It can often be difficult to communicate with and relate to a co-parent after a divorce. Sometimes, your co-parent may be uncooperative, and do things to provoke you. They may be doing this to try to gain a sense of control over his or her own life and using you to get there. When you react, you are essentially “taking the bait.”
To stop doing this, you should answer questions and comments meant to provoke with short statements. A brief yes or no response is typically helpful in these situations. Any further details can easily turn into an argument or debate. OR it may be best to not respond at all. If no response is really necessary for the responsible parenting of your child/children, just don’t respond.
In the end, it is critical to be nice. I know you don’t want to, but it’s not for your co-parent, it’s for your kids!
Other times your co-parent may do things that are absent minded and inconsiderate- like sending the kids to your house with bags full of dirty laundry when you always make sure the clothes are clean. These things can be extremely irritating over time, but are they worth a fight? The answer is no. When things like this happen, it is best to take a deep breath (or three, or four) and let it go. You could even use it as an opportunity to teach your kids how to do their own laundry! Or keep up with their own belongings using a list, or basically solve the problem themselves.
Remember, every argument you have with your co-parent leads to more hurt, more anger, and more trauma for your kids. It doesn’t matter so much how you feel about your co-parent, but how you behave toward your co-parent can have a lasting impact on how your children view you, their other parent, and relationships in general.