Many of today’s relationships involve the joining of two people that have had previous relationships in which children were conceived. As a result, issues such as child support and visitation can evolve into emotionally charged battles if misused for methods of manipulation, intimidation, or control. Such battles can create labels such as: “Baby Mama Drama” or “Distant Deadbeat Dad”. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Some may say, ” Suppose the child support is late”; ” She cheated on me, I won’t pay a thing”, or “My child is not going to visit him and be around that woman”……. The list can go on. Let’s talk about how to have absolutely no drama in the relationship with your ex; your partner’s ex; and/or you childrens’ other parent.
Put your personal feelings aside and concentrate on your love for the child or children involved. Keep the peace for the well being of the child. Regardless to whether the breakup was amicable or anxiety ridden, put the child or children’s feelings first. Don’t forget, they will internalize what is said in anger and assume the blame for the altercations. They may feel that they are the cause for the conflict between their parents. Furthermore, as the child or children are able to see their parents and all adults involved get along, it reassures them and gives them a greater sense of security.
Free yourself by forgiving. It is proven, forgiveness frees the forgiver. Tense feelings and conflicts can be caused by reliving the past hurts of the old relationship and attempting to make the ex-spouse or lover “pay”. In reality, the only one “paying” is the one who continues to relive painful situations instead of releasing it through forgiveness and allowing themselves to heal.
Seek to find common ground with your ex and/or your new spouse’s ex. The first and most obvious common ground is the love for the child or children involved. Start there. Events such as school programs, games, special events should include all of the adults who care about the child. The custodial parent and their significant other should make a concerted effort to inform and include the noncustodial parent and significant other in all events and special occasions involving the children. The benefit is obvious.Visible support and love of the child. No amount of money can replace the feeling a child will have to look in an audience and see the main adults in his/her life cheering for them.
Have a zero tolerance policy for pettiness. Focus of the child’s/children’s well being. If a smart remark is overheard or there happens to be an attempt to create an conflicting situation. Quickly correct the situation by reminding those involved that your love for your child will not allow you to engage with them in such behavior. If it continues, limit your time and exposure to that individual, maintain your cool, and hold on to the fact that you are modeling appropriate behavior for you child.
Ultimately, parents whether living together or not, shape their child or children’s view about marriage and relationships. Keeping a peaceful and civil relationship with your ex will diminish the damage(if any) caused to them by the breakup. It will allow them to see parents getting along in spite of their differences and loving their child with —NO DRAMA.