It was good. I find that support group helps everyone to feel less alone in their problem. I think that brings a lot of comfort. But at the end of the day, the way to gather strength for the new life and to overcome the fear of what's ahead is to seek within. I got to face the dragon alone as everyone's dragon is different. Each of us has a different story how we got ourselves into such a mess. It's a wake up call to do something about our lives and change old habit patterns." - a support group participant.
Our next support group activity commences on Sep/Oct and will continue for 5 consecutive weeks. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you are keen to join us. We only accept 7 to 8 participants each group so please book early to avoid disappointment. Don't suffer alone - seek help! There is still a life to live after divorce. Gilbert Goh/Founder
Can’t we all just get along? (divorces.com)
We all remember the famous words uttered by impaired motorist Rodney King during the infamous LA police beating he endured in the early 90s: “Can’t we all just get along?” Now, maybe he meant it, maybe he didn’t, but the question is worth asking when it comes to your life after your divorce. The answer is a resounding yes and there are many reasons why you will want to do so.
There are two main reasons we can why you would want to get along with your Ex:
First and foremost, your kids are the most important reason. For too often in today’s day and age many people downplay or outright dismiss the obligation to raise children that you brought into this crazy world. Don’t be like that. You kids still need and deserve your nurturing. And let’s face it, the only reason you will be forced to see you Ex is if there are kids involved. This will last as long as you have kids and so that would seem to indicate a long, long time. So, the message is you need to get along for the sake of your kids;Secondly, it is draining to be angry and bitter all the time. We think it was Mark Twain who said that each of us has the face we deserve by the time we are 50. What face do you want to have?
Do you want to have a wrinkled old face? Do you want to be that old grizzled guy who lives alone at the end of the street, who only ventures out every so often to tear up a Nerf football that happened to clear his hedges? You don’t want to be this guy? You also don’t want to be a reclusive behind the doors battle axe of a women, devoid of compassion, consumed by hate, wallowing the rest of her life away about how “he done me wrong.”
Below are ways to help bury the hatchet with the Ex. Here’s how to do it.
Visualization usually helps here. Let go of your anger. Accept that life sometimes doesn’t go the way you planned. So why not divert your energy to more positive pursuits now and quit emotionally draining yourself over wishing ill will on your Ex or battling over every inch of ground, nickel and material item you probably would have never missed had you not seen it listed on a judgment calling for you to hand it over.
Look for common ground and only discuss problems you need to resolve and leave it at that. If the kids are the common ground, that’s what you can talk about but don’t feel you have go to church together or shopping and always be in each other’s lives. Yes it is undeniable that you will on occasion have to deal with your Ex. As we have stressed before, if you have kids, you owe it to them to make the peace. Look at it this way, here is a person you thought highly enough of to procreate with. At some point in time, that meant a lot to each of you. No matter what has happened recently to end the relationship, those memories will forever be unalterably pleasant. You can’t recreate history and make them all bad.
We think this is where you will find great common ground to get along. No matter what happens now, don’t be a revisionist historian and take away the good times. Those times are not suddenly bad because of unforeseen events which led to the divorce although it may be hard to see this if infidelity was a culprit. Try to cherish the good times and you will have an easier time making amends.
Undoubtedly you have skills that make you who you are. A good strategy to keep the peace with the Ex when there are kids involved is to use those strength areas as resources for your kids. If you have always been the better parent at making sure you kids study for school, continue onward with that trend and assume that role for them. You don’t have to be partners with your Ex, who may by now even have another mate. If you read our statistical breakdown installment you will know that chances are more than likely they and you will be involved seriously with someone else in a short span of time. However, you can maintain a good relationship by doing the things that you always did well with your kids. After all, your Ex may be horrible at making sure they do their homework and will appreciate you continuing on with this aspect of parenting. Along with your psyche, the kids will be the chief beneficiary.
We are sure your Ex was good at a least one thing, right? After all, she did agree to marry you at one point, though in retrospect that might not have been a good idea. In any case, if you have to maintain interaction with your Ex you invariably will see the effects of his or her parenting on your child. When the result is pleasing, be sure to pass along a compliment. Let them know that they did a good job getting the little one ready for recital last week.
Even if the Ex is still very bitter about the whole break up, be above it and refrain from engaging into battles of one-upmanship.
Never speak badly of the EX in front of the kids
Let’s face it: perhaps your Ex will still drive you nuts long after the divorce. After all, you disliked their presence enough to go through with the divorce and maybe they were even the one responsible for it in the first place. You may curse under your breath about all the things your Ex is doing and decisions they are making. After all, it might be frustrating seeing a new boyfriend or girlfriend move into your old house, which you helped pay for at one time. However, save the venting for your close adult friends. You kids want and deserve some normalcy in their lives. If you are swearing about your Ex in the car, this will greatly bother them. It may get back to your Ex and you may end up feeling like you’re always “getting divorced” versus “getting on with your life.”
The only solid and lasting peace between a man and his wife is, doubtless, a separation.
Like we said, chances are either you or they will find themselves involved in a new relationship within five years. Maybe you still are hung up on why you got divorced. Maybe suddenly it appears that your Ex is looking every bit better and being more attentive to her new mate, then they ever had with you. So what? It shouldn’t bother you. Chances are, they, like you, learned something about relationships during the one they had with you. Maybe they learned from their mistakes? Perhaps you should too?
Conversely, maybe they didn’t. Or, maybe you feel they are dating a bum now and you don’t want this bum involved in the lives of your kids. This kind of situation will be more difficult to remedy, but it surely won’t help if you let tempers flare. One good tip is to be respectful and let it play out. Your kids will realize in time what a loser the new person is and hopefully your Ex will wise up and find someone better.
Here’s an idea that perhaps you never thought about while you were married. Who knows, maybe it is the reason you are married now. Ask your Ex for an opinion about something that they might be more knowledgeable about than you. Say your Ex husband was a car mechanic and you car is making this goofy sound. Ask him if he might have any idea what might be causing it. If your Ex wife was a computer consultant and you are having problems with your servers, ask her for some advice. On some level they will feel that you appreciate his or her skill or knowledge in this area. You are saying they still have value on some level. This will make for smoother sailing as the year’s go on.
Don’t fuel the fire
Whatever you do, don’t meddle in the affairs of your Ex. Don’t stir things up with opinions about what they are doing now or who they are with. Keep opinions to yourself, unless you are asked for an opinion about something (who knows, maybe they read this article too?). The idea is to let the new dynamics of family take their natural course. See what makes the kids comfortable and be there for them. Show the Ex that you are capable of maintaining an amicable relationship and that as people everyone still has value. The ill will will slowly fade into the past as time inevitably marches on.