We like this blog on not bad-mouthing your ex.
Working in the arena we do, we hear plenty of bad-mouthing of ex-husbands and wives. It comes with the territory, and it is important to discuss with your attorney a good many of the details around why your marriage went south. These details are sometimes relevant to the legal work he or she will do for you.
We’re not therapists, but we do often find ourselves telling clients they’ll be happier if they can find a way to let go of their negative feelings for their spouse and move on. Of course, we know the advice is too simplistic; the best thing we can say is probably to seek a therapist to help them sort out their feelings so they can in fact move one.
Beyond your attorney, best friend and therapist, discussing your ex in negative terms is not a winning proposition. You chose the man or woman, so it brings into question your judgment. It escalates tensions for everyone, including any kids you might share. Finally, it becomes an arms race. “Since he felt the need to tell you that, I guess I should tell you this…” And on and on it goes.
In terms of any kids you might have, it’s helpful to remember the number one thing the court is looking at when deciding your case is whether you can help foster a loving relationship between your spouse and your kids. For this reason, we counsel our clients to “wear the white hat” and be especially careful to work to build – not tear down – the relationship between the kids and their about to be ex. The Colorado Legislature went so far as to put this notion into statue, CRS 14-10-124.
We often hear from parents their angst about the harm done to their kids by a particular parenting schedule. While these co-parenting situations are certainly rife with potentials for tension, speaking ill of your ex to your kids is more likely to cause emotional harm than a particular parenting schedule that may be causing them concern.
Finally, it might boil down to the counsel to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Sure, your spouse probably didn’t always follow this, and perhaps you didn’t either. But there is no time like the present to start taking the high road.