1. Never speak negatively about your ex in your kids’ presence. This can be quite difficult, I know, but it’s very necessary. Our kids are smarter than we think. If one party is to blame, in time they will figure it out – we don’t have to say a word. When we say things to our kids that are negative about their other parent, they often end up resenting us. That’s not our intent but that’s what results. We should shield them as much as possible from the negative things the other parent does. I know of kids who have developed a strained relationship with one parent because they hate the fact that they are always negative about their mom or dad.
2. Develop a heart of forgiveness. When relationships end on a sour note, it really does leave a bad taste in our mouths – that’s what a sour note does! For us to move on and be healed and whole, we need to forgive the other person if we feel wronged. For the most part, people like to live and love and enjoy life. We don’t like to be bitter and angry and resentful. Yet, when we feel that our ex hurt us, those traits naturally manifest themselves. What happens all too often is that we allow what we feel someone did against us to control us to the degree that we become bitter, angry people. We’re better than that, aren’t we? Forgiving the other person disarms them. They no longer have power or control over us when we do that. We should tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter what they did or will ever do. Another person cannot and should not control us or make us become persons who we are not.
3. Be respectful in your communication with your ex. When relationships end and no kids are involved, it’s relatively easy. Because as messy as that process might become, when it ends, it ends. We never have to see our exes again. When there are kids, however, it becomes a bit more complicated. We all have to deal with each other for the rest of your lives. Our communication with our exes – whether on the phone, in person, by email or text message – should be respectful. Some exes become good friends. But others just have a cordial relationship for the sake of the kids. I know a woman personally who was so angry during her divorce that she not only belittled her former husband in front of the kids, but she also wrote mean spirited emails and text messages to him. Those written forms of communication ended up in court and they were the very things that the judge referenced when he awarded custody of their two kids to the man.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these things. Perhaps you have additional tips. Or perhaps you may want to share your experience with our readers. Please feel free to add a comment to this post. Your input is valued greatly.
Life can be very challenging in many ways. If we’re left broken-hearted as a result of a broken home, let’s rise above the harsh feelings and promote reconciliation, if only for the sake of our kids. We can get along with our exes if we make the effort by adhering to principles such as those suggested in this post. We have more power than we might know. Let’s do the right thing and promote an atmosphere of peace.
The Upbeat Dad