This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.
Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
Learn More: Saint Eugene De Mazenod and Saint Fabiola
I have incredible relationships with my son's aunts, uncles and cousins, to the extent that I probably talk to some of them and see them more than my ex does. The thing that has helped me with these relationships is that my ex's name never gets mentioned. The only questions I have answered is does he see his son because at the beginning he didn't. I will also talk about the visitation schedule because it relates to planning get togethers. That's it. I check my anger and frustrations at the door because they have no place in my relationship with the rest of his family. I understand that this is odd, but it works for me and makes for a good example for my son as he grows up.
We all have those days where we want to strangle our ex (even married people have those days), but I keep telling myself to be the bigger person and show my son how to treat others. It is hard to not respond in anger, but IMO, my ex is usually trying to pick a fight. If I don't show emotion when talking to him, he can't win. If he is rude, angry or inappropriate, I just politely walk away. (and document it for a future custody case) My son is 5 and he sees this. I could not believe during one of our exchanges when we got in the car, my son told me, "papa was rude". His dad didn't say good-bye because he was mad at me. Be the bigger person. It is not easy, but in the long run, you will be a much happier person.
Right now I'm redefining my dreams. In the last week, I realized that I have lost not only "our" dreams, but MY DREAMS. While every mother helps their children achieve their dreams, I believe the best way to help them is to show them how to set goals and dreams and follow them. I started a thread about what is on your bucket list as part of putting my dreams in writing. I want to set foot on every continent of the world. I want to participate in a triathlon. I want to be happy.
You have received so much sound advice already.
Like Kate, I continue to have relationships with some of my former in-laws. We had been close for 21 years and made agreements to never discuss my ex or anything about the relationship. This allows us to provide intact relationships with extended family to the children and not put them in a position where they have to chose between my ex and myself.
We have been careful not to set up situations that would make my ex feel like we were closer to each other than they were to him. He needs his family as much as I need mine. I have been unwilling to undermine those relationships for him.
Praying for him has helped. There was a time when his continued inappropriate conduct made it very difficult for me to pray for him. I would say God Bless ___ and offer a Hail Mary or Our Father. I also asked my catholic friends to pray for him in my stead.