How do you not let your dislike for your ex get in the way of parenting together?
It’s notoriously hard to do. I would like to say that it will be easy but it won’t. I would like to say it will get easier with time, it might. The difference is time eases your hurt. Learning to communicate with someone who you did not communicate well with when you were married to them does not mean you will improve your communication with them after divorce. Therefore, it is even more important that you work on having patience, putting your children’s needs first (even if they don’t) and remembering that you are (thankfully) no longer in a romantic relationship with someone that continuously hurt you.
How do you have patience with someone that pushes your buttons and uses your child/ren as a pawn?
You just do it. Because. Because it is the right thing to do. Because you will hurt your children if you don’t. Because you will have to live with yourself either way and wouldn’t you rather respect yourself? Take a deep breath. Roll your shoulders back. Do something nice for yourself. Love yourself. Gain perspective not by calling a friend who will just agree with you and go down the dark road of what a jerk your ex is but by breathing and loving yourself.
How do I put my child/ren’s needs first and not attack my ex, my ex certainly isn’t?
You take a moment. Think about the consequences of letting your anger and hurt be placed on the shoulders of your children. What will that look like for them tomorrow? Next year? When they become adults? What do you want to teach your children about communication with people whom they don’t get along with? The lesson they will take away is GRACE in the face of hurt and unkindness. By thinking and reacting to your ex in a way that is filled with GRACE, you will teach your child/ren resilience in the face of adversity. Resilience is something every human being needs to be strong against hard times.
How can I be thankful when my ex still hurts my child/ren and me?
Make a list. Make a list of all of the good things about not being romantically involved any more. Make a list of your blessings. Make a list of how your life will and can improve over time, by no longer being involved with your ex. Keep these lists handy for when you feel angry and hurt even if the behaviors your ex is doing are still happening. There is certainly a reason you are no longer together.
What do I do now???
You let go of what you cannot control. You control what you can control that will not adversely affect your child/ren. You walk in GRACE. You put one foot in front of the other and move forward sometimes with little baby steps and sometimes with giant leaps. You will get there. Sometimes you will take baby steps back or even giant leaps back but keep moving. This is the moment. The moment where you decide who has power over you. Love yourself and take a step forward