How do you help your kids deal with a divorce and deal with the ex husband who you cant stand.

Vicki - posted on 02/08/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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How do you help your kids with a divorce while you hate their father for what he is doing to them.

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Kaitlyn - posted on 02/08/2010

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I'm don't have experience of my own in this department, but my parents went through a nasty divorce when I was young. I think that the absolute WORST thing you can do is trash talk each other in front of your kids. When I was with my mom all I heard was how horrible of a person my dad was & vice versa. This was very stressful because I loved both of them and didn't want to choose sides & they made it feel like I had to.

Whenever you talk to your ex on the phone make sure that the kids are out of ear shot because having your parents go through a divorce is very stressful to kids.

My brothers & I also went to counseling for children of divorced families at a local church, it was a great stress reliever...

Soleil - posted on 02/08/2010

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My ex-husband and I share custody, he gets him every weekend... however there have been many late pick ups, missed pick up, last minute bail outs, and unanswered phone calls. My only advice, love your children more than you hate your ex... it might be hard to watch, but eventually your kids will see their father for who they really are, but until that day, anything you do involving the dad may only make you look like the bad guy.

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Emily - posted on 02/14/2010

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You are getting divorced, so it is safe to say that you and him can not stand each other. Well, like it or not you are forever stuck together! (I have been divorced for 8 years.)
First, STOP calling him your ex-husband...he is the father of your children.
Second, NEVER fight with him or trash talk him when your kids are listening. (THEY ARE ALWAYS LISTENING!)
Third, when he starts an argument, be agreeable and kill him with kindness, have the children call him often. If you can't talk to each other without fighting, send him e-mails and keep him updated on how your kids are doing. My daughters Dad and fought like cats and dogs in the begining, but now I would call us friends.
The most important thing...when he meets someone new. BE NICE TO THE NEW WOMAN! (This was easy for me because I love my daughters step-mom) Remember, if something happens to you, they will be the ones to carry on your memory with your kids.

Lynda - posted on 02/14/2010

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I will need to agree with Kaitlyn in regards to not trashing your ex husband in front of your children. I will advice that it will get extremely hard - believe me I have been doing it for five years - but you will get used to it. I found if I was truthful to my children (of course at their level of maturity) it makes it easier for them.
Do not become a bitter person - it takes up too much energy and achieves nothing.
The best refenge to your husband is to have a great relationship with children and friends. Always let your children know that you love them - it is the last thing my children hear every night and I always tell them when I leave them at school - we have to use sign language now as it is "uncool" to kiss mummy in public (my boys are 8 & 6).
Listen to your family and friends but always rely on what is inside of you - the real you and go with that.
Take care

Gerri - posted on 02/11/2010

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First, remember that you are both parents. Regardless of what you feel for your ex-spouse they are an always will be the other parent. Keeping that in mind can help with some of the resentment that is naturally felt with divorce.
Second, look at things through the eyes of your children. They are innocent in this situation and have no idea what happens between adults. All they know is that their family has changed and they are afraid.
Keep communciation open between you and your ex when it comes to things that affect the children. If counseling is needed to do this then get it. Don't let your pride and anger affect the rest of your child's life. Keep things light and easy when the subject of your ex comes up. Kids will want to talk about and to the absent parent. Don't make them feel like that is wrong. Keep communication open. You don't have to call them daily and discuss everything but it is important that if the child wants to speak to the absent parent that you make that available without guilt.
It is hard when the absent parent neglects their parental duties. All you can do is be the supportive parent, listen to the pain and give lots of hugs and patience. I also used these moments to help the kids focus on the good times and get them busy with new activities. A busy mind is a happy one.
Don't worry, if you love them they will survive.

Sharon - posted on 02/10/2010

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Vicki - I feel for you and the kids. People change. Not always for the better. Your ex turned into an asshole I guess.



The idiot is so impressed with a new piece of ass he has pushed aside his own kids? I want to punch his lights out.



I honestly think this is what happened to that poor 12 yr old who shot his fathers' pregnant girlfriend.



Not every man is deserving to be a dad. But maybe all this idiot needs is time to figure out what is really important.



Can you get the kids into counseling? Remember, not every counselor is a good one.



I talk to my kids about other people (usually other kids) hurting their feelings. They have a firm grasp on that hurt feelings suck and the important thing is to not do it to others.



I also try to push that being a doormat is not acceptable. You don't let people hurt your feelings and just take it. My 7 yr old (the youngest) is very good at telling other kids "that isn't nice and I'm not going to play with you until you can be nice." Her feelings are still hurt but she isn't anyones doormat.



FYI the new piece of ass he's hitting isn't "family." Some of the previous post'ers are seriously delusional and I think they must be the "other woman" to be so generous about a man who is hurting his kids in such a horrible way.



Don't lie. Don't sugar coat things. Answer their questions honestly. Don't make things up, don't go overboard bashing him either.



I hope your kids and you, pull through this. You guys deserve better.

Vicki - posted on 02/09/2010

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I appreciate all of your responces they are great but right now I am just dealing with the new Girlfriend and her 4 yr old that my children who are 15 and 10 hate and feel they are being pushed to the back behind the new girlfriend and child and no matter how many times I try to talk to him about it we fight everytime. I am so tired of the arguments.

Soleil - posted on 02/09/2010

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Don't forget.... at one point in life you liked this man enough to marry him. If you're lucky, pretending to get along will turn into actually getting along. You're never going to like everything he does, but you have to look at him in a new light. He is no longer your husband, so you can't let his decisions effect your life the way they did before. As long as he's not hurting your kids, suck it up and learn how to make the new family work... because you are still family, and you always will be.

Carolee - posted on 02/09/2010

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Whatever you do, DO NOT TRY TO MAKE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT YOUR EX YOUR CHILDREN'S FEELINGS! This is how a lot of divorces get ugly and hurt kids. Let them like their father. I know it's hard, but you've got to buck up and put a smile on. Yes, divorce sucks. Yes, children basically losing a parent sucks. All you can do right now is try to make it suck less for them, and maybe go to counseling to be able to "have" feelings of your own that aren't masked. Let the courts make any and all decisions that you two can't compromise on by yourselves, and DON'T BRING YOUR CHILDREN INTO IT!!! They don't need to know the exact details of the custody. All they need to know is when they are going to spend time with each parent... that's it as far as the "custody" part of it goes. Don't fight in front of your children, and don't bad-mouth the ex in front of them. That goes for both you and your ex. It doesn't matter how much you may hate each other, your kids need to know that they will never be on the receiving end of the hate.

Go to counseling, get the kids in counseling, and slap on a smile (no matter how much it hurts).

User - posted on 02/08/2010

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WELL MOM MCBRIDE: HOPEFULLY THE KIDS ARE OF UNSTANDING AGE & COMPREHENSIVE UNDERSTANDING. IF THEY ARE IT'S LIKE THIS: CHILDREN MOMMY AND DADDY ARE NOT HAPPY ANYMORE & REVERSE IT WITH THEM - SUPPOSE YOU WERE UNHAPPY WITH SOME ONE IN YOUR "FRIEND CROWD" WOULD LIKE TO KEEP PLAYING WITH THEM - WOULD LIKE NOT TO TREAT YOU IN A NICE WAY & YOU KEEP PLAYING WITH. WOULD YOU LIKE THEM TO MISTREAT YOU. AND IT GETS LONGER. THIS WILL HOLD YOU FOR A MINUTE. HOPE I HELPED- CATFIRE OUT. HAVE A BLESSED WEEK & LET THE CHILDREN KNOW THIS WILL KEEP MOMMY JUST ALITTLE BIT MORE SANE & HAPPY WHILE DADDY HAS ANOTHER PLACE OF RESIDENCE.

Jennifer - posted on 02/08/2010

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I went through an ugly divorce and the best peice of advice I got was to NEVER EVER bad mouth the dad to the kids b/c they will always remember who it came from and it will backfire. I have had to bite my tongue many times but almost 4 years later and his actions speak loud and the kids have figured it out on thier own. I also agree with Kaitlyn - my daughter has had a "personal talker" aka counselor to bounce things off of or just a neutral ear to vent to. I know that money can be tight during these times so check with the school to see if they have one available at no cost.
Most importantly - give them lots of LOVE !!

Collette - posted on 02/08/2010

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lol hi vicki i found by pretenting.you like each other 4 kids sake and i know its bloody hard.but if u bicker and stuff youll be the bad guy belive ne mums always are the ones there kids take there frustrations out on cause they are the ones that are always there.get on with life as normal and when he comes to get kids prepare your self switch off pretend his thr uncle or somthing coming to get them for the week end lol don,t respond to his crap if theres any and be extra nice they hate it cause it shows them that your strong and in a good place xxoo

Hayley - posted on 02/08/2010

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hey, i agree with both Kaitlyn and Soleil's advice. i work in child care and i see the effects of bad family relationships through the behaviour of the children... i don't know how old your children are, but sit them down (preferably together with your ex) and explain to them that even though you and "dad" arn't together you both still love them and for the children's sake you both still need to work together to provide the children the best opportunities in life...

User - posted on 02/08/2010

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I'm going through this myself right now. Always remember that just b/c u can't stand your ex doesn't mean your children do...I'm sure they love him unconditionally and no matter what he will always be their father. So suck it up & be the bigger person and your children will grow to respect you for it.

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