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I was very happy, when not one but two people I know sent me this article:

The Judge makes some very poignant, but also painful points that all of us co-parents must digest as part of our healing process. In Part I, I will tackle the most difficult one, which is accepting the other parent.

“Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent.” 

Ouch, but these words must be heard, retained, and applied for a good co-parenting relationships to thrive. It took me a long time to recognize that much of the anger and frustration that one parent feels towards the other parent boils down to her/his own shame, regret, and resentment over chosing the former partner. And those feelings of shame, regret, and resentment arise even when the other parent is not a “horrible” person.  In part, our regret grows out of shame. We were raised believing that nuclear families are better than divorced families.  Our shame over the failure of our relationship impacts how we view our co-parent and how we approach our co-parenting relationship. So whether we procreated with an ax murder or just some person who puts the toilet paper roll on incorrectly, we must first accept that we chose to reproduce with this person. Then, we must forgive ourselves for making that choice.

First, You Must Forgive Yourself, Then You Will See the Other Parent in a More Positive Light

Yes, I saidforgive yourself.” Because I have found no better way to move past the shame, regret, and resentment, than self-forgiveness. You could not predict the future, and it is not fair to berate yourself for falling in love. Once you forgive yourself, you can move on to making the best of your situation. I find that clients who can forgive themselves for picking the other parent can also forgive the other parent for their preceived deficits. When you can start to see each of you as valuable to your mutual children, you can build a positive co-parenting relationship. Positive co-parenting relationships are in the best interest of your shared children.

I will close part one of this two part series here because this is a lot to process. I know because I too had to process this truth. When I did, my co-parenting relationship improved greatly. And when I implemented the lesson into my parenting, my kids’ experience improved too. Part two will focus more on that aspect. For now, I am here if you and your spouse need help to proceed with the care that your children deserve.

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