Living with the EX

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    Jun 16, 2008 8:02 PM GMT
    So, my partner of 9 years and I broke up for good last month. We had been separating for a few months and finally decided to stop dicking around and end the relationship. During our split we have managed to stay away from each other. However, we own a home together and the cost of living separately has finally gotten to be too much. So, he is moving back in the spare room this week. We will be roommate while we try to sell our condo and, if we can't, until I can either find a roommate or renter. It looks like we will be roomies until the fall at the latest (I have a potential roomies ready in Oct.) He has already made weird comments like noticing when I wear a jock out or scoping out my web cam usage. Yet he is dating a 19yo. I am hoping this friendly but nosey banter does not continue and that we can live as friends.

    Everyone I tell this to rolls their eyes and gives me this "you should know better" look of warning. But, it is reality and it needs to happen. Has anyone ever been in a situation where they have to live with their ex? How did you cope? Any advice?
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    Jun 16, 2008 9:20 PM GMT
    ick... that's really the only thing I can think of. Just, ick.

    My ex wanted me to stay living with him when we ended things, he didn't want me to have to move back home. He knew how difficult it is for me to commute. But I just couldn't stay there.

    A few months later we had kind of talked about me moving back. It would save me in commuting, and save him in half the rent. But ultimately we knew it would just end in catastrophe.

    In your case it sounds like there aren't really any clear boundaries for him. Like you're broken up, but not completely in his mind? He sounds like he's acting like a scorn lover. No?

    If you've both moved in together out of necessity then I'd talk to him and have each of you go over the 'acceptable' -vs- 'non-acceptable' things. For example, what you wear out, or how much you use your own webcam is none of his damn business.

    It won't be easy... 9 years is a long time. I was with my ex for about a year and a half and I had to get the hell out of there when we split. I didn't see how we'd be able to be anything BUT boyfriends. Living together would've just made that more difficult because we'd fall back into it. As it was, we kind of did on and off for a while without living together. I can only imagine what would've happened if I didn't move out.

    Hang in there, talk to him, and hold your ground. That's probably the only advise I can think of...
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    Jun 16, 2008 9:26 PM GMT
    I've never lived with a lover, so I can't speak from experience, but I don't understand why everyone thinks it will be a problem. It depends on each man's maturity level and whether the break up was truly wanted by both men equally.

    Hopefully, over time, the banter will decrease if you both express your feelings about what freedom and the end of what had been means.

    Good luck,
    Charlie
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    Jun 16, 2008 11:56 PM GMT
    Actually DJ this is way too familiar...unfortunately.

    In February of 2007 my ex and I split up after 9 years. It was a very difficult time for me since he initiated the breakup, stating he needed his space. OK, fine.

    Then he went on travel for 2 weeks for work. I was left to deal with my emotional and the physical aftermath. He returned for a few days and then took vacation for a month. Over that time we were in email contact. I was trying to figure out what to do with our joint home and how to work the living situation.

    Initially I needed to step away from our home and so I stayed with a friend. Then while he was gone I stayed back at the house. All the while telling him that he needed to start thinking about where he was going to live when he returned as I was trying to do the same. I let him know that I thought it was unhealthy for he and I to live under the same roof if we were to salvage anything that was left of the relationship. At the time I was also seeing a counselor to help work through the process.

    To make a long story short... Under a very amicable breakup I decided to buy him out of the home and we did room together (of course in separate bedrooms) for a few weeks until he realized that it truly was eating away at anything that was left between us. He decided to find somewhere else to live in the interim 3 weeks, until his apartment was available. I couldn't thank him enough for this. It was the right decision.

    Not being in the same household was key for me. This breakup had violated the trust and bonds that we once had and I was feeling crazy (wanting to know what he was doing at every moment and obsessing about his new life without me). Thank goodness it all worked out for the best and I appreciate his understanding of me needing my space as we embarked upon our lives without each other.

    I think that having your ex move back in is not healthy for either of you. A breakup is the one instance in which all ties need to be cut initially so that confusion is kept at a minimum. Once you have learned to live without each other in the capacity of the relationship then you can try to put together a friendship if both parties feel alright with that idea.

    This is not an easy time and I wish you well. Any decision you make will feel like it is inadequate, but this is a time when you need to take care of you and he needs to take care of him. The realization that no one else will/can take care of you but you is a difficult but necessary one in this scenario.

    I am always willing to lend an ear if you need to vent. I truly understand and my heart goes out to both of you. Be gentle with yourselves during this time. Rediscover you without the other in your life. It will be a difficult time, but an exciting time in your life. In a very Zen way the ending of something old can only exist with the beginning of something new. Embrace it... All of it.
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    Jun 17, 2008 12:00 AM GMT
    You're better than me, I'd a cuttabitch!!!!
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    Jun 17, 2008 12:23 AM GMT
    Oh don't get me started on this topic. I was in a monogamous Relationship for 3 years and he had been cheating on me the whole time. icon_evil.gif

    I don't get it. Why do they do this?
  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    Jun 17, 2008 12:33 AM GMT
    Bens, you're a catch. Throw him out on his ear for not recognizing that. icon_biggrin.gif

    That said, I think you've already noticed the issues with him being underfoot. It can't end well. He needs ground rules and to understand that he gave up his right to comment on whether you're wearing a jock out (hot, btw). Easier said than done, I know, but necessary.

    Think of it this way: do you want him around when you bring someone home? When/if you start dating someone? I didn't when I ended it with my cheating ex. He wanted to stay in the other bedroom because he couldn't/didn't want to find an apt. Too bad, I sez, should have thought of that before you cheated. We're still friends (sort of), but I know it wouldn't have lasted that way if he had been around. He says the same thing.

    Get him out as soon as you can, for both your sakes.
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    Jun 17, 2008 1:45 AM GMT
    It will be close to impossible for you (or him) to start any kind of real relationship. Your proximity will put a heavy pall on anything the other is doing. This might be less of an issue if you'd broken up a year or more ago, but there's still a connection. Remember that your history together will not likely get true internal closer until you're really apart for a while.
    The problems will be mostly small derogatory or dismissive comments that will keep this connection going.

    Remember that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. If you and he truly didn't care, there would be no problem.

    If there's no way around the situation, then enjoy your life, but don't set high hopes on dating the next 'great guy' until you are really living by yourself.

    As for his 24 year old, it just sounds like a rebound relationship where the attraction is more about the fact that it isn't you (in whatever perspective he has regarding you) and/or a trophy to flaunt after having 'lost' you. It is normal.

    In other words, I do know what your talking about.
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    Jun 17, 2008 1:49 AM GMT
    Sell the house and cut the cord
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    Jun 17, 2008 2:01 AM GMT
    I have not dated many in my life, and it's well over 20 years since I last split with anyone. Except the first person I dated. I am still friends with all the guys a dated. I still have a care and love for them all, except one.

    So it could work, so long as you act as roommates. be civil, and respect the others space.,
  • dcarm

    Posts: 291

    Jun 17, 2008 2:16 AM GMT
    I lived with my ex for a few months after we broke up.
    We were renting a 2br unit, so he had one room and I had the other (which was "officially" the case anyway, since he wasn't out to his parents), at least until the lease was up, as far as our agreement was concerned.

    We set out some ground rules, but we both understood that we were done, and while that hurt for a while (he broke it off saying "It's not you, it's me.") we got over it. We both met new bfs while living together.

    The day after we broke up I did some stupid stuff, I went through chat logs. I was hurting bad, and he'd gone out that night, so I wanted to know if he'd been cheating before. He hadn't, and I felt so ashamed I had to come clean straight up.

    The first month I didn't spend that much time at home. I went to friends' places etc. After that, things went much better, and it worked for us. It won't work for everyone, but it's possible.

    I screwed up a couple of times. One of my fish died and I said "Oh babe, Justice has died!" And since he broke up with me, I said that I wanted to know when he was bringing someone home, so I could make myself scarce if I wanted to. I forgot/didn't realise it applied to me, so I brought now-hubby home for coffee (just coffee, mind) and he got a bit upset, understandably. But other than that, there were no real problems.

    As long as both of you understand that it's really over, and set yourself some boundaries and stick to them, you'll be fine.

    We're still pretty good friends to this day.
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    Jun 17, 2008 2:44 AM GMT
    My partner of six years and I broke up last August and lived together in a two-bedroom apartment for the next eight months. He eventually found a condo he liked and moved out.

    There were compromises to be made and negotiations over the ever-shifting ground rules. Everyone we knew said it was a mistake. But it worked for us; we still talk and get along.

    This kind of arrangement requires two people who are willing to be mature and work through the rough patches. And there will be rough patches. It sounds like you're willing to put in the effort. If he is, too, there's no reason you can't stick it out together for a few months.
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    Jun 17, 2008 5:11 AM GMT
    It does not work! Ex is Ex and that's it!

    Try and find a flat mate soon as possible to share your cost's!
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    Jun 17, 2008 5:38 AM GMT
    Samer08 saidMy last experience with a guy I dated live with his ex-boyfriend. He still do. I found out he lied to me he slept with his ex-boyfriend, while he was dating me. I will never date him again.



    That's cause men suck icon_mad.gif
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    Jun 17, 2008 2:56 PM GMT
    wow... Thanks for all the insight. This is going to be an interesting process (one that might be best for the Bravo cameras). I think one sticky issue will be keeping the emotion out of where it does not belong. I have started to be very mindful of what I call "business", ie the house, finances, bills, etc. He has yet to be able to look at any conflict that happens in the business arena of our lives without pulling emotion into it. There is a lot of hurt between us that surfaces at inappropriate times. I am hoping to make those lines and boundaries more clear. He looks at this as me being able to be heartless and to close off from the life we spent together. He thinks it is "great" that I can be so "mechanical and cold".... ahhh nothing cuts like a passive aggressive comment. Which there are many of. The problems is, that though he feels like we should acknowledge the life we built together (which he thinks I ultimately ruined) he also wants to have this very on the surface buddy relationship with me. The result is small digs that come at odd times. He think I don't catch them or know where their origins come from, but I have lived with the guy for 9 years. I can tell when he is being a a bitch. Ha. I just hope we can cut the crap and be adult about things. I am going to have to learn the fine art of not responding and walking away when its is only going to exacerbate things.

    Yesterday was a dousey. We shall see what today brings.
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    Jun 17, 2008 3:10 PM GMT
    I ended up living with my ex for about a a year and half when we broke up after six years. As in your situation, financial entanglements made it difficult and impractical to move out. It was awkward at first and oftentimes uncomfortable, but we managed to get through it by communicating through the weirdness. You both need to be able to communicate what bothers you and be able to listen to the other person's point of view even if it might make you angry. After a couple months, my ex and I were getting along great and even started taking vacations and weekend trips together with his new BF. Remember, it's only as uncomfortable as you make both make it to be.
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    Jun 17, 2008 3:13 PM GMT
    from experience, seek professional counseling - couples, if possible. nothing helped me more than being able to listen to a third person who could help guide the situation.

    both of you need to look inside yourselves and ask if it's REALLY over. and not just over, over. ask yourself, if things change (which they can - stranger things have happened) - would you still want to be with him? if your answer is yes, seek help to find out what those changes should be. if your answer is no - honestly and truly no - then seek help to find a common ground between the two of you.

    9 years is a long time to just be over. i know you've "dealt" with things throughout the 9yrs - most people do, but it's 9 years and it shouldn't be easy to end and you shouldn't do it alone.

    but hey, i'm one the few eternal optimist left in the world, so...

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    Jun 17, 2008 3:16 PM GMT
    You have my sympathies DJBens77, you seem like a nice guy that deserves better treatment (and dating a 19 year old?, I don't get guys sometimes).

    I had the misfortune to live with a couple of guys between 1987 and 1989 who used to be an item. I never would have moved in if I had known that. I was initially only supposed to be living with one guy. It turns out the second guy was really obnoxious. Bitter towards life and cruel to his ex-bf who was a sweetheart.

    I moved out as soon as I could afford a better place on my own.

    Unbeknownst to me they were both HIV+ and were both dead by 1993.icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 17, 2008 3:19 PM GMT
    RBY71 saidI ended up living with my ex for about a a year and half when we broke up after six years. As in your situation, financial entanglements made it difficult and impractical to move out. It was awkward at first and oftentimes uncomfortable, but we managed to get through it by communicating through the weirdness. You both need to be able to communicate what bothers you and be able to listen to the other person's point of view even if it might make you angry. After a couple months, my ex and I were getting along great and even started taking vacations and weekend trips together with his new BF. Remember, it's only as uncomfortable as you make both make it to be.


    I agree. I had a similar situation.. In fact, I lived in Austin with my ex. It was awkward at first but it grew to be fantastic and we were better "partners in crime" as friends and he is still my best friend 13yrs later. He knows me inside and out and vice versa. We are always on each others side. I think the fact that we were both mature about it and spared each other the whole let's get back at each other BS, made it pretty easy. Yes , there was jealousy and arguments.. but we never brought up our past romantic relationship because that part was over and done. If you aren't rehashing your past, it is easier to focus on what needs to be done in the future. I also became good friends with his new BF.
    I would just be cautious of putting out mixed signals. I think it is best to leave any of those nostalgic feelings inside for a while. You have enough on your plate.
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    Jun 17, 2008 6:46 PM GMT
    Totally looking from the outside on this issue. I've never been in this situation but if I did go there I'd firmly establish some ground rules so that "if" a disagreement, argument, or uncomfortable situation comes up you have those said ground rules to recall. By what you've already mentioned you definitely need to establish the "butt the hell out of my personal life and I'll do the same for you" rule. Hands off your cam usage and don't worry about you and your jocks. Offer him the same respect you are asking for.

    I do think that what sexy mnjock said is excellent advice and very hopeful since he's been through this. You may have not made it an eternal partnership but play this out correctly and it may turn into a great "platonic" friendship where you both are pulling for the others happiness.

    Best of luck.
  • nv7_

    Posts: 1453

    Jun 17, 2008 7:18 PM GMT
    Hmmm. Similar situation, but a lot less years of being together. He broke it off with me, and to be fair, he should have. I learned a lot about myself with him, and without him. It prompted me to wake up you could say.

    He wanted me to stay, because he trusted me, liked me, etc etc. We set up some ground rules, which he quickly broke by having guys over and that caused tension/heartbreak. He then sold the house and wanted to move further away and wanted me to move with him and at first I was going to, nice area, house etc. bit a lot further from where I work. However the more I thought about it, the less sense it made to me. He went from being a sweet guy to a selfish guy who only seemed to be interested in what my money could contribute to his bottom line. When I made it known to him that I would not being moving, he flew off the handle. Eventually he came around and admitted that I had made the right decision. Years later we are friends, not best friends, but good friends and now HE is the fat one. Life is good. icon_biggrin.gif

    Living with him at that time was too hard for me, now it would be no big deal. I'm a different person now. As some have said here, they've been ok with it, others haven't. Only you really know whether or not you can deal with this now. Go with your gut, even if it winds up costing you some money. icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 17, 2008 7:32 PM GMT
    mnjock2003 saidI agree. I had a similar situation.. In fact, I lived in Austin with my ex. It was awkward at first but it grew to be fantastic and we were better "partners in crime" as friends and he is still my best friend 13yrs later. He knows me inside and out and vice versa. We are always on each others side. I think the fact that we were both mature about it and spared each other the whole let's get back at each other BS, made it pretty easy. Yes , there was jealousy and arguments.. but we never brought up our past romantic relationship because that part was over and done. If you aren't rehashing your past, it is easier to focus on what needs to be done in the future. I also became good friends with his new BF.
    I would just be cautious of putting out mixed signals. I think it is best to leave any of those nostalgic feelings inside for a while. You have enough on your plate.


    This is how my past relationships have gone after we break up. It really depends on how you two broke up as to whether or not you can go ahead and live together. My longest relationship ended up creating my closest friend of my life. He's crazy as hell, but we're always there for eachother and know eachother better than my family ever will. But communication is definitely the key to changing the situation!

    In the end, my advise would be this: when he jabs at you about something, take a step back and think about whether what he talked about was deserved or not. If it was, I would accept it, but then counter it with something good you've done for him since then (not somethinge extravagent but just a favor you did for him that helped him out). That'll take him out of the mindset of your past and help put him into the present situation. If it's not deserved, then you can either do the same as I said, or ignore it, or correct him. It's hard, ackward, but can yeild some good things if you BOTH want to.

    Good luck sexy man! icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 17, 2008 7:44 PM GMT
    Do you need me to come over and make him jealous...i would totally be all over you in a gratuitous way! haha

    My only experience with living with an ex lasted about 2 hours. After we broke up I knew that I couldn't live in the same house anymore. That night I packed what I needed and stayed at my parents. I never stayed another night. I did what I had to do to fulfill any obligations, moved my stuff out, and ended things.

    For me it was the best way. I was heartbroken, but I am not a whiner. I wanted to end it so I could start over again. I see no point in dragging things out that don't need to be.