Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones, the person who naturally can work with your ex to successfully co-parent. Communication is a breeze, everyone sticks to the plan and when your ex finds a new partner, no ugly feelings spring up. However, if you are like many other people, you may run into a few difficulties in co-parenting with the person you aren't married to anymore.
This can get even more challenging when your ex gets a new partner, because it can challenge some of your feelings about yourself, and point out some areas where you may need some more healing around the divorce. If there are real, legitimate problems with the new partner, such as toxic or unsafe behavior, you may need to revise the co-parenting plan, but more than likely there will simply be an adjustment period.
Why am I struggling now that my ex has a new partner?
If you find yourself feeling more uncomfortable with co-parenting now that your ex has coupled up, it is likely due to one of two reasons. Number one, it is because you haven't fully recovered from the divorce yet. Number two, it is because the new relationship is toxic in some way.
How do I know if it's my problem?
If the uncomfortable feelings are a part of your own healing process, you may have some of these issues:
- You have negative feelings about your ex being in a new relationship.
- You have a hard time behaving nicely around your ex and his or her new partner.
- You are worried that your kids will see the new partner as a replacement parent.
- You get angry when your ex has their own way of doing things.
These feelings may be a challenge to your new task of co-parenting, and they're normal. Don't freak out, you can overcome these challenges and still be a great parent to your children.
How can I survive co-parenting with my ex and his or her new partner?
There are a few tips you may want to try if you are struggling. First, remember that you can only control you, and not the actions of your ex and the new partner. You will also want to get clear about what's important. Hopefully, you have hashed out all the most important details during the divorce, and have solidified those details in the custody agreement and parenting plan. Remember, your kids will always love you if you make the effort to love them. Don't fear losing your kids. Moreover, if you need to take the time to care for yourself, do so. The more active you are in your own healing process, the more likely you will attract a healthy new relationship into your life.
It can be tough to learn to tackle co-parenting and add another person into the mix, but it is achievable. Your kids will appreciate the efforts to get along, and you will become a better person for it. In addition, if there are serious concerns about your child's health and safety, you can always go to the court system to revise a child custody agreement or the co-parenting plan.