Dealing with Your Ex-Wife
If your marriage has officially ended for whatever reason, it’s natural to feel confused about how to deal with your ex-wife. The woman you were once in love and had built a future with, and maybe even have kids with, is no longer the woman you once knew. It's time to realize your role in her life has changed, and along with that role change comes new and different responsibilities towards her.

If you want to be fair to both yourself and to her  (and especially to your kids), here are some recommendations for how to deal with the new circumstances:

  1. If you and your ex-wife have kids, make sure you both honor your titles as “Mum” and “Dad” when other people enter the picture. Your kids will be one of the main reasons, if not the only reason, you two will keep in touch. If you don’t want to cause any family conflict, you need to continue to recognize your ex as the mother of your children. Don’t try to undermine her value and rights or try to replace her with your new partner – this is a mistake that many times leads to drastic actions on the part of the mother to regain her maternal status. Remember that even if you are no longer connected romantically, you are both parents, and your parental roles should stay unaffected. If your new partner feels threatened by your ex's continued involvement in your life, try to explain that keeping those lines of communication open is important for maintaining a healthy relationship with your children. Assure your partner there is no need to feel insecure as a result of that communication.

  2. Don’t rush to bring up the new woman in your life if no significant time has passed since your split. When the divorce is fresh, chances are all parties will still be in a painful transition, and that includes your kids. If your wife shows signs of hurt or distress after your separation, it would be unkind to force your new partner into the scene as an official replacement. You are not in love with your ex anymore, of course, but that doesn’t mean you have to be harsh or disrespectful, especially when kids are involved. To balance things out and avoid any conflict with your new partner, tell them they will be introduced after some time has passed to ease the initial impact the split will have on your family.

  3. Don’t act bitter or blame her for past mistakes. Unless you have a serious reason to take issue with her behavior, such as a failure to comply with her maternal duties, there is no point in acting bitter towards her. It’s natural to have differences – after all, that's the reason you split, right? But giving into knee jerk reactions just to bother her, such as using your kids as a bait, will make you look bad in her eyes and in the eyes of your children. It's likely she will become defensive and start responding with negative actions of her own. You must respect her and keep things civil if you want to avoid future conflict and move on with your life.

  4. Don’t talk badly about her in front of your kids. It would be a huge mistake to force your kids to take sides. This will only serve to confuse them further about an already complex situation, and it has the potential to backfire on the parent who asks for it. In addition to the impact this behavior will have on your kids, also consider the problems it will cause with your ex. Your kids have done nothing wrong, and they should never be influenced to see one of their parents in a bad light.

Separation from a spouse for any reason will be a trying time in your life, as well as the lives of your children. The more grace you show under the pressure of that separation, the more likely you are to have a healthy split from the relationship. Be sure to always put the welfare of your kids ahead of all other conflicts guaranteed to arise from this situation. Aside from that, if you and your ex-wife show each other kindness, you'll both find ways to move on happily with your lives.

Good luck.