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No matter how angry or hurt you may be after a divorce, if you have children, you’ll still share a lifetime with their other parent, your ex. Dr. Romance offers guidelines for moving past the anger and hurt, and finding a way to co-parent your children that is good for everyone.
Commonly, everyone feels wounded after a divorce. The divorced parents are going through feelings of failure, rejection, abandonment and loss. The children have similar feelings. All these hurt feelings lead to competitiveness, drama and recriminations. Divorced parents, in sharing custody, can retaliate against each other by making visitation difficult, bad-mouthing the other parent (or the new partner or step-parent) to the children, withholding child support and trying to get the children to deliver inappropriate messages to the other spouse, like "mommy says you didn't dress us right"
Divorced parents can avoid these scenarios by using the following guidelines:
Dr. Romance's Guidelines for Co-Parenting after divorce
* Don't React, Respond: When the other parent does something upsetting, take time to cool down before responding, and respond with a possible solution.
* Talk About It to safe people: Talk to other couples, to a therapist, to friends and to family to create more understanding and brainstorm about options. If you can find other couples who have resolved divorce differences, find out what they decided. Let off steam to safe people, so your children don't experience your anger and frustration.
* Explain Your Ex's Point of View: When talking about it to each other, or to someone else who is supportive, explain each other's point of view, which will help you understand.
* Focus on Your Children: Keep your focus on what would be best for your children, and if they are old enough to understand, bring them into the discussion. Don't try to persuade them to either side, but present the options as objectively as you can, and find out what your children think about it.
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