In general, you need to remember that how parents work with each other after divorce has an impact on how well children will manage. And you do care about how your children develop later in life, and want them to navigate this divorce with the least amount of harm possible.
It is important to respect your children’s need to love and develop positive relationships with both parents. If you promote good will in your relationship with your PA ex-husband, you will be investing in your children’s happiness and success in life.
If you are still angry with each other over past circumstances and allow these feelings to affect your current relationship, co-parenting will be difficult. You need to be willing to help each other in times of crises and stress, regardless of the divorce.
Stop being an enemy and focusing on the negative experiences of the marriage and divorce. Remember that this attitude will force your children to side with one or the other parent. Even if your actual sense of justice would demand to anihilate the other parent image in the minds of your children, this hurts them. Leave the past behind and resolve to have a compassionate attitude if only to help your children grow without damage.
What are the specific challenges that you can find with a person that behaved in a passive aggressive way with you? That he can resist any of your positive comments or requests about the children, right? So, how can you develop a way of negotiation with him that helps the communication to work?
- Ask for help in a way that will make him feel appreciated and in control (more in control of things than I am).
- If necessary, when asking for something, or in general, tell him specifically “I don’t want to control you, I just want your help.”
- When confronting him, do it gently and say “We don’t need to blame each other. I need your help in solving this.”
- Be aware that the silent treatment will probably continue sometimes because he “needs” to punish you. Just ignore this, and send your kind messages once again.
- Clarify with each other what’s expected in your relationship and what feels comfortable when interacting. He might need a very clear set of rules with little negotiation, at the beginning.You can be more flexible later.
- Refrain from name-calling or bad language when referring to your former spouse, particularly in front of the children.
- Ask yourself always if what you are doing is in the best interest of the children.