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Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You

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That said, the words you speak to your children can have a lasting impact on their emotional, mental, and psychical health, which can later cause problems for them in the future.

Splitting up from an ex is challenging enough; however, this challenge is often exacerbated when children are involved. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. But there are times where a healthy collaboration between co-parents isn’t possible because an ex wife or an ex husband doesn’t compromise, constantly belittles, or exhibits other such toxic behavior. And trying to make your child “take a side” can ultimately backfire, which is why you should keep the lines of communication open between your child and your ex-partner.Be sure to check in with your children to see how they’re handling it, and make sure that an older child isn’t inadvertently left to deal with these adult issues.

Schedules change, unexpected circumstances arise, and parents have to be willing to go with the flow.After all, if your ex-partner thinks that they’ve succeeded in pissing you off, they’ll feel like they “won”, and really, that’s the last thing that you want. Finally, if your child is doing something special while at your place like walking for the first time or riding a bike for the first time, record a video of them to share with your co-parent later. However, amidst the difficulties, there is a fundamental truth that should guide your actions: the well-being of your children must always be the top priority. When there are many emotions involved, it will help to make the agreement as black-and-white as you can. One of the most vital aspects of co-parenting with a toxic ex-spouse is to prevent the denigration of each other in front of the children.

One of the biggest issues I see is that people let down their guard with a toxic ex and then seem surprised when their ex is unreasonable, cruel, or annoying. If you are experiencing alienation from your children while you’re co-parenting, it is best to speak directly to your ex to get to the root of the issue rather than getting the children involved.When your children are present, do not talk about your ex-partner with others unless in a neutral sense.

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