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The Remarried Life

Jun 12, 2018

Brian Mayer discusses how communicating with an ex spouse or ex partner can be complicated especially when a new relationship is present.  Brian talks about the reasons why exes may stay in touch.  He also discusses research regarding how new relationships do when communication with an ex-partner is happening.  We hope you enjoy today’s episode.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at

Today's Goodies

  • Sometimes it is inevitable that you or your partner must communicate with each other.  Obviously if children are involved communication must still take place.  However just because this must happen doesn’t mean it will be easy.  There are of course lots of other reasons that people will stay in touch with an ex-partner as well. 
  • Let’s explore the main reasons that someone may keep in touch with an ex-spouse. 
    • Have Children Together
    • Work Together
    • Business Partners
    • The relationship ended amicably and want to maintain a friendship
    • There are still romantic feelings present
    • There are mutual friends and social circles
  • As we discussed some of the reasons, I can almost guess that depending on whether you stayed close to your ex-partner or are in a position where your current partner is staying close to their ex-partner that it probably brought up completely different feelings. 
  • How do these reasons play out in the current relationship?
  • In a couple of studies by Lindsay Rodriguez, she looked at how often they communicate with an ex-partner, why they maintain this contact, and the ultimate outcome of the current relationship.  I will link to a great article in Psychology Today that discusses this study and our topic today in more detail. 
  • So we have already discussed some of the reasons that ex-partners stay in contact.  Let’s now discuss what the biggest reason for continued contact is according to the study.
  • The biggest reason that people stay in contact with an ex-spouse has to do with their feelings toward that person and toward that relationship.  They were also more prone to stay connected if the breakup was more positive.  One final reason for communication is not moving past the break-up.     
  • Now what might all of this say about your current relationship and how healthy it is?
    • The study showed the communication alone was not a determinant of the feelings toward the current partner or the relationship.
    • However, the frequency of that contact did have an impact. 
  • Should you keep in contact with an ex-spouse? 
    • The reasons behind why you are doing so are most important. 
    • Additionally, you should take into consideration your current partner’s feelings on the matter. 
    • Other research was quoted in the article that says that it can be more difficult to get over feelings if you are in constant communication with an ex-partner.
  • As with most issues, there is no real right or wrong except when it comes to the motives behind the contact.  Unfortunately these motives can often be hidden in a current relationship and so making it tougher to come together.
  • If unhealthy motives are not the issue then clearly some compromise whether each of you may give a little on the issue might be the best course of action.       


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As always remember that marriage is nothing something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.