Handling an ex is problematic enough without negativity on their part toward you. This is especially true when that negativity is voiced to your children or you are run down in front of them. This can be damaging to the children and may push you to your own bad behavior that can impact the entire family dynamic.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do legally to stop a former spouse from being negative. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; however, when that opinion impacts and hurts your children, you may need to take steps to control the behavior.
Remember, the only person you can ultimately control is yourself. However, what you do often determines how the former spouse reacts, so your response to the negative aspects of your divorce can be crucial.
Get Rid of Your Own Negativity
It is easy to see your former spouse’s flaws but it is much harder to see your own. Ask someone whose opinion you trust for a candid evaluation of your behavior and be prepared for the results. Sometimes hearing an objective opinion can make us realize that we are doing our own “negativity dance” and can help us take steps to correct it.
The first way to jettison negativity with a former spouse is to stop engaging. Do not answer emails, telephone calls or verbal confrontations. It may be difficult to remain quiet, but it is a fact that most people will not continue to engage someone who refuses to be baited.
Another way to get rid of negativity on your part is to think and react positively even in the face of negative statements. When a former spouse makes a negative statement to you, respond with a neutral or even a positive statement. This will often be enough to defuse the situation.
Finally, if all else fails, keep the fighting and arguing confined to you and your spouse. Never, for any reason, “bad mouth” the other parent in front of the children. Not only does this hurt the children but it can also place you in a bad legal position.
Take Action When Necessary
It would be nice to think that all of the tips and tricks for handling a spouse work in every situation. Unfortunately, that is not the case. When a spouse’s negativity spills over into abuse, you must take legal action to protect yourself and your children.
A Men’s Legal Center attorney may be able to help. Discuss your issues with a lawyer to find out what remedies are available to you under the law. You may find that you are able to protect your family from the abusive actions of your ex-spouse and maintain a good relationship with your children by taking the proper legal actions.