Every blended family is different. Unique. What works for your blended family might not necessarily work for the next, or vice versa. And that’s okay. I do believe there is one common factor amongst us all though. And that’s that the majority of us (or those that would even be reading this) want the same goal: To all just get along and co-parent effectively. Some families can do this off the bat. Others take time. And others never get there. Everyone likes to read and write about the situations with the happy endings. The rainbow and unicorn families. But what about the other side? What happens when we all just can’t get along?
Let’s face it. Sometimes you may find yourself in situations where you just can’t get there with another person. Not just in blended families but in life there are people who are “difficult” for you to deal with. I’m no expert in this field but I most definitely experienced my fair share of co-parenting with a difficult ex. I hope this post helps you find ways to cope when you find yourself in a situation where you’re dealing with a difficult co-parent.
1. You have no control over another person. Make peace with this statement. Make absolute and clear peace with it. No matter how hard you hope, wish, pray a person to change if that is not in their spirit they wont. Understand that and it’ll make everything else just a little easier.
2. Change how you react. In my past I’ve learned that many times things escalated due to my own reactions. I soon learned that I don’t always have to have such a dramatic reaction or a reaction at all. Take things in stride. When the other person comes at you with nothing but accusations, finger pointing and negativity, you do NOT have to take active participation in the confrontation. Choose how you want to respond. Instead of being hype and defensive try cool and collected.
3. Don’t lose track of what’s important. In these situations the children are what matter most. Sure you can’t stand that your ex doesn’t call everyday. Or yes it gets on your nerves that the kids show up late each drop off. Choose your battles. If it’s not worth the fight, and the kids are happy, then the mission was accomplished.
4. It’s not your fault. I say this moreso for my personal life. Sometimes I get so frustrated at my circumstances that I start to blame myself. Afterall, the first thing I pointed out here was that you can’t control another person. Someone has to be at fault so that someone ends up being me. Feelings of guilt that I failed my son have burdened me far too often. Don’t do that. Do your best and keep it moving.
5. Count your blessings, not your problems. I wanted to scream this from the rooftops on Father’s Day but I held back. I seen so much negativity that it was easy to get caught up in it. To dwell on what’s not right in your life or family. That gets you nowhere. If you focus on negativity, that it what you will receive. Instead I focus on the positives and what I do have. THAT’S what important.
I hope this helps someone dealing with a tough co-parent. Like I said…I ain’t no expert! But, I live this so I’ll gladly share my experiences if someone else can gain from it.
Peace, Love & Blessings
Founder & Editor of This Brown Queen