Going through a divorce is extremely painful and it becomes even more difficult if there are children involved because then you will have to co-parent with your ex. Having an ex with a toxic personality can become extremely difficult when it comes to co-parenting because it can cause a lot of hindrances to ongoing communication that is important while co-parenting.
It is not an easy task always having to deal with a toxic ex because they have their own agenda when it comes to dealing with the children. A lot of mutual effort and understanding is needed while co-parenting, and if your ex-partner is toxic, it can be harmful to the child. A toxic ex can turn the child against you by trying to keep you away from your child’s life and show you that they are co-parenting with you when they are not doing anything at all.
Are you dealing with a toxic ex and must co-parent with him/her? Does your ex show these signs of being emotionally abusive, controlling, obsessive, alienating you, and is emotionally unstable? If your answer is in the affirmative, then be sure that you are dealing with a toxic ex, and it would not be an easy task to co-parent with him/her.
Your ex could be termed as toxic if he/she is:
- Is trying to convince your child that you are not trustworthy
- Trying to make you a nonentity in your child’s life
- Having a say in what you communicate with your child
- Giving a bad opinion about you to the child
It is hard for a child to distinguish between what is good and what is bad, and who is good and who is bad. That makes it easy for a toxic ex to manipulate them to think wrongly because a child is too small to realize what the toxic parent is trying to do.
How do you handle a toxic ex and make co-parenting easy so that the relationship with your child does not get affected? You can lose hope and you can lose your cool too while trying to co-parent with a toxic ex. You can use these tips to help you make the process peaceful and healthy:
- Make sure you talk to the children and do not discuss anything else that can trigger unpleasant emotions. If you feel your ex is talking about other things not related to the children, you can excuse yourself.
- Avoid multiple texts every day discussing your children. You can resort to one text that is clear and concise so that the chances of having arguments are less or even nothing. Though the communication can be to the minimal, make sure you keep each other in the loop while deciding for your children.
- Do not make the children pass on messages in case there is a need to talk or discuss anything you should be telling it yourself. The children need not know about the negativity that exists between the parents.
- Be calm and composed. It is not easy to have control of your emotions while dealing with a toxic ex and there will be times when you can get agitated and annoyed. It is always better to respond slowly after thinking instead of reacting.
- Understand the behavioral cycle. It is better to keep a tab on the behavioral patterns in communication and check if there is an element of fear within while communicating with your toxic ex. Look into your fears and see how you can change them. Do not get into the pattern of taking revenge on each other as it can adversely affect the children’s outlook on life and society.
- Check out on co-parenting apps. It might be of help to keep the relationship with your toxic ex. They work well when it comes to managing joint finances of your children, court orders, storing receipts, and the communication between the two of you.
- Have clarity in the terms and conditions so that there is no confusion at a later stage when it comes to dealing with school extra-curricular activities, scheduling the school calendar, and other activities so that they go smoothly.
- Do not stress on the things which are not in your control. It is easy to carry out things better when you focus on the things that are within your control. Make a list of the things you can control and do without causing unpleasantness.
- Make sure the rules in both the houses are similar. This is mainly because the children will find it easier when both houses have rules that are consistent and do not have to adjust while spending time in both the houses.
- Let the communication be open between you and your children. Be open with them and talk to them constantly so that they know what is going on.
It is better to have healthy co-parenting techniques so that children grow up to be mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. Personal dislike, hatred, and differences of opinion should not interfere with the upbringing of your children because they can influence their behavior and mentality at later stages of their lives. It is imperative that you need to have a strong relationship with your family members because that can affect your child’s behavior to a considerable extent more than the toxic ex.
Moving on in life in a positive and healthy way is important after a divorce and that can be possible only if you share a healthy equation with your ex when it comes to co-parenting however toxic they might be. The tips above can give you better insights on how to meet the challenges of co-parenting with a toxic ex and will make you aware of the situation better and tackle it with maturity.
I guess we have shared how to manage your home and children while co-parenting with a toxic ex. If you have any suggestions, you are welcome to share them with us.