When someone decides to leave a relationship there’s a very real possibility they may never again see the person who was once the centre of their Universe. For some that might be exactly as it should be.
But if you’ve been blessed to have children together and your once significant other is not unfit to share in their upbringing, and they want to, then you’ve still got a long road of “together” ahead.
Here are some key ways that have helped ease my pain and confusion on a path that I did not think I’d be walking when my ex and I first thought about having children together. If you have also decided to separate and co-parent I hope these bring you a lighter heart too:
1) Set the intention to have a compassionate and supportive co-parenting relationship.
Believe it or not, the person that was once your “everything” does not have to suddenly become the enemy. In the end it doesn’t matter who decides they can’t stay in a relationship ~ make the decision that if you can’t be great together, then you’re going to commit to being the best co-parent you can be.
2) Remember the qualities that you admired about your ex as a parent, when you were both still feeling the bliss. Of course there are going to be times when you both simply can’t stand the sight of each other, but just because someone’s no longer your partner doesn’t mean they’re not a great parent. Try to keep their best qualities at the forefront of your mind and remember that you’re in this together.
3) Talk to your kids about your ex’s great qualities.
Put photos up of them with the kids. This doesn’t need to be confusing ~ it’s possible to make it clear to even very young children that you believe your ex is a great Dad/Mum, you just weren’t great together. It’s also a beautiful and important reminder that your kids need both of you.
4) Try not to talk to all and sundry about a decision that you two, as parents, need to make.
While speaking with others can help you sift through different ideas, in the case of looking after your own children and the next steps you both need to take as co-parents, in your own unique set of circumstances, it is your two opinions that count.
While new partners will naturally be confided in with any decision we make, I believe decisions that concern my children should be made with their needs, my needs and their father’s being met first. New partners might just need to wear this and be reassured by their own partner that their time will come.