After your divorce is finalized, you will no longer be a husband or a wife, but you are still a parent. And you will need to be one when your child needs it the most. You face the challenge of being at your best for the sake of your children when you may be struggling emotionally.
To help you navigate through some of the more emotionally complex aspects of your divorce, here are helpful tips for building good habits as a co-parent.
Though it may seem obvious, you still have to keep your children separate from your feelings towards your spouse. People sometimes make the mistake of communicating with their former spouse through their children. It may seem benign or innocent to tell your children how happy you are while secretly hoping your ex hears it. In actuality, this is nothing more than using your children.
Put the entirety of your focus into being a parent and supporting your kids. It is important to remember that this doesn’t mean you should suppress your feelings or hide them. Process your feelings by talking about them with people when your children are with your former spouse.
Another challenging aspect of your divorce is that you will still have a relationship with your former spouse. Your relationship centers around the love you have for your kids rather than the love you have for one another.
Take the time to build this new relationship into a healthy one. Whatever you put out will come back at you. In other words, if you act spiteful and petty, expect to be treated in kind.
To overcome this, focus on listening more than you talk. Challenge yourself to be an empathetic listener. These are people who not only hear what the other person is saying but imagines how they feel. Some might question this and say that they are the ones who have been wronged. If that’s the case, then why should they be the one who listens more than talks? Because to move the relationship forward, you have to connect on some personal level. And it begins by listening.
If you’re quite there yet, that’s ok. It’s something to aim for. Some people attempt to have civil and polite conversations, yet things spiral and digress. Imagine that other people are watching you and how you react. This may allow you to speak clearly and calmly while making requests rather than demands.
Be patient. Building this new relationship will take time, but it is entirely worth it for you and your children.
Contact the Carroll Law Office for a free consultation if you have further questions about family law-related issues. There is no single approach to helping our clients through their divorce. Carroll Law listens to each client and creates customized solutions accordingly. We look forward to hearing how we can support you.
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