Coparenting

How To Co-Parent With The Enemy

Your kids are worth you knowing how to co-parent with your ex.

You can’t co-parent if you’re still waging war. Your kids deserve much better from you.

Some divorces are easy. Unfortunately, most aren’t. Most divorces are really, really hard to get through. And the worst ones? Those are the ones where the divorce became a war and the former spouses still view each other as the enemy because they know in their guts that the divorce was just one battle.

And after the divorce is final, the kids (and their affection) become the next battle. One of the former spouses will win and the other will lose. But the problem is the kids will lose too.

If you see your ex as the enemy, it can seem nearly impossible to co-parent with them yet somehow that’s exactly what you need to do: figure out how to co-parent with the enemy.

Sure, you’ve read all kinds of how to co-parent articles and books, but few if any help because they’re either too superficial or they assume you and your ex had this easy-peasy divorce where you’re still best friends. How unhelpful is that?!

So where do you need to start on your journey of learning how to co-parent with the enemy?

Right here.

You must decide that you’ll put…

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How To Tell Your Kids You’re Getting Divorced

It's hard to know how to tell your kids you're getting divorced.

Planning and compassion are the most important pieces of this life-altering conversation.

One of the most difficult things to do after you’ve decided to divorce is telling your children about your decision. It’s so hard because you aren’t sure exactly how your kids will react and you’re concerned that your divorce will negatively impact them for the rest of their lives. Those are some really important and valid things to worry about – especially since you’ve probably got the same concerns for yourself. That’s why it’s so important to get this conversation right.

To get it right, you must keep the big picture goals in mind: happiness for both parents who raise happy, healthy children who have the support and love they need to become happy, healthy, contributing adults. From this starting point, you can begin planning how you will tell your kids.

As difficult as it is, the best way to prepare is together. It’s best for your kids if you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse have the exact same message.

What do you need to include in your preparation?

First, are you 100% sure that the separation and/or divorce is happening? If it’s in question, you’re not ready to tell the kids because you’ll…

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8 Brutal Signs You Hate Your Ex MORE Than You Love Your Kids

All is fair in love and war? Not when your kids become casualties!

Divorce changes everything — especially your feelings about your ex. Far from the love you felt on your wedding day, now you probably feel something closer to frustration, anger, or even downright hate.

Hostile feelings during divorce are common but we all know NOT to expose our children to that toxic resentment, right?

In my experience working with divorced families, most divorced parents claim they're all about their kids. They pat themselves on the back endlessly, thinking that they ALWAYS put the kids first and would never do ANYTHING that might harm or distress their children. But in practice, that altruism is rarely present.

Are parents saying these things to convince themselves or others? I'm not sure. All I know is, those declarations of "my love for my children comes first" are rarely true.

And I challenge you to reflect on your own behavior to see whether you hate your ex more than you love your children!

What do I mean? I mean that when it comes to making choices about your reactions or behavior, your anger for your ex poisons your decisions — you just can't hold your tongue, or resist…

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Gray Divorce’s Unexpected Challenge? Your Adult Kids

Family that was torn apart by gray divorce.

You’d like to believe that your adult children will be able to take your divorce in stride…

Divorcing when you’re 50 or older has a unique set of challenges (including the label “gray divorce”). You face more complicated financial concerns because retirement is that much closer (CNBC). Health insurance and health care are more important to get right than it was in your 20’s. You may also wind up paying spousal support for the rest of your life (Covy).

You’ve probably already considered or dealt with these issues of retirement, health care/insurance, and alimony when it comes to your over-50 divorce. But the one surprising issue you may get to deal with is the reaction your adults kids are having to your divorce.

There’s probably a part of you that believed your kids would behave and react as the adults they are instead of the children they were, but divorce is hard on kids no matter what their age. They never want the dream of their parents staying together swept away.

But the challenges for adult kids of divorce (AKODs) are a bit different from those for younger kids simply because they are adults and the relationship you and your ex have with them.

Here are…

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3 Bullsh*t Ways WOMEN Bully Men After Divorce – P.S. Your Kids Notice

You’re not fooling anyone, ladies. And your kids notice it, too!

When we think of couples going through "an ugly divorce," people often assume that if one side is being an emotional bully, it's the man. We instantly imagine it's the poor, beleaguered ex-wife who is left to struggle under his oppression and vicious attacks—emotionally, financially, and sometimes even physically.

Honestly, I thought that, too, until one of my male family members went through a divorce years ago. Then it became painfully obvious that there are plenty of ex-wife bullies out there, too.

Are YOU an ex-wife bully? No one wants to admit so, of course. We all believe we're in the right by default, but are you?

Here are three tell-tale signs YOU are the mean one in your post-divorce relationship ... not him:

1. You manipulate by withholding child visitation.

To clarify, this is one of the cruelest and most vicious ex-wife bully tactics. Obviously if your ex is a true threat to the safety of your children, the court should become involved in deciding what safe visitation entails. But outside of that, deciding to not let your ex see the children because you're mad at him—because he has a new girlfriend, or gave the kids junk…

Read more: 3 Bullsh*t Ways WOMEN Bully Men After Divorce – P.S. Your Kids Notice

Feeling Stuck, Lost And Confused?

Divorce is one of the most painful and complicated things you’ll ever experience.

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