Dating an ex-spouse should not be simply a response to loneliness, matter of convenience and/or lack of alternatives.Deciding to take such an unconventional step needs to be done carefully since there are many ramifications for children and friends.The complaints are partially based upon actual behaviors, but usually include heavy dosages of anger, disappointment, frustration and a sense of hopelessness as divorce looms on the horizon.All relationships include positive and negative feelings about one's partner, but when the negative relationship patterns accumulate and overwhelm positive feelings, divorce is a common outcome.Some say that the old marriage is like a black hole with its powerful gravitational pull that sucks all into its center, including light.Metaphorically, if there is to be hope (i.e., light) for ex-spouse dating, participants must find ways to break negative relationship patterns and open up new ways of communicating.Rapper Eminem may be known for his controversial lyrics, but he is equally known for his on-again, off-again relationship with his wife — they have been married and divorced several times to (and from) each other.
My previous blog ("Should You Date Your Ex-Spouse," dated 1/17/11) made the audacious proposal for considering dating an ex-spouse, since the likelihood of strong positive feelings when getting married could create a positive basis for a renewed relationship, if both parties have matured and stopped blaming each other.
She was visibly moved and felt affirmed (instead of disrespected), was receptive to his request for time to process her initial points, and was able to listen.
With the old negative pattern broken, the couple was able to engage in a meaningful conversation that introduced hope that "things" could change and opened the door to their consideration of dating.
Ex-spouse dating explorations faces a series of negative relationship pattern "tests" that provide opportunities to create new, healthy interactions or to be drawn back into the negative patterns alleviated by the divorce.
Upcoming blogs will discuss action strategies to help those interested in dating their ex-spouse, and others generally caught in negative relationship patterns with a significant other, navigate the difficult passage.