Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Co-Parenting for Dummies


I wonder if Barnes and Noble’s has a Co-Parenting for Dummies book? Craig’s List, Amazon, Ebay maybe? I’m not sure anyone has completely mastered this art. It should totally be a sport in the Special Olympics of parenting.

Every marriage ends for different reasons. One thing that all failed marriages have in common is the inability to compromise on serious issues.

If two people who were once in love can’t compromise on issues to save their own marriage, what’s in it for them to compromise on anything post-divorce? Answer: The kids. Well yes of course! The kids! That’s the go-to golden answer but the truth is, if arguing and fighting can be done via text message, email, facebook or late night phone calls behind the kid’s backs, then I ask again, where’s the motive to WANT to compromise with your ex knowing the kids won’t know one way or the other? Ah-ha, there is the tricky part folks.
For me personally the motive is simply, peace. I’ve had enough rounds toe to toe with the X-man. I’ve forfeited many fights and waved my white flag numerous times. Fighting was moot then and its even mooter now. The other incentive really is the kids. I want our actions towards one another to illustrate how to treat people we don’t necessarily like, but have to deal with. I want to disagree respectfully. I want to resolve things together without threats or puffing our feathers.

The X-Man and I have different priorities, different views and opinions on almost everything. It doesn’t surprise me that our parenting styles and methods differ slightly majorly. Disagreeing respectfully is a task we have not mastered or come close to comprehending in the slightest. I’m trying to come to terms with the truth that I can’t earn the X-Man’s respect no matter what I do.  It would be a delicious treat if being the mother of his kids, sacrificing and providing a good life for them would be enough to gain some of his respect. It’s not going to happen. Maybe in my next life I will come back as a strip club toilet seat  or a fossil watch, then I might get the reverence I feel I deserve from him. But unless that happens, I’m just the mother of his kids, not worthy of child support, understanding, sympathy, or 3 minutes on the phone without being hung up on. My expectations were yet again placed too highly for him to reach.  

I’m constantly being brought back to this pool of frustration and drowning in anger. I’m treading the rough waters with tired limbs and exhausted spirits. The desire I once had to have a civil relationship with the X-Man is quickly becoming a distant memory. I can’t paddle this divorce raft alone. If drifting is my only option, at least my mind, heart and spirit will get a break from doing the work alone.

I’m drifting.