Investing in your Ex-husband can pay huge dividends. Yes, you heard me right. Of course, I'm excluding any ex who was abusive or unsafe in any way, including one you still love.
My husband left, but I wasn't in love with him when we divorced. I didn't hate him either. I just accepted that we weren't compatible and that divorce was a change for the better. We had two small children, so I wanted to have good relations with him to make the situation easier for the kids.
Keeping the relationship peaceful will reduce stress that could otherwise cause mental and physical health problems. Keep in mind, stress can also hurt you financially, if you become incapacitated due to health ailments. Also, staying on good terms will reduce or eliminate costly trips back to court to hash out problems; hiring lawyers can be like taking a match to your savings.
Here are some ways to stay on good terms with your ex:
1. Use kind words when speaking with him. Treat him as if he were your best friend or, better yet, a new friend you're trying to impress. When requests start out with, "Would you mind?" or "I could use some with help," try to add the caveat, "But I understand if you're too busy."
Try to say something complimentary when you speak to him, and always remember to say "please" and "thank you." In fact, "thank you" were the most powerful words I had when we first divorced. He expected me to complain constantly, given that we had two very young children and I was the primary caretaker.
But I didn't want to have an ounce of negativity associated with my children's lives, so I never allowed myself to complain. I just kept my eye on the big picture and trusted the future would be better.
Now things are better and my ex is doing more than I ever expected. I am sure if I had nagged and complained he wouldn't be doing nearly as much and would want to do even less.
2. Keep your commitments to him and the kids. I tend to run late and, since I was doing the bulk of the child rearing I had every right to do so once in a while. But I rarely was late to meet him; on those occasions when it was unavoidable, I called first and asked if it was okay.
Try not to ask for too many exceptions to the schedule because men can barely get the existing schedule right, never mind last minute changes. That might sound insulting to men, but it's just my experience.
3. Speak well of him. It's more powerful to say good things about your ex than to simply abstain from saying anything. Positive words beget more positive action and you will watch him become a better man before your very eyes. I literally spoke the goodness right into my ex-husband.
Remember, everything you say about your ex-husband is a reflection on you. You picked him. Then you married him and had children with him.
Selfishly, I even spoke well about my ex so my future boyfriends would know I have good taste and expect a good man in my life. Of course he had faults. In fact, he was loaded with them, but I chose to focus on his positive traits. I think there was a long period of time where the only positive things I could think of was that he didn't beat me and the kids loved him! Still, I just spoke about those with enthusiasm and focused on the brighter future I knew was coming.
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