How to Raise the Kids You Love with the Ex You Can’t Stand
After you have gone through a bad divorce, you can find yourself having to share custody and placement with an ex you detest. You can hardly fathom how you could have ever loved this person, and now you have to co-parent with them until your kids are adults. Figuring out how to raise the kids you love with the ex you can't stand isn't easy, but it can be done.
Love Them More than You Hate Your Ex
Learning to co-parent after divorce takes patience even when everyone gets along. When there is conflict, it's going to take a lot of strength and determination not to give in to anger and frustration. One way to keep your focus is by remembering that your love for your kids is beyond any emotion you have for your ex. Yes, he or she may infuriate you, but it's vital that you not react inappropriately, especially when your kids are present. Your goal is to maintain as calm a demeanor as possible when your children are around and to work towards becoming indifferent to your ex’s actions. It won’t happen overnight but you can reach a place where his or her behavior has less of an impact on you.
Set Limits Early and Maintain Them
If your problems with your ex stem from issues such as inconsistent parenting, inappropriate behavior, or emotional volatility, you need to develop healthy limits as soon as possible for you and your children and keep them, For instance, if your ex frequently expects you to change placement schedules at the last minute to accommodate his or her social life, you can politely decline. If your ex reacts poorly by calling you up and saying inappropriate things, you can end the conversation by instructing him or her to direct all future comments to you via email or text or through your attorney. Whatever your situation, you want to get the message across that you have distinct boundaries.
Take Good Care of Yourself
One of the best ways to create a loving environment for your children is by being physically and emotionally well. Your kids are looking to you to provide a sense of stability in their home. By taking the time to get rest, exercise, eat well, and deal with your feelings in a healthy way, you are setting a positive example and giving them the best version of yourself. When you come from a position of wellness, you will be better equipped to manage issues with your ex without giving in to negative emotions.
Attorney Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law understands the emotional challenges which come with raising children after divorce and can help you assess your situation. Contact us at First Look Family Law today to schedule a consultation and let us take a “first look” at your situation.