If you have kids together, your former spouse is more than just your ex. He or she will be your coparent until your children grow up and become independent.
Although forgiveness can be a challenge after a contentious divorce, taking the high road will benefit your kids and support your own emotional well-being as you share custody.
Seek emotional distance
When your marriage ended recently, feelings of anger, sadness, guilt and regret are common. Instead of burying negative feelings for the sake of getting along, acknowledge your emotions before taking steps to gain distance. For example, meditation, yoga, therapy or even a weekly coffee date with a friend can help you process your feelings around the divorce in a healthy way. These steps can help you remain cool, calm and collected when you encounter your coparent.
Place your child first
Before firing off an angry email to your former spouse, think about whether doing so is best for your child. If you are unsure, sleep on it before communicating in anger. This example is just one instance when remembering your child’s needs can smooth over coparenting conflicts and foster cooperation.
Forgive for yourself
Forgiving your former spouse can also help you heal from the trauma surrounding the divorce. Letting go of anger and sadness can be a long-term process, but once you do so you may feel relief and readiness to move forward in a healthy way.
If you have recently separated and have children, try to enter the divorce process in the mindset of cooperation. This can set the stage for a cooperative coparenting relationship.