You knew that your ex was always going to be in your life since the two of you have children. However, you thought they’d be easier to tolerate when you didn’t have to be around them all the time. Unfortunately, they’re just as infuriating as ever — maybe more so since you have less control over how they parent your kids.
You want to find a way to co-parent with your ex despite your feelings toward them. You know that’s best for your children. But how do you do it?
First, remember that holding onto extreme emotions about your ex is only going to hurt you — and the kids. You’ve probably heard the adage, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” The same applies to hate and anger. Try to move beyond that so you can at least tolerate them. That may require some psychological help — again, for your own good and for your children’s.
It may help to try to see your co-parent the way your children do. You might consider their view of their mom or dad idealized and blissfully ignorant of who they really are. However, it can help you appreciate how important they are to your kids.
Accept the fact that your ex isn’t going to parent like you and that you can’t control all of their parenting decisions. It may help to have as much detail in your parenting plan as possible. However, as long as they’re not violating the provisions of that plan and not harming or endangering your kids, you need to give them the space to find their way as a divorced parent.
If your ex really isn’t complying with the parenting plan and you’re concerned that your children’s well-being is at stake, it’s a good idea to talk with your family law attorney to get a more objective perspective and find out what your options are.