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Co-parenting - it's tough


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Old 14th March 2019, 10:51 AM   #1
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Co-parenting - it's tough

I might be overstating the obvious, but I'm finding co-parenting to be really tough. My ex-wife and I have been divorced for 4 years. We have 2 young kids. It's very hard to communicate over the most basic things.

She ended our marriage. Honestly, I still don't know why. I think she was unhappy about herself and thought that making wholesale changes would bring her happiness. I don't think it has worked out that way. She still seems angry all of the time.

I don't expect it to be a warm relationship - I'm realistic - but does it have to be hard every time?

It does feel like maybe we're making progress, but it's also hard to tell.
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Old 14th March 2019, 12:07 PM   #2
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Well, there's two extremes. On one end, there's the "open lines of communication, we're in this together" approach. Opposite on the spectrum is "contact through 3rd party only, no personal communication". I started out close to the latter with my unfaithful ex and gradually moved closer to the center. Our son in now grown with kids of his own.

The issue with many couples is that co-parenting just becomes an extension of the problems behind the divorce. Any kids involved are merely secondary considerations in the ensuing drama...

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Old 14th March 2019, 2:00 PM   #3
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I suggest family counseling together this way you two can learn how to co parent and be the best selves to your kids. Somehow you two have to get along and have respect for one another as parents. She needs to check her attitude and put the kids first. There's no point in being mean or rude to you. Nor you to her. The kids would totally benefit from this, having two parents who get along will only make their lives better and healthier.

Never bad mouth each other to kids. Have boundaries and rules that will keep your parenting together on good terms.
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Old 14th March 2019, 2:14 PM   #4
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I suggest if the problems stem from not adhering to the set arrangement, that both stop trying to take exceptions to that arrangement, switching days, etc.

If that wasn't going on, there wouldn't be much reason to even talk unless the child was sick and I'd hope you didn't fight about that but just whoever's day it was, take her to the doc.

There are email websites for custody sharing that make parties only communicate via email and a record is kept so that if someone is causing trouble, they can take that to court. Main thing is to have court-mandated schedule and also have them set how communications is to be and guidelines for that and then stick to it and report when someone drives it off in the ditch.
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Old 14th March 2019, 3:42 PM   #5
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Well, I find it easy as we simply both stick to the schedule and only communicate when necessary and related to kid things.

What are some situations where you've had problems? Can you maybe list a few examples?
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Old 14th March 2019, 4:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankTheTank View Post
I don't expect it to be a warm relationship - I'm realistic - but does it have to be hard every time?
Hugs, Hank.

I *think* that get what you mean...it's nothing specific; just that the 'vibe' or tone can be a lot more 'congenial' if not exactly friendly.(?)

If your ex is still having difficulties 'figuring out herself' and her life, then that could be a big part of her mood and manner of relating...especially if you have been able to do a better job
of moving forward and just getting on with it. (At least, are more 'together' at this point than the ex, or demonstrating the greater potential to get there sooner.)

From your side, unfortunately, about the only thing that you can do is to further downgrade your expectations for your relationship and interactions with her.
What you are seeing as being 'realistic' for the situation clearly isn't...because she cannot (yet if ever) rise to it. If that makes sense?

Wishing you and your family the best.
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Old 14th March 2019, 4:01 PM   #7
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ExH and I don't co-parent; I did the leaving, I parent on my own, he comes in and out of their lives when it suits, bringing a trail of chaos at every appearance.

Still, my priority is my kids' well being; every communication I have with him is weighed on how it will impact my children. Many a time I let things go because on balance, happy, settled kids is better than having the moral high ground (or whatever issue you have with your ex).

Be as flexible as you can when it comes to benefiting your children. It's not about you and her anymore, why she ended the divorce or whether or not she's happy. She's the mother of your kids; no more, but no less.
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Old 18th March 2019, 2:33 AM   #8
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i found only talking thru text or email helpful.
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Old 18th March 2019, 2:53 AM   #9
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I parented the way I preferred. He parented the way he preferred.

I didn’t need his input/approval! Neither do you. You divorced - so you get to now parent how you choose.

I made sure I didn’t talk badly about him to the kids. They were able to see him when they chose to.

When he criticized me I reminded him I didn’t need his approval anymore!

They found out what he was like when they grew up. They learned from their own experience. I don’t give input on their experiences with him.
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