07/31/2013 02:35 pm ET Updated Sep 30, 2013

3 Reasons You Shouldn't Take Digs at Your Ex


Dealing with divorce, especially when you have children, can be trying at times. I'm sure this is a complete understatement for some. Shuffling children back and forth between two homes and keeping track of clothing and gear can be quite overwhelming too. As a divorced mother I can attest to not having things in the right place when I need them. It's frustrating.

Lots of things can and will go wrong when dealing with divided households. One parent might be late or perhaps even consistently late. One parent might have different house rules for bedtime. One parent might allow foods that the other parent doesn't approve. There are countless examples of things that your ex does that you don't like.

Mistakes and goof ups are going to happen. Blatant mistakes will happen too. It's normal to be upset when you told the ex to pack Junior's tennis racket and he shows up with no racket. This takes up your time now because you are most likely driving back somewhere to pick up the racket. I'll go ahead and say it, it's a pain in the ass to do something that should have been done by someone else. No denying that. You might feel like saying something like, "Your father never remembers anything, I'm surprised he even got you here." It's tempting and it might even be true. However, you don't HAVE to say that.

You could curse him inside your head if it makes you feel better. In the long run, it's best to keep the digs inside your brain instead of out your mouth. Put the dig aside and solve the problem. Good side effect alert, you don't waste more hours of your life whining and bitching about your ex forgetting a racket. Go get the racket or better yet, have your ex deliver it to you and go about your day.

Here are three great reasons why you shouldn't take digs at your ex:

Your Children . Talk about giving your children a lesson in passive aggressive behavior. This is exactly what you will be doing if you continue to take digs. Taking a dig about your ex in front of your children is unnecessary. They don't need to know whatever derogatory comment you are about to make. They will not gain any better clarity of a situation by you mentioning how their mother can't get it together enough to fix a decent meal. They don't need to hear your nasty digs in order to get the picture. You can justify digs all you want, but there isn't any good reason I can find that makes it the right thing to do. Take note, if you continue to make nasty digs, your children will remember exactly how you treat others.

It's Pointless. Does taking a dig at your ex actually do anything? Other than make you look petty and spiteful? I don't believe so. If you take every opportunity to take a dig at your ex around your friends, I can assure you that it's noticed and not in a positive manner. Certainly you have something more important to talk about than your ex? RIGHT? Words are so very powerful. I encourage you to be mindful of the words you choose. When you speak, choose to speak in a manner that is kind. Here is something my mother always used to tell me, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

You're Better Than That. Sure, it's easy to take the low road. It's easy to pick apart the obvious faults of others. It's comfy to repeat the same old sob story where your ex sucks and you don't. However, you are better than that. You don't need to put anyone down in order to lift yourself higher. You can stand proud as a person of character. Know that life is more rewarding when you aren't looking for the fault in others.

I'm not saying I've never taken a dig at my ex, because I have. I'm not proud of it and I try to catch myself before I even speak. One of my favorite quotes comes from Maya Angelou, "when you know better, you do better." Oprah will even tell you that this is one of the most powerful lessons she has learned. See this video from one of Oprah's Lifeclass lessons.