The divorce is the end…but also the start of a new, if somewhat different kind of relationship with your ex partner. If you have children they’re difficult to ignore, and this post is a list of hints and tips in dealing with your ex partner after divorce. This is based on experience (of many, men and women). If part – or indeed all of it – doesn’t ring true for you then all I can say is you’re very lucky and if you’d like to swap exes, just give me a nod, mine is definitely up for a trade-in.
Do NOT expect any. An EX is synonymous with UN-cooperation and will do their utmost to put a spanner in the works at all times, in fact it’s their duty. Holidays, work trips, hospital appointments – they’re all dismissed with the same complete irreverence, if the EX has a chance of saying “no!” they’ll use it to their full advantage and with total glee.
Exactly what no.1 is all about. As the EX’s control ebbs away, the games intensify as they hold on to what remains with the tips of their fingers. Poor little loves don’t like to feel so insignificant in your life.
Exting – the best way of communicating with the ex
Usually follows by text, email or by way of the children. Verbal communication highly unlikely without raised voices and volatile tempers. If verbal communication does take place, this is better limited to simple, unambiguous questions and one word answers. Do not expect communication to flow, texts will go unanswered unless they’re questions posed by the EX and anything the vague scent of urgency will be deliberately ignored. It’s admissible in these cases to re-send the same text over and over and over again for childish enjoyment.
Dependent on how communication is handled but almost a given if you actually have to see or talk to one another. You didn’t agree when married, who’s going to hold their tongue when it’s now permissible to say exactly what you do think? You’ll soon learn to put a fixed smile into practice when in reality you want to grab them by the neck and wring it.
Children need new shoes? School holidays costing a fortune because of the childminder? Don’t mention it – that’s YOUR problem. The EX has got their own concerns: their car, new sofa, their boy/girl friend, their flash holidays to think about. If you get a regular and fair contribution that’s all well and good but expect it to be altered at will or when their next holiday comes along, cash = control. No / little contribution? Tough luck – life’s a bitch (but reach for the chocolate tin to console yourself)
Family crises? That’s your job. Child ill? Off school? In hospital ? Can’t you sort it ? The EX is far too busy and can’t possibly take time off (they need all their holidays for golf and other highly important matters).
Remember that annoying Chumbawumba song “I get knocked down but I get up again” ? Well just guess who’ll be knocking you down…. And as your confidence grows, they’ll try even harder. Put it this way, you’re not meant to be happy now you’re apart and any signs of this happening will be met with tough resistance and redress from the other side.
(Relationships, but the “r” didn’t fit ). Life moves on and it’s likely you’ll have new connections, new relationships. Don’t expect the EX to approve in any way, in fact they may even decide that they now want what they can’t have – yes, it has been known. The EX and The Current are miles apart and never the twain should meet. Expect The Current to be sniped at at every given opportunity and the children questioned on his/ her every movement. Don’t ever EVER expect The Current to be considered worthy of even talking to the children never mind ever looking after them.
The answer to all the above – COPE without them. The less you need them, the easier it gets. What’s the saying? “Expect nothing then you’re not disappointed” – it unfortunately rings very true. Don’t ask and you don’t give them the pleasure of being able to turn you down. You may even find reverse psychology kicks in here…..the more un-needed and peripheral they feel, the more they’ll actively want to be involved.
Call me a cynic……..