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Children can often get thrown in into a veritable parental feud that leaves them unhappy and conflicted. So, how to leave your kids out of your after divorce life?
That is a good question, one which many people avoid seeking the answer because they are too rooted in their pain from regarding things their ex did or said to them.
Children are often the silent witness to the feud between you and your ex-spouse, and it should never be ok to subject them to your fights or lack of love for each other. Children comprehend and realize more than we think they do, being less blinded from the truth than adults. When they see you unhappy, they realize it.
After divorce, when kids are involved, there will probably be custody issues. Custody is a can be a rather nasty beast. In some cases it is like having two dogs who dislike each other yet they have to share the same chew toy. The toy must be passed around equally, one of them might hoard it, and then fights will ensue. Probably not the best idea to compare a child to a chew toy, but you get the point. Your children are shuttle between you two regularly to avoid many conflicts about who has them when. It is essential there is a detailed court recorded visitation/custody agreement.
Often, children are in the middle of petty fights between their divorce parents. One of the former spouses might even bad talk the other in front of their children, or play some Game of Thrones-esque strategies to win the favor of the child and make him/her dislike the other parent. While this makes for interesting soap opera scenarios, this is the worst way to deal with shared parental responsibilities after a divorce. Not only do you emotionally stint your children for life, but you also cut them off from a source of love and affection they have a right to: their other parent.
No matter why or how much you dislike your former spouse, you should never impose that to your children. If they are good to the children, you should not try to influence their opinion of their other parent. Attempting to “sway in your favor” is not fair, and it is manipulative and childish. You are essentially forcing them choose between two very important figures in their lives.
Should you talk to your children about why you divorced? Of course. If the Children ask they should be told the truth, but they do not need any details. A couple good answer are “Sometimes people stop loving each other the way a husband and wife should then it is time to let the marriage go”, or “Your father/mother and I decided it was best to not be together anymore because we were not getting along”. Answer them honestly but use a more detached language, giving an honest yet general reason but not any emotional background. These examples also do not attack your former spouse’s personality, it just presents a factual detailing of why you decided to divorce. This way, your kids are not affected by your opinions, but given an honest answer of what happened and why.
Even if you think your ex is the devil, the children do not need to be exposed to those attitudes. The marriage may have ended up being ruined and your ex may have hurt you so badly. There was a choice made to divorce for whatever reason and part of that decision was a desire to create a less conflicted and quitter household for the children to grow up in. The fact remains the two of cared enough about each other to have this child. Now you need to care enough about the child you both created to put their need first. Understanding what the child needs most is both of you in order to have a wonderful fulfilling life. As long as your ex treats the children properly and there is no neglect or abuse, you have no right to ruin their relationship out of a sense of vengeance. This desire for revenge is selfish, because you are essentially depriving your child of affection just to hurt your ex-partner. You are hurting your child and I believe a parent should protect and prevent any harm that could come to the child.
To sum it up, there are many reasons why you should not talk badly about your ex to your children. First, it deprives them of a parental figure just so you can get some sort of emotional revenge. Second, it makes you manipulative and petty, which is not something you should ever strive for. Third, conflicts should be kept between the parties involved, and not drag in people (in this case, children) that have no active role in said conflict. And lastly, the best way to deal with your divorce and your children is to present the how’s and why’s factually yet general, and not influence them.
There is an easy answer to the question at the beginning of the article regarding your personal feud with your ex-spouse. — Conduct yourself in a mature manner and act like the adult you are and keep the kids out of it. Always try to be the adult and take the high road.
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Originally posted 2014-06-12 16:48:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter