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How Co-Parenting Can Hurt More than You



Most of us have a dream of getting married and having children. We want to live out the American Dream of having a good job, beautiful house with a white picket fence – and kids. But unfortunately – those dreams get shattered somewhere along the way. You find that your marriage has become too stressful, overwhelming and too trying for you to endure for the long haul. You ultimately become part of a statistic that between 40 to 50 percent of marriages in America lead to divorce. And while it may not have been part of your fairy tale – it's something that you have to learn to deal with and pick up the broken pieces from. During this process, there's quite a bit that you have to address. Like relocating, new environment, gossip, financial matters to name a few. No matter what the reason was for the divorce – the results usually end up being the same for most people. And if you have children involved – it makes things even more difficult to address properly. Because not only do you have to worry about you and your new adjustments – you also have to be concerned about your children and their well being and more often than not, you end up co-parenting. For those who part ways amicably, then co-parenting can very well work, however for those who end up having nasty divorces, co-parenting can hurt much more than you.


Divorces can become, most of the times, extremely nasty between two people. Courts get involved, friends and family are pulled into scenarios – and your kids observe from the outside, taking it all in and are becoming molded by what's going on around them. While you are focused on getting the house or the car – your kids are watching two people they love very much be so angry and frustrated with each other. And because they are at an age that becomes the defining moments of what they will become – a divorce and co-parenting can shift a child's behavior and focus.

Studies show that children of parents whose divorce wasn't very amicable, and who co-parent, can become socially awkward because of the confusion or anger and resentment within the child. The child's communication begins to shut down – and may cause the child to even lash out in ways that may not be of normal routine. A child may have gone from growing up in a happy and healthy home – to now seeing their parents split apart from each other. This reality can cause emotional and mental issues for the child.


When there are children involved in divorces – courts must consider the rights of the co-parents to be able to see their child. Once finalized – this is where the real damage can be done. Usually a child will visit the co-parent every other weekend. And depending on the parent themselves – this could lead to a child sinking deeper into their internal shell. A parent may be verbally abusive to the other while in front of child. This leads to anger and resentment from the child towards one parent because the child disagrees – or that parent is destroying the vision of the child about the other parent. Remember, they are children – they do not have the coping skills needed as we do as adults. Without those skills – it leads to a child potentially becoming broken internally – because of a divorce.

Children are not the only ones who become affected with divorce. Friends and family tend to some how become involved as well. These people are friends and will listen to the parent vent. And with that – comes judgments. It's a known fact that adults react on emotions. And when one person is manipulated into believing something – they tend to become emotionally involved – which is fueled by anger or resentment.


If you're on the brink of a divorce and there are kids involved, I recommend reading my post on "Discussing Divorce with your Kids", and try and involve your kids as much as possible in a positive way.

Let's discuss: What are your thoughts on co-parenting?

Annmarie John
38 Comments
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38 comments:

  1. It is always sad to see kids being pulled between parents. The kids should NOT be a bargaining chip or held hostage just to spite the other parent! There is some great advise in here.

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    1. They really shouldn't but a lot of parents use them as such and it's truly sad.

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  2. This is so true. I feel more for the kids, because at a young age, they may not understand what is going on. Between hurting the kids, gossip and trying to get your life back together...this can be a very very stressful time, that kids will also notice

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    1. Most of the time they don't and they just want their parents to be together again. :(

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  3. It's important to co-parent effectively and check your beefs at the door. It's about the kids, not either party's hurt feelings.

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    1. Well said and a lot of the times, they don't realize that.

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  4. Divorce can be really hard on children. I know my father-in-law had a messy divorce with his first wife and the kids were never the same. Maybe they should have had someone like you to give them advice.

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    1. Thank you Cassie but I'm no expert. Maybe they should have had the kids see a therapist who could have helped.

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  5. It's true that getting married and having children is not easy. It takes a lot of preparation and courage. I don't want my future kids to suffer just because me and my partner are having problems.

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    1. And they really shouldn't but so many people just focus on themselves because they're selfish and not think about the kids.

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  6. Separation of a family is sad no matter how the parents decide to handle the kids.

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    1. That is very true but sometimes staying married can be even worse.

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  7. Co-parenting can be great when it is done well or it can be so hard on the child. I have seen it both ways.

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    1. Oh yes there are great co-parenting parents out there so it does go both ways.

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  8. Divorce is terrible for everyone involved and coparenting is even more difficult. The children tend to get caught in the middle making the situation that much more difficult.

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    1. Oh yes, it's when parents bring their hurt feelings and their anger into the picture that co-parenting can hurt.

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  9. I can see how divorce is hard then co-parenting would make it even more difficult as you two still have to communicate. I don't have any kid so I am not familiar with this at all or have any experience of the situation but can totally see how it is sad and a tough scenario to figure out for each individual family that ends up in a co-parenting situation.

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    1. While I'm not divorced, I can say that I'm not so sure how I myself will be able to handle it. While I will try for the sake of my kids, I'm pretty sure that there will be a lot of anger there towards my ex partner.

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  10. I feel bad for the children of divorced parents who can't act civil around each other. I think some people do a wonderful job of making it work and I applaud them for that.

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    1. I truly applaud those who can as well and pity those that can't.

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  11. I think co-parenting can work if you do it correctly and work with each other and put your children first. There are people who do is successfully

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    1. Yes there are and those people are just like you described. They put the kids first.

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  12. At first, I was upset when my son's father left and decided to have nothing to do with our son. After being a completely single mom for 4 years now, I see that it was actually probably better this way for my son than for us to try to "co-parent".

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    1. And sometimes it works that way as well Kristen. If he wanted nothing to do with your son, then it really was for the best.

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  13. This is indeed an important post for those getting divorce who have children and need to co-parent. It is so important that when you need to co-parent both sides need to get along for the children and not be selfish. Divorce is really have on kids and that is what the parents have to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing the this post.

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    1. You got it Rebecca. Stop being selfish and focus on the kids and leave your hurt feelings at the door.

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  14. Divorce is a reality sometimes and it affects everyone in and outside of the family. I feel that it is better to separate so that everyone is happy in the long run than to stay together angrily - the kids can feel and know how you both feel even if it isn't expressed verbally.

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    1. Oh I totally agree with you. If you're not going to be civil to each other while married, then you're better off apart.

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  15. My parents got divorced when I was 16 years old. It didn't affect me as much as my younger sisters. The holidays are kind of a pain to visit everyone.

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    1. Oh I can understand how uncomfortable it could be when you're visiting divorced parents.

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  16. Divorce is hard, especially with kids. Thankfully my ex let me make all the decisions. He wasn't really "there" when we were married, so why start now.

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    1. Sounds like your ex didn't really care too much so I'm glad he let you make the decisions that were best for you and the kids.

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  17. Great post. Life gets harder when parents go thru divorce. I have seen this happen to my best friend.

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    1. It does but it can be ok when both parties are civil and do what's best for the kids.

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  18. Even though there are no divorce here in my country, children are affected when their parents are separated. And there are some kids who can't cope up and tend to be rebellious at times. I just hope that parents are responsible enough on discussing these things to their children, make them understand and make it positive as possible.

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    1. Which country is that? I personally don't know what I would do if I'm in an unhappy relationship with no out. :(

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  19. Just because a marriage doesn't work out doesn't mean that co-parenting won't work. I've seen several cases where it has worked out really well for the entire family and the kids grew up happy and well adjusted, knowing that they had two parents that loved them.

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    1. And that's how it should be April. The marriage is between two adults while parenting is between the adults and kids. You should keep that separated.

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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