I DON’T WANT TO WORK WITH MY EX
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.