The Single Mom & The Ex.

The Single Mom & The Ex.

How to Choose Dignity in an Undignified Situation

Ugh, we just got into another fight. What is it about planning a holiday visitation with your kids that always seems to cause stress, anger, resentment, and well I’ll just be honest childish behavior?! I want to do better. I have to do better.

I’m learning that forgiveness is never a one and done act, it’s a constant daily choice you make against your human instinct. Instinct tells us to get mad and get even. Sometimes even people in your life tell you that’s okay.

But, here at we are a tribe of women that choose dignity over emotions. Firing of a mean text message in response to another mean text message from your ex might feel good for 2 seconds but causes oceans of hurt and regret in the next month or worse, years.

I don’t pretend to have this all figured out. I just know I want to do better. Let’s help each other and come up with some rules to live by and change the way our kids see our relationship with their Dad post divorce.

These rules come from an honest place not of “I have it all figured out”, but as a “cautionary tale”, don’t do what I’ve done and had to learn the hard way. Take my word for it, these don’t work.  Please respond with your lessons/rules too!  I need them before I make another mistake.

5 Rules to Choose Dignity with your Ex


1. Never put your anger in writing. Girl, you know just as much as I know that screenshot option on your phone.  Text messages live forever. Don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want your kids or your pastor to read later.

2. Wait. Then wait some more. Before you respond to that email, that comment, that text message if you feel anger you will WAIT!  You will breathe, you will listen to a nice calming song about Jesus.  Then, you will repsond with a simple acknoledgement of receipt of said message that frustrated you and say, “I will get back to you on that”.  Then you will pray,  draft a response, edit, then edit again, take out the emotions and Choose Dignity, choose what’s best for your kids.

3. Do not talk about it to your kids. You will never win.  This is not a contest.  When you criticize the other parent the kid feels as if you have criticized them. If you must talk to someone and vent call your mom, just don’t allow any anger or bitterness spill over to you.

4. Do not damage any items. Okay allegedly there may have been a woman that cut up her ex’s favorite Battlestar Gallactica shirt that said “Frack Me” because she was so mad and embarrassed that it even existed. Damaging something when going through divorce will only come back to haunt you.

5. Say I’m sorry when you have broken rules 1-4.  This is not about pride.  I know you think he may have started it.  We own our emotions.  If/When your emotions take over in response to circumstances we must respond with an good apology, and promise to try harder the next time.

I feel it’s important to reiterate these rules come out as my Cautionary Tale.  I have done it wrong many times, but I want to do it right.  Why? Because it’s not about me.  It’s not about you.  It’s about your sunshines.  Your kids who you fiercly protect from bullies, safety hazards, and gluten. Protect them from the consequences of this too.  They don’t care why you don’t like each other, they care about your help with their homework, you cheering from the stands, your hug when a boy breaks her heart.

Please add your rules in the comments!

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