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Can We Be Friends?
As you might have discovered, a divorce doesn’t always mean a clean break with your ex, especially when there are kids involved. Old habits die hard. When your ex drops off the kids, he or she may ask for gas money. Or if he or she is running late to pick them up from school, you may still get those last-minute calls to come to the rescue. These favors that were annoying to you when you were married make you downright livid now that you’re getting divorced.
But before you lash out at your ex, take a step back and realize that somewhere along the line, you’re enabling his or her behavior. If there are certain favors your ex requests that make your blood boil, simply stand firm and say “no.” Don’t bend. Don’t give in. You don’t have to be his or her friend right now. A strong support system comes in handy here because it can be very difficult to say “no” repeatedly. Eventually, he or she will learn that such requests are unacceptable and will stop asking.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Don’t become a “no” parrot, especially when certain requests have the children’s best interest at heart. The key is balance: You shouldn’t be taken advantage of, but you need not be a stone wall either. Try to remain empathetic with your former spouse. If striking that balance seems too difficult, don’t be afraid to ask for outside help from a professional, such as a divorce counselor.
How do you stay amicable with your former spouse? [CNN]