The BIG Signs You Should Stop Trying To Co-parent With Your Ex
For your kids’ sake and your own sanity.
Relentless Demands and/ or Useless Communication
Whether you’ve been separated/ divorced for 6 months or 6 years, the constant calls, texts, and emails haven’t stopped. He/ she has elected themselves as your primary advisor on all things ‘parenting’ including education, scheduling, and religion. You get minute-to-minute coverage on all the great things they’re doing for the kids, and even how bright their future is looking in the other home.
Manipulation Of The Children
Your kids likely know as much or more about your court case than you. They’re told that their ‘negative’ attributes (i.e. bad attitudes, heavy bodies, poor coordination, etc) come from you, or your side of the family. The kids talk a lot about big promises that never seem to materialise (i.e. “My mum is taking me to Disneyland” or “My dad is buying me a new XYZ Awesome thing…”). Your kids are emotional caregivers to your ex, and consistently put aside their own wants or needs to make mum or dad feel better (possibly even to a point where they are uncomfortable voicing their own opinions). You kids are visibly anxious or uncomfortable when you or your family try to speak to them, or show physical attention (eye contact, hugs, etc) with your ex or the ex’s family present (unlike vice versa).
Manipulation Of The Scheduling
This is also manipulation of the children but needs a separate category. You’re constantly being asked to change the agreed upon schedule. Your ex ‘wants’ extra time, while you’re to forfeit your time with your children. Promises to ‘make up’ this time never happens. If you do give an inch (seemingly in the best interest of your kids), they take a mile, and the demands become increasingly unbearable. The courts will likely be involved at some point if this situation keeps happening. Activities are scheduled on your parenting time, and when you cannot or will comply with the ex’s perfected plans, you’re punished through your kids when they are disappointed by something that never should have been scheduled in the first place.
These are all tactics of personality disordered individuals. Your ex is likely fighting an invisible battle within themselves that you will never understand. Stop trying. The best thing you can do, for the sake of your children, is to recognise that you cannot co-parent with your ex. In this case, your ex can only counter-parent. There is no such thing as “the best interest of the child” because the child exists for them to use as needed to meet their own ends.
And, if they’re doing these things, these ends are to hurt you. Get your boundaries straight. Learn to parallel parent. And above all else, you may consider petitioning to a court for intervention to go no contact. This may be what’s best for your kids.
For more specific information about your options, talk to a qualified and experienced family lawyer about co-parenting arrangements on 1800 217 217.