Is Your Ex A Bully?

 In America

Although we divorced the guy who was a major jerk or worse, we’re still stuck with him in the co-parenting relationship. And now, he’s even more nasty because you’ve become the “enemy”. And it’s possible the kids have become “collateral damage” in this emotional war. The aggressive behavior of a vindictive ex can leave you feeling even more battered and bruised than you did when were married. Especially if your kids are now experiencing his anger during their court-ordered visits. You want to protect your kids, yet you have to send them into the lion’s den on a regular basis.

So what do you do in this situation? How do you want to feel about it? You might be thinking “What do you mean how do I want to feel about this? I feel terrible. It’s awful.” And I would understand because you’re consumed by anxiety and fear. But how do you want to feel about this? Because no one wants to feel awful, scared, worried, victimized. We think that when we’re facing a mean, rude, threatening ex that we must feel terrible. There is no path to emotional freedom when we believe this is the only possibility. It takes work and commitment, but when faced with a situation we can’t change we can use our power to change how we think and feel about it.
Part of the struggle comes from our resistance to unpleasant realities: this shouldn’t be happening; my ex shouldn’t be horrible to me or our kids; I should never have married him; if only I’d known better this wouldn’t be happening. But here’s the truth about reality: the more you resist it, the more it persists. What we face is made much harder when we make it wrong, because then we’re hindered by self-criticism, worry and despair. We can’t afford to allow our energy to be drained by these destructive emotions.
The fact is there are many abusive people in this world, and in many families around the world. Many kids don’t have nice fathers. If your life includes an ex who is mean-spirited and spiteful you are not alone. Sometimes just the awareness that we are not alone, that many others are walking the same path can bring some relief. We can look to examples of other women who’ve overcome terrible adversity and emerged stronger and wiser. They didn’t just survive…they have thrived.

It’s possible to face your ex with strength, confidence, and peace. It begins by deciding how you want to think and feel about him, your kids and the choices you can make to protect and guide them. No matter what they’re experiencing in the present, your kids have the opportunity to grow up strong and resilient because you are there for them; you will help them process and understand all their thoughts and feelings about their Dad.

It only takesone caring parent to insure that a child grows up emotionally healthy. Perhaps you’ve heard the quote “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story” (Josh Shipp, author, speaker and global youth empowerment expert). He writes about his own experience as youth stuck in the foster care system, tossed around from home to home. But along the way a handful of devoted and loving adults reached out to him which changed the course of his life.  
You may be dealing with an abusive ex, but it doesn’t have to negatively define you or your kids. In fact, it can be the definitive catalyst that compels you to grow mentally and emotionally to become a Warrior for yourself and your kids. What an incredible role model you will present for them about overcoming adversity and never giving up. Sometimes life offers us opportunities disguised as difficulties. When you take them on with an unconquerable spirit who knows what you might achieve.


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