Just about everyone has heard horror stories regarding someone's EX. In some cases this nightmare can go on for years. If divorce is supposed to be the end to a bad marriage, then why do some ex spouses continue to want to argue, fight and be difficult? I know someone who has been divorced for 7 years. He has a daughter from the marriage and he is a wonderful father. His ex spouse has used their child to try to hurt him. She also yells and calls him names whenever the speak. The child has had to attend counselling due to her mother's behavior. My friend has spent thousands of dollars going back to court, just trying to protect his child and enforce his parental rights. After 7 years this woman is still angry and difficult!
If you are trying your best to be civil but your ex just can't seem to do the same, here are some tips that may help.
1. Do not feed into the ex spouses anger. If they become argumentative, walk away or hang up.
2. Try using email as means of communication instead of face to face or phone.
3. Avoid talking about the past, or things that you know will "set them off"
4. When communicating, try to be clear and complete in your thoughts and have your facts straight. Doing this will avoid possible "comebacks" contradicting arrangements or agreements.
5. Limit communication to what is necessary, IE; Children's issues, visits or pertinent subjects that require the ex spouses cooperation.
6. As hard as it can be, try to be positive when speaking to the difficult spouse.
7. Stand your ground, do not let the ex spouse control your life with their behavior.
8. Keep your divorce decree handy at all times. Know it well. Difficult exes tend to bend agreements to suit their needs.
9. If you are unable come to agreements that are not covered in the divorce, hire a mediator.
10. If the difficult spouse is using the children to receive information about your personal life, you must confront them immediately. Be sure to support the children and tell them that it is wrong for them to be treated that way.
Hopefully someday you and your difficult ex may be able to have a better relationship. Attending events involving your children will most certainly be less tense if your relationship is a civil one. The bottom line is, you are no longer married, and you no longer have any responsibility to this person. It is up to them to stop blaming you for their unhappiness, as it is obvious that a difficult person is typically not a happy person. I'd just like to add one more dynamic to this situation. If you are re-married or seeing someone, it is very important to keep this from causing problems in your new relationship.