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Co-parenting - how do you manage the EX?

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  • Co-parenting - how do you manage the EX?

    Hi - I'm new to the site and grateful for any insights.

    I've been separated for 10 mths after 10 years with my ex (4 of those married). It's always been a roller coaster relationship. We tried counselling last summer, but it didn't really go anywhere. Then last Xmas I discovered that he's been having an affair for 2 years. And we separated.

    And it's been such a difficult time for me to adapt to. On one hand, I think "good riddence" - if you want out, go. You need to make yourself happy, and find it in a woman 10 years younger, fine. Blah, blah, blah. On the other hand, I miss our family, I feel sorry my daughter doesn't see her father much, I'm exhausted being a single working mom.

    I'm beyond the point where I think we'll ever be together again. I just want to move on but find it sooooo hard. Everytime I find out about his vacation with gf, their looking for a new place together, it breaks my heart.

    I know I need to focus on myself and my life and doing the things that make me happy - and I am doing that. My friends and family have been awesome but still, it's just so bloody lonely and so freakin' hard to do. And it feels like it's been an eternity already.

    So when I see the EX - I don't know how to act anymore. One part of me just wants to wring his neck and the other part of me says move on, forget it, try to be friends and maybe at least a friendship comes out of this for the benefit of our daughter. But what actually happens is that I'm coolly civil to him (and I'm boiling inside) and that's the best I can manage. I find it so hard to get past the betrayal. Anybody have any coping tips that they're willing to share?

  • #2
    City Mom,

    welcome to the forum!

    Sorry to hear about the downfall of your relationship. Your right to focus on yourself and also your child.

    No doubt you have mixed feelings all over the map. However, I am of the view that if you love someone set them free. If they return it was meant to be.

    Because you have a child together, it is paramount to your child that the two of you can get along.

    Its a shame that this father is taking very little interest in his child. MANY father's could only be so lucky in having to deal with another reasonable parent when it comes to matters effecting their child.

    Sad but true its No surprise that MANY father's go months without seeing their child with respect to willful denials of a child's access. They generally end of returning to court at significant costs many times only to obtain court assistance to support the child's relationship. MANY fathers often walk away from their children because of due process and they simply do not have the dollars to fund the litigation. What is sadder is that generally the denials of access often go unpunished and somewhat makes the power of the access order meaningless.


    • #3
      That's right focus on yourself and your child. Put yourself out there. If an opportunity to do something comes up, do it. Even if you don't feel like it, i.e. you're tired. Don't miss out. Soon you will find that you don't need anyone in your life but want that someone in your life, if you get what I mean. Or you may find you don't want anyone. Point being - LIVE!!! and you'll be okay.


      • #4
        Dealing with the ex is definitely hard. Sometimes it feels like I still have feelings for her and sometimes, well frankly I'd like to strangle her. What I've found is that kind of negative emotion is very hard to keep from your child. So I've been honest. I've told our child that we aren't getting along well and we're having a difficult time being friends. That gets followed up by "This isn't your fault at all. This is something between your mom and your dad - you're very special and your mom and I both love you very very much and want whats best for you. The worst is that her mom moved away 4 months ago and I've been running as a single parent (with the help of my parents) since. What kills me inside is that I'm capitulating to her mother's demand that she move out with her at the end of the summer to do school there and I will miss her so much. I just can't fathom what goes through my ex's head. Anyways, long and the short - you need to be able to talk civilly to your ex as your child needs you both. As for friendship, you don't have to be friends. And even if you still love your ex, you don't have to like him. Civility for the sake of your child and as much as you can keep the worst fights out of earshot.


        • #5
          Burn your anger into ashes of forgivness. No easy thing. Time and finding yourself THEN someone to share life with will help.
          I feel your pain and wish you well.


          • #6
            Thank for all the encouraging words. I'm focusing on getting through one day at a time. Glad there are others out there that can empathize.


            • #7
              Hi, I feel a lot like you do. I am really trying to focus on being civil... of course that is challenging...when so many emotions are going through you. It seems like the best advice is to focus on yourself - its all we can do anyways...easier said than done though! Good luck!


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