Do you have a friend or relative that criticises your ex-partner? Someone, who regardless of who is listening, freely makes detrimental comments about your ex? Encourages you to treat your ex badly, have a row, cause difficulty? Reports back to you if they see or hear anything? Pushes you into battle? Be honest, do you have that type of person in your life? Do you have children with your ex? Yes? then read on.
When this person has had their ‘say’, how has it made you feel? Upset, angry, anxious, embarrassed, confused?? Yes? Or were their comments constructive and gave you a really helpful objective point of view? No? OMG, what a shock! Not. Ok, so now let’s think, you are here reading this article, so what is your friend doing right now? Enjoying their life perhaps? sipping wine laughing and joking with their perfect family? But you, no, you are here, with me, trying to understand and find some answers. These people and their opinions most of the time mean well, but unfortunately, they have developed a habit of doing more harm than good with their little ‘grenades’ of support. I call these people enablers.
You don’t have to be hit, to be hurt
An enabler in family terms is a person whose influence has a negative effect on a parent that encourages hurtful behaviour towards that parents ex-partner. In most cases, this directly affects the children! And that’s the perspective we need to think about. In allowing these comments, you are being hurt and then projecting that hurt on to a person that your children dearly love, need and depend on. No matter what happened between you and your ex, your children only have 1 mummy and 1 daddy. So, any person that sticks their oar in, shakes things up and then basically f’s off back to their perfect life needs to understand the ripple effect they are causing. They are not helping you! They are hurting you! And your ex! And your children! Yes, it always trickles down to the children.
The ripple and trickle down affect
So, this person like’s to have their say, yay! Let’s slag off your ex. But another friend is with us? Never mind she can join in! And she will tell her friend. And husband. Let’s all rejoice in slagging off your ex. They have never met him (or her) but who cares! Ok, so that’s the ripple, your ex has been alienated in your community of friends and friends of their friends. Job done? No, it’s stupid!
The trickle down affects the children. Your children. Not your friend’s children. Only yours. Here is how: Little Johnny is having a birthday party in a few weeks, little Johnny is in your child’s class, lot’s of kids in Johnny’s class are going, but your child can’t go – because that’s the weekend your ex has the children – and we don’t want anything to do with your ex. So your child will miss the party. Same with after school activities. In fact, all social events. What did your child do to deserve this? How will your child deal with it? #confused #lonely
The only people that defend your ex, are your innocent children. So don’t argue with your children. Find positive ways to move forward. Yes, your split has been shit, horrible and he/she does not help themselves, but YOU – you go get proper help and support. Talk to the right people and think long term. Have a plan. Set an example for your kid’s sake. You need compliments, not popularity for being a great victim. Build your life. I’m building mine after getting the “Hey Paul, we are both your friends, we don’t want to get involved” – and then those so called friends did just that: jumped right in, took sides, alienated me and made things worse. Those friends are now ‘behind me’ for a reason!
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you have gleaned something positive from it. Or can think of someone to share it with – buttons below!