After a bitter divorce, it can be challenging not to view your ex as the enemy or the source of all your problems. But even if they are, reacting to your former spouse with contempt, anger or loathing doesn’t solve anything, and more importantly, it isn’t in the best interest of your children.
If having an amicable relationship with your ex feels impossible, you’re not alone. With these co-parenting strategies, you can develop productive coping methods for working with your ex and ensure your child can maintain healthy relationships with both of you.
1. Detach don’t react
While you may feel some lingering resentment towards your ex, it’s essential to keep these feelings out of your co-parenting relationship. If your ex tries to revisit old arguments or isn’t being agreeable, try to take a deep breath and practice detaching rather than letting them push your buttons.
2. Accept that there will always be loose ends
It’s not unusual to experience frustration over unresolved issues or unanswered questions after a divorce. Playing the blame game or rehashing old arguments can keep you and your ex stuck in the past. Accepting that there will always be loose ends and no one person is at fault can help you stay focused on the present.
3. Remember it’s not about winning
It’s easy for co-parenting to feel like a competition when you’re sharing custody of your children. You want to be the favorite parent, the fun parent and the parent who is always right. But it’s important to remember that you and your ex are playing for the same team, and no parent is perfect.
Navigating co-parenting with an ex can often feel like an emotional roller coaster. However, by letting go of the past and focusing on what’s best for your children, co-parenting with your former spouse will get easier in time.