: “Too often, men and women end relationships and feel they made a mistake in choosing the partner they committed to in the past because the relationship didn’t work. But such a perspective betrays the bigger picture – that relationships are one of life’s greatest classrooms, and are how we figure out what we need and how to move closer to true fulfilment. “Forging a friendship with your ex can be a healing experience and allows for important integration of your past with the present.”
- 5. Be realistic: You and your ex-spouse will never share the level of closeness that you once had, and it’ll take time to forge a friendship. But in the long run, it’ll be worth it. If the
hurt and anger can be overcome, there’s great comfort in keeping an ex-husband in your life.
Perhaps he’s the only one who knows how excited you were when you had a baby together. A truly healthy friendship is a sign the relationship was built on closeness and mutual respect. It means that despite the relationship ending, it was the kind worth repeating in future.