Marriage doesn’t always end in happily ever after. God forbid, being head over heels for your spouse might eventually end up with wanting your relationship to be over. If the tying of the knot ends with cutting ties, is it still possible to keep a healthy relationship with your ex-partner? How will both of you handle your responsibilities to your kids as divorced parents? Read this article to find out.
Keeping a healthy post-divorce relationship is not an easy path to take, especially when you have kids. Having these little children who are the result of your love and marriage would mean that there is still a connection left between you and your ex-partner. There has to be. Here’s an advice, if you think that you and your partner can still be cooperative, co-parenting would be the best choice to make. Or you can simply maintain a good relationship with your ex by doing these things:
Two-way communication is vital for every relationship to work out, whether or not you are married. However, effective communication is more than just airing your side and hearing the other talk. Aside from listening to your ex-partner, you should also listen to yourself. Listen to the way you speak, mind the tone of your voice, and know-how to deliver your message. Because sometimes, it’s not what you said that offends people, but how you said it. While talking calmly and kindly to someone you are in conflict with takes a lot of work, bear in mind that it is possible.
Start with awareness. Being oblivious to what you feel inside may result in the changing of your tone. Therefore, before speaking up about what’s on your mind, pause. Think about the right way to respond to the message. If you can, disregard the tension and hatred for awhile. This way, arguments will be at bay. You don’t want to make things worse.
2. Cooperate, not Compete
When it comes to raising their sons and daughters, some separated parents channel their competitiveness. It’s as if their kid would either choose their mother or their father to be their favorite. What these parents fail to realize is that their children would need both of them. Therefore, there is no need for them to get too competitive. Regardless of the existing family issues, it would be more beneficial for everyone if both parents work hand-in-hand for themselves and their children.
3. Maintain a Happy Relationship with Your Kids…
Remember that fostering a healthy parent-child relationship will create a positive and lasting effect on your children. Thus, if you want to see them develop into a person with principles and excellent disposition, it is crucial to not let the failure of your marriage affect the way you treat them. If you find it difficult to be in one place with your ex-partner, you take turns attending school events, going to doctor’s appointments, and such.
Your kids are too young to understand the twists and turns of love and life. That is why you have to protect them from the damage your divorce has caused. And you can do this by constantly communicating with them. Fortunately, the development of technology allows you to connect with the people you love wherever they are in the world. Meaning, you will have all the chances in the world to continue the bond you have with your children. This way, the consistency of your connection may fill the void created by your spouse’s separation.
4. …But Don’t Make Them Your Messengers
The misunderstandings and controversies of you and your former spouse are yours and not of your children. As stressed beforehand, these kids have nothing to do with your indifferences and conflict. Hence, you have to avoid putting them in the middle. Always keep your issues to yourself. If you want to say something to your ex, it would be best to communicate directly to them. Making your children your messengers might result in an unhealthy relationship between them and their other parent, which is a big no-no. Moreover, whoever has custody of the child should prevent asking personal questions about their ex.
Kids never want to witness their parents fighting. So it would not help if you put them in the middle, right?
5. Oops! Don’t Decide Just Yet!
Effective post-divorce parenting may be hard to achieve, knowing that you still have to communicate with the person who may have caused you pain. Nevertheless, if both of you agree to co-parent, you must not decide things on your own. Don’t think that you are the only person in the relationship who knows what’s best for your children. Bear in mind that making decisions would affect not just the well-being of your child but also their future.
If your kids are still young, they could not decide for themselves since they have yet to know a lot of things about the world. With this in mind, always discuss with your ex before coming up with a decision for your children.
6. Compromise, Sometimes
Learning how to compromise is also one way to maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-partner or deal with a toxic one. However, only do so when necessary. When your ex does not agree with the way you want things to work out, take time to listen to his or her side, and reflect on it. If you think that it would not negatively impact you and your children, then have it his or her way.
This situation usually arises when it comes to the welfare of your children. As previously mentioned, you need to discuss important stuff with your ex before taking action. This process helps obtain satisfactory results and keeps regrets far, far away.
7. Remember, the Past is in the Past
Statistics from the Pew Research Center revealed that love is the primary reason Americans marry their partners, with 88% of the general public claiming it to be true. But just like some things, love doesn’t always extend for eternity. While some people found the love they lost, others don’t. Instead, these feelings transform into something undesirable—resentment and pain, perhaps.
Nonetheless, life after divorce should not be filled with negativity. As much as possible, don’t bring up past issues with your ex, for this might result in an argument. When this happens, you may not reach a mutual agreement in parenting. Leave the past behind, and just think about your children. After all, they’re one of the reasons why you have to maintain a sound relationship with your ex. Don’t let the pain of the past hinder you from becoming a loving, supportive, and sensible parent.
8. Cry if You Have to
You may have noticed that almost everything mentioned in this post talks about setting your feelings aside. But that’s only when you are with your children or you are communicating with your ex.
Remember that there are still people who are willing to lend an ear as you shed a tear. So whether it’s because of sadness or anger, vent out and cry if you must. Furthermore, if you think that your marital conflict that led to your divorce has affected your mental health, consulting a therapist will help you most.
The end of your marriage does not necessarily mean the end of your relationship since you are not completely detached from each other. So to protect your peace, you have to maintain a healthy relationship with your ex. And as you take care of your children, always remember to look after yourself as well.