Divorced parents: don’t let a difficult ex rule your life

In the wake of a divorce, many newly single individuals feel liberated and excited as they look to the future. There’s no doubt that divorce brings the opportunity to rebuilt one’s life and focus on future goals. For divorced parents, divorce also presents challenges as, in most cases, regular contact with an ex-spouse is still necessary.

In many cases, divorced parents are eventually able to set aside their own personal feelings towards an ex and learn to get along for the sake of a shared children. Unfortunately, there are cases when an ex-spouse is unable to let go of resentment towards a former husband or wife. For divorced parents who are forced to deal with a difficult ex-spouse, it’s important to remain in control and keep some of the following advice in mind.

First, a parent dealing with a difficult ex-spouse must stay in control of his or her emotions. When faced with an ex-spouse with continually attempts to push one’s buttons, staying calm and cordial can be difficult. However, remaining in control of one’s emotions is not only beneficial for a children, but also for the dad or mom who is effectively showing an ex-spouse that he or she is now in control of their own life.

When it comes to communicating with a combative ex-spouse about a child, it’s best to keep communication brief and to the point. If possible, divorced parents are advised to communicate details related to child custody issues via email or some other form of written communication. Emailing or texting an ex provides an individual the opportunity to succinctly communicate important information without being forced to engage verbally with an ex-spouse who may attempt to start an argument. Having written documentation of conversations is also beneficial in the event an ex accuses a mother or father of failing to abide by agreed upon terms.

Above all, divorced parents who have a challenging relationship with an ex-spouse would be wise to ensure their child is not aware of their true feelings towards a former spouse. Children look to their parents to provide good examples of how to get along and treat others. A divorced parent who is able to rise above an ex’s childish behavior is doing the best for themselves and their child.

Source: The Huffington Post, “10 Steps to Dealing With a Combative Ex: How to Protect Your Children,” Sherrie Campbell, PhD, April 21, 2014

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