Co-parenting can be difficult even if you and your ex do get along, but if you don’t, it’s a true nightmare. Fortunately, one benefit of both of you being adults is that you can both be reasonable. Dealing with a toxic ex isn’t always enjoyable, but by trying to be understanding and reasonable with him or her, you can become a better parent.
It’s no secret that people get divorced for a reason (or several). You may no longer be able to hold a conversation with your ex without it devolving into an argument. When it comes to your kids, though, you have to be able to communicate. Although it’s difficult, remember that it’s okay only to talk to your ex when it’s about your child and to move on. You don’t have to respond to every text or phone call that has nothing to do with your child.
Another thing to remember about toxic relationships is that they usually have triggers. If there is a particular conversation or time of the year when your ex is more likely to be negative, do your best to avoid speaking to him or her at that time. Be aware of the triggers that set off your toxic ex, so you can have better communication when he or she is more stable.
Toxic parents aren’t always those you can reason with, so if your toxic ex is hurting your relationship with your child or threatening you, it might be time to reach out for legal help. Consider talking to the police, a therapist or your attorney about how to address his or her behavior before it gets worse. If you’re dealing with this situation, our website has more on what to do next.