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How to talk to your co-parent without blowing your top

It's understandable that your former spouse is no longer your favorite person in the world with whom to spend time. After all, you no doubt faced some issues in your past relationship, otherwise you wouldn't have filed for divorce. Many Connecticut parents can relate to your situation. You'd rather just move on in life and not have to talk to this person, but you know that's not possible because you have children together. 

You might wonder how to maintain an active, healthy relationship with the person you no longer want to be married to because you understand the importance of doing so for the sake of your kids. Divorce isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. Getting divorced doesn't necessarily mean you can't communicate with your ex in a mature, civil manner when necessary. If he or she does something to impede your parent/children relationships, you can seek support to rectify the problem in court.

Breathing techniques aren't just for yoga class

As a good parent, you want what's best for your children. Can you help it if the very sight of your ex causes your blood pressure to rise and evokes feelings of frustration and anger? The answer is that, while you can't control spontaneous emotions, you do have the power over your reactions to your emotions. The following list includes stress-reducing tips that may come in handy in your post-divorce, co-parenting relationship:

  • As soon as you feel stressed, practice deep, slow cleansing breaths. You might want to research how to use breathing to stay calm.
  • If your ex gets mad whenever you state a need, try placing your need in the form of a request instead. For instance, rather than saying your co-parent is going to have to do this or that, ask if it would be possible for this or that to happen. 
  • No matter how many memories of past marital arguments come to mind when you see your ex, try to keep your conversations focused on child-related issues. If those issues were leading factors in your divorce, this may be quite challenging, but it may also be quite possible, especially if you have a strong support system.
  • Scheduling meetings on a regular basis to discuss the kids might help keep stress levels low, as opposed to not speaking for weeks at a time and trying to hash everything out all in a single discussion.
  • Avoid trying to handle legal matters on your own. If your spouse refuses to adhere to a court order, or a problem has come up regarding custody, support or visitation, you can alleviate stress by relying on experienced legal representation to help you resolve the issue.

Your co-parent relationship affects your children's ability to cope

The more amicable your relationship with your co-parent, the likelier your children will be able to come to terms with your divorce. By letting them know you love them and are there to support them, and by showing them that you and your ex are willing to cooperate to keep their best interests in mind, you give them valuable tools to process their emotions and move on in life.

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