Do you have an ex in your life who makes your life hell? Does it feel like even though your spouse got divorced that he or she is still married? Would it surprise you to find out that you put up with more than you have to, simply because the ex says you do?
Below are nine ways to stop allowing the ex to run your life. And, how to remove the welcome mat from your porch and your forehead respectively.
1. You didn’t marry them. He or she is not your ex.
This person your spouse or significant other married and consequently divorced was not who you planned to spend your life with. The word exclude starts with ex. So do just that.
2. The ex does not own your spouse just because they share a child.
If your spouse is the non-custodial parent with visitation, it is difficult, but not impossible. Though no longer a team in terms of marriage, they are a team in terms of the child/ren. The ex can only control what the divorce decree says. If the ex has sole legal and sole physical custody, s/he has the say over schooling, medical decisions, and religion. However s/he is required by law to encourage and nurture a relationship with any and all family members of the child’s non-custodial parent. This includes stepfamily, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Better yet, did you know your spouse has a right to daily phone calls with his or her child, unless noted differently in the divorce decree?
3. If you want to attend a school or sporting event you can. Doctors’ appointments, too.
Sporting events are public; anyone and their grandmother can attend. If you want to go, go. Same goes for school recitals, back to school nights, etc. In fact, most schools will offer separate conferences so that both homes are involved in the child’s educational progress and needs. In terms of doctors’ appointments, you can go with a spouse, or have your name added to the child’s file as someone who has a right to medical care and information. It is really no different than having access to a credit card or utility bill that may be solely in your spouse’s name. You can gain information and have some involvement.
4. Your spouse’s visitation time is your spouse’s choice to spend it how they wish.
The ex spouse cannot commit you to anything on your time. This includes sports, doctors’ appointments, birthday parties etc. It is a double edge sword though because if by not taking the child to certain engagements will hurt the child in the process, it is a no win situation. But, by no means are you required to do it.
5. Follow your divorce decree, not the ex’s divorce commands.
It can’t be any more plain stated than this. The divorce decree is your spouse’s bible in a sense. It states what is expected, allowed and forbidden. Non-custodial parents have more rights than most realize, like rights to medical and school records. Do your research.
6. If your spouse and their ex share joint legal and joint physical custody, your spouse’s say is just as important as the ex’s.
One is not more important than the other. In some cases, one parent may have sole physical custody, while both retain joint legal custody. You need to know the differences between these and what type of custody your spouse has.
7. The ex can only control what there is no control over.
If a void is visible, the ex will invade. One place the ex will try to invade is your marriage. This is your territory. Be territorial enough to remind the ex that this is not his or her place, and interference will not be tolerated. Stand your ground.
8. The ex’s issue with you is a reflection of an issue with himself or herself.
Any parent who is content with who he or she is and with his or her level of parental involvement will not limit or control the parenting or involvement of anyone else.
9. In terms of child support, do your own math and research.
Many parents pay more than they should, and feel as though they have to roll over and take it. If your spouse feels there is a substantial change either in his or her income or the ex’s, request a review. If your spouse is on disability or the ex is on disability make sure the child support office is aware. You’d be surprised how many parents overpay because they failed to double check or request a review.
There you have it, nine ways to limit or exclude the ex’s involvement in your home, your marriage and the relationship with your stepkids.
How do you handle your ex’s spouse?
- 8 Lessons Learned From My Hubby’s Two Ex Wives
- Stepmothers: 5 Reasons His Ex May Hate You
- StepMom: Part Of Your Modern Family?
- We Welcome with Love… Our New Step-Monster