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Benefits of befriending your co-parent's spouse

We have previously written about how important it is for co-parents to have a positive, healthy relationship with one another. When co-parents fail to “get along” the tension in their relationship can negatively impact everyone affected by it. Similarly, it is important to have a positive and healthy relationship with your co-parent’s spouse whenever possible. Just as a negative relationship with your co-parent can negatively affect you and your children, a negative relationship with your children’s step-parent can also result in negative impacts.

It is important to note that a healthy, positive relationship with your co-parent’s spouse is possible even if you do not particularly like him or her. It may help to think of your relationship as a business relationship. If your “business” is ensuring that your child’s best interests are met and your co-parent’s spouse is a valuable part of your business team, you will need to work together in healthy and positive ways in order to achieve your goals.

You may be concerned that even if you work towards a positive and healthy relationship that your co-parent’s spouse will not reciprocate your efforts. It is not your responsibility to ensure that he or she falls in line. It is your responsibility to put your best efforts forward. Even if those efforts fail to produce the results you desire, you will have set an excellent example for your child, will have ensured that the court knows you have tried and will be able to move forward without regrets about your personal behavior.

Source: The Huffington Post, “8 Benefits Of Forging A Friendship With Your Ex's New Wife,” Shelley Wetton, March 7, 2015

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