My tongue is full of scars from having to bite it … often. Oh, it was so hard at times not to let it out. I have been divorced for more than 10 years. My daughter was 3 when my divorce was final. It wasn’t an easy divorce … what divorce is?
I was hurt.
I was devastated.
I was angry.
I was bitter.
I had all kinds of terrible things I wanted to say about my ex. Have you felt that way? I did say a lot of those things in private to my close friends and family in the beginning. In my opinion, it is part of the grieving process. The one person I didn’t say any of those things to was our daughter. To this day she has never really heard me utter one derogatory comment about her Dad.
Why do I choose to be silent? Because he is her Dad. How I feel about him has nothing to do with their relationship, as long as she is safe. She has to form her own opinions of him. She has a right to love him, care about him and have a relationship with him that is not based on my opinions of him.
Things to consider when you feel the urge to speak negatively about your ex:
- Children see themselves as half of each parent. When you, a friend or another family member speaks badly about the other parent to or in the presence of your child, they think bad about half of themselves. It is harmful to the child. I know you don’t want to harm your child in this way.
- Remaining neutral about the other parent with your child might be one of the hardest things you have ever had to do, but it will be one of the greatest gifts you can give to them.
- Both parents are very important to the child. They want and need to feel safe and comfortable while being able to love both parents freely. In most cases, the child is the one who has to go back and forth to each parent’s home. The last thing they need to deal with is having to process negative comments from you about their other parent.
- Divorce is about change, not about blame. Try to keep that in mind when it comes to your child.
I realize that every divorce situation is different. Whatever your situation, try to remember your child and what is best for them. Journal your feelings. Speak in private to a close friend or family member. Remind your friends and family about being careful with what they say around your child. Find a way to take care of yourself and your need to vent while also assuring your child is protected from it. You will be so glad you made that choice. God will honor your choice as well.
I thank God when I see those proverbial scars on my tongue. I thank Him for giving me the strength to bite my tongue so many times. I did not do it on my own.
Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.”
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