Have you ever wished you could use the buttons from an old school VCR on your relationship with your child’s high conflict parent?
Sure, the PLAY button just keeps going as the two of you disagree on just about everything. You decided that setting boundaries was just too complicated and exhausting, much easier to just let him/her have their way.
We definitely wish the REVERSE/REWIND button would disappear! At some point, you have to get tired of making the same mistakes but not learning from them.
Many nights you probably wish that you could just press STOP. You want all of the drama and conflict to stop. You’re tired of arguing, tired of the constant battles.
Hitting FAST FORWARD seems tempting and could bring possible relief from your ex’s narcissistic behavior. Though you want to press it, you know that you might miss some valuable lessons and moments of your child’s growth.
The PAUSE button may offer the most promise though. This button gives you time to stop and think before interacting with your ex. It seems to give you room to breathe.
Merriam Webster defines pause as “a temporary stop.”
A temporary stop can be just what you need in order to gain better control of yourself when dealing with a high conflict ex.
What is PAUSE?
Pressing PAUSE is key to parallel parenting with a high conflict ex.
P – Parent independently from your ex by controlling YOU. Your new norm says that you’re parenting skills are not influenced by your ex.
A – Adopt a limited contact approach with your ex. Contact should be through email only. Phone or in-person contact should be for emergencies only.
U – Use boundaries. Create boundaries for your ex as well for yourself. Be consistent.
S – Start responding instead of reacting. Your ex may feed off your reactions, so respond instead.
E – Exit the high conflict by disengaging from your ex. Accept your new norm: let go = freedom from emotional attachment.
If you’ve been in a high conflict coparenting battle with your child’s parent for any length of time, you probably just want the madness to stop.
I remember the times after my divorce and dealing with the strife between my ex and me. I allowed the conflict to influence my parenting skills. My self-esteem plunged downward and my anxiety levels were through the roof.
I didn’t know how to coparent, I was so naive that I thought that coparenting would naturally happen. I thought my relationship with my children’s father would magically turn into the picture perfect families from social media. You know those families, where they were able to put aside their differences and have a more than civil relationship.
At that time, I didn’t understand the power within me.
I didn’t realize that I could develop a response, not a reaction, to my ex’s accusatory emails.
Or decide if arguing over his change of the visitation without the court’s consent was worth my energy.
Learning more about parallel parenting and soon applying it to my high conflict coparenting relationship with my ex made a positive change in my life.
Here’s a freebie for you for making the decision to make a positive change in your high conflict coparenting relationship!
Hit the press PAUSE button below to grab it!