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For some dealing with an ex-spouse is an extremely difficult task. Although divorce may occur, subtracting negative emotions is not as easy as changing your legal status. If you are blending a new family or even just trying to be successful co-parents, cooperation with an ex-spouse will be paramount. Most importantly, you will have to protect your child from being caught in the middle of the parental distress. Here are helpful tips on how to deal with ex-spouse.

Tell Your Ex-Spouse How Important They Are to You

This doesn’t mean you should behave like you two are still married or in love, but it is important that your ex-spouse knows you value them as a parent and that you will need their help in parenting your child. if you don’t have children there might not be much need to continue having your ex-spouse in your life.

Step Parents Should Not Be Called Mom or Dad.

 

Even though a new spouse might be doing some heavy lifting when it comes to parenting, they are not your children’s parent and they should not be referred to as “Mom” or “Dad”. Try giving step parents a different name or just letting your kids call them by their first name. This respectful move will help build goodwill with your ex-spouse.

If You Remarry, Encourage a Civil Relationship between Your Ex-Spouse and Your New Spouse.

Do not go overboard here, this does not mean that your new spouse and ex-spouse should be hanging out in their free time, but seeing parents interact civilly with a new spouse will comfort children and let them know that everything is okay and that it is safe to have a relationship with both the parents and the new spouse.

Do Not Criticize an Ex-spouse in Front of a Child.

Criticizing an ex-spouse can cause your child to question their parental loyalty and will increase their anxiety.  It is important you swallow your anger for your children’s sake and that means sharing your grievances with close friends, adult family members or a therapist. In fact, criticizing an ex-spouse can traumatize your child. The underlying anger this creates can ruin your chance at a peaceful new relationship.

Don’t stay married emotionally!

Legal divorce can be the end of your relationship with your ex-spouse, but often, it is not. By holding on to unproductive emotions like anger, revenge or bitterness you continue your bind with your ex-partner. Because you are still connected so deeply, this interferes with emotional separation and creating a new life with someone else.