As we all know, dealing with an ex is no piece of cake. Things are constantly changing in both of your lives, and issues come up -- maybe a new job, maybe something going on with your kids, a new romance in your life, or his. Because of all these things, combined with the resentment that, let's be honest, will most likely always be there between the two of you (sadly enough), dealing with your ex can sometimes get really frustrating.
Correct me if I'm wrong: there are times when all you want to do is scream and yell, engage in bitter name calling or use a certain finger to show your ex how you really feel. But want to know how to make divorce easier? Take the high road! Here are 10 high-road moves guaranteed to make your journey of divorce recovery easier and get you to a destination that includes self-love, the life you want, and true happiness.
1. Switch visitation nights if your ex needs to. Don't give him or her a hard time about it.
2. Say a friendly hello in the driveway when he or she comes to get the kids. Maybe even ask about his or her job. Everyone likes to feel that someone cares.
3. Introduce yourself to his girlfriend (or her boyfriend), by walking up and shaking his or her hand with a smile.
4. Tell your children the good qualities your ex possesses from time to time. That's like telling them the good qualities that they themselves have!
5. If someone tells you that they saw your ex out on a date, do not roll your eyes. Instead, smile and say, "That's nice" -- and mean it! That's like saying, "I don't care. I've moved on."
6. If someone says something negative about your ex (for your benefit), brush it off. Don't turn it into an opportunity to have a hate session. That's just bad karma, and you could be talking about something really fun or interesting instead.
7. Give him or her a cake on his/her birthday to enjoy with your kids.If you just gasped, please pick your jaw up off the ground. Maybe you still feel like he or she ruined your life, but think of your kids and just do a nice, simple thing. Nothing bad will happen if you do something nice. In fact, good things will come to you as a result of kind gestures.
8. If you do something that is wrong, have the guts to say, "I'm sorry."
9. If you get some bad news from your attorney regarding something his attorney filed, cry by yourself, kick and scream by yourself, but do not utter a word about it to your ex. Nothing good can come of it. It will result in a fight, which is bad for your kids
10. If your ex starts dating your friend, say NOTHING to either one. Grit your teeth. Trust me, it will end.
11. If your kids tell you about some expensive trip or item that your ex just bought, do not say anything negative. If you do, it will ruin it for your kids.
12. The first time you see a ring on your ex's girlfriend's finger, try not to gasp. Rather, smile and -- for lack of better words -- suck it up. Congratulate your ex and think to yourself, "This has no bearing on us and why we got divorced." That's true in most cases, but there are exceptions.
13. If your ex gets a new job, wish him or her luck and mean it! It's good for you and your kids, too.
14. If your ex does something really petty, like give you a check that is $20 lower than what he owes, either take a deep breath and ignore it or say something, but in a nice way. If he continues to do it, try a constructive, polite email documenting all the instances.
15. If he or she says something really mean to you, don't fight back, especially if it's irrational. Leave it alone. That's not only taking the high road, but it will make him or her even more furious that you didn't react.
I know these can be difficult, but if you think about it, every one of these things will benefit you in the long run. Being angry or bitter or fighting back is not only unproductive, but it's a waste of energy. Believe in karma, and believe in the fact that being kind and polite is NEVER the wrong road to take. Even if it's not reciprocated, no one ever regretted being nice to someone. Let your ex be the one with the bitterness and hostility. As far as you're concerned, the road you are taking is full of good vibes, positive energy and fulfilled dreams.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling She is also the author of the comedic novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE about life after divorce. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter for the Pioneer Press, with the monthly column, "Heart of the North Shore." She lives in Chicago with her two kids. And she's divorced (obviously.)