It’s usually a problem that happens in New York City with high rents and small spaces — but being stuck in a living situation with your partner after they’ve cheated or you’ve broken up can take a serious toll on your mental health.
Take Vanderpump Rules' resident sweetheart Brittany Cartwright: She lives with Jax Taylor, they share two dogs, and she's Christian, so it's not hard to see why she's had a change of heart and forgave his admitted cheating. Plus, it’s really hard to uproot your whole life (especially when you’ve moved to Los Angeles from Kentucky), move out, and still have to see that person at work. Like it or not, she’s going to see Jax no matter what.
So how can you possibly live with someone who did something so despicable and save your own sanity?
Relationship expert and author of Dating Again WIth Courage and Confidence, Fran Greene tells Personal Space that the entire process is unbearably painful. But there are ways to cope, she adds, while sharing the same living space.
Who ever is the cheater moves out of the bedroom. The one cheated on needs the solace of the bedroom.
You have to communicate
It's imperative to discuss what each of you wants for the future. if the cheating is symptomatic of the deteriorating relationship, couples counseling is essential.
Seek outside support
The support of friends or family is key. It's so important to have someone to vent to. Support groups provide the guidance and help for a relationship that is on the rocks.
Take care of yourself and if possible stay with a friend for a bit to give you some space.
Limit your interactions with your partner
Focus on household business.
Think about leaving, seriously
Staying with someone who cheated on you is damaging to your self-esteem and you deserve to be with someone who wants you totally and completely. Relationships can survive after someone who has cheated. Sometimes, it is the wake up call that a troubled relationship needed. Sometimes, it’s just Jax.
As for your actual boundaries inside the apartment or house, interior designer Francesco Bilotto says the first thing to do is figure our time management of spaces and reconfiguring your everyday logistics and costs.
“Although you may be feeling hurt or angry, you still should communicate and figure out a way to set new rules/ boundaries between you both as now roommates,” he tells Personal Space. “Examples of this are living room tv time, shower usages schedule/ no guests after 9 PM., division of bills and groceries, etc.”
He says to create “zones” that are more private and separated are an easy way to renovate and make more spaces within a home — without actually having to build walls — like a folding screen for added privacy from Wayfair. They are speedy and a quick fix.
“If you have the funds, hire a a professional stager, Organizer Horderly, or designer... or enlist a creative trusted friend to help you navigate if you are having trouble configuring a smaller space,” Bilotto says. “If you're in a house, it’s certainly much easier to put the jerk who cheated in the basement with a futon but in an city apartment, it can be impossible to create a few new living solutions when itcomes to your space with out expert help.”
Interesting to note: he advises the person who was cheated on should refresh their bedding and purchase new pillows (plus burn some white sage).
“Think hotel vibe now, you must make your area or newly zoned space the best as possible so you feel encouraged and calm.
A clean crisp bed and nightstand in the morning when you wake up helps you move forward -vs- living with all those memories around you, sights, scents etc.”
Do not even think of sharing a bed right now.
“Don’t even think about that as an option,” he adds.
Finally, framed photographs and personal memories, like souvenirs should all be packed up and placed off sight for a while. No need to let the emotions of now affect either of your decisions when it comes to dumping and donating stuff. Source a local storage facility and stage your space as if you’re selling your home. This is something both people need to do separately and paid for individually, as the first step towards your new independence (whether you wanted it or not). No one wants to touch base with an ex six months from now and filter through storage together. So find YOUR personal items and store them away.
“This is also good to do because should you have the opportunity to leave the living situation sooner, you’ll have front loaded half your efforts of moving already. Companies like Makespace make it easier by dropping off and hauling away bins to be stored at their local facility.”
And drink away. At home.
“Wine always helps. So cheers to your next first kiss again, your next first date again ... and all the excitement of staring over in life and love, you will find something better. Never lose the faith, take time to heal, and don’t hold your ex’s horrible errors as a standard to measure all others too. Remember, each person is a chance to learn and share something new about yourself and of them.”
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