Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ASK SYBD: "Can you live with your ex after being dumped?"

A day later than billed due to life being super busy at the moment...But today's topic is one that comes up fairly often. It's one I've experienced a few times myself in slightly different ways.

Bib writes:

"So I've been dumped - and I am confused! No real explaination, she just doesn't feel the same as she did six years ago, and doesn't fancy me anymore! Just over a year ago we bought a house together, usual stuff, dream home, pushed the limits on the mortgage and in the middle of this year we extended the house which took up our remaining cash...'not a problem as we were going to live happily ever after. The trouble is we have split and neither of us can afford to move out or indeed have anywhere to go! This means we have to live together until the work is fully complete on the house (two months) and then we sell it (which will take now long?

So my question is - can you live with your ex after being dumped?

This is something I've had to contend with. After my marriage ended - we had to "co-habitate" for two, long weeks which was a bit of a nightmare at the time. Then after my second long term relationship - we split a month after buying that 'dream home' together. Thankfully we didn't have to live together, but I had to stay alone in the house until he could buy me out.

So my advice in this situation is as follows:


While I don't suggest you be rude, I'd be as brief/cordial as humanly possible.

If you start freezing her out and she starts freezing you out - you'll both be pissed off and plagued by frostbite...which won't help an already stressful situation.

Keep the subject matter solely about the house or house-related things.


Avoid asking her stuff about where she's going/what she's doing (especially who she's doing!)...

(When someone just goes off someone like that - I do fear there may be someone else on the scene - so brace yourself for that!!)


Book up as much time away from the home as possible. Now is the time to join that motorcycle club, book club, movie club, hit the gym, reconnect with old friends, search out new ones, volunteer somewhere - or take up some new hobby or whatever. Just fill your social diary as much as you can to help pass the time.


Be mysterious and enigmatic - but don't bring women around, try to make her jealous by bringing people back, or leaving random numbers around etc...

Really, just avoid being petty if at all possible.


If you try to be pals (platonic room mates) right away - it's going to be even more confusing and challenging, I believe. It takes a real solid pair to pull it off straight away.

There is a chance you can make this transition to flat mates / house mates - but it's not usually in the first week or two of a split. It is something that may happen gradually over time as the wounds heal.

So if you can watch TV in your room / or listen to music / type on the PC - away from her - that might be best - just for now.

As I mentioned in my situation above for those weeks we had to live together I was out A LOT - because it was too uncomfortable and acrimonious to be under the same roof as each other.

I think he did the same. It was really challenging...Maybe you can rent it out until the climate changes...?

DMC also had some wonderful advice on this topic:

What with the credit crunch, it seems impossible to get rid of a house these days, but me moving in with a lodger can offset an ex's part of the mortgage, while they still retains their original stake. I'd advise therefore that it's vital that you try to keep things civil between you, and be prepared to compromise a bit, as your compromising will make her more likely to compromise too.

Sound words from DMC.

Have you experienced the torture of post-dump co-habitating? Do tell us.

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