5 Ways to make co-parenting easier with your ex-partner
Here are tips on how to move on from past heartache and be the best parents to your kids even if you're no longer together!
You can stop being a husband or a wife, but you cannot stop being a parent. Despite the drama and past heartache, is there a way to effectively co-parent with someone you once loved, for the love of your kids? We’re already convinced it’s possible, thanks to some cool, classy celebs we got to know in a previous article. Now, let’s take a closer look at how real-life couples can achieve a civil, even friendly, relationship as they raise kids, even when they’re no longer a couple.
1. Refrain from judging your ex
Know that you cannot force someone to change, writes psychotherapist Linda Esposito on Psychology Today. Even if you can’t accept your ex-partner’s behavior, know that it’s not your burden to set them straight. In the same way, don’t pressure yourself to forgive them or to give up self-respect in the process. The point is to steer clear of drama, knowing that this is not about the two of you or what went wrong in the past.
2. Deal with anger accordingly
Because of past drama, negative emotions when dealing with your ex throughout the process of co-parenting is unavoidable. Anger is a perfectly normal emotion, but it is the expression of it that needs to be regulated. Practice being patient with your ex. This may be a difficult thing to achieve, especially with the pent up frustration of past heartbreak and times you’ve hurt one another.
3. During arguments, go to your “happy place”
When you were still a couple, you became familiar with “verbal triggers” that set each other off. You established communication patterns, knowing how to easily upset your partner and in turn, they already know how to get in your head. It’s important to respond in a calm, respectful, even detached manner to move your relationship into a civil state. You don’t have to be the best of friends; you just have to find a middle ground where you can relate to one another with mutual respect. When you just can’t stand it, go to your “happy place,” learn more about how to ease your anxiety, here.
4. Be efficient when dealing with conflict
During periods of high stress and heigthened emotion, respond with short sentences, to avoid saying something you might regret. Be calm, rational, and set firm boundaries. Practice efficiency and logic when solving problems, achieving a certain amount of detachment, which is an art in itself. Recognize your ex’s character and how he or she tries to manipulate you or the situation. Only then can you come up with a way to deal with it effectively, while achieving self-preservation in the process.
5. Prioritize self-care
All the drama brought about by transitioning from being a whole family to one where the parents live apart can affect your physical and psychological health. It’s important to make caring for your body, mind and heart a priority during the healing process. Knowing what you deserve, after all, is most likely why you decided the relationship in the first place.
Above all, do everything for the love of your kids, showing them that although you are no longer husband and wife, you will always be their mommy and daddy who both love them dearly and fiercely.
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