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, a 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 yourself 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 time, 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 the 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 by divorce. Friends and family tend to somehow 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 to 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.

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