Opinion: the stereotype of perpetually warring ex-spouses

The author of a recent New York Times article extolled the virtues of technology in its assist to divorced couples who want virtually nothing to do with each other following a split. The article cited communication boosts such as emails, texting, video conferencing and online calendars as alternatives to face-to-face communication in helping ex-warring couples reach agreement on matters ranging from child custody issues, visitation, child support and just about everything else that a post-divorce family might contemplate.

What is essentially a tandem piece has now surfaced in the Huffington Post to challenge and rebut that article. The rejoinder says that the earlier post is indicative of a “dated” view that portrays post-divorce communications and exchanges among ex-couples as typically encompassing rancor, selfishness and behavior that undermines continued family harmony.

That outcome is something the author says she rarely sees as a psychologist and family consultant. In fact, she notes that she routinely sees just the opposite, i.e., ex-spouses who discover after a bad marriage has ended that their former mate “is a perfectly adequate parent and co-parent” with whom cordial relations are possible.

That attitude, she says, often results in continued family bonds and connections that are enduring and healthier than they ever were during marriage.

Kids are nurtured by that, she notes, with research consistently concluding “that children of divorce do best when they grow up in amicable environments with two loving parents.”

Those parents don’t have to live together when circumstances indicate they should not. And research further indicates that, free of marital stress, many ex-partners are fully capable of remaining amicable and promoting the best interests of their children.

Source: Huffington Post, “NY Times article about the benefits of texting to divorced parents misses the boat,” Judith Ruskay Rabinor, Dec. 5, 2012

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