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Communicating with your Ex, Part 2 of 4 | Ep 23

Are you a good listener? Do you often get interrupted, or perhaps do you find yourself interrupting your ex? How can you polish up your listening skills to improve the communication between yourself and your ex? In part 2 of this 4 part series focusing on communicating with your ex, I speak about how to be a good listener.



  • Tips for being a good listener
  • Why some people have trouble listening
  • How you can signal to your partner that you’re listening


  • Listen, don’t interrupt: It is very common to get impatient with people and cut them off before they finish their sentence, especially when there may be some tension. Some people interrupt as a power play over their partner by shutting them down, and some people interrupt because they think they may forget it. If this is the case, write them down.


Some people fear listening or choose not to listen because by hearing what the other one has to say they may agree passively when all they want to do is hold the fort and lower the drawbridge. You can be a good listener and have a dialogue with your ex where you say that you heard what they had to say, but you still do not agree with them.

Listening is different from agreeing. Some people do not want to listen to their ex because they do not want to hear their pain, however, this is necessary to learn so that they could do the same for you when you are in pain.

Take stock of your own listening and perhaps your own patterns of interrupting people. You could learn and improve your communication skills simply by taking stock and being willing to listen.


  • Signal that you are listening: Some people do not acknowledge that they have understood what their ex or partner has said because they do not give out any signals, whether in facial expressions or lack of words, and this can create frustration or confusion in the other person. You can learn as a listener to do simple things, such as nodding your head or making noises of agreement so that the other person knows you are following them.
  • Eye-contact: This is not staring at them, but having friendly, warm eye contact every now and then.


About your host:

Susan Orenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Orenstein is a licensed psychologist and relationship expert  with over twenty years of experience. In 2005, she founded Orenstein Solutions, a private counseling practice in North Carolina that serves children, teens, adults and couples. 

She created the After the First Marriage Podcast to support individuals through the significant life transition of divorce. She whole-heartedly believes that “happily ever after” is an option for everyone, and is dedicated to helping divorcées regain the confidence to pursue a fulfilling future after the first marriage. 

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the Facebook community, or follow along on Twitter,  you’re in the right place!

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