How to Cope with Your Ex’s Difficult Significant Other

In News by YKF Law

When you get a divorce, you adjust to a new life without your ex sharing your home and being your partner. It can be quite an adjustment with an ebb and flow of emotions ranging from relief to loneliness and everything in between. Though getting used to being on your own can be challenging, no one prepares you for how you’ll feel when your ex starts dating or remarries, especially if you share children with your ex and need to communicate often.

Co-parenting alone has challenges. There’s so much to learn and adjust to when you and your ex establish a parenting plan: a schedule of each parent’s time with their shared children, who has physical and legal custody, and who will bring the kids to school, among many other things. It’s hard enough to adjust to this new life with your former spouse as your now co-parent. Things can get even tougher when your ex dates or remarries someone who can be very challenging, especially toward you and your children.

Luckily, there are ways to deal with their challenging partner. Keep reading for tips on how to cope with your ex’s difficult significant other to help you better navigate co-parenting with your ex. 

Never Speak Negatively About Them Around Your Children

Whether you still have love for your ex or not, seeing them with a new partner can bring up emotions you didn’t even know you had buried deep down. It can be overwhelming, even more so if their new partner is hard to get along with. Some new partners may feel overwhelmed and even jealous at certain times, often taking their emotions out on their partner’s ex-spouse or the children shared with their ex.

Dealing with an ex’s difficult significant other can make you feel an array of emotions, from frustration to jealousy and everything in between. Though it’s tough, it’s important to control those emotions, especially if you share children with your ex. Never speak negatively about them around your children so they can form their own opinions about this new person in their lives. If you share custody with your ex, your children are probably around this person often. Children pick up on more than we give them credit for, and they may sense tension without you even speaking about this individual.

Vent to Friends and Close Family

It’s not healthy to keep things bottled up inside, no matter how strong you are. Venting our issues to those we love and trust can help us let go of transgressions and ultimately start the healing process. If the difficult partner remains for a long period, periodically venting to friends and close family can help you cope as you continue to deal with your ex’s difficult significant other. Again, be sure that your children can’t hear the conversations so they remain unaware of any issues or tensions.

Consider Therapy

Whether it be individual or family therapy, discussing life and struggles with a therapist can do wonders for your mental health and, in return, your physical health. While you may have already tried marriage counseling before a divorce, trust us when we say that meeting with a therapist who specializes in co-parenting/divorce can be very helpful as you deal with your ex’s partner. A therapist will help guide you through how to cope and some skills that can help you navigate how to co-parent with your ex and their challenging new partner.

Have an Open Discussion With Your Ex

Do you and your ex co-parent successfully? If so, pull your ex aside or give them a call and ask to have an open discussion about their partner. Without their significant other present, be honest and open about the struggles you’re having with them. Whether it be their partner’s communication flaws, overstepping when it comes to your children, or how they treat you, sharing your thoughts and feelings with your ex can help them understand how you’re feeling. If they’re not responding to your concerns, consider asking them to attend a therapy session with you to reconcile any issues you’re having with their new partner.

Dealing with an ex’s difficult significant other can be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be near impossible. Implementing any of the tips above can help you get through future exchanges a little easier. 

If you’re currently going through a divorce or need help with a modification action or child custody, the Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC can help. We’re dedicated to the practice of family law and can help guide you through the entire process. Our office is located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. In addition to our physical location, our firm’s family and divorce attorneys have practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette, and Platte County, Missouri. Contact our family law firm today to schedule a consultation – we can meet in person or via Zoom.

With over fifty-three years of combined legal experience, our family law firm is comprised of a team that’s skilled in both negotiation and litigation, handling family law matters from the most complex to the most straightforward. Our team of zealous attorneys will handle your case with expert knowledge and professionalism.