Posted on November 4, 2011
Relations may still be very strained with your ex after a difficult separation and messy divorce. You still feel very bitter towards them and would prefer not to have to set eyes on them ever again. All of which is totally understandable.
However, you have children together. For this reason, like it or not, your ex will always be in your life. You will be co-parenting your children for the rest of your lives. This is a very challenging situation for anyone to find themselves in. You are still dealing with the breakdown of your marriage and you have to communicate with your ex to make arrangements work for the children.
There is naturally a great deal of emotion wrapped up in this. You still have feelings of anger and frustration towards your ex from the breakdown of your adult relationship. This is also coupled with the heart wrenching anguish and upset of not wanting to ever be apart from your children. You want to be with them all the time and it is so difficult to face the reality that this cannot happen. The children need both parents in their life. The breakdown of the marriage is not their fault and they need to feel safe that Mummy and Daddy will always be there for them (even if not in the same house) and that this will never change.
It is important to remember that you must always make decisions for childcare in the best interests of the children NOT yourself. However difficult, put aside your personal feelings about your ex and your situation and think with a clear head about what is best for the children. Don’t let your judgement be clouded by your personal feelings when making important decisions affecting them. The children do not understand the change of dynamic of the adult relationship. It is them who will suffer from poorly made decisions.
The children of divorced parents require a great deal of stability and security. Keeping them in a good routine helps with this as well as providing them with plenty of reassurance about your never ending love for them. It is not appropriate to make derogatory comments to them about your ex or your negative feelings about the separation. This is true whatever their age. Even adult children are still your children and are vulnerable to coping with their parents’ divorce.
How the parents approach the separation etc. has a great impact on the children dealing with their parents not being together. Always avoid bad mouthing your ex to your children. Always paint your ex in a good light to the children. As parents, you need to continue to be a united front to the children.
What you think is reasonable about arrangements for the children may not be what your ex thinks is reasonable. Neither of you are wrong. It is up to the two of you to work together to reach an agreement that works for all of you.
You are still and always will be the children’s family even if you are divorced. It can be very difficult at first, but you need to work with your ex to co-parent your children. If you struggle to reach agreement with your ex about the children, there is plenty of help available through Mediation, Family Therapy, Divorce Coaching and if all else fails, the family courts.
If you know anyone who needs help with this or any other issues regarding separation and divorce, please let them know, help is available at Rhiannon Ford Divorce Consultancy. www.rhiannonford.co.uk