Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - LORRAINE SPECIAL -

I re­cently dis­cov­ered that my ex-hus­band is join­ing the com­pany I work for, though we won’t be in the same of­fice. I am ag­grieved that we may bump into each other, caus­ing us both em­bar­rass­ment. We di­vorced ten years ago and don’t have chil­dren to­gether. Other peo­ple in the com­pany know we were mar­ried and I imag­ine they are ex­pect­ing some fric­tion, which makes me feel less con­fi­dent in my work as a se­nior man­ager. I don’t know why I can’t let go, as I don’t have any feel­ings for him. On top of this my cur­rent mar­riage is un­der a huge amount of strain with the pres­sure of work and young chil­dren. The same prob­lems that I ex­pe­ri­enced with my first hus­band are start­ing to reap­pear. I won­der if these feel­ings are more about how I feel about my­self. I do have an un­der­ly­ing need to be liked by oth­ers. As your col­leagues know the back­ground they will prob­a­bly ini­tially won­der how you are go­ing to man­age with your ex join­ing the com­pany. So just say to your­self: this is a work­ing en­vi­ron­ment, I will treat him like any other col­league. So be po­lite and friendly but stick to work is­sues and don’t be tempted to stray into the past or ask too much about his life out­side work. What does need to be ad­dressed is your cur­rent mar­riage. As you sus­pect, it sounds as though you may be re­peat­ing pat­terns of be­hav­iour. Per­haps you see crit­i­cism when there is none be­cause you were put down as a child. Maybe you have low self-es­teem, which fu­els your need to be liked be­cause you un­der­stand­ably want the re­as­sur­ance. Look for a mar­riage coun­sel­lor in your area and book some joint ses­sions to ex­plore this and hope­fully re­store your ela­tion­ship with your cur­rent hus­band.

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