Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what happened. Instead, it is letting go of the wrongdoings you have endured. Through forgiveness, you are able to loosen the grip of the pain caused by the other person, allowing you to experience freedom. At the same time, a lot of people feel that maintaining boundaries through holding onto their anger. If I caused you to get angry at me, then you will stay away from me so that you will no longer hurt me.
I share with my patients very often that anger has its role. But is it not something we can maintain? In fact, anger hurts us more than it hurts the other person. Moreover, you can keep your boundaries without being fueled by anger. You can determine and hold boundaries with reason, peace, and pose. It’s also a good reminder that you are no longer married or with the other parent, in that there is an invitation to let go of the pain they have caused.
It is also important to remember if you are co-parenting with someone who hurt you, that you are doing this for your children. Regardless of your personal feelings, always put your child's interests first. While that’s never easy, here are 10 tips to help you co-parent with someone who has hurt you.
1. Take time to deal with your own feelings.
If you have been hurt by someone, you need time to heal before co-parenting with them. For a while, at least, this might mean setting boundaries and taking time apart.
Divorce or ending a relationship is a painful experience that is expected to bring grief. When you end a relationship and move on to the next phase of your life, grieving is a natural process. You should allow yourself to experience all the powerful emotions that come with your divorce. Make sure you get the support you need from a coach, therapist, or support group.
2. Maintaining boundaries is essential to effective co-parenting.
By doing this, you will be able to protect yourself and maintain a healthy relationship with the other person. However, before you set boundaries, it's important to know what you need and how it differs from what the other person needs.
You may need to take a step back and examine the underlying issues that might be fueling your feelings of resentment if you are having trouble finding this balance or feeling resentful because of this difference.
3. Communicate honestly and consistently.
Think about communication with your ex to ensure your child's well-being. If you intend to contact them, consider how you can ensure they have a positive experience. Be dignified while doing so. Communicating with an ex-partner should always keep children at the forefront of all discussions. Communicate as positively and simply as possible with your ex.
Having frank discussions about unacceptable behavior may be necessary if your child's safety or well-being is at risk, so he or she understands why certain actions are wrong and harmful. To maintain a positive relationship with your ex-spouse and ensure the children's well-being, it is crucial to be straightforward and honest about significant concerns.
If you are co-parenting with someone who hurt you, honesty is crucial, since both parents can be upfront about what they are feeling, and how it affects them emotionally, physically, and mentally. It's not only good for yourself, to be honest, but also for your children to learn from your example.
4. Focus on what motivates you.
The most important motivation for you is raising healthy, happy, emotionally sound children.
Keep your focus on what you want to accomplish. You can, for example, make your ex's vacation day a priority in a particular conversation if you want your kids to accompany you on a special trip with you.
In this case, tell your ex how great it will be for the kids. And then end the conversation. Do not bring up any other issues that are bothering you about them or their parenting style. When you do, you give them room to think about their answer.
You should ask yourself, “Is this in line with my goal?” If not, don’t do it!
5. Remember, you’re still family.
It can be difficult to co-parent with someone who has hurt you. Nevertheless, it's important to keep in mind that you are still family. Therefore, you should be as open and cooperative as possible when dealing with each other.
6. Be flexible and accessible.
This means you should be flexible with your schedule to accommodate your child's and the other parent's needs. Developing and maturing your child requires working together and understanding each other, which means you'll have to cooperate and compromise with one another.
It takes time to build a successful co-parenting relationship, so you need to be willing to put in the effort.
7. Keep your kids out of the middle.
Make sure your children are not affected by the conflict between you and the other parent. Don't forget that this is your issue, not that of your child. If you're still resentful over your breakup, you may never be able to fully let go.
While those feelings are hard to keep in check, they are simply issues that shouldn't affect the kids. Your children may feel compelled to choose sides if you involve them in between you and your ex. It can be stressful for both children and adults to constantly choose sides when their parent figures are at odds.
8. Avoid negative self-talk.
You should not say anything that could end up damaging your child's relationship with the other parent if you are co-parenting with someone who is abusive and hurtful to his or her children. Saying things that can make the other person look bad or feel guilty falls under this category. Be careful about your expressions around your child in order to ensure that your child feels safe and secure.
9. Find a support network.
Finding a support network is crucial when co-parenting with someone who hurt you. The person may be a friend, a family member, or a professional, such as a therapist. In order to deal with feelings of abandonment, the next step is to identify and address the underlying causes.
It's also important to speak with someone if you feel you are doing everything right but your co-parent is still abusive. Consult an attorney or a social worker if you need help.
10. Focus on yourself.
The most important thing to remember when co-parenting with someone who hurt you is to focus on your own needs. In other words, you should take care of your mental and physical health.
And, more importantly, don’t try to fix the other person. Taking on this responsibility will only frustrate you.
Remember that you are co-parenting with someone who hurt you for your child if you are co-parenting with someone who hurt you. Consider your child's best interests above your own feelings. You should understand why a co-parent hurts you or harms your child, as well as the impact of their actions on the family.