Dealing with A Toxic Ex

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Dealing With Your Toxic Ex - Co-Parenting Counseling

Allll my exes live in Texas…I just dated myself didn’t I? Well, no…my exes don’t live in Texas. One lives in SC and the other lives in WA. So what? So, I don’t have to worry about them…right?

Wrong…maybe worry is the wrong word…concerned? Aware?

See, even though they are my exes, they are also the mothers of my children. Although the older 2 are out on their own and being outstanding citizens, I still need to be civil towards their mother, no matter how I personally feel about her (and we get along better than most do) because we still have kids.

But what if you have a toxic relationship with your ex? What can you do then? I would suggest hiring an attorney first and foremost, but then limit your communication to them to the absolute minimum and necessary. If the kids need braces, then put it in writing. Did you buy sports equipment? Keep the receipts. It’s a pain in the arse, but it will save yours if you need to go to court. 

Now…what about the kids? Do you go around bashing your ex in front of your kids? If you do…shame on you! First, it’s against the law in most States to talk disparagingly about your ex in front of your kids. Second, and more importantly, It makes you look petty and childish…in some cases it makes your young children look more mature than you. It also can be detrimental to any potential relationship that they may have with your ex. Don’t get me wrong…if it’s a danger for the kids or yourself to be around them, then don’t! But you don’t have to drag them through the mud either. Take the higher road and be civil.

But what if your kids ask you specific questions? Answer them as best you can, without being judgmental or prejudiced…if that’s too difficult for you, then don’t say anything. Whatever you do, don’t lie to your kids, they will find out later and you will lose whatever respect you had with them…but this isn’t about talking with your kids, it’s about communicating and working together with your ex for the benefit of the children.

That’s what this is mostly about…do what you need to do for your kids. Don’t neglect your current relationship, but definitely try to co-parent as much as you can. If you dislike what your ex is doing, let them know civilly and try to work it out.

Although I have issues with my youngest kids’ mother, I always try to work things out with her for the benefit of the kids. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, when it doesn’t I don’t hold on to it because it would just weigh me down. I shake my head…sigh…and move on. As long as there’s no abuse happening, then there really isn’t anything that can be done about it. When we ARE able to work together and do constructive things for the kids, I rejoice and also…move on. The thing is, you need to do what’s best for YOU too. You can’t hold on to negativity or it will come through to your kids. As the song says…”Let it go! Let it go!”…aaaannnndddd I’m done.

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Travis Hall

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