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.
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.
And as I forgive my father for his loss of control and family, for the divorce, and for not taking care of himself long enough to see me and my kids. Today, I forgive him, but I am also learning to forgive myself for the failure of my marriage.
I wanted her to be something different. She wanted me to be something different. We didn't agree to a separation, we got a divorce. BUT, we tried, and continue to try, to make it a responsible separation. We do our best every day as co-parents.
I believe that our child-centered lifestyle and choices allowed us to let go of the marriage in favor of the kids' welfare. Regardless of who blinked first in the marriage, in the end, it is a mutual decision.
Positive divorce is a choice. And the process to get there requires time, insight, and often the help of professionals. But the alternative is bitterness and continued failings at love relationships as you make the same mistakes, miss the same red flags, and put up with the same behaviors that got you into the divorce in the first place.
As single parents, dating, those choices now are much less dramatic. We can date, decide to continue or not continue dating, and that's it. No big breakup, no big divorce. Just "we're not dating anymore, maybe we can maintain a friendship."
I was raised by strong three women. After my dad checked out via divorce, when I was about five, I was left in the house with my two sisters and my mom. I was far from being a mama's boy outwardly, but I was growing a soft heart, through the tragedy of the divorce and emasculation of my father.
If I had it to do all over again, I'd probably argue with the counselor and my ex-wife and negotiate something a bit more even. You will be advised not to do this. "It's easier for everyone if you just accept this plan, it's been working for families for years."
What I do best in life is love. And that I have been given a gift for sharing that experience via writing and music, is one of the major wins in my life. This new lease on love is another. May you find what you were looking for. May you find the happiness that comes from within so you can share it with others. The divorce gave me back my joy and freedom and allowed me a second chance to find life-long love.