I have no way of knowing what would've happened had she not asked for a divorce. I was certainly not happy with our relationship, but I was committed and confident that we would find our stride again. I was certain that the financial issues and struggles, for both of us, around work and money and shared efforts could be worked out. Nothing was as important as my marriage. Nothing.
Co-parenting is the process of becoming a partner with the other parent of your children. It begins the minute you discuss having children. The co-parenting agreement should span a lifetime, including what happens in the case of divorce. Start at 50/50 shared parenting? Agree to 50/50 shared parenting in divorce. Become great co-parents. Equals. Allies. Focused on your children and how you can support each other in the difficult journey ahead.
- A Healthy Co-Parenting Plan: Hope for the Recently Divorced Parent
- Present Tense: Co-Parenting Disconnected
- I Am Not the Problem in the Co-parenting Relationship, We Are
- Would You Damage Your Co-Parent’s Livelihood If You Could?
- Understanding My Co-parent’s Malfunction: My Easy Indifference
- I Wish You Well, and Absolutely Nothing Else: Re-forgiving a Co-parent
- Becoming a Healthier Co-parent by Releasing Your Ex
- What Went Down: Divorce is Not Kind. Co-parenting is a Myth.
- Co-parenting Struggles: Withholding the Joy of Your Kids
Even if your ex decides not to co-parent collaboratively with you, they are co-parenting, but in a negative way. You want what’s best for your children. You want a good co-parenting relationship. You want your kids to love you both. Weaponizing co-parenting is a toxic move. Stay positive. If you can’t co-parent nicely, then co-parent without negative inputs.
It only takes ONE PARENT to hold a positive post-divorce relationship. The enlightened parent can lessen the conflict at every stage of co-parenting. When I learned that positive only was the track I was on with my ex-wife, my co-parenting success was no longer tied to her poor behavior.
If either of you decides not to do the work of keeping the love alive, then you're in for some tough times. And when negotiations and discussions break down, sometimes over sex, the fractures may end up becoming breaks. The loss of the love may end up signaling the loss of your marriage.
The joy of waking up your kids comes from the inner joy you have at being their parent, at supporting their dreams and the beginning of their day. Your energy and daily rhythm are up to you. And your commitment to bring their eyes open in a calm and pleasing manner might just be a gift you give them for life.
I am still in love with my kids and even the woman who brought them. It's evolved into something very different than I planned. And even as I hope for a co-pilot again, there will never be an astronaut who turned herself so completely inside and out to be a family together.
Nobody wins in a divorce, but we can keep either side from losing if we stay present and positive in the coming months of negotiation and planning.
It was her boundary that was being pushed and her trust that was being broken when I tried to explain why I had "forgotten" to pick up the lawnmower on the way home.
I'm a bit closer to my ex-wife now, having seen a glimpse into her life. I know we're both doing the best we can. And Boyhood celebrates that triumph both alone and together.
Take one step back the next time you want to overly defend your son. Take one breath before rushing in as he's dealing with issues. Give his little spirit time to develop. (Even with less of your "inspiration and help," he will get there.)