Wednesday, June 21, 2017

10 Tips on Having an Amicable Relationship with the Ex

Tired of arguing with your ex?  Isn’t that the reason why you both couldn’t make it in your relationship anyway?  Why not, make up in your mind that you will not stress yourself out anymore over what he or she says or does?  If the subject you are doing battle with the ex is not about something that will kill you or the children, why the fuss?  Learn how to move past the temper tantrums and onward to a healthy relationship.

1) Pleasant phone conversation

When he or she calls you, make a point to sound like you are in a good mood even if you are not.  A negative person will be thrown off by your behavior; they may even forget why they even called.  Don’t be surprised if your ex may even be jealous.  Exchange pleasantries such as “How are you?  What can I do for you?  How is the family?”

2) Sticking with the reason why you called

If you are the one who contacted your ex, then you will want to not only be positive, but also get to the point.  Who wants to stay on the phone with someone they don’t like?  However, you don’t want he or she to be reminded of how much you disdain them, so don’t rush your sentences and stick to conversing only about the reason why you called.  Avoid beating around the bush.

3) Arranging a date and time to meet

Let’s say you would like to see the children and live far away.  You may want to arrange a place for you and the ex to meet to transfer the children between you.  With a request like this, it will take some effort on his or her part and if he or she is unreasonable, they may want to argue.  Be prepared for the opposition before you make the call and propose another arrangement.  Remember to state how the visit will benefit them.  For example, “You may need some time to yourself, I have no problem taking the children off your hands for a few days, how does that sound?”  Don’t give up with your requests.  Keep asking until eventually he or she will have to say yes. 

4) Staying positive during the meeting

When you do see one another face to face, be sure you are looking your best.  You don’t want to give an impression that you are heartbroken and worn out about the breakup.  Be happy even when the new girlfriend or boyfriend is sitting in the passenger seat of the car.  If you can demonstrate some self-control, you will have won the battle!  Remember why you left the relationship and why you are working to become a better person, this kind of thinking will make you feel better about you and will help you to avoid the feelings of missing he or she.  During the meeting, don’t do or say anything that you will regret later.

5) Avoiding negative conversation about ex with family and friends

Family and friends are not very supportive of talking positive about the ex.  You may say something negative to them and like cheerleaders they will lead you into negative thinking you don’t need.  Avoid the conversations about the past whenever possible.  When you find the conversation is going that way, just change it, by talking about something else.

6) Being thoughtful at times to your ex

When children are involved, you know that you will have to act civil with your ex even when you don’t feel like it.  If you rather not, your children will think it’s okay to act like a fool.  You may even want to let your ex know you are okay with how you both are handling matters, by simply sending a birthday card once in awhile or buying a simple gift for he or she that the children picked out. 

7) Making the best of a bad situation

You can make the best out of every negative comment and act committed by your ex.  When he or she talks negatively about you to the children, use that situation as an opportunity to teach them how to treat people.  When the ex doesn’t take care of his or her responsibilities, make a list and use it later in court.  If the ex’s family is acting irrational, use situations to your advantage where you look like you have it together.

8) Conversing with the children

Your children will ask questions and they will also express how they feel about mom and dad breaking up.  Allow them to vent about it.  However, even if they bad-mouth mom or dad don’t agree or encourage the negative comments.  Listen to what they are saying, but also teach them about respect.  You don’t want them to grow up to be disrespectful to everyone around them as a result of their experience.

9) Handling conflict

It won’t always be positive when talking with the ex.  Therefore, when conflict arises try not to yell or be tempted to engage in conversations that will lead to name calling, cussing, etc.  If you feel the conversation is getting heated, there is nothing wrong with putting him or her on hold, changing the subject, becoming silent on the phone, or telling him or her you will have to end the conversation because you have other business to handle.  Whatever it takes to take control over your emotions, do it.  You aren’t responsible for his or her reaction to how you handle the conversation.

10) Allowing your ex to be a parent

As much as you despise the arrangement with visitation, custody issues, and any thing else related to your children’s location, don’t present yourself as a domineering, controlling lunatic with your ex.  Explain to he or she what you do at your home (when necessary such as the children telling them something about your household and your ex questions it) and always describe activities in a positive way.  It isn’t any of his or her business exactly how you conduct your day with the children, no more than it is your business.  If you find that he or she is doing something harmful to the children, then by all means stand up for them and contact the necessary authorities.  

Nicholl McGuire 

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