I have been separated from my ex-husband for more than 8 years now. We still maintain cordial relations and it’s actually one of the things that we really pride ourselves on.
We are proud of it because we know that this situation that we have made for ourselves is what is best for our children. We always make it a point to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions as a family.
Sometimes, we even travel together so that we are able to attend events that are important to our kids. A lot of our friends and family are actually very surprised at how well we are able to manage things despite the nature of our relationship.
We usually get a lot of compliments about how well we keep things together. And it puzzles me because there’s nothing really extraordinary in what we do.
A year ago, I happened to upload a photo of our family that was taken during my son’s birthday. And in the comment section, a friend actually suggested that we had all the answers.
I was wondering if the looks of happiness on our faces were what made everything seem so easy and simple. I was worried that a lot of people who were looking to engage in a co-parenting kind of setup would think that what we were going through was easy. But that’s definitely far from the case.
If you’re curious about it, then you should know that it wasn’t an easy scenario for any of us at all. However, we never felt like it was impossible either.
If you’re looking to engage in this kind of co-parenting scenario with an ex, then these are a few things from our own relationship that you might want to emulate in yours as well.
1. Accept that you both have strengths and flaws as a couple.
This isn’t going to be the easiest thing for you to do but it’s definitely necessary. We are all going to have our strengths and weaknesses as human beings. And with our exes, we have a developed sense of awareness for what those are.
You can’t allow yourself to keep on focusing on the flaws of your ex and the parts of them that you just can’t stand. That’s only going to create more distance between the two of you and that might also breed animosity and dislike.
2. Remind yourselves of what is best for the children.
Always remind yourselves that it’s all for the kids. It’s really all for the children. You always want to be motivating yourself with all the right things.
And if the both of you know that the two of you having healthy and mature relations despite your separation is going to do good for your kids, then that should be all the motivation that you need.
It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be really difficult for both of you. But at the end of the day, you just need to remind each other of why your efforts are definitely going to be worth it.
I know that some of my character traits drive my ex crazy, just as some of his traits bother me. We may at times vent in confidence to people close to us — this is natural and healthy — but at the end of the day, we’ve worked really hard not to let that come between us.
3. Make sure that you set realistic expectations for yourselves.
Okay. First things first. This isn’t going to be the easiest thing for you to go through. And if you’re expecting this to be a walk in the park, then you definitely have another thing coming.
You shouldn’t be setting the bar too high with how you or your ex are going to perform in this relationship. At the end of the day, you’re only human and you’re not going to be perfect all of the time.
No matter how well you are able to hash things out between the both of you, you have to always expect the worst.
4. Always maintain strong and open lines of communication.
You have already been told that communication is going to be one of the most important aspects of any kind of relationship.
And that’s why you always want to make sure that you communicate with the person you love on a consistent basis. But what if you’re already broken up? Is communication still important?
Well, if you have co-parenting roles, then yes, communication is going to be absolutely vital. You need to make sure that both of you are keeping each other up to date at all times if you’re going to work as a team.
Ultimately, just because your marriage ends doesn’t mean that your role as parents will end as well. You still need to be able to carry out your responsibilities as a parent in spite of your circumstances.