Saturday, March 19, 2011

Succesful Co-parenting after Divorce

Co-parenting is short for cooperative parenting. First of all, if you are reading this, you probably already know that it´s no easy feat. It´s no picnic handing your child over to someone you cannot have a marital relationship with. Someone who you most likely still have unresolved issues with. Plus, they are probably dealing with similar resentments and unresolved issues towards you.

Co-parenting is ideally something both parents adhere to equally, but alas, this is not always the case. 

As a divorced parent of two beautiful girls inside and out, I deal with this on an ongoing basis. As I once heard: “a husband can be temporary but (when you have kids) an ex is forever”. True that, for better and for worse.

No matter how well we try to get along, most of us have an axe to grind with our ex spouses – or we would not be ex spouses.

I was browsing the Internet for information on how to deal with having your heart broken when the other parent makes decisions and doesn’t involve you in them, when he or she takes actions without prior warning and more …  

And I came across an article entitled Being a Successful Coparent that has a lot of common sense ideas, namely: put the children first. Even when putting the children first breaks your own heart or sometimes takes them away from you in time and distance. Because a kid needs both parents equally, I believe in shared custody and in co-parenting, or at least giving it your best shot. Unless there is, of course, an issue of physical abuse or any other equally serious problem. 

When I have a tough time with all of this, I remind myself that emotional freedom has a price, but it´s worth paying.

And so, I – as so many other divorced parents – sometimes cry at night, but my kids only see my tears of joy when I am with them. 

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