I am at wits end and I need guidance on handling a difficult situation. I have been divorced for 12 years, I have 2 kids (teenagers), and I still have a hard time communicating with the ex. It has gotten to the point (with the ex) where I feel the need to tell my kids some stuff she has been saying. I feel like it is important so they know what their mom does with the information they share. So I need to know whether discussing these things with them is beneficial for them or if I just (subconsciously) need to be heard.

I have always encouraged my kids to be open and honest with their mom and dad (as well as everyone else). They should be able to feel safe coming to us with their questions and concerns.

My partner (of 8 years) has 2 children who have gone through some tough times and my kids obviously know of the issues. This information goes back to their mom and she uses this information to hurt me, my partner, and her kids.

My communication issue with the ex, basically revolves around her inability to discuss even the littlest of issues. When she does not get her way (or she is mad), she tries and evoke the same emotion she is going through (aka – she gets really mean). I am not talking about being called a ‘jerk’ mean; I am talking about down-right nasty. My issue is that she uses information she gets from the kids to hurt us.

At the beginning, my partner wanted to reach out to my ex to show her that she is coming into the kids lives as support, not as their mom. They got along fine at first, until the ex got mad. She attacked my partner and her kids. My partner does not communicate with my ex because she understands what is going on, does not want to fuel the fire, and does not want to be a part of the dysfunctionality.

Recently, my partner caught wind of an argument between me and the ex. She wanted to see the texts. I warned her that the texts were only meant to make me mad and that it wasn’t worth it. She read them anyways. She reached out to my ex clarifying things (being careful to not attack her). She clarified some things that her kids are going through and ironically enough, these are struggles my ex had gone through when she was young. My ex responded telling her she was a horrible parent because of the issues her child is going through. The ex brought up issues that were obviously told to her by my kids.

Now, I want to show the kids these texts. I want them to know that the things they say to ‘mom’ are used in these ways. I do not want to show the texts to my kids to get back at my ex (there are obvious things in what my ex wrote that the kids would be upset she used in her attack). I just want my kids to understand what happens with the information they share. Whether they are more selective in discussing things with their mom is inconsequential to me - that is their relationship. I just need an unbiased perspective on what to do. I feel protective of my kids, my partner, and her kids.