Can You Run A Successful Business With Your Ex?

Learning how to stay in the same space as your ex is definitely not easy. It could take a long while to work with your ex efficiently, especially if you work with them every day! If you work with your ex in the same office and you are stuck in a situation where either of you can’t resign, then you need to learn how to make it work. It is even more complicated when you started a business together with your spouse, and now you are divorced.

Can you run a successful business with your ex? The answer is yes.

Business partner discussing plans

It is more common than you know for couples to establish a stable business together. In the event that divorce comes up, which of course is not premeditated, some do decide to go on.

For most, they choose to stay together as business partners because of the amount of work both put into growing the venture and for the children if they have any. In that scenario, it becomes a question of how to go forward in the best way to keep the business successful, while still creating an enjoyable childhood experience for the children.

Whether you are running a business together or staying in the same office, here are some ways to effectively run a successful business with your ex.

Having a business meeting with ex

How to work with your ex

1. Offer your ex friendship

This is essentially the first step. Now you don’t see each other as a couple anymore but as friends. It doesn’t have to be the whole intimate friendship from the beginning, as it will be challenging. However, you need to establish a steady routine where you can at least stand to be in each other’s presence.

It will be a lot easier to deal with yourselves every day if you’ve banished any awkwardness. And there’s less chance you’ll blurt out something related to blaming him for some misdemeanor while you were still together. Try to shelf the past where it should belong and forge a better friendship for the sake of your business partnership.

2. Redefine your business agreements

You shouldn’t skirt around the real issue, and that is the fact that you are working with your ex for the sake of your business. As such, you need to discuss all aspects of your business agreement, which may have been overlooked while you were still a couple. This time, you define set roles in the organization and how to manage your schedules while in the business environment.

It is always better to put it all out there. A shared vision does not help if the couple cannot cooperate enough to achieve it. As a result, people who run a business together after divorce often find that they need an entirely new way of working. For example, even friendly divorce often involves some breach of the trust that was built during the marriage, so couples must admit that fact and change their work procedures to take it into account.

One of the leading causes of divorce has to do with money, so how do you manage finances in business? As it is very likely that there is already an abuse of trust, it is necessary that there is a daily exchange of what happens in the business from a financial perspective. Both must keep abreast of all financial problems to avoid a chasm in the business relationship.

Former spouses must define the new limits of their business relationship much more clearly than before. And they need to change the way they behave towards each other, creating a separation between their personal and business lives. That is very difficult to do, but it is of critical importance.

When couples define their new roles within the company, they must have clearly delineated jobs, and the other partner must allow them to work without interfering. Former spouses must recognize their individual skills and divide their roles accordingly.

3. Don’t talk too much

This is very important. You do not have to gossip about your spouse with other people or talk bad about yourselves. When you are in the office, one of the surest ways to deal with your ex is to not say bad things about him. This is especially true in the office. You will not want to put yourself in a bad light, and if you start to speak badly, you will definitely fall into a bad light.

As business partners, it is essential to put a united front for your staff. When you are spreading bad things about yourself to your team, it is only a matter of time before they lose respect and the business rushes downhill.

4. Give it time

Do not be in a hurry to get over yourselves or act too normal. Like any break-up, it takes a while to get over someone and having to see them at work definitely doesn’t make it easier, but you will get over them. Just give it time. Eventually, you will be able to hold business meetings without flinching and even share the occasional jokes.

Busy business owner trying to stick to her work hours

5. Keep yourself busy

If you have to work with your ex, just keep yourself busy. Find out about paperwork, listen to music via your headphones or continuously make phone calls to clients. Anything you can do to keep yourself busy will help. This is the oldest trick in the book and is one of the best ways to work with your ex that will be rewarded at the end.

6. Learn Patience

Your ex is probably not going to be as mature as you are, that’s why you have to make sure that you’re learning all about patience. You want to be patient with your feelings, patient with your thoughts and patient in your work.

Just because you and your ex separated, does not mean that the world stops, you still have to move on. As such, working in the same business environment will be a great test of your patience.

7. Beware of emotional triggers

Conflict, of course, is inevitable in any business and is even more likely when the partners have been through a divorce. Usually, it is advisable to seek counseling for the first year at least. Doing so will help a lot in keeping your emotional issues separate from the business, and avoid having damaging arguments in the office.

To make this work, they need to have respect for each other and believe that the other person is fair and ethical. Watching out for emotional triggers can help to reduce conflict while working with your ex. The couples who have worked together successfully after divorce has been able to communicate maturely and respectfully.

8. Don’t flirt

Once you divorce your spouse and have to remain in the same work environment after marriage dissolution, you do not want to flirt with other co-workers to make him/her jealous. Firstly, this will make it look like you are a relationship jumper. Secondly, this is totally immature and will inevitably provoke disagreements or absolute hatred in the workplace that will ruin a business relationship.

9. Get a support system

Some days will be tougher than others, to be honest. In this scenario, you need to have a steady support system which you can turn to in times of distress. Your close friends could serve this purpose perfectly. So, when you have had a particularly long day at the office trying to work with your ex and forget the fact that you may completely hate his/her guts, just arrange a meetup and talk it out with those that will be with you no matter what.

Business partner accessing business website


Despite all the potential risks, it has been known that a lot of divorced couples beat the odds and stay together in the business, creating healthier businesses than unhappy couples who are forced to remain married for the good of the company or their children. There are situations where the anger and hurt from a toxic relationship seep into the business aspect of their lives, but the odds could be in your favor. Therefore, you can run a successful business with your ex, and these tips will help you.