Separation or divorce can breed resentment between ex-spouses. While you may feel that you are in a battle to establish who should suffer due to the breakup, both parties lose if they can’t find ways to get along. When there are kids involved, the situation can become even more toxic. It’s time for both of you to put bitterness on the back burner and do what needs to be done in order to maintain a civil relationship. Here are four basic guidelines for getting along with your ex-spouse.
He Said, She Said
Have you been bad-mouthing your ex-spouse to family and mutual friends? Even the most seemingly innocuous comment can have negative implications. Think about the tone and words that you use when speaking about your ex. Much of what you say will filter back through your social circle and cause issues. It’s also unfair to put family and friends in that position in the first place.
It’s also important to keep the lines of communication open and as positive as possible. This will expedite the process and help when managing children’s schedules. The better you can communicate, the better this process will be, for everyone involved.
Think about the Children
Your kids are not footballs, so do not try to use them to score points. The emotional impact of parents separating is hard enough on children without feeling like they are being forced to choose between mom and dad. Showing the kids that you can get along is a great lesson in conflict resolution they will carry into adulthood.
When it comes to kids there is no winner. When fighting over your children, it is important to keep in mind that your child always loses. Regardless of the outcome, they will always be losing time with a parent. Always keep them in mind and do what’s best for them during this difficult time.
Even though you are single now, it does not mean you should abandon responsibility for your actions. Your potential dating pool should never involve neighbors, friends or family of your ex-spouse. If you want to keep things amicable, it is important to respect boundaries and avoid actions that would potentially cause your ex to suffer from emotional distress. When the parties are angry, it often leads to a more lengthy divorce, and no one wants that.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
While each ex-spouse is encouraged to take responsibility for their contribution to the breakdown of the marriage, there are no winners in a game of tit-for-tat. Step back and think about the issues that lead to your divorce. It doesn’t matter if one or both of you were responsible for the separation – the important thing is that you find a way to move forward in a way that shows maturity. Again, if you have kids there is the opportunity for a teaching moment in how you treat your ex-spouse. Show them that while you and your spouse may no longer be together but you can still work together and communicate in a positive way. After all, they will always be in your life, whether you like it or not.