Are you dealing with a difficult co-parent or stepparent? I’ve been there, done that and have some great co-parenting advice to share with you.
My ex-husband and I had a very messy and resentful divorce 13 years ago. I dreaded his phone calls, I dreaded having to see him when we exchanged our children, I dreaded everything about him… until I learned how to shift my perspective. I knew I had to change something because my children’s happiness and well-being were on the line and let’s face it, I KNEW he wasn’t going to change, nor could I change him. That left only myself to change. Boy am I glad I did!
I wanted to pass on a few of the wise words that helped me shift my co-parenting perspective from victim to victor!
- “Forgive them… even if they are not sorry.”
I had to forgive my ex-husband, not for his sake but for mine and my children’s sake. It was the only way I could move forward without spewing words of hate. I didn’t actually walk up to him and say “I forgive you.” It was a silent forgiveness from my heart. Once I was able to forgive him, I no longer viewed him as a threat, he no longer made my blood boil and I no longer felt the need for revenge. Forgiving someone is the best thing you’ll ever do!!
2. “Your Ex is not your child’s Ex. Remember that.”
They will love their Dad no matter what. This quote always reminded me that our children did not deserve to know about any of our adult problems. I wanted to make sure I always showed respect to their father even when I didn’t feel like it.
3. “If you love your child more than you hate your ex, you can solve most co-parenting problems.”
Yes! Amen. If you make decisions out of love for your child instead of out of hate towards your ex… you will always make the right decision!
4. “If something costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.”
These are the words that helped me stop answering ridiculous phone calls and text messages from my ex in the early days of our separation. He would ask me things like “Where were you and the kids last night?” Initially, I would feel obligated to respond which would end up turning into a shouting match because he never believed me. I remember reading this quote and thinking, yeah, man, why do I even respond to this garbage? If I keep responding, he’ll just keep asking stupid questions. Once I stopped responding, he stopped sending. Mission accomplished!
I hope these wise words can help you with any difficult people you are dealing with in life. Believe it or not, I ended up as the photographer at my ex’s 2nd marriage a few years after our divorce so never give up or lose hope that things won’t get better 🙂