What do you say to your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend’s new partner when you meet for the first time? How do you cope with your feelings of anxiety, anger and insecurity? Meeting your ex’s new girlfriend — or his new wife — won’t be the easiest moment of your life…but it may not be as painful as you think.
One of my “She Blossoms” newsletter subscribers asked for tips on coping when your ex has a new girlfriend. More specifically, she needs help dealing with the anxious feelings and even panic attacks that overwhelm her when she thinks about meeting her ex-husband with his new partner.
The easiest tip for calming the anxiety of meeting your ex and his new partner is to avoid the places they go. Unfortunately, this is impossible in many cases — especially if you’re co-parenting kids who are graduating, getting married, having kids, etc. You may also see your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend with his new partner on Facebook or Instagram. Since in many cases it’s literally impossible to avoid meeting or at least seeing your ex and his new partner, you need to finds way to calm your anxiety. My tips will help ease the pain…
What usually works to calm your anxiety? Tell me in the comments section below. How do you deal with anxious feelings, fear, and insecurity? You’ll find that simply thinking about how to calm your anxiety can help you feel better. And, if you write about your coping strategies, you may find yourself quickly feeling better.
Calming the Anxiety of Meeting Your Ex and His New Partner
Whether your marriage fell apart after 25 years together or you broke up with your live-in boyfriend after 25 days, you need to give yourself time to grieve. My reader’s heart is slowly healing after her marriage fell apart — and so will yours.
Part of grieving is learning how to calm anxious feelings, whether or not you’re meeting your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend and his partner. Knowing how to soothe and ease your pain will help you in all situations of life.
1. Know what works for you
You are the expert on yourself. Actually, God is the expert on you — He created you, after all! But you know yourself better than any human on earth.
It’s not possible for me, or even your own psychologist, counselor or pastor, to give you the miracle cure for calming the anxiety of meeting your ex and his new partner. You have to know and do what works best for you.
How have you calmed your anxious feelings in the past? Maybe you’re like me, and you find taking deep breath and praying helpful. I don’t even use words in my prayers. Most of the time I just open my heart and spirit to Jesus, and ask for His peace. Focusing on God is a brilliant and effective way to get calm — especially when you’re in an anxiety-provoking situation, like meeting your ex-husband’s or ex-boyfriend’s new partner.
If you have no idea how to calm your anxiety, read 3 Ways to Find Peace When You’re Anxious and Afraid.
2. Imagine the worst case scenario
In her email, my “She Blossoms” newsletter reader said she was overwhelmed with anxiety and panic attacks at the thought of meeting her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. They were all invited to her daughter’s graduation. Of course, my reader wants to attend her daughter’s grad ceremony. And naturally her daughter wants her own father there! It’s debatable whether her dad’s new partner “should” be invited — but that’s not the point.
The point is that my reader may miss one of the most important moments in her daughter’s life because of her anxiety about seeing her ex-husband with his new partner. This is not only sad, it’s a decision she’ll always regret. That would be the worst case scenario: my reader misses her daughter’s grad because she allowed her anxious feelings to dictate her choices. That’s even worse than seeing her ex-partner for the first time, and fainting! Or stumbling and falling, or bursting into tears.
If you need help moving forward...
What’s your worst case scenario? That is, what is the worst possible thing that could happen when you meet your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend and his partner for the first time? Maybe it’s “just” the pain and grief of seeing your husband start life with someone new. That’s really hard, and I’m sorry for your loss. It hurts. I understand. But, don’t let your grief define who you are. Don’t allow your pain to make you do things you may regret forever.
3. Reimagine what it might be like to meet your ex’s new partner
What if your imagined anxiety about seeing your ex and his new parter is worse than reality? What if you’ve built it up to be more painful, scary, and terrible in your own mind than it could ever be in real life?
You’ve imagined the worst possible outcome of meeting your ex-husband’s or ex-boyfriend’s new partner for the first time. Maybe you’ve even imagined yourself dying from the pain of a broken heart while your daughter walks down the wedding aisle, or having a psychotic breakdown in front of an auditorium at a college graduation.
Now, imagine something different! Be playful and curious, like you’re writing a movie or book. What if you actually like your ex’s new partner better than you like your ex himself? What if she’s apologetic, kind, gentle and even a kindred spirit? Or, what if she’s boring and dull, or loud and obnoxious, or funny and interesting?
What if your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband no longer occupies the throne of your heart? What if you can be happy without him because you’ve found a new and better source of love, peace, light, joy and freedom?
4. Meet your ex’s new partner with curiosity and peace
Take a deep breath. Open your heart to God’s healing power. Accept with gratitude the healing presence of Jesus. Receive the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, know that He offers more life and joy in His little pinky finger than all the good men on earth put together! With God, you won’t have to worry about calming the anxiety of meeting your ex-husband or ex-girlfriend’s new partner.
Choose to adopt a sense of curiosity when you meet your ex and his new partner. Instead of allowing your anxious feelings to overwhelm you, decide that you’re handling this meeting in a different way. You’ll stop focusing on yourself — your pain, grief, jealousy, insecurity — and you’ll focus on something more meaningful. You’ll stop comparing yourself, hating your ex and his partner, hating yourself.
You’ve already started recovering from the pain of the breakup. Now, start rerooting and arising. For a few ideas, read How to Move On From an Ex You Still Love.
What do you think about my ideas for calming the anxiety of meeting your ex and his new partner? Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! I read every comment, but don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.