Mastering Balanced Duties and Healthy Boundaries may be something you, personally, feel ready for, but your ex may not. Whether they don’t want any duties at all, or they want complete control, there are still steps YOU can take and ways YOU can positively encourage them to follow suit.
When you have limited time and your parental rights have essentially been taken away due to your ex or the “family” court, you can show through your consistent behavior that you have no desire to fight and that you just want better for your child. Conversely, when an ex seems to be backing away from parental responsibilities, rather than forcing them into a relationship, you can encourage them, and let them know how important they are to their child. Some parents may lack feelings of self-worth after a separation.
It can be frustrating if you feel as though you are the only one trying to work on a co-parenting relationship. But the truth of the matter is – more often than not, both parents feel as though they are trying. The problem is likely that we just don’t see it, appreciate it, or the effort is not what we NEED – rather, it is what the other person BELIEVES we WANT. Either way, the benefits your child will receive from having two actively involved parents, will be worth it!
If you feel as though you are the only one trying, try to put yourself in their shoes. Imagine being in their situation – their life, their job, their home, their role. Imagine how they perceive your words and your actions. Could they believe that they are making a valiant effort to co-parent? Though this exercise can be extremely difficult to do, if you practice it genuinely and sincerely, wholeheartedly, it can help you to better adapt to your challenges and improve your communication significantly.
Remember, you can’t change your ex, you can only change yourself. But, your child will fair best with two happy, healthy and active parents. So, you can choose to be a positive influence in your ex’s life or you can choose to be their biggest nightmare. Either way, your behavior impacts your child’s perception and their reality – so always keep THAT in the front of your mind.