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  • Writer's pictureTamara Harris

Attitude Of Gratitude: How To Acknowledge The Good In Your Ex

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Many people associate divorce with bitter arguments, hurt, and resentment. While conflict is inevitable, it’s the attitude you choose that determines the aftermath of your relationship when coping with divorce. Here are a few ways to help you give THANKS, and acknowledge the good in your ex, following a divorce.

Tip 1: Take time to get along. No matter how badly you may feel about the past relationship, it’s important to take the high road. It is especially important to put effort into getting along with your ex if there are children in the picture. If you feel that you both can be civil or respectful, consider an event or meal where your children can witness a stress-free interaction between you and your ex. Maintaining a positive family vibe can be beneficial for children post-divorce.

Tip 2: Have patience. Until a new routine is established, things may feel a bit out of sorts. Give both you and your ex the proper time to heal from your marriage. If you begin dating, try to take it slow and do not involve the new person with your children for as long as you can, as this can add to already turbulent feelings for all involved.

Tip 3: Admit your mistakes. One way to create a truce with your ex is to admit when you make mistakes. If you find yourself saying or doing hurtful things, take a step back and apologize for the wrongdoing. While you aren’t going to be in a romantic relationship any longer, it is healthy and even necessary to remain amicable, when your children are involved.

Tip 4: Notice their effort. Rather than bad-mouth your ex to your children, friends, and family, give them positive updates on your ex. Tell your ex that you appreciate them, when they make the effort to pick up your child early or offer to take them an extra night. Showing them that you appreciate their effort helps to maintain a positive attitude post-divorce.

Tip 5: Keep the peace around your children. Maintaining peace for the children should be priority. If a conflict arises between you and your ex, pull them aside to discuss quietly, or plan a meeting with them when the children are not around. If you find your ex struggles with your new independence, make sure that you make your boundaries clear and let them know when they have crossed the line. If you hit a rough patch and are not able to speak to one another in a civil way, use email and texting until you are willing to try to restore in-person communication.

Tip 6: Savor the positive milestones. Post-divorce, it’s important you remind yourself how far you and your ex have travelled on your reflective divorce journeys as often as possible. When the two of you can celebrate a birthday or a milestone, such as a graduation, you need to acknowledge that good space. When you meet each other’s significant other and can be civil, or perhaps even friendly, that is a major milestone. Sometimes the ability to navigate these milestones can take years. However, by changing your attitude and savoring the positive, you can remain grateful for their contribution to your life or to the life of your children. You also make it easier for you and your children to heal from your divorce, no longer allowing it to define your family narrative.

Even if things started off on a bad foot, it is never too late to change. Breaking the habit takes effort, but it can be done. Choose to maintain peace following your divorce, if not for yourself, at least for your children. Acknowledge the good in your ex and show gratitude when possible. Not only will you feel more at ease following the divorce, but you will also set a positive example for your ex and your children.

If you are contemplating divorce, struggling with a high-conflict divorce procedure, or need help during life transitions let Tamara Harris, CEO of Tamara Harris LLC, be your partner as you navigate through each stage of your journey. As an impartial, experienced professional, Tamara will work directly with you to give you the best tools and strategies to manage the specific challenges and uncertainties. Serving as your advocate, she will help you see clearly during this time where emotions can often impede and derail your divorce procedure. 

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