Yes yes, there have been a whole bunch of us that had an ex that did terrible things to us and we still have to co-parent with them. There a lot of us that think our ex is a complete asshole. There are several of us that probably should have put our ex in jail but didn’t. One or two of you may even wish your ex rots in hell. Who am I to judge?
But if you still have to co-parent with this person… my utmost important, number 1 rule is… you never ever mention a word of the bad stuff to the children. No matter how much you want everyone to know your side and what a piece of shit you think the ex is… your kids are not the ones to vent to. Yes, even when your children come home from a grand and glorious weekend with Daddy and they are singing songs of praise, DO NOT… I repeat DO NOT rain on their parade and say things like “Oh yea your Dad is so great… so great that he was banging your babysitter while we were married”. Just say no. Never speak poorly of your ex to the kids. Ever.
Imagine this… my ex had an alcohol problem and was really mean and a little violent when drunk and cheated on me while I was pregnant with our third child. After we separated, the young chick he was cheating with moves in with him. Now you can imagine how much I enjoyed dropping my three children off to his house while those two took care of my kids all weekend. I was fit to be tied. Not to mention a little worried, at that point he didn’t drink around the kids (that would later change, and visitation was revoked by me) but I never knew when he might change that pattern. and unfortunately the “possibility” of something happening is not enough to change visitation. But I kept my mouth shut. I vented to my girlfriends, didn’t let it consume me, and loved the hell out of the kids when they came home.
Here’s why… No good ever comes from hate. Just think about that a minute. What good does it do to hate someone? It’s a waste of your time and energy. It won’t change them. I t won’t change what they did. Sure, you might be angry for a bit but get over it eventually and move on. Hate and animosity create a really negative energy that isn’t good for anyone. You have your kids grow up around two parents hating on each other all the time, you’re going to have kids that hate you, each other, and everything else all the time. And if you keep talking bad about your child’s other parent… that child will start hating themselves.
Yup, I said it. Think about this. You keep talking about what a scumbag your son’s Father is… that son starts to think, “hey I came from my Dad, I am half him, I must be a piece of shit too”. I know it seems a bit far-fetched at first but think about it. What if someone kept telling you your Mother was a no good dirtbag lying ho? You’d get defensive right? But if they said it enough you might think, “This is what I come from, am I a dirtbag who comes from along line of dirtbags” And thusly acting out dirtbaggedness ensues. As adults we can reason that away (most of us anyway), but a child doesn’t have that same sort of rational thought.
If preventing your child from feeling like a big pile of crap isn’t reason enough to not talk bad about the other parent, just remember you will get a lot more accomplished if the two of you get a long. You know the old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? If you are civil to your ex, it is more likely you can compromise on money and custody issues. Karma or God will take care of the rest.
I did keep my eyes and ears open and asked my kids lots of questions about their visits to make sure they were being well cared for. Things eventually turned south, I mandated supervised visits only, his true colors showed and he skipped town. The kids figured things out on their own and ya’ know what, I wasn’t happy about it. Then I even tried to paint it in a not so hurtful light, “Your Dad loves you and is a good person he just has a disease”. Some people are like, “Good I’m glad they figured out what a POS their Dad is”. No, nobody wants to find out their Dad is a piece of shit. Would you? However, it happens. People find out their parents are not so great people sometimes but it’s best to find out on their own and not be fed hate from the other parent all the time. A loving atmosphere does much more good than a hating atmosphere. Spread the love.