14 Examples Of Unhealthy Boundaries With Ex-Wife

Marriage is not always a bed of roses. It may often go through bad patches, and if you fail to sort out things with your partner, separation can be the only solution. If your divorce was not too nasty, you could be friends, but it is also imperative to set healthy boundaries with your ex-wife. However, if it is unpleasant, you may seek mediation. This is especially important if you both are in another relationship post-divorce.

Here we have listed several examples of unhealthy boundaries that can help you learn to behave yourself after separation.

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Examples Of Unhealthy Boundaries With Ex-Wife

Detaching from your ex-wife after divorce can be tough. So, watch out for these unhealthy boundaries that can add to the woes and make life difficult for both.

1. Interfering in her life

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When your marriage comes to an end, you should accept that you no longer have a say in your ex-wife’s life. So don’t interfere in her life and try to influence her. Instead, respect her freedom and choices and leave things to her discretion.

2. Contacting her too often

While it is okay to call up your ex-wife once in a while to share important life updates, maintaining excessive contact can cause troubles, especially when they are in another relationship or marriage. So stop contacting your ex-wife too often and maintain limited contact.

3. Approaching her during trouble

Approaching ex-wife during trouble
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During difficulties, your ex-wife may have been your pillar of support and go-to person. However, turning to them when in trouble and seeking their advice may not go well and worsen things.

4. Stalking her/not stopping her from stalking you

You might be curious to know how your ex-wife is living without you, but that is not an excuse to stalk them. Stalking can be anything from inquiring about her personal life from your common friend or excessive interest in seeing their status updates on social media. Similarly, not stopping your ex-wife from stalking can also invite rifts in your new relationship.

protip_icon Point to consider
Setting appropriate boundaries with an ex-partner provides you space to grieve the end of the relationship early and the freedom to move forward.

5. Turning your children against her

Turning your children against your ex-wife
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If you and your ex-wife are co-parenting or are involved in joint custody, trying to turn your children against your ex-wife is unfair. Although you both are not on good terms, speaking ill of them to your children may do no good for you or your children. On the other hand, it can agitate your children’s minds and can harm their lives. Hence, you should never talk negatively about your ex to children.

6. Asking her for sex

Filling the void of your ex-wife after the separation may not always be easy. Your love life may turn upside down post-divorce, and you may miss the romantic moments you have shared with her. However, it’s a big no to ask them for sex, whether you both are single or in another relationship. Having sex with your ex-wife can only push you into despair and prevent you from recovering from the separation.

7. Indulging in financial affairs

You or your ex-wife may be going through a financial crisis. However, don’t turn up to them to seek financial assistance unless it is an absolute necessity. If you were doing business together before the divorce, set healthy boundaries and respect them. If that is not possible, try to reach a settlement, either through arbitration or court order.

8. Frequenting her home/workplace

Frequenting ex-wife's workplace
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You and your ex-wife can remain good friends even after the divorce. However, frequenting their home or workplace with visitations could create confusion and apprehension in their partner’s minds. Similarly, if you are already in another relationship, your partner may not often appreciate visiting your ex-wife. It may prompt them to think that you and your ex-wife haven’t moved on and still maintain a romantic affair.

9. Talking about personal matters

Maintaining a good friendship with your ex-wife is a goal for many people. However, don’t use that opportunity to discuss personal matters or your current relationship. Don’t turn to them for their advice when something goes wrong in your relationship, or don’t talk about your romantic life with them. Keep your matters with yourself, and don’t encourage any conversation regarding your new relationship.

10. Speaking ill of her

Your ex-wife may have treated you badly and done terrible things to you. However, that doesn’t give you the license to speak ill of her with your common friends or colleagues. Blaming your ex-wife for the separation and resorting to cheap personal attacks will not heal your pain or earn the sympathy of others. On the contrary, it will only make your life miserable and toxic.

According to Tara Blair Ball, a relationship coach, it is always better to avoid discussing your separation in a room full of mutuals. Sharing her experience post-separation with her ex-husband, who happened to work in the same office, she says, “Before I remarried, he told a shared group of friends in front of me that he was really hurting because his actions caused him to lose his family (read: me). I felt sad for him, but that’s the burden he had to bear. That was also a sign to me that I needed to put some new boundaries in place. If he shows up to events or places I am at, I leave. I don’t make a scene. I just quietly slip out. He could process his feelings of guilt and remorse without involving me in it (i).”

11. Not cooperating with children’s custody

Not cooperating with children’s custody when co-parenting
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Staying on good terms with your ex-wife is more important when children are involved. So be responsible with the parenting plan, pay child support and don’t make last-minute changes to the custody schedule if you are co-parenting. Instead, pick your children as per the schedule and hand them over to your ex-wife in time if she has custody of your children.

12. Trying to draw her back to your life

Your marriage must have failed for obvious reasons, and you both decided to part ways after much deliberation. Hence, trying to draw your ex-wife back into your life can put you both in a tricky situation. While it is okay to give your relationship a second chance when you both are sure about that, trying to woo your ex-wife when she doesn’t feel the same can take a toll on both of your lives.

13. Emotionally manipulating her

Be honest with your ex-wife, and don’t try to manipulate her emotions. Manipulation is an unhealthy practice to get what you want from a person. Using cheap tactics like playing the victim card, gaslighting, emotional blackmailing, guilt-tripping, or excessive flattery can harm your relationship. Whether you’re experiencing or causing emotional manipulation, setting healthy boundaries is essential to maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-wife.

14. Confiding in the ex

Staying friends with your ex-partner can put you in a fix. But when children are involved, being on good terms with them becomes necessary. So, do not try to get too close to your ex and don’t turn to them to confide when facing challenges. If you or your partner are going through a bad patch, seek advice from a qualified counselor instead of expecting emotional support from them.

Dealing with unhealthy boundaries with your ex-wife can be quite draining. They can put you in the same toxic cycle that once made your life hard. So, watch out for the above practices and set the right boundaries for the emotional well-being of you and your ex-wife. You may consider a collaborative divorce through collaborative law to come to an agreement, so you can attain peace of mind and sound mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I stop my ex-wife from overstepping her boundaries?

You may try stopping your ex-wife from overstepping the boundaries by clearly communicating to her about your thoughts and setting limits. You may even consider taking legal action against her if she’s causing you physical harm.

2. How do I emotionally detach after divorce?

Divorce can make you feel depressed or angered; however, to emotionally detach yourself from your ex-partner, you should understand the reason and accept the situation. You may seek new hobbies or try out your dormant interests, spend time with your loved ones, prioritize yourself, and avoid blaming yourself.

3. How do I set healthy boundaries with my ex-wife?

To set healthy boundaries with your ex-wife, you should refrain from interfering with her personal life and avoid talking to her unless required (such as for children,alimony or spousal support). Also, be consistent with your efforts to set boundaries with your ex-wife.

Infographic: Indicators Of Having Unhealthy Boundaries With Ex-Wife

When it comes to having a relationship with your ex-partner, setting clear boundaries is important for both partners and children involved (in the case of co-parenting). However, if you’re unable to determine the limits, check out the infographic below for some examples of unhealthy boundaries with an ex-wife.

signs of unhealthy boundaries with ex wife(infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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Key Pointers

  • Healthy boundaries are necessary to maintain healthy relationships between former partners.
  • Abstain from everyday phone conversations and messages and do not interfere in your ex-wife’s personal life.
  • Stay in touch only if you are confident that your past won’t affect your life.
Boundaries With Ex-Wife_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team


Learn how to set boundaries after a breakup to help you heal and move on. Get tips on how to protect yourself emotionally.

Personal Experience: Source

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