It’s most likely going to happen if you have children. There’s the soccer game, performances and life events like graduation. There are also mutual friends and extended family on both sides that you may still care about. Here are 5 ways to get through a social situation with your ex.
1. Put the Child First. If you can be reasonably civil to each other, sit together when attending an event for your child. We’ve all seen our children’s eyes move through the crowd looking for their family – their loved ones. And, we’ve seen that little smile or surreptitious wave when they find them. One of you is the mother and one is the father, so see if you can both stretch your own limits to sit together – and smile – as you watch your child take the stage at a concert, graduation or performance.
2. Build in Buffers. OK, you’d like to be the one that says “sure, we can sit together”, but you know that neither of you are going to be smiling or enjoying the event. Try it another way – with buffers. Invite family members so you can sit at one end of the family group and your ex can be at the other. Just be sure those family members won’t create an uncomfortable situation for either you or your ex. A glowering ex-father-in-law isn’t very celebratory. Another trick is to offer to save the seat. You get to enjoy a relaxing half hour or so before the event and your ex can slip in right as the lights dim. No conversation needed.
3. It’s a Party. After the event is over, there may be cake and cookies in the gym or someone is giving a party. If you got through the event, you can get through the party. Be cordial, but find the people you enjoy and hang out with them. Don’t try to stop your child from spending time with your ex. Try to relax. If you’re at an adult party – no kids – that is being given my mutual friends, again, be cool. Greet your ex, but engage with others at the party. And, if you need to, maintain a comfortable distance between you and your ex. You can always hang out on the opposite side of the room and if he or she comes close, excuse yourself with a trip to the snack table or, even, the bathroom.
4. You Can’t Do It. If you and your ex are likely to engage in unpleasantries, no matter when or where, avoid a blow up. Sit in the same area but in different rows. Your child may still be able to find you both with a single glance. Bring your smartphone or tablet and engage with it – rude under other circumstances but a possible animosity-saver in this situation. At a party, don’t look for your ex, forget he or she is there. Surround yourself with the people you enjoy and if the whole situation if just uncomfortable, make an excuse and leave early.
5. You Really Can’t Do It. If you know that you and your ex are always on the verge of a blowup, be smart. If your ex is always right on time, slip into the child’s performance and stand in the back. Or, seek a single seat that’s unoccupied and preferably in the middle of the row. Hold separate celebrations – and, don’t fight over who goes first. One of you can celebrate the graduation the same night; the other can invite his or her family and friends to a party the next day. If you’re invited to an adult party and you know the host and hostess well enough to ask if your ex will be there, ask! Don’t be afraid to decline – just explain that you don’t want to bring an argument or tension to their event. Not comfortable with that, you can always claim other plans – even, if those plans are just reading a good book. Be serious in protecting your child, family or friends from a volatile situation.
What happens after the divorce is influenced by the divorce itself. If it’s going to be contentious, have an experienced divorce attorney on your side. Try to settle disputes as you reach a settlement. If you can calm the waters during the divorce process, you will be more able to co-parent or continue seeing mutual friends and extended family. Whether you need a divorce lawyer in Queen Creek, AZ take advantage of the free first visit and find the attorney with the expertise and experience to make your divorce as amicable as possible. It will pay off in reaching a fair settlement and in social situation after the divorce is final.