How To Maintain A Co-Parenting Relationship With Your Ex

divorced couple
Heartbreak, Family

If you have a child together, you have to parent together ... no matter what.

The article first appeared at

Anyone who has ever tried to co-parent with someone after a breakup or divorce knows that it's… kind of the worst thing ever.

For me, it's a mixed bag. Tyler and I have good phases and bad phases. Lately it's been pretty good. I think that as time passes post-divorce, it gets easier to keep that necessary distance while still staying civil. Both of us being in new (healthier) relationships helps a lot, too.

There are a lot of challenges, though. To me, the most frustrating one is trying to develop a coparenting relationship that has a different dynamic than our marriage did. Relationships have momentum, you know what I mean? Once the interaction between two people is established, the pattern is pretty well set, and it's hard to change.

Tyler and I were together for seven years. We developed a way of interacting over those years that I clearly did not care for, since I filed for divorce. From my point of view, it was basically him telling me that he was going to be gone for long periods of time and that I would need to rearrange my career to accommodate caring for Caroline, so that he could build up a reputation in his field and finish his PhD. In the beginning, before we had Caroline, to be honest… I liked it. I liked to mother him and take care of him and cook him dinner and keep his house, and I was proud of all the things he had accomplished so young. (He treated me more like a subordinate than a partner, but as you can see, I am also at fault for encouraging it.) I liked that he depended on me, even if I didn't always enjoy being alone while he worked. But eventually I became resentful of everything he asked of me, and the very little that he gave in return… both to me, and to our child. And I didn't want to back-burner my career anymore, because it was important to me. Read on...

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.