No person with the right frame of mind wants enemies in life.
Even if a married couple gets divorced, the ideal setting would be to maintain friendship, especially if they have children yet to continue to nurture through the years. You don’t want them to remember your marriage as a horror story. In this article, we will share 7 ways on how to maintain friendship with your ex-spouse after a divorce.
1. Go to retreats. If you can’t talk right away with your ex-husband or ex-wife, you can go to retreats with someone close and invest your energy in healing your inner self first. Know what bugs you and make a list of the reasons that stop you from befriending your ex-spouse all over again. Make time for grievance. After all, divorce is losing a loved one like mourning for a death family member. It surely hurts a lot. And the first challenge is to relieve yourself from anxieties and recover from the pain.
2. Lower your pride. Humans naturally are egoistic. Some people even have great pride as high as the mountains and the sky. If you’re one of these people, aim to be amicable with your former spouse to make your life easier. Stop the blaming. No, we don’t mean to try hard and be plastic in dealing with him or her. But don’t treat him/her neither as a stranger nor a beggar. Most of all, don’t see him/her as an enemy. Lowering down your pride reflects a good character that your children can learn from you. When you attain this, pat yourself at the back as you’ve just proven that you are mature enough for this.
3. Listen. Eventually, what speaking and all talking boil up to at the bottom is a series of quarrels. What you need to be is a good listener this time. Making peace and being at peace with each other are not easy, especially in the beginning. You should make the effort of knowing what bothers your ex-spouse and heighten your understanding of his or her concerns. You started as friends, anyway. To maintain this friendship, always try to lend your ears and take time to listen to what he or she has to say.
4. Base your relationship on respect and honor. Avoid the feeling of hatred when faced with your ex-spouse. No matter you have bad vibes when you’re together, think of honoring and respecting your ex-spouse’s feelings as much as your own. Get into the habit of asking yourself before acting up. Train yourself to do only what’s best for your relationship, your children and family after the divorce. Don’t be bitter about your post-divorce situation and express negativity to your children. Venting out anger on them is a major possibility that will put a gap in your relationship as well.
5. Set common goals and ground rules. As you committed to make everything work in your marriage vows, also stay commitment to fulfill common goals for the benefit of your family. By agreeing with goals and setting of rules, you can make friendship work. An example of your goal should be that you want your children to grow as successful individuals. Another is to never fight in front of them. Support each other to be consistent on these and accommodate only positivity in your outlook ahead.
6. Forgive. To recover from depression and all hurt feelings from the divorce, learn to forgive yourself and your ex-spouse. You cannot move on with your life while carrying these heavy stones of guilt and burning hatred towards him or her. So don’t be bound to always remind yourself about the past and let go. Encourage yourself to begin a new life with new relationships, new people and new views that call for excitement.
7. Wish him/her well and mean it. As you go on separate ways, there are new roads for both of you to take. To maintain friendship, wish him/her well and maybe even ask for updates every now and then. Without judgment, simply catch up on each other’s lives and don’t offer your ego. This can either be by phone or through personal visitations. When you are used to this practice, the hurt feelings and awkward situation will naturally die out.
Building a good relationship with your ex-spouse may be the last thing on your mind. This would be extremely helpful for your peace and your children. You are not forced to do this immediately after the divorce. But somehow when you’re ready, opt to maintain a healthy friendship to have future interactions without tension.
Author Bio: Jessica Ressler is 100% dedicated to the areas of matrimonial and family law. She appears in Supreme Court and Family Court in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland, Long Island, Putnam and Orange Counties.