How to Get Along With Your Ex
One benefit of divorcing your child’s parent is that there is no longer the pressure to maintain your marriage. But you should strive to get along well enough to co-parent your children. That is a much less demanding and intense relationship than being married. You do not have to keep up appearances, your kids should understand the situation, and it is much more of a working relationship.
Sometimes Time Does Heals Wounds
Here are three reasons from Psychology Today why your relationship could improve:
- If the person’s role in your life declines, long-standing frustrations may disappear. You will still be incompatible, but since you are less dependent on each other, those issues are less important.
- Over time and with life experiences, everyone changes, including you and your ex. The two of you may become better people who have an easier time getting along.
- Instead of seeing yourselves as trying to escape each other, you both see the common goal of raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids. You appreciate there are more benefits of cooperation than antagonizing each other.
Your relationship was bad enough not to be married. That does not mean that, as ex-spouses, you cannot work together to be good parents. Your bad marriage may have stressed the two of you out and distracted you so much that your parenting ability suffered. The two of you may be better parents post-divorce.
Steps to Take to Improve the Relationship
A divorce is a significant change in your life. The two of you will not instantly lock into doing, saying, and thinking things that will smooth out your relationship. Another Psychology Today article suggests some options:
- Be patient. Give each other some time and space to adjust.
- Keep your priorities straight: parenting happy and healthy kids, not settling scores or trying to run your ex’s life.
- Have a mature and respectful relationship with your ex. If you are still too upset to communicate, use a third party as a go-between.
- Lower the heat by refraining from accusations and keeping your voice under control. The past is over. Focus on the future. Look at this as a mature, business-like relationship whose purpose is to achieve goals.
- Do not use your kids as pawns in a mind game you want to play with your ex. It will hurt your relationships with your kids and ex.
- If you start a new relationship, do not rub it in your ex’s nose. Keep your new partner out of whatever disputes may arise with your ex.
- Do not put down your ex in front of others, especially your kids. Be an adult. Move on
Do not allow uncomfortable feelings about your marriage to rule your life and make you and your ex less effective parents. Learn from the past and take steps now so everyone can have a better future.
Get Help if the Situation Gets Out of Control
Most divorced parents work it out and responsibly parent their kids. If your ex is not adjusting to the post-marriage reality and making you and your kids miserable, we can help. If you have any questions or want legal representation, please contact us here at Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.