When you get divorced and that relationship with your ex-spouse changes forever, it can be hard to see your child show affection toward them. This is especially true if your ex caused the divorce and you have trouble moving past it. Maybe your ex was unfaithful to the marriage, for instance, and you are still hurt by what happened.
No matter how you feel, though, do not make your child feel guilty about their feelings. That other person is still their parent, as you are. Experts warn that some children who experience this type of guilt later need therapy because of it. Don’t underestimate the mental and emotional impact. Do not take out the way that you feel about your ex on your child.
If you do, it can also impact their relationship with you. Maybe your child is friendly, open and excited. They love to talk and tell you about everything that is going on in their life. If you get angry or shut them out whenever they bring up your ex — even though they spend 50% of their time with your ex and naturally have a lot to share — they may stop talking to you nearly as much. They’ll feel uncomfortable and they won’t want to hurt you. This can erode your relationship and it can make your child feel like you don’t care about them or what is going on in their life.
It may be hard, but you always want to focus on your child’s best interests. Make sure you know what steps to take and how to put them at the forefront of every decision.