with author Friends of Ricki
3 big reasons to play nice with your ex
Divorce isn’t fun for anyone. Thankfully there is a growing trend of people getting along after divorce. People are starting to realize the damage that nasty divorces wreak on the lives of the children left in its wake. This “getting along” trend must continue if we want to have mentally healthy children.
I’m not asking you to become BFF’s with your ex. I am asking you to be flexible, kind and respectful for your children. Regardless of what you think of your ex-spouse now, at one time you loved him/her enough to have a child. If you LOVE your child, the child that is half your ex-spouse, you will do what is in the best interest of the child. Ask any mental health professional, lawyer, or child of divorce and they will tell you that being kind is the best way to go for everyone.
3 Big Reasons to Get Along with Your Ex:
Love Your Children-- This should be obvious. However, lots of divorced parents seem to forget this when they have the ex on the brain. People can be so bitter and resentful that they can’t even see that their own bad behavior is only negatively affecting their children.
For example, when you fight about your child in front of the child, you are basically telling your child that you are angry with him andheis the cause of the problem. Yes, this is what your kid hears. You are spewing hate at your kid’s parent. Remember, the one you had sex with to make that child?
Let’s make a mind shift. Swap the anger for love. Any time you have to deal with your ex, you are going to focus only on the your love for your children. Tape this message to your phone and your computer. Heck, write in on your hand if you need to. The message is that important.
Less Therapy Later-- Being a child of divorce increases the odds for therapy, according to Aha Parenting. As many as one third of children from divorced families can have problems related to their parents divorce, with the effects lasting for years. Do you want to reduce the chance that your child might need lots of therapy? Sure you do! Can you and your ex both agree that your child’s mental health is more important than your mud slinging and tit for tat?
I’m not saying that therapy for children of divorce isn’t necessary, as I think it always is, but there is a difference between therapy after a divorce and therapy for the next 20 years.
If you divorce when your child is six, of course you get her therapy. If you are kind with your ex, chances are great that you won’t be still driving the little miss to therapy at 16 with issues from your divorce ten years ago.
Let me paint a mental picture for you: If you are nasty with your ex for years after your divorce, your children will have issues most likely for years down the road. Their relationships will be suffer because you couldn’t act like an adult and be cool. Is this the future you want for your children? If not, be respectful and learn to get along.
Really Love Your Children-- In case you didn’t understand the first time, let me put it a different way. I honestly believe that when you are nasty to your ex in front of your children, you show the kids you have no regard for them at all. How could you possibly love your child and want the best for him if you continually show examples of hatred and bitterness? How could you possibly love your children if you make their lives difficult and unsure with your actions of spite? How can you really love your children if you can’t see the forest through the trees? What kind of example are you?
Picture this: You child is no longer in your life. Gone forever. Do you know this can happen if you alienate one parent and then the child finds out you did this? Did you know that nastiness can leave a child might not wanting anything to do with you one day? If it pains you right in the heart to think that you might not have your child in your life because of your actions, would you change them?
Make a vow to join the growing trend of adults choosing to be kind to their ex because they love their children and don’t want to make divorce any harder than it already is for them.
Marina Sbrochi grew up in Dublin, Ohio and attended The Ohio State University, she's a forever Buckeye. She is the IPPY Award-winning author of "Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life." She is a dating coach in Dallas, Texas. You can find more at stoplookingforahusband.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.
For more articles by Marina Sbrochi, go to her blog on the Huffington Post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marina-sbrochi/