Divorce mistakes to avoid: Insulting your ex in front of the kids
In today’s post, we’ll be continuing an occasional-installment series about the most common divorce mistakes people make. Our last post in the series focused on taking legal advice from anyone and everyone except your attorney – the person you hired specifically for legal advice.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss an issue that you will likely be confronted with if you have children. Many divorced couples these days share child custody, which means they must continue to interact with one another on a regular basis. Naturally, tensions rise and frustrations get vented. Unfortunately, whenever you badmouth your ex while your children are in earshot, they may be hurt the worst by your words.
It’s important to remember that children are products of both their parents. And it is usually healthy for kids to maintain a good relationship with both parents after divorce. When you badmouth your ex, your children may feel a number of confusing and difficult emotions. They might feel like they are being asked to choose sides. They might feel like you are insulting a part of them. They might feel guilty for wanting a relationship with their other parent because it might make you unhappy. At the very least, they will internalize the negative energy created when unkind words are spoken.
No one is perfect, and nearly every co-parent says something regrettable now and then. But please keep in mind that mean words aimed at your ex-spouse can easily ricochet off and harm your children. As such, you should choose your words carefully.