10/02/2013 05:13 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Why Martha Stewart's Advice to Bethenny Is Wrong

I am a huge fan of Bethenny Frankel and her new show, Bethenny, which I DVR and watch daily. I'm also a fan of Martha Stewart and the empire she's built, and was saddened to hear years ago she was going through a nasty, public divorce.

On Monday's show this week, Martha advised Bethenny to "think of your ex as a piece of you-know-what" and to "get on with your life."

The last part of the advice is spot-on. The first part, not so much.

Especially if you have children, but if only because your ex is a human being walking the planet, you should be respectful and polite.

Regardless of how the split went down, who chose it, and how many other people may or may not be involved, you must be nice. Live by the Golden Rule, which says to "treat others as you want to be treated." Frankly, you can't be polite to someone you think is a piece of you-know-what ... and you know what else? You get what you give! Do you want your baby daddy or ex-spouse to think you're a piece of you-know-what or do you want them to treat you with respect?

I appreciate that Martha was hurt by her husband's decision to end the marriage, and how tempting it must have been to exact revenge given her unlimited legal budget and all. I also spent a couple of years in the school of "I wish he'd get hit by a bus," which did me no good and delayed the great relationship I have with my ex today. In the end I believe the only person you hurt by being hateful and vengeful is yourself, and quite possibly, your children. You may also hurt your ex, but most likely he just thinks you're a crazy-ass bitch he's glad he's not still married to. Seriously.

But then she continued that Martha, smart lady that she is...

I do love that part about once he's gone, you become friends for the sake of the children. Absolutely love that idea. It may take time, it took my daughter's father and I 10 years to get our acts together. But I can honestly say it was worth the effort and I'm so grateful I can just pick up the phone and talk something through with him.

Get through your divorce as best you can. Let the lawyers do the discussing because they aren't emotionally involved and can resolve your situation more quickly if you remain calm and focused on other things (like healing, your kids, and your new future). Then treat your ex like you would the mailman, your server at Starbucks or a receptionist at the dentist: like a human being who deserves respect, nothing more or less, until you can genuinely befriend him for the good of all concerned.

YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO READ: How to be Grateful for Your Ex

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