10-21-2004, 01:37 PM
How do you cope with the "other parents"? Do you have a decent working relationship, or does it seem like every conversation is a fight? Share with us your tips and strategies for blending the perfect family!
10-21-2004, 07:37 PM
well, the father of my first two children ended up with a DVO (domestic violence order) against him...so right now we have no contact...all communication is done through his mother, which quite honestly is worse, imo. We are also going through a very nasty custody battle...I currently have sole custody of both kids and he sees them every other weekend. WHen the DVO does expire, I do fear how we will communicate about these kids, because his family is hellbent on destroying me because I sought protection during a time when the kids and i needed it. Because of the custody battle, everything has become a game of "who does what better" and the blame game for anything, even normal kids stuff. All in all, I was and still am willing to have joint custody with him, because I think the kids deserve time with him, and to know him so they know who they are....but because i "ruined his life" with the DVO (it expires in 5 months) he has done everything he can to make my life difficult...Im a very fair person and to this day I still give him the benefit of the doubt, so Im not trying to play a victim here, or be bitter. I honestly wish we could work together in the best interest of our kids. I guess its a matter of maturity.
Fortunately, I have the greatest DH ever....he is so patient and understanding, and has never been jealous or upset by the conflict in our lives because of my ex. He approaches everything as "we", a tea, approach, rather then just me and my past. I am very lucky in the aspect, because if and when the day comes when my ex and i can share parenting amicably, i know DH will not be confrontational rather he will also be very amicable for the sake of our kids.
Not sure if this helped any...but i wanted to add my two cents.
11-09-2004, 05:15 AM
Speaking as a child of a multiple-times-blended family (that is, both parents and all my steps divorced and remarried repeatedly), one of the things that made a HUGE difference to me was my parents speaking of the other parent respectfully in my presence. Honesty was definitely a part of it - my mom didn't say 'your dad is very responsible' or 'you can trust everything he says', for example, but she worked hard to find positive things to say about what his good features were, and was as brief and factual as possible about the things she wanted me to be cautious about.
For example, my mom often told me that my father a) loved me deeply, b) had a great gift for thinking on his feet (and she had examples), c) was the single most brilliant gift-giver she'd ever met (he could really grasp what would thrill someone and find just the perfect gift). She also made it clear that a) their relationship ended because of issues between them, not us, b) he had problems with depression, and c) he had problems with money. Beyond that, it was up to us to develop our own relationship to him, learn his good and bad features regarding OUR relationship (which she recognized might be different than the things that worked and did not with the marriage), and encouraged us to think about how to be in relationship with him (how to make ourselves feel safe, loved, and cared for, regarding him).
She managed a lot of that when we were kids, but she did so with our relationship to him in mind, not hers. Granted, he wasn't generally prone to violence, and while he was emotionally abusive it was directly associated with his depression (he was an underminer when he was depressed), so he wasn't a genuinely dangerous person for us to be involved with.
On the flip side, he would often tell us negative things about our mom without any positives (and often with a HUGE emotional load attached, not the very calm, breif, almost clinical assessment my mom tended towards any time she had anything less that complimentary to say), which just made us distrust him - we knew she wasn't perfect, either! But having him attempt to undermine her in our eyes (and especially with the emotional baggage, which made even the most obvious facts look like angry back-stabbing) just made him look unfair to us, not honest.
At this point, I have a good relationship with both parents (as well as with 3 out of 4 of my step-parents, and the fourth is because he's afraid if he has a relationship with me, I'll ask him for money, the silly git!). And my parents can be in the same room without any real angst, now that my dad realized that holding onto anger just made HIM miserable, and US miserable, and had no impact on my mom whatsoever. They both still know each-other's flaws in detail, as do we kids, for the most part. But they're also willing to both be parents first, and ex-spouses about 100th on the list. That did NOT come instantly (my mom got there first, but she also did a lot more therapy, sooner!), but it has come, and it makes life much more pleasant (especially since we live fairly near each other, and my mom will sometimes encounter my dad at our house, etc.).
Therapy is definitely worth it, IMHO - it helped my mom handle her relationship separately from our parent-child one, and it helped my dad (when he got around to it) to overcome in the same way. And it helped me, as well - though I found out in my own therapy that it was the time before the divorce that most hurt me, not the divorce itself! In the end, I can say that I'm definitely GLAD my parents divorced (they were really poorly suited to each other!), and that they've dealt with it 'like grownups' (eventually!). I know (in retrospect) that there were surely fights in there, about child support, visitation, and all sorts of things. But even my dad kept the majority of that out of our hearing, and they both genuinely tried to put us first (even when they had different ideas of what that meant).
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.