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Dealing with an ex-spouse: reasons to stay positive

For many couples, there is no doubt that divorce is a desired outcome. Yet the divorce is always, on some level or other, difficult for all concerned.

So how should you approach your relationship with your ex-spouse? In Illinois and across the nation, someone who has gone or is currently going through a divorce must come to a decision about what kind of connection (or not) to maintain with an ex.

To be sure, the answer will vary greatly depending on the individual circumstances of each couple. For example, if an ex-spouse has become violent or abusive, there can be many good reasons to minimize or even cut off contact.

But in other cases, there may also be much to be said for seeking a more collaborative, cordial connection with a former spouse. This is of course particularly true if child custody is shared.

Indeed, regardless of the details of the child custody arrangement, developing a relationship with an ex-spouse that is as positive as possible is very important for the children. Research literature has made it abundantly clear that it's tough on kids when their parents split up. Seeking to interact with an ex-partner as peacefully as the facts allow can help heal the hurt resulting from the parental split.

It isn't only because of the kids, however, that it makes sense to try to put the best construction you can on a former spouse's behavior and personality quirks. Doing that can also help you move on yourself. Seeing your ex in the light of a bigger picture, you can begin to let go of some of the pain the relationship caused and fully enter into an exciting new chapter in your life.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Reasons to Get Along With Your Ex," Susan Campos, June 19, 2013

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