Divorced? Think Before Badmouthing Your Ex

divorced bad mouthing

3 Things to Consider

If your divorced, this will help not only your kids but you as well.

Dealing with a difficult ex can multiply the struggles of divorce by tenfold.  At times, the stress can turn one into a raging monster, ready to decompress in front of anyone who’s willing to listen.  The urge is perfectly normal, but you should be careful not to make it a habit.  Here’s why:

  1. Negative words reinforce negative feelings and prompt more negative behavior.  The act of complaining about your ex keeps you in a state of anger and stress.  And if you’re complaining about something in the past, the process also robs you of enjoying the present moment.  Furthermore, by focusing on everything that’s wrong with your ex, you’ll train yourself to overlook the good things.  You’ll begin to expect bad behavior, and that’s exactly what you’ll get.  It’s OK to feel angry, but it’s best to find a productive way to process those feelings and let them go so you (and your ex) don’t become a prisoner (or victim) of your rage. To help you along the way, try looking for little things to appreciate about your ex, and share your gratitude.
  2. Denigrating your ex means you’re denigrating your children.  Your children are a biological mix of both parents, and there’s nothing they can do about it.  In some cases, kids are even named after their parents (or other family members).  A verbal assault on a child’s family tree communicates to them that they are made up of some pretty bad stuff.  A host of self-esteem-related issues can result.
  3. Talking trash about your ex means you’re putting yourself down as well.  If your ex is such an awful person, what does that say about you?  After all, you married him/her.  You loved and trusted that person.  You created children and celebrated holidays together.  And it was through your partnership that you were able to become the person you are today.

As human beings, every one of us is capable of making poor choices and hurting others’ feelings, and your ex is no exception.  Surely, this person has a few redeeming qualities.  Surely, there were moments in your relationship when you were genuinely happy.  Surely, you wouldn’t trade your child for an alternate model.

The next time you’re invited to unload your frustration, you might want to think twice.


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About Tara Eisenhard

Tara Eisenhard believes that families should evolve, not dissolve, through the divorce process. She is the author of The D-Word: Divorce Through a Child’s Eyes and the blog, Relative Evolutions. For more information, visit www.taraeisenhard.com.

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