Better co-parenting

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  • #39935 Report

    Rogerpaul
    Participant

    Hi, I’ve been struggling with maintaining a strong functional relationship with my co-parent . We get along with each other but I can feel myself disliking her more every day. I feel it’s important to not let those feelings grow because I see that carrying some serious future problems.  The dislike is strongly connected to our interactions upon encountering a disagreement. Arguing feels next to impossible with her,  and a fair amount of the time it won’t even matter if I’m right because she can just out argue me.   I’ve tried bringing some issues up to her regarding where I wish she would improve but as soon as I say something about her that she perceives as negative she gets agressive, hostile,  blunt and stubborn.  At this point any further argument becomes pointless and yeilds no result. Has anyone else encountered any similar difficulties or have any advice for me on this difficult issue?

    #39939 Report

    Bunnyhop
    Participant

    To be fair, and please dont take this offensively, how she parents during her time with the child isn’t really any of your business UNLESS the child was in danger etc, formal agreements weren’t being adhered to etc. I completely disagree with what my ex does as its not how I would personally do things but as my solicitor said – its his time with the kids not mine. The parenting plan is there to cover the basics and the main things to do with care and we adhere to this. But theres loads of niggling things he does that I disagree with and Im sure its the same for him when it comes to me. But we only discuss things that are of a serious nature or if theres a real concern. So if you havent done a parent plan together it could be worth a try. Theres always mediation as well if you havent tried that already. There are free services if you are struggling financially that can help. Yes its great if you can both agree on absolutely everything and discuss everything together. But unless you’re very lucky and do have a great relationship with your ex it isn’t usually the case because ex’s are that for a reason and a lot of the time theres lingering bad feelings that seep out during discussions. You can and should raise any genuine concerns you have over the best interest of the child and vice versa she can and should do the same. And you should always strive to keep things civil and to work together as a team where possible for the sake of the child. But it sounds like you both really need to work out a parenting plan with some help from a professional service and stick to it. It would probably help avoid a lot of arguments and then yiu have a kind of road map of what things are important and should be discussed. Hope this helps.

    #39942 Report

    backontheshelf
    Participant

    Yep I hate the term co-parenting, can’t stand my ex, he only bothers about putting effort in with the kids if it makes him look good infront of people, or there is a financial benefit to himself…very reminiscent of our marriage in fact.  I’m struggling having him beamed into my home every week whilst he is doing sweet FA, definitely no co-parenting here. If i were being generous i would call it parallel parenting.

    #39943 Report

    JulieM8tley
    Participant

    Totally get what you are saying, my ex totally ignores the kids when he has them, they come home miserable after a weekend at his. I Try to make suggestions and it ends in arguments. I’d prefer my kids not to have to go there, but I assume when they are older they can choose.

    #39960 Report

    Rogerpaul
    Participant

    I appreciate you both taking the time to respond.  However I should have been more specific with my post: I’m not particularly adverse to the way she raises our son.  If course I have issues here and there but they get sorted out.  What I can’t stand is how she treats me,  most of the time I feel like she just sees me as a pain in the ass. It takes hardly anything for an attitude to bubble up from her, and then she usually says that I’m the one being rude.  I feel like I have to walk on egg shells around her all the time,  and even when I try my best not to aggravate her I still end up on her bad side somehow.  All of this is really starting to make me resent her and I don’t want that.  I mean,  I was the one who ended the relationship so I guess I should expect a little of this.  I just don’t want our relationship to slowly decay until I can’t stand her at all,  and I wantt try and do something to slow or reverse that process before it becomes irreversible.

    Thanks again for the replies!

    #39962 Report

    Waunderful
    Participant

    If you can, take the high road. If its been less than a year expecting her to be nice to you may be asking too much depending on how messy the breakup was etc.

    You can’t reason with an unreasonable person, but from the way you’ve phrased all this, I would guess that neither of you is being especially respectful or sensitive to the other. That’s no excuse for her being the way she is and I’m not suggesting you deserve this but if you really want to solve the issue it’s not about expecting her to “improve”. If you want to communicate better discuss communication, not her flaws or what she’s done wrong. If you both only see it from your own side you’ll just butt heads constantly. Apologiesif I have the wrong end of the stick there!

    Sorry you’re having to deal with someone like her, I understand how you feel it’s very hard not to get wound up about x

    #39964 Report

    Bunnyhop
    Participant

    I think perhaps shes finding it hard to be nice to the person who broke up with her. I dont really think you can expect her to be all pleasant and lovely to you all of the time and that you’re maybe expecting a bit much from her. I know its not easy to deal with someone who is volatile and, perhaps over time things will get better, but I dont think you giving your suggestions of how she can “improve” are helping the situation right now and if anything is probably riling her up even more. Of course I hope she is still working with you in terms of meeting the needs of your son and visitation etc. If not then obviously you really both need to take action before it ends up being a war with your son stuck in the middle. But she is probably really hurting and angry about you ending the relationship. And maybe she’s hiding a lot of that pain and its seeping out in other ways when she’s talking to you and thats where the attitude is coming from. At the end of the day you cant force her to like you. Perhaps this will be one of those situations where civility is the best you can scrape by with for the moment. It takes some co parents years to finally get to a point where they have both moved on from their own personal feelings and able to focus fully on their child. However you could suggest mediation as I mentioned previously or perhaps counselling for the pair of you – this would give you both the chance to talk about your feelings in a safe, totally impartial space and get to the root cause of whats really behind all of this.

    #39981 Report

    Rogerpaul
    Participant

    Thank you all for your advice. For a bit of additional context the breakup was a little over a year ago and it wasn’t pretty.  I had no spine with my ex at the time so after I ended it she guilt tripped/begged/reasoned with me to try again and I caved. I had to break up with her three times before it stuck. Currently we’re still living together,  as the additional expense of raising a child has rendered us both unable to live separately. However we’ve managed to keep our son and our parenting out of the court system.  I suppose I should count my blessings; as frustrating as it gets sometimes we still function as a team.  We buy each other things for mothers and fathers day, take trips together,  and can still rely on the other for help if things get dicy. I suppose a little conflict isn’t quite so bad amid all that.

    Thanks again everyone,  the best part of gingerbread is that it helps me get perspective!

    #39983 Report

    Bunnyhop
    Participant

    Well to give you some perspective I think considering you ended the relationship, took her back, ended it again and are now still living with her you are maybe being a little too harsh on her. She was very clearly not ready to let go of the relationship and was still in love with you considering she “begged” you not to end it. And you did her absolutely no favours by dragging it out by repeatedly giving her false hope by taking her back when it obviously wasnt what you really wanted. Im not saying shes totally blameless at all as I dont know her or you or what went on in your relationship, but no wonder she’s got a bit of an attitude with you. To still be living with a man who she wasnt ready to give up on but who has repeatedly broken things off with her? Thats hard. The fact she’s holding it together in front of the kid and doing those nice things for you maybe you need to give her a little more credit instead of criticizing. Im sure she’s in a lot of pain emotionally. Again I’ve no doubt she’s not blameless in all this and as a woman myself I know how passive aggressive we can be and outright catty at times. But as I said previously – I think you’re expecting too much too soon. A year isnt long when you’re still living together. Perhaps you need to get your own place once the lockdown is over, just a suggestion. Again please dont take anything Ive said as a personal attack I can only give my opinion as I see it based on what you’ve written. Hope things work out for you and your family whatever the outcome and stay safe

    #39994 Report

    Rogerpaul
    Participant

    I appreciate you Bunnyhop. And no,  I don’t take anything you said as an attack whatsoever.  Contrary to my complaining I’m actually pretty hard to offend lol

    And yes,  I’m looking to get a place for myself as soon as possible. I have a lot of difficulty being myself around my ex, so I’m sure she has a similar feeling to an extent.  Things will get better as long as we both continue to work together.

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