Why Befriend Your Ex? 6 Good Reasons


While your ex may have given you grief in the past, befriending your ex is about giving both of you another chance—not for your marriage but for a new, healthy post divorce relationship. Here are six reasons why you might want to consider befriending your ex:

  1. Children benefit when parents cooperate. Cooperation is one gateway to developing a befriended relationship. The research findings are consistent and clear: Children who have two involved parents adjust to divorce far easier than those who do not. It’s hard to be involved with your ex without cooperation.
  2. Cooperating around co-parenting is much simpler than being married. Your ex may be a good enough parent even if s/he was not a good enough spouse. Marriage is about negotiating and compromising about everything in your entire life. Co-parenting is a limited relationship. And cooperation around co-parenting can be the beginning of building a befriended relationship.
  3. You and your ex share one of the biggest investments of your life: your childrens’ wellbeing. Regardless of your custody agreement, you cannot excise your ex from your life forever. In fact, your child is better off having two parents than one. Since you can’t excise your ex from your life, you may as well develop a positive relationship.
  4. Befriending minimizes the trickle down effect. Children are sponges that absorb parental stress. Befriending minimizes stress, not only on your children, but on you and your ex as well.
  5. Your relationship with your ex may be one of the most enduring relationships of your entire life. There’s no guarantee you will re-couple, remarry or stay remarried, but if you have children, your ex will be their parent and in your life forever. You are bound to share innumerable ordinary and extraordinary moments: birthdays, graduations, and weddings. Letting go of anger, bitterness and resentment can allow you to celebrate your childrens’ milestones.
  6. Life is precarious, and enduring connections help all of us feel more grounded and secure. You share not only a future with your ex but you share a history. And shared history matters more as we age. You may well be able to salvage some positive memories.

CONCLUSION:  Since you can’t get your ex out of your life completely, you may as well develop the most positive relationship you can.

Posted by Judy Rabinor

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