The loss of a relationship can leave one devastated. It can be very hard to let go regardless of why the relationship ended or whose choice it was. Cutting ties is usually the best way to move on with your life BUT what about when you share children? Now we are talking a whole new ball game.
I hate you! You broke my heart! How could you? I want you out of my life forever! I’m so glad this is over. Sound familiar? This may be what you are feeling but you still have to co-parent. I can tell you from experience this is not easy but it can be done.
Here are 5 ways you can take the co-parenting high road:
#1 Focus on the child.
Regardless of the heartbreak I felt from my marriage coming to an end I realized that I still had a reason to keep going and she was worth me keeping my dignity. So I dusted myself off and presented myself from that day forward as “the parent.”
It was not her job to pick up the pieces or to be my support system. She was 5 years old and her job was to be 5. My job was to protect her and to remain in control so that she felt safe through all of the changes we were about to go through.
#2 Put a lid on it.
Don’t overshare with your children. It’s not their responsibility to become the referee or the judge of your divorce. They are already stuck in a situation they did not ask to be in so why further implicate them.
I chose to keep my comments and attitude towards her father to myself and I am so glad I did. Talking bad about your ex to your child will only cause them confusion and stress. Leave them out of it.
#3 Think of it as a business transaction.
I’m sorry I know this sounds strange but what I am trying to say is keep your emotions and ill feelings out of it. We have all had that co-worker or employer that we did not care for but still managed to keep it cordial.
Well the same applies here – it’s about the child. Keep the communication short and simple and stick to what’s necessary.
#4 Set boundaries.
Come to some sort of agreement with your ex about important things like household structure, discipline, new relationships, etc. The more consistency between the two homes the better for your child.
It’s best to come to put it all out on the table in the beginning than have ongoing issues. This is something that can often be best worked out through the mediation of a counselor.
#5 Work through your stuff.
Resentment and bitterness are killers. You owe it to yourself and your child to work through your emotions and find your happy place again.
Forgiving your ex will set you free to move on with your life and enjoy the days ahead of you. Find a therapist to work through this stage of your life. Under NO circumstance should your child become your therapist.
It is never easy to let go; our emotions often get the best of us. As a therapist I often see the aftermath of a child who has gone through an ugly divorce. It is sad to see how they have not only become a pawn but also the target of unresolved anger and frustration.
You may have lost your spouse but you still have the opportunity to nurture a healthy relationship with your child. Put their best interest first and you won’t have any regrets.
If you or your child is struggling through a divorce or separation than Call Life Counseling Solutions today at 407-622-1770. We are here to help you and your family find a sense of peace again.
Author: Veronica Concepcion