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3 reasons it's bad to live with your ex, even if you have hard boundaries in place

Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix from "Vanderpump Rules" living together after their breakup.
Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix from "Vanderpump Rules" living together after their breakup.Bravo
  • In season 11 of "Vanderpump Rules," Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval are still living together.

  • They broke up in 2023 amid "Scandoval," Sandoval cheating on Madix with co-star Raquel Leviss.

  • A therapist shared why exes living together is a bad idea, even if they're technically no-contact.

In the first episode of season 11 "Vanderpump Rules," exes Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval revealed they are still living together despite their explosive breakup last year amid "Scandoval" — when Sandoval cheated on Madix with her best friend and co-star, Raquel Leviss.

Madix told viewers that they have lived in the same house since their breakup last March, abiding by a strict "no-contact" policy and using a third party (Sandoval's assistant) to communicate.

April Eldemire, a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, told Business Insider that this is a recipe for conflict and poor mental health. Some exes "can certainly maneuver around each other and maybe share the same space," Eldemire said. But she would advise against it in most cases — especially if the breakup involved betrayal, like Madix and Sandoval's did.

If your breakup isn't as dramatic (or publicly televised) as Madix and Sandoval's, it's natural to consider living with an ex — perhaps to save money, or give yourself more time to find a new home.

Eldemire shared some reasons living with an ex can subtly affect your mental health — even if you get along and you have all the systems in the world to avoid contact.

1. Time apart after a breakup is really important

The main reason it's a bad idea to share a home with an ex is that you need time and distance to truly heal, Eldemire said.

"Space is so important after a breakup," Eldemire said. "If they're living together, it's a constant reminder of things that you went through with this person that was really difficult."

Even though Madix has a new boyfriend, Daniel Wai, cohabitating with Sandoval means she's living in limbo from her last relationship, Eldemire said.

"You're never actually finding forgiveness for what's happened," she said, whether it's forgiveness of the other person or yourself. "And if you can't do that, you lose the ability to get full closure."

2. You can't create your own space

Eldemire said that some exes can cohabitate well, but it depends on factors like how the breakup happened, how much time has passed, and how much genuine fondness you both have for each other.

But if you have an attachment to your home — and want your ex to be the one to leave — Eldemire said sticking to your living space no matter what can have consequences to your mental health.

"Your home is supposed to be your safe space," she said. "It's supposed to be that kind of sacred place that you can go to and detox from the day and recharge."

While Madix has referred to her living arrangement as having her own apartment within her house, Eldemire said that knowing an ex occupies the same space makes it hard for you to fully feel secure and comfortable.

3. You can get fixated on revenge

Sometimes, simply moving out is difficult, especially if you own a home together. According to the New York Post, Madix filed a lawsuit seeking the sale of the house, though the first hearing isn't until June.

But if you're staying in the home because you feel like you deserve it more than your ex does, Eldemire said it can be good to dig deeper into your motivations.

"What's really behind the principles that you're trying to uphold?" she said. "Is it a feeling that you were taken advantage of or taken for granted and that's why you're saying this person should be able to get their own place?"

For example, if you want to live your best life after a trying breakup, the answer might not be "winning" the house — but moving out and starting fresh.

Otherwise, Eldemire said that the dynamic of both exes staying in the home out of principle often gets very contentious, leading to feelings of emptiness and regret as the conflict drags on.

The takeaway

Due to the inability to unwind at home or emotionally heal after a breakup, Eldemire said that "you really are only hurting yourself" if you decide to stubbornly stay in your once-shared home.

"The focus is on getting back at them, but it prevents you from doing the work that you need to do to move on," she said.

  • "Vanderpump Rules" premiered on January 30 at 8 p.m. EST

Read the original article on Business Insider