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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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Communicate Respectfully: Keep your communication with your ex-spouse civil and respectful, especially in the presence of the children. They might have their own opinions and ideas about what’s happened, and you should listen to them without interrupting or feeling the need to be defensive. Doing this type of work in the first year will set you up for success in the future because you will gain more and more control of your kids, which will necessitate less access to your ex. If you’re feeling especially frustrated and want to vent, your adult support system (not your children) are be the best and most appropriate people to which you can turn.

Protecting kids is sometimes unfortunately left to the oldest sibling who shields those younger by listening to their fears, comforting them, and being available for bad dreams,” Laurie Hollman, Ph. 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. However, this should only be pursued if the ex-partner is open to communicating in healthy ways, as co-parenting counseling can be re-traumatizing for the healthy parent. Working with a therapist allows you to talk about your situation and gain professional, unique feedback, which strictly pertains to what you’re going through as a co-parent. there is light at the end of the tunnel , never give up and be true to yourself , surround yourself with friends , family that are supportive , thank you for writing such a great book , and helping the understanding of this cruel game of control .Although rules and other means of establishing consistency are important, there has to be room for compromise.

This can be done in therapy, and also just by listening to your children, who have a front-row seat to the show.Being aware of these patterns as time passes can help you avoid negative interactions and focus on what is best for your children. Make a list of coping skills that you utilize when you’re coming unglued: exercise, take a walk, meditate, do something creative, talk to a therapist.

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