Your Ex Trashing You To The Kids? Breathe ... Then Do These 4 Things

There's no getting around the fact that divorces are messy. Feelings are still a little raw, which makes the painful task of moving on difficult. Worse still, making a clean break is impossible when you have a family together.

You divorced him, but you can't have the kids divorce him along with you. But when your ex starts badmouthing you behind your back ... to your kids, that's when things get serious.

Everything hits you at once. You're shocked, fuming, and hurt that he'd stoop so low as to maliciously pick you apart all for the sake of winning them over or alienating you from them. Yes, people say things that they don't mean when they're in the heat of the moment, but this just takes it to a whole other level.

Here are three ways to handle this in a way that doesn't backfire.

1. Take a deep breath and say nothing; the best response is no response. Reacting in a way that doesn't fan the flames is difficult, and he knows that. I can't stress enough that you must "take the high road, every time ... Tell the kids that you're going through a really difficult time with their father or their mother. Don't respond in kind. That's the WORST thing you can do."

2. Put yourself in your kids' shoes. You're hurting and we don't blame you. But, how do you think your children feel right now? Not only does retaliating bring you down to his level, it forces your kids to feel like they're stuck in the middle.

3. Reassure them that you love them OFTEN. It's crucial that you let your kids know that despite the conflict going on between the two of you, you'll both continue to love them and put them first (Always, ALWAYS). As mentioned in the video, "tHhe best thing to do is explain where that behavior comes from as best as you possibly can [Say] one thing that we really agree on is that we both want to be so involved in your lives that it's hard to know how to share your precious time' or something like that so that the children feel supported and loved by both parties."

4. Don't EVER bring your kids into your fight. This goes without saying. Using your children to get back at your ex will only succeed in alienating them from you both. At the end of the day, no one likes constantly being reminded of their parents' "flaws."

Taking the high road truly is the better option for everyone involved.