Going through a divorce is challenging enough. The last thing you’d want to go through is still having to work with your ex professionally in a family business. While you’d rather be staying far away and living your own life, you still have to go to work and keep up a professional image around them.
Just because you and your ex work in the same business doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy work or that you’ll always be miserable. Many exes work together professionally just as well as before. Don’t be surprised that some couples even report that they actually work together better than before.
To help you get along with your ex and keep things professional, here are some tips from our Orlando family law attorney:
1. Keep Work and Life Separated
While you’re at work, it’s essential to keep your home life separate. Especially when your ex is involved with both, you’ll have to continue talking and interacting with your ex as long as you’re coworkers, but be especially careful to only talk about work-related topics.
Instead of drifting into familiar territory and asking after your ex’s family and what they’re doing over the weekend, it might be better to keep all conversation strictly about work.
Until you feel like you can confidently ask about their personal lives without getting emotionally involved, stick to the basics and treat them in a professional manner.
2. Make Sure Your Colleagues Aren’t Uncomfortable
Your colleagues likely know about your split. But, unfortunately, there is the possibility that they feel uncomfortable with both of you continuing to work together and alongside them. This is especially true when any tension rises or when things get bitter.
Whenever you’re around other coworkers, make sure they aren’t uncomfortable. Go out of your way to reassure them that things are fine between you and your ex. Many people are simply uncomfortable working with people that were once romantically involved.
By talking politely about your ex and even complimenting them, you show others that there’s no bad blood and no awkwardness to worry about.
3. Focus on Your Work
At first, you may find it difficult not to think poorly about your ex. You may be tempted to shoot down every idea they suggest or vent to your coworkers about something they did.
Be careful not to fall into this trap, as it can ruin many of your work relationships or create an awkward and uncomfortable environment.
While at work, keep your attention firmly fixed on your work. Compartmentalize your thoughts and emotions so that you aren’t drawn towards the negative. Rather than worrying about your ex, focus on how you’ll finish your project or how you hope to excel on your current task.
4. Resist Stirring Up Drama
We all love talking to our best friends about how our exes were wrong or what they did, but that drama is not fit for a workplace. Your coworkers don’t want to hear about how your ex ruined your relationship or all the gossip you may have.
Even if one or two of your coworkers are your best friends, it’s important not to stir up drama or gossip with them about your ex. They work alongside your ex, too, and the last thing they want is to have your personal drama interfering with their work.
5. Don’t Overanalyze
One thing your brain is hardwired to do after a breakup is overanalyzing your ex’s every move. When your ex greets you or talks to another coworker, don’t get trapped into thinking about why they’re standing or talking in a certain way. They may not even notice how they’re acting themselves and if they’re doing it on purpose, that’s all the more reason to ignore it.
Whenever you interact with your ex, treat them like you would any other coworker. Don’t make excuses about why they’re acting the way they are. It’s best to ignore any behavior you think is strange and continue about your day as normal.
Working alongside your ex can be difficult and not everyone will be able to return to the same dynamic as before. You’ll have to make changes and accept that things might feel uncomfortable for a while. But if you’re both determined to be professional and stay focused on the family business and the better good of everyone around, you’ll have a good chance of getting along just fine with your ex at work.