Being told that you should avoid bashing your ex might be the last thing you want to hear. When breakups and divorces are acrimonious, the urge to badmouth your ex partner is strong, and pretty understandable as well. I think we've probably all been guilty of trash talking after a particularly bad split. It helps you vent, you can get things off your chest, and you feel like you're getting in the last word, because your ex will usually hear about what you've said. However, as natural as the compulsion may be, it's best to avoid bashing your ex for a number of reasons.
1. You'll Be the Bigger Person
When you avoid bashing your ex even in the most volatile, baiting situations, you definitely come off as the bigger person. You show poise, integrity, self respect, and respect for your ex. By resisting the urge to say mean, hurtful, or nasty things simply for the sake of it, you reveal an enviable level of self control. This is especially important if your ex has made the poor decision to badmouth you.
2. It's Awkward for Everyone
Most likely, you and your ex have friends in common. This is especially true if you were together a long time or if you were married. When you talk badly about your ex in front of these mutual friends, it's awkward for everyone involved. You're forcing them to take sides, to listen to you denigrate someone they care about, and they may even feel pressure to join in or say something themselves. Word will inevitably get back to your ex, and that makes for awkward situations as well.
3. Your Kids May Hear You
If you have children with your ex, you cannot badmouth your partner. The end, period, end of sentence. Letting your children hear you talk bad about their other parent is damaging, and it does them a serious injustice. If you feel the need to vent about your ex, do it in complete privacy. Never, ever let the children hear you, and try as hard as you can to keep things civil when they're in the room or when they're with both of you.
4. It Might Not Be the Truth
After some breakups, you have the tendency to idealize the situation. You forget about all the negative issues, focus on the good times, and create an idyllic picture that wasn't entirely true to life. With other breakups, however, the opposite is true and you remember the entire relationship as negative. You may exaggerate and emphasize the bad while completely glossing over anything good. When you're bitter about the breakup and talk badly about your ex, realize that you may simply be exaggerating all the issues and quirks that bothered you.
5. It Doesn't Really Help You
Talking badly about other people never helps you. It doesn't matter if it's your ex lover, an ex friend, or your ex boss. Saying nasty things about someone else doesn't change the situation, it doesn't make you look good, and it won't help you heal. Try to resist the urge, because you'll help yourself more if you don't give into the negativity.
6. Your Karma Suffers
Remember, everything you do comes back to you – good and bad. By giving into the compulsion to completely trash your ex, you're inviting bad karma. Instead, spend your time hoping that past hurts heal and that both of you can move on to enjoy better things.
7. You'll Ruin the Relationship
If you ever hope to move on, to become friends with your ex in time, or even to get back together, the things you say today can affect that. Even if you know you won't ever be in a relationship again, maintaining a civil stance with your ex is impossible if you spend all your time trying to hurt him or her with your words. Again, this is especially important to remember if you have children, or even a lot of mutual friends.
You can avoid bashing your ex if you try. It takes will power, true, but you have to think about the bigger picture. Even if you hear that your ex has been talking smack about you, try to squash the urge to do the same. Do you vent your feelings by talking badly about past lovers, or have you managed to resist the desire to badmouth?