Your child is graduating from kindergarten! Your former sister-in-law—your child’s aunt—is getting married, and you’ll be attending the ceremony. You’re thrilled for these upcoming joyous occasions, but a bit nervous because your ex will be there, too. Here are a few tips in how to ensure family events run peacefully for everyone.
Focus on why you’re there
First and foremost, remember why you’re there that day: to celebrate someone else’s big day. Seeing your ex is something that will likely happen, however, it’s not the focal point of the day. Remember that. You’re there to celebrate your child graduating. Or a relative’s happiest day of her life. There’s no equation where this day will be about you and your ex. Period.
Acknowledge your ex
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is simply say hello. A simple “hi” or wave is sufficient. This also shows everyone at the gathering—your child included—that there will be no drama today. It goes without saying, but do not bring up any discussions about things pertaining to personal matters. Topics of child support or alimony are subjects for another time.
It’s not a competition
Don’t fall into mind games with bragging to others—your ex included—about your new promotion at work or your hot date from last Saturday night. This day is not about you versus your ex. It’s about the guest of honor, and the day at hand. If you can keep that thought in mind, it may help in keeping your ex in your peripheral vision, and your focus instead on the joyous celebration.