It is understandable if your spouse is feeling some anger and bitterness in the wake of your breakup, especially if he or she was caught off guard by your request for a divorce. Commonly, spouses who are going through a contentious breakup have high emotions to deal with and often direct their unhappiness at each other. You may see this in your spouse, so try to have patience as he or she works through this difficult time.
When children are involved, however, you may have a limit to your patience. In fact, the behavior you are noticing in your ex may indicate that you could be in for a difficult time if your spouse is unable to gain control of his or her emotions.
When they can’t move forward
Going through a divorce often leads to stages of grief similar to those you may experience after the death of a loved one. Passing through those stages is important for reaching a healthy state of mind. You may recognize those periods of anger, bargaining and depression in yourself, so it is no surprise that your ex is feeling these, too.
However, be aware of signs that your ex is not moving to a healthier place. If any of the following occur, you may wish to seek professional advice:
- Your ex refuses to enforce rules you have established for your children, such as bedtime or chores. This could cause confusion with your children and encourage your kids to play you against your ex.
- Your ex persists in making negative comments about you, especially in front of the children. Kids tend to personalize insults against their parents.
- Your ex refuses to adjust when circumstances require a change in schedules.
- Your ex monitors the way you spend support payments or expresses resentment for having to make the payments.
- Your ex tries to sabotage any new relationships you may have, such as sending inappropriate or explicit text messages.
- Your ex cannot speak civilly to you, even at public events or school functions.
If you are dealing with issues like this during the early stages before or after your divorce, you may find yourself facing some custody challenges from a former partner who continues to refuse to cooperate. You may want to take matters into your own hands, but in many cases, having the strength of the law behind you can make a difference. A Texas attorney can advise you on the best way to proceed when your ex is making it impossible to co-parent.