Large percentages of marriages break down in divorce. Perhaps it is because it has become too easy to get married, or because divorce is easier than ever. Either way, you're caught in a situation where you can no longer be together. Fights are the order of the day, and there's no point in trying to pretend to be nice anymore. It's over.
What you don't realise, is that your children are noticing the fights, until it is too late. When they ask why you and your spouse are constantly fighting, resist the urge to make inflammatory comments. Hard as it is not to try and vindicate yourself by poisoning your child against his other parent, be the better person.
Hurtful comments plant a seed in your child's soul. They will start doubting the other parent. And when the other parent finds out what was said, he or she will say nasty things about you. That's the start of the old marital tug of war, and your beloved child is the very fragile rope.
In many cases, judges will place provisions in child custody orders that prohibit parents from talking to their children about the court proceedings. It prohibits them from badmouthing the other parent in front of the children, and it requires of parents to promote healthy relationships between the children and the other parent. However, most people violate the provisions in an attempt to beat the other parent at all costs. Unfortunately, this tunnel vision tends to hurt only the children.
Winning the child custody tug of war makes a loser of everyone, especially the children. They tend to love both parents equally, and should not be forced to choose sides. Likewise, even if the parents try to keep children out of the fight, they know what is going on. They can feel the tension and they know that they are at the centre of the disputes.
You as a loving parent have to make the decision to love your child more than you hate your ex. Of course, there will be times when you don't agree. You may even go to court, but it is in your power and in your child's interest to keep proceedings civil. It must not affect the way in which you speak about your ex in front of your child.
Don't break the fragile rope, which is your child, in the custodial tug of war.