How To Keep The Ex Out Of Your Relationship

Do you spend too much time thinking about your partner’s ex-wife? Watch this video and learn how to focus LESS on her and MORE on your relationship.

Stepmoms: Leave a comment below and tell us what you think! Do you talk so much about the ex it almost feels like she lives with you? Are you ready to set boundaries and try the strategy explained in this video?

How To Keep The Ex Out Of Your Relationship | Video Transcript:

Hi there. I’m Brenda Ockun with StepMom Magazine and you’re watching StepMom-TV
…because even when it’s good, it’s complicated!

I want to ask you a question. When was the last time you and your partner had a conversation about or spent time complaining about his ex-wife?  Was it five days ago? Five hours ago? Or, maybe it was five minutes ago? Hmm.

One of the biggest challenges of being in a relationship with someone who has kids, is the ongoing presence of their ex. And let’s be honest, even if stepfamily life is smooth and everyone’s getting along, no one really wants a constant reminder of their partner’s past. Still, the ex often becomes a main topic of conversation for many couples. It’s certainly not healthy and it is not fun!

In the February 2014 issue of StepMom Magazine, Stepfamily therapist Mary T. Kelly says: “Many couples spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the ex. There’s something morbidly fascinating about talking about them. Discipline yourselves to resist the urge.”

How? I’ll tell you!

There’s a very simple and effective way to keep you and your partner from spending too much time venting, complaining, or conversing over something that quite frankly, you can’t change. I call this technique Code Word Ex.

Here’s how it works:

Step One: Pick a secret code word or phrase. Your code word can be anything you want it to be but make sure you, and your partner, decide on it together.

Step Two: When you or your significant other notice that you’re in a non-productive conversation or you’ve been talking way too long or too much about the ex, one of you must shout out the secret code word.

Step Three: You must stop talking about the ex once the code word has been executed!

Your code word will become like a mantra that eventually you’ll both repeat whenever the conversation becomes pointless, repetitive or unproductive. It’s that easy!

Now the reason this works, is because the code word acts as a boundary that you create around your relationship. It’s a way of saying –and demonstrating- that you’re not going to let another person inside your relationship. The act of saying your code word out loud literally interrupts your conversation, but, it also helps you re-direct your attention back where it belongs – on each other.

So the next time you find yourself talking incessantly about the ex, shout out your code word! I guarantee it works.

Now, I’d love to hear what you think. Join the conversation and leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this video, please LIKE IT, SHARE it and subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Remember, you’ll find great tips and advice every single month inside our online magazine. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time, here, on StepMom-TV.

If you liked this video, you’ll LOVE the monthly magazine!

14 thoughts on “How To Keep The Ex Out Of Your Relationship”

  1. So true!! I told my husband the other day that it is like an annoying fly, mosquito or a gnat!!! Just when you have peace and you think it is gone, here it comes buzzing again! Boundaries are so important and sometimes those boundaries are crossed with regards to the ex. You definitely have to choose NOT to allow this person to overwhelm you, your marriage or your life. It can be like a dark cloud over your marriage. The mother of your husband’s children is not going away, but dealing with her can be managed.

  2. I think this is a great idea, but where do you draw the line? I desperately need to vent sometimes and the ex actively works to insert herself. I can not spend more than 15 mins with my in-laws without having to talk about the ex. As I am writing this, I realize that I need to work on myself. If I can learn to curb my anger and frustration, it would not eat me up.

    1. I am right there with you! My husbands ex trys in every way to text or call every day almost. Mostly when its our time with the kids. Its just annoying. Like seriously its not any of her business what we do, where we go, who the kids are hanging out with, etc. on our time just like its not any of our business that she never has them and drops them off here and there and is always at the bar. So we keep our mouths shut and dont bug her and I find it so disrespectful she doesnt do the same.

    2. I had the same thing. Then one day I said to my husband – you do realize she is no longer your wife nor even your friend. She calls to complain about YOUR WIFE. Draw a line or I will. Then he told her to stop and to talk to her own husband. It is not his job to listen and fix her problems anymore, and she is NOT ALLOWED to say anything about me. Since then it was much better. The MIL is a different story. She still brings up the ex and refers to her as the daughter in law, and to me as “his wife”.

      1. My MIL and husband’s family acts the same way…I’m not truly family, I’m their son’s/brother’s wife. I keep reminding myself that how other people treat you is a reflection on them, not on me.

  3. Great idea to do the video channel.

    We did a LOT of work on boundaries two years ago, and worked hard at enforcing it. It nudged the ex-wife into getting some counseling on “letting go of relationships.” I know that because clearly, it was a process while she updated my mother-in-law of her progress. But now, I don’t hear about it anymore. I think to some extent (and it certainly isn’t perfect) that both we, and she and her (now) husband figured out that we were just not interesting to each other anymore. FINALLY.

    Now, hubby and I schedule time to discuss ex-wife issues, whether it’s child support stuff or whether it’s “scheduling”.

    None of us is perfect about it, but it sure is better. As to the “need to vent,” I get that, but I noticed it feeds on itself.

    I think a code word is good advice.

  4. Omg all we ever do it seems is talk about the ex in one way or another she never seems to not be in our personal life. hell two days ago my mother in law told me she hated me because of things his ex told her.

  5. My struggle is, my man not setting boundaries with his ex…for fear of repercussion and her using their daughter as a pawn and leverage! He never talks about his ex, and cuts me short everytime too, Instead of having healthy ex-time ‘conversation’ (and by that i mean ito their child…not the ex per se or past stuff)…makes he question and brings in elements of mistrust.

  6. I have many issues with my boyfriends, ex girlfriend. I believe she still has him tied around her finger and uses the son to get what she wants. A few months back I found out he was texting her when he was away on a business trip about how he was bored and he felt the need to talk to her instead of me. Am I just insecure in this feeling? I would love some feedback because it’s been two years and it seems to me he takes her feelings into consideration more than mine.
    Sincerly, CS

  7. My husband & I have been married totally in love for over 27 yrs. We had full custody at the age of 11 upon our marriage. She even stated in divorce papers that she didn’t want to spend 1 penny on him. I did it all, little league, homework, bought clothes, all needs, cooked for him. I did it all with her calling every day dictating what we need to do. Cursing us out on the recorder , fighting with her son every day. Harassing us daily. Now he is 38, married and just had their 1st child. We have a daughter that’s 24. His wife got 2 cats and my daughter and I are highly allergic to them. I end up in the ER. Can’t go to their house to see the baby. Plus he invites his terrorism mother to get together and we end up with 2 issues. The 2 cats and the terrorizing mother. We want to see the baby but want to enjoy our lives. It’s aggravating and tiring. We are tired of her and need a solution or we are ready to write them off. HELP PLEASE

  8. And if hubby is a widower for many years? He blames many of life’s ills on that situation and goes into a funk or angry rant frequently. What then? It seems wrong to tell him not to talk about the mother of his (now grown) children (may she rest in peace, please!).

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