Breakups are tough and going through one can be made even more difficult if your ex is still hanging around your family. While it was once endearing when your partner got coffee with your mom or texted your dad, now that you are no longer together, these behaviors might veer into territory described as downright disrespectful. Here’s how to cope if your family is still close to your ex.

Sift Through Your Emotions

Breakups are not easy, and if there’s a possibility that your family might remain in contact with an ex, the first step is to figure out how you feel. Take time to process and sift through your emotions, as complicated as they might be.

You might take time to journal about your feelings toward your ex, the breakup and any residual emotions. Examining your perspective on paper might help solidify where you are in the healing process. It’s important to understand if you are ready or even remotely open to the idea of an ex maintaining contact with your family. 

Establish What Works for You (And What Doesn’t)

A situation where an ex remains close to your family can take on all types of different forms. Perhaps, it’s an ex connecting with your sister from time-to-time on social media or maybe it’s an ex dropping by your mom’s house once in a while. 

Establish what will and won’t work for you. What are your boundaries and what is completely off limits. You might be open to your mom chatting with your ex on social media but not to them talking on the phone or texting frequently. 

Have a Talk With Your Family

Communication is key. Your family will not know your boundaries inherently. It’s unfair to assume they know how you feel if you have not communicated thoes emotions. Once you have taken time to sift through your feelings and figure out boundaries, it’s time to communicate them to your family. Once you share your boundaries, it’s up to your family to listen and honor them. 

Speak Directly With Your Ex

If you are comfortable, it is helpful to speak with your ex as well. If you are or are not comfortable with continued family contact, say that explicitly. There’s emotions on both sides of a breakup. When it comes to your family, it’s important to express your feelings and comfort level for contact. After all, it is your family.

Guard Your Heart

Once you have examined your feelings and had the necessary conversations, here is where you guard your heart. If you have given the green light for your mom and ex to still talk from time-to-time, it’s OK to request not to hear about it. It’s also OK to not be around if your ex is spending time with a family member. Continue setting healthy boundaries.