8 Tips on how to manage a breakup whilst still living together.
Apr 12, 2023
Recent research from Zoopla has shown that 34% of couples who have split up, but own a house together, are being forced to stay living together. 43% of these couples cite financial reasons for continuing to live in the same property and 17% make the decision for the sake of the children. There’s no doubt that financial considerations and the current cost of living crisis is making it more difficult for a couple to separate financially. They can’t afford to pay two separate mortgages, or rent, and two sets of household bills.
The research has also revealed that the average time that these couples are having to stay living together is just under 16 months, with one in eight having to continue sharing a bedroom. This will undoubtedly be putting even more pressure on the couple, in what is already a stressful and traumatic time in their lives.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are 8 tips to help you navigate this transitional period:
- Try and have a separate space or room in the house for each of you. It’s important that you have your own space that you can retreat to when you needed, especially if emotions are running high. Respect each other’s space and privacy.
- Remove yourself from the situation if arguments start. - Take some deep breaths, walk away and then revisit when you’re able to discuss it calmly. Avoid using ‘You’ in the argument eg ‘You did this’ as it’s attacking your ex which will in turn make them defensive. Use ‘I’ instead and say what you want or how you feel.
- Share the chores. Agreeing up front who will do what can save resentment building and prevent arguments. If things are amicable, you could agree a time when you will both do the chores together.
- Establish a routine and boundaries. Be clear with each other what your routine will be so that you can manage expectations and avoid unnecessary arguments. If you have children, agree up front who will be supervising them and when. Ensure that you both have some uninterrupted alone time.
- Take some time away from the home. Ask a friend or family member is it’s possible to stay with them – even one night a week will help to provide some much needed space between the two of you.
- Exercise. This may be the last thing that you feel like doing, but it really does make such a difference. It releases all those endorphins which creates the ‘feel good factor’ and helps to improve your mood, as well as giving you space from each other. Choose an exercise that you love – even if it’s just a walk outside in nature – just get your body moving. Enlist the support of an exercise buddy so that you’ve got someone to motivate you on those days when you really can’t be bothered – which will happen.
- Turn to your friends and family. It’s important that you see your friends and family regularly during this time. Meet them out of the house to give you both some space. Studies have shown that emotions are contagious so make you’re consciously spending time with people who light you up and make you feel good about yourself. Restrict time spent with the negative people in your life who drain the energy from you.
- Go into your workplace. Post Covid life has seen many people working from home more to maintain a healthier work life balance. However, if you have the option, it may be worth spending more time in your workplace. This gives you physical space from your ex and social interactions with other people. If possible, you could agree to work from home on different days so you each have your own space.
There’s no doubt that this will be a difficult period to transition through, but keeping the communication open, agreeing expectations up front, and showing each other kindness and respect can help to make it more manageable.
If you’re going through a breakup and want to be able to let go of the past and start moving on with this next chapter of your life, I have some free resources to support you.
10 Simple Secrets to let go of heartbreak and move on after your divorce.
Download here: https://www.sarah-woodward.com/10-Secrets
Reclaim your inner spark and find happiness again after your breakup.
Download here: https://www.sarah-woodward.com/reclaim-your-inner-spark