I get it. You hate him or her. I mean, you feel sick to your stomach at the thought of them, envision them spontaneously combusting in front of you, if looks could kill - really hate them.
Ok, maybe that’s overdoing it, but then again...maybe it’s not.
Regardless of how strong your hatred is towards your ex, you’re reading this because you have some pretty strong feelings towards your ex and they’re not good.
You already know that it’s better for your kids if you get along with your ex. You already know that your kids love your ex just as much as they did before your divorce. You already know that badmouthing, or even looking like you are angry at your ex can shut down communication between you and your children, but how do you do what you already know needs to be done when you have such strong opposite feelings towards them?
That’s what this post is for. Read on for my tips to stop hating your ex.
Know that hating them means you’re still tied to them. You want to be free of them, right? You won’t actually be free until you let go of those hateful feelings. How do you do that? I wrote a post on letting go a long time ago, you can read that here. If that doesn’t sound like an exercise you’re willing to take part in, everyone can fake it until they make it. That’s right. Fake respectful feelings towards your ex until you start to let go of some of the hate.
Ask yourself how you would want your children to handle the situation if it were them. You know that phrase, “they couldn’t see the forest through the trees”? It can be applied here, too. Sometimes, your feelings are so strong that it’s hard to see past them. The easiest way for parents to do this is to look at it from the point of view of their children. Would you want them to hold onto the hate? The bitterness? The rage? Even if those feelings are justified - they usually are - would you want them to hold onto it?
Accept that it’s a process, but keep moving forward. You can’t just say you’re going to stop hating your ex and have those feelings magically go away. You have to keep working at it everyday. When you notice those feelings creeping in, simply say the word, “Stop” to yourself and redirect your thoughts elsewhere. Obviously, you have to communicate with your ex, so what can you do after the fact to manage the feelings? Listen to music, read a book, exercise, journal - pick something to prevent dwelling on the negative feelings.
Like I said, your feelings are justified, but holding on to them is bad for you, bad for your kids, and prevents you from truly moving on. I want to hear from you, comment below with how you manage your feelings when they come up.