Getting divorced is probably one of the most stressful things you can do in life. Sometimes it takes years to recover emotionally and financially from a divorce. However, since a high percentage of all new marriages end in divorce instead of the “till death do us part” fairy tale, it is necessary to talk about how to deal with each other during this stressful time and thereafter. This is especially true if you have children. Children didn’t ask to be born and they certainly ask for their parents to get divorced, so you owe it to them to make the transition as easy as possible and build a relationship with your ex that works for your new family dynamic. Here are five nice things you should do for your ex that will help you, the ex and your children heal during the aftermath of a divorce.
Keep your own Counsel
Sure, you will have that one best friend you vent to, but they know you and they also know how to filter what you say and keep you accountable when you start getting unreasonable. Otherwise, keep your own counsel! Don’t bad mouth your ex to every person you meet. Even if you are justified in your feelings and your ex is the most terrible, unfair and unloving person on the planet, there is no need to say it. Keep your private issues private.
Give your ex the gift of distance. This may not be physical distance when there are children involved, but emotional distance can be a nice thing to do for both of you. You both need time to process and grieve in your own way. No matter who initiated the separation or if it was a mutual thing, you both need to adjust to your new normal and figure out where you stand as a person and in the world. Later on, you can come together and build that post-divorce relationship.
Agree to Disagree
There is a reason why you got a divorce. Those things are never going to go away. Respectfully, agree to disagree. Now that you don’t have to live with that person, you no longer have to be troubled by those differences that may have caused many arguments. Give you ex the respect of letting them have their own ideas and ways of doing things without nitpicking every little detail.
Love your In-laws
If you have kids, make every effort to love your in-laws. These folks, including your ex, will be a part of your life forever. Your kids love them. You should love them too. You divorced your ex, but that doesn’t cut off the contact with their family.
Respect their New Partner
When your ex inevitably starts dating again, make every effort to mind your own business and respect their new partner. Any new dating partner could possibly end up being your child’s step-parent. Build a good relationship now and the future for your children, yourself and your ex will thank you for it.
These five nice things you should do for your ex are not only for the ex, but they can also be nice things you are doing for yourself as you adjust to life after divorce.