How do I handle a high conflict ex?

Tauna - posted on 06/18/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




My husband and I have been married for almost two years. He has 4 boys from a previous marriage and I have 2 girls. The kids range in age from 13 to 4. My ex and I have a pretty good co-parenting relationship. However, my husband's ex is very difficult to deal with. She absolutely hates me. She hates how involved I am with the boys. I try to be respectful of boundaries and not cause problems. I've helped her out with the kids MANY times. Taking them to sporting events or watching them for her if she has something else going on. But no matter what I do I constantly get treated like crap. Once in a while she'll decide that it's better if we all get along but it never lasts and then she's back to treating me like crap. She tries to start arguments with my husband over anything she can. She doesn't care if the kids are there or not. She tried to start a fight at the little one's tee ball game this week. And to top it all off....she's dating MY ex husband. Which means that now my daughters are exposed to her also. I guess my question is for those of you with a high conflict ex how do you deal with it? Do you distance yourself and limit communication? Do you just try to be nice regardless?


Chelsea - posted on 09/11/2015




Hi Tauna.. I am in the same boat as you. I have been with my husband for almost 8 years. I have been in my step-son's life since he was 4. Once upon a time my husband's ex-wife was friendly with me. She was fair, easy to deal with, etc. It wasn't until we started having children of our own that her attitude changed. She is 100% difficult. Nothing is ever easy with her- ever. My suggestion to you would be to limit the communication as best you can. It's very important to US that we have a family relationship with my step-son that involves just OUR family and not his relationship with his mother. We allow them the freedom to have their own relationship and try to have our own at the same time. (Although it's very difficult when dealing with such controlling ex-wives!) In high conflict situations, I think it's best to focus on your personal relationship with the children and not anything more. Keep things separated... I am sure there are a lot of events or sports for all the kids but that doesn't mean you have to interact with the ex-wife. There is a business side to being a co-parent and there is a personal/emotional side.. It has only been about a year and half since we actually started practicing the "business-only" approach and so far it has minimized A LOT of the conflict. Although there are still issues because we cannot change the exes personality or personal problems, we can control how we react and how we handle situations a lot better. I hope this helps!

1 Comment

View replies by

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms