My husband and I are divorced. We have a four-year-old daughter together and I worry about how well my daughter is adjusting. My ex-husband is very involved as a dad and this is helping, but I still have so much anger towards him that I am not being very cooperative. I suspect this is a problem.
You are absolutely right! Hanging on to unresolved anger towards an ex-spouse hurts you, your child and child adjustment. Biblically, we are told to be angry but don’t sin. This means anger isn’t a wrong emotion, but one we need to release and not let grow into bitterness. So your first task is to pray about that anger and choose to forgive. And don’t wait until you feel like forgiving. Just do it! We forgive, not because people deserve it, but because God forgives us when we don’t deserve it. And God commands us to do likewise. Whatever the hurts and wounds, give them to God, forgive so you can help your child adjust and be a great co-parent.
The importance of developing a cooperative and co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse cannot be overstated when it comes to helping children of divorce. Ask God to give you the grace you need to deal with your ex-spouse, to agree on parenting plans and to reduce conflict. You may have to live out Luke 6–love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you. God will honor your response and give you sufficient grace.
I also recommend family therapy to those who can’t seem to work out co-parenting on their own. A family therapist can help navigate difficult waters and focus the two of you on the task at hand—raising a healthy and happy little girl. Divorce is difficult for children so do your part to pave a smoother path.