Tips on how divorced parents can co-exist peaceably

Individuals going through a divorce often experience strong negative emotions and feelings towards an ex-spouse. In fact, in many cases, feelings of resentment and anger towards an ex may linger for years. However, in cases where a couple has shared children, it's important for all involved parties to find ways to effectively deal with these negative feelings.

There are several momentous occasions throughout a child's life that require ex-spouses to spend time with one another. From birthdays and graduations to weddings and eventually grandchildren, parents are forever tied together by their children. While some ex-spouses are able to co-exist and even communicate effectively with one another quite peaceably, others struggle to even remain in the same room together.

In order to enjoy the milestones in a child's life without being overwhelmed by negative feelings towards an ex-spouse, it's important to change one's perspective. Rather than viewing an ex-wife or ex-husband as an arch nemesis, it may be helpful to instead view her or him as a business associate.

Business associates often don't see eye to eye or even like one another. Despite such differences, however, they must find a way to work together. Similar to a business relationship, ex-spouses should work to maintain a civil and respectful relationship with one another. Doing so helps avoid disputes and ensures potential conflicts can be addressed and dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Regardless of how a marriage ended, it's normal for all ex-spouses to be curious about one another's new lives. Digging for too many details, however, only serves to keep old feelings of hostility, jealously and resentment alive. Being too involved in an ex-spouse's life many also invite the unwanted attention and focus of an ex into your life.

Lastly, it's important to remember that events that warrant the presence of both parents are typically to celebrate the achievements of a child. It's important, therefore that parents are able to set aside their own issues and focus on their child's needs and happiness.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Deal With Your Ex at Your Children's Special Events," Nancy Kay, Sep. 6, 2013

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