By Jackie Pilossoph, Divorced Girl Smiling Editor-in-Chief

Ask any divorced man or woman, “Do you get along with your ex?” and you will probably get that familiar eye roll. It’s sad, but the reality is, most divorced couples struggle when it comes to communicating. Here are nine tips for talking to your ex that might improve your co-parenting relationship.

1. Never say the words “It’s your fault.”

Suppose your child forgot his or her school project at your ex’s and came home to your house after school and cried about it. If you call your ex and say, “It’s your fault,” will that really solve anything? Maybe it is his or her fault, but does it help to point that out? People who are told “It’s your fault” tend to get defensive and angry Besides the fact that the statement doesn’t change what happened, it also weakens your ability to co-parent in a productive way. If something bad happens, forget whose fault it is and focus on how to fix it or minimize the damage.

2. Think before you speak

Men and women tend to get very emotional when talking to their ex, probably because there’s a certain level of resentment that is always lurking in the back of a divorcee’s mind — things that could stem from years and years ago. If your ex says something that makes you want to shout, “Are you crazy?!” take a deep breath before you respond and think about two things: the impact it will have on what’s going to happen next, and the effect that statement could ultimately have on your children. It helps to write your feelings down in a journal or tell a friend.

3. Leave the past in the past

When having a discussion about your children or your divorce, it does not help in the least to bring up things from the past. For example, if your ex is asking for more custody than you feel comfortable with, don’t say something like, “You never spent time with the kids when we were married! Why do you want more time with them now?!” Drudging up the past is unproductive and will cause your relationship with your ex to unravel. You got divorced because of the past. It’s over. Neither of you need to recap it.

Click here to read the rest of the article, which was published today in Sun-times Media. You really need to read numbers 7 and 8!!



Author: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling offers advice, inspiration and hugs. If you want a Cinderella story, be your own fairy godmother. You're the only one who can pick out that perfect glass slipper!

16 Responses to “Co-Parenting Tips: The Way You Talk to Your Ex Could Make a Difference”

  1. Tamara

    So easier said then done. I spend entire conversations with my ex with an inner-monologue going on in my brain that never gets said. It’s so frustrating I want to tear his face off.

    him: “she got into mud puddles at the ranch and got her shoes all messed up.”
    me:”Did you see the cheap shoes I bought for her for using at the ranch instead of her brand new sneakers?”
    him: “ya… just didn’t think about it.”
    me: “those are $40 sneakers”
    him: “Oh, well.”
    me: “Ok… well I’ll see ya later.”


    those brand new sneakers now smell like the wrong end of a donkey…. God give me stregnth.

    • V.R.

      HI Tamara….

      I am a casting producer based in Los Angeles, CA. I would like to speak with you regarding the current status of you and your ex’s relationship at this point.
      This is a legitimate casting opportunity, serious inquiries only!
      My email:

      I hope to hear from you!

  2. Mike Pearse

    My experience is that when you have a good foundation of trust between the ex and yourself, you can relax and say pretty much whatever you want.

    The breakthrough was when I realised I had two ways of being: Father mode and Ex-husband mode. When I was in Father mode, my ex-wife would switch to Mother mode and things would be fine. But when I slipped into Ex-Husband mode, it would trigger her Ex-wife mode and things would go pear-shaped (as we say in England).

    Come to think of it, that was pretty much how things were when we were married. Hmm.


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