Getting along with your ex isn’t always necessary. Most of the time you can part ways and rarely see one another again. If you have children with an ex, it’s a different story. You’re going to have to find a way to get along with your ex to raise your children together. No matter how much animosity there might be between the two of you, it’s best to put your differences aside for the kids. They’ll be less stressed around both of you and will feel more secure as they navigate the difficulties of growing up. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that difficult, and you might even find you two can be friends.

Tips for Getting Along with your Ex

No Name Calling – You’re not a child, so stop acting like one. No name calling – PERIOD. Speak of and to your ex with respect. Your child shares half of their DNA with your ex so every time you criticize or condemn them you’re doing so to your child.

Put the Past Behind You – Whatever caused the breakup isn’t for your kids to deal with. If the relationship is over, then let the unresolved issues that contributed to the breakup go. If you can’t let them go then consider therapy for yourself or both of you if the other person is willing. Therapy can be a blessing during a divorce, but not everyone wants to participate sometimes. So if you’re having a hard time letting go of the past you would be wise to seek assistance in doing so.

Don’t Speak Poorly if Your Ex – It’s one thing to commiserate with a girlfriend over the breakup, or to vent to your buddy over a beer shortly after things have fallen apart. It’s quite another to continually discuss their shortcomings, and disparage them with friends, coworkers and family members. Remember, they may fear you will speak the same way of them when not around.

Take the High Road – If your ex is difficult, don’t lower yourself to their level. Take the high road and refuse to participate in petty arguments and button pushing. If you two can’t speak to each other without falling down that rabbit hole consider therapy as a safe place to discuss issues you must deal with.

Be Respectful of the Relationship – Don’t flaunt a new love interest in front of your ex. This can be difficult for both the new partner and the ex. Introduce each other when things become serious. Casual dating partners don’t need to be introduced.

Celebrate Together – If you have children, there will be many occasions to celebrate – graduations, weddings, the birth of grandchildren… and the list goes on. While some ex couples aren’t able to gather together as a family anymore, many still can (at least after some time has passed). Celebrating the milestones in life is a way to deepen connections that remain after a divorce or break up. You may even find you can forge a valued friendship.