When you started co-parenting with your ex, you likely fell into 1 of 2 camps:
- You had good intentions and genuinely wanted to work with your ex, or
- You were both arguing, there was a lot of tension, and you couldn’t work anything out.
Throughout the course of the co-parenting relationship, you may have moved camps several times, many people do, but regardless of which camp you’re in today, there’s a secret that no one is telling.
I won’t keep you in suspense.
The secret is that, no matter which camp you’re in, co-parenting will never be perfect. It just won’t. There will always be a situation that comes up that will make you angry, frustrated, hurt, or resentful. You’ll think, “this is why we’re divorced.”
I probably didn’t shock you with this news, but now that you’re here, I can help you in managing it. All is not lost. Do not lose hope. Not only can co-parenting work, but it can work well. You just need to be aware of the fact that working and perfect are two different things. Set your expectations appropriately.
First, prepare for it. Know that whether you’re best of friends, have collaborated on just about everything so far, or promised each other that you’d never be one of “those co-parents”; you will likely end up in a difficult situation. Just being mentally aware that it will happen at some point will make it less of a surprise later on down the road.
Second, have a plan in place. Make sure you have a support network who knows your plan so you don’t fire off an angry reply to your co-parent. Who can you call and vent to? What should they say to you? How can you make sure your kids don’t see an argument between their Mom and Dad? What emotion management techniques can you use to help you get through the anger, hurt, or resentment?
Only when your emotions are in check, should you reply. How can you tell when your emotions are in check? When you can write a response that isn’t meant to hurt the other party. When you craft a reply and it isn’t in an effort to get a rise out of your co-parent.
Then when you do reply, know that it’s not over. You’ll get a response back and that response may not be positive. It may not be what you want it to be. Then the process starts all over.
Finally, after you’re through it, go back and look at what worked and what didn’t. What can you do differently next time, because secrets out - there will be a next time.
Having trouble with the support network? Feeling like you never actually get through it, because the cycle keeps happening. Contact me. I can not only support you emotionally, but can give you guidance to end the cycle. You have more control over ending the cycle than you think.
Comment below with secrets you’ve learned in co-parenting! Let’s get a discussion going.