Today, nothing fails faster beyond your wildest dreams than relationships and marriages. Only a minority does sustain their relationships.

Some marriages last just days or weeks and for any reason you can think about. The ex-factor is real for many adults. For example, in the USA, a one in four adult over 18 is a divorcee and has to live with ex-lovers and ex-in laws.

‘Ex’ means no more but ex-lovers may keep coming to haunt you. How to handle your ex depends on how he or she comes into your future plans.

You never want him or her in your life again

Many partners leave on a bitter note. A lover may disappoint you when you need help most. In some cases, your lover may impregnate your closest friend or may be very abusive.

In one case, a man forced a lover to abort a pregnancy claiming he wasn’t ready for a child when in fact another woman was carrying his child.

If you never want your ex in your life, make every effort to get rid of anything that reminds you of him or her — pictures, love notes and gifts.

Do not contact him or her for anything and do not answer his or her calls as you pick up your shattered heart. Do not make him or her great in your mind.

Avoid his or her friends and any places your ex goes. Do not go near his or her territory. If you can relocate, do it. If you are in the same employment or church, you may find a new place to go.

At the same time, fill in your time with activities you enjoy. Spend time with friends. Time will heal your heart.

You must at the same time avoid anger or bitterness because it could predispose you to many diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetics and stroke.

You want to be just friends

You separated by reasons beyond your control. For example, four years ago, two lovers just about to marry found they were both sicklers. They wept as they separated.

In some cases, a lover has been supportive and made a great difference in your life. You couldn’t go on but feel obliged to help, especially when you know you can help.

You must, however, be aware of the danger of being just friends because as the Akans say, ‘it is very easy to reignite an old flame’. Let your current lover know and make sure he or she agrees to your friendship with your ex.

Set ground rules

Avoid going out at odd places and at odd times. Watch out for warning signs such as romantic gifts and suggestive comments.

You want to go back

You left your lover based on emotions but not on logic. In some cases, you left for some lifestyle of your lover which you couldn’t stand but now your lover has improved considerably.

You find your lover is much better than you thought. In fact, today 90 per cent of partners who divorce regret it and wished they had stayed on and some reunite.

Before you go back, allow yourself to get over your hurt and be sure of what you want to do. Find out quietly if he or she is available and accessible.

Keep in contact but do not appear desperate or depressed. Instead perform the Push- Pull Theory. You push when you make contact and become friendly and you pull when you pretend you are not so interested.

Listen to his or her side of the story and show empathy. Resolve your differences. Apologise or forgive where necessary. Forgiving unconditionally and from your heart is the most important key that reunites you.

Accept, however, that going back is no guarantee that your relationship will work because your past may haunt you and you may find it hard to trust again. Do not go back because you are lonely and need company or support.

How do you handle your ex?

There is no definite way to do it. Think carefully and prayerfully. Then choose and live by your decision. You are the choices you make in life.

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