Co-parenting is hardly ever thought of as something easy, and for many reasons. There are many different factors at play, and each of them needs to be considered. Mom often feels like she’s juggling so much, and when she finds a new partner and someone to share her life with, things can get even more difficult. Mom deserves to find love and happiness after a relationship ends, and when she finds that person and marries her, she can have a moment where she feels at peace.
However, this adds a new dynamic to the relationship because now mom has a new spouse who has to maintain a relationship with her ex-husband because they have children together. This is a unique situation because when children are not involved, two partners rarely (if ever) need to interact with each other. It doesn’t work that way when children are involved and there are holidays, events and birthdays that will bring them together.
Some moms are lucky enough to have a husband and an ex who can either get along or at least be in the same room together. However, there are some out there who have a lot of conflicts and mom can get “stuck” on nights when her new husband doesn’t like her ex. We’ll examine what mom can do about it to try and ease the tension.
What to do before the party
If mom knows there is tension between her husband and her ex, she should try to be as proactive as possible. according to medium, If you know there will be, or has been, tension beforehand, it’s best to sit down and set some firm boundaries between yourself. These limits will be different and unique to each situation, but you need to find ones that work with everyone.
They may not need to speak to each other throughout the event, and if they do, they need to be mindful of who the party is for and that they need to be respectful. If any of these boundaries cannot be maintained, it may be best to have separate events so they are not together.
While it’s always nice to be able to have the whole family together when the situation has gotten too hostile, only your child “loses” on their birthday.
Empathy can go a long way
When we have tension at birthday parties, it’s important to look at the situation from both of our perspectives. This can be another great tactic to try to solve the problem. While it’s unreasonable to expect both your husband and ex to become best friends, it’s possible to get them somewhere where they’re at least warm and respectful.
According to Jamie Scrimegeour, it is important to look at these events from the perspective of both parties. This can mean talking to each of them individually and finding out what’s going on. Co-parenting and having a new husband is going to be hard work, and you might find that there’s a perspective you haven’t thought of before.
Maybe your husband hates your ex because of a simple misunderstanding about something that happened or something that was said. Sometimes tension can be caused by simple things that can be fixed, but since they can’t be fixed, it turns into something much bigger because nobody intervened when it started.
While it’s not your job to make sure your husband and ex are grown and mature, the main goal is to have a cohesive unity, and that can mean becoming a moderator of sorts.
It’s okay to think about you
It is important to always remember that this does not affect you. You are the mother and the wife, but that is not a reflection of you.
According to Scary Mommy, when you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to have worked, you need to work on yourself. You need to take care of your mental health. It can be easy to “pick sides” and obviously side with your current husband, but that only makes it worse. The focus should always be on the kids and their birthdays, and all it takes is a quick reminder to both parties why they’re there. It may also be wise to talk to your husband about how it is affecting you and he should be able to understand and work with you to resolve it.
Your husband doesn’t have to like your ex, but he should be able to respect the fact that he is the father of your children and will be there for you in life’s big moments.
Sources: Medium, Jamie Scrimgeour, Scary Mommy