Can’t We All Get Along? Strategies for Positive Relationships with an Ex-Spouse
Though many divorce proceedings are bitter and lead to years of anger and recrimination, it doesn’t have to be that way, and if it’s to be in the best interests of your children, it can’t be that way. But the emotions that come with divorce can be difficult to put behind you. Every minor disagreement you have about child rearing or custody can turn into a contest. There are, however, things that you can do to minimize the possibility of acrimony and hostility after divorce.
Grieve the Loss of Your Relationship
Unfortunately, far too many people don’t take the time during or after divorce to fully acknowledge and accept the loss. Divorce has been called “the living death,” because even though you’ve lost your spouse, they are still alive and you still have to deal with them. But the end of the relationship needs to be treated the same way you would treat the death of a family member. You need to feel all the emotions associated with the loss or you’ll hang on to them and pull them out whenever things get the least bit difficult with your ex-spouse.
Remember Your Children
Even thought the disagreements were between you and your ex, they had (and will have) and impact on your children. If you have to disagree with your ex, try to do it when your children are not around—perhaps by phone.
Put Things in Perspective
Don’t put too much emphasis on any one thing, unless it’s clear that it’s really important. You and your ex likely have different styles, and that will come out as you raise your children. Don’t let minor differences in discipline or rules become major battles. And don’t make the differences in discipline and behavior be about who’s right and who’s wrong.
Use common courtesy in all dealings with your ex, honoring any promises or commitments that you make, and never disparaging them (or their families) with your children.
Contact Morgenstern & Rochester
At Morgenstern & Rochester, our two partners have almost 50 years of combined family law experience. We are a boutique family law firm that takes a hands-on approach. When you hire us, you will always work directly with one of our partners, never with an inexperienced associate or a paralegal.