My ex-wife has been spreading lies about me to our friends and neighbors (we live fairly close because we share custody of our two kids). If I can’t get her to stop, how can I defend myself against her slander?
Your wife is still hurting from your divorce and knows that she is upsetting you by thrashing you to the neighbors. If her accusations are unfounded, then don’t give her the satisfaction of knowing you are upset. You know who you are, and your friends and neighbors know who you are; who cares about the rest?
One year after our divorce, I am still incredibly angry with my ex for breaking up our marriage. We fight every time we see each other (twice a week when he picks up or drops off the kids) and I don’t think it’s a healthy situation. What do you suggest?
You have no alternative now but to accept the situation and let go of the past. There is obviously nothing you can do to change the past, but you can do a lot with the future. Look ahead: go out with your friends, meet new people, and start living again. You don’t want to be an angry woman for the rest of your life! On a practical note, if you can’t see your ex without getting into a fight, consider avoiding him until you can get your emotions back under control. For instance, have him drop your kids off at a friend’s house, or arrange for a friend or family member to be at your home when he arrives - and make sure you’re out having a coffee until he’s gone. If you need to communicate some information about your children, do so via fax or e-mail. As you learn to enjoy life again, your anger will cool and you’ll be able to be civil to him - and move on with your life.
I share joint custody of our two kids with my ex. They spend one week at my place, then one week at his. These transitions from one house to another are always difficult, and the kids just seem to settle down when they have to move again. Is there any way to make it easier for them? Or should we re-think the arrangements?
Dear Joint Custody,
Why don’t you both agree to let the children stay for longer periods at one another’s places: say for a-two week period, a month, or perhaps a semester and then alternate weekends? If this doesn’t work, you always can go back to your original arrangements. If your children are old enough, perhaps you should ask them about their preferences. For financial or practical reasons, you may not be able to accommodate their requests, but they will still appreciate the opportunity to give their opinions.