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Co-Parenting

 
Dealing with an ex when you have children together can be difficult, especially when negative emotions are involved. Are you sharing a child with someone who doesn't live with you? How do you handle the situation? Are you amicable, or is it a challenge? Share your stories and advice with others.
Comments
Replied By: courtneys1s on Mar 20, 2015, 1:47PM
My ex husband and his girlfriend are two of my closest friends. Myself, my boyfriend, my ex and his girlfriend hang out together... when the kids are with grandparents. No, were not in some sort of hippie commune, we don't have some sort of twisted "love square" and our kids arent buried in confusion. My ex and I loved eachother enough to have three children together- the most wonderful kids in the world- and we respect one another and are good enough friends to provide our kids with a true teamwork based approach to parenting. This summer we are all going on vacation together.


The hard part... other people's judgements. Friends of my boyfriend saying that my ex and I must still be involved in order to get along so well. My parents inferring that I am doing damage to my children by confusing them. And the general look of disgust I get from peers when I proudly say I set my ex up with his new girlfriend. "That's just so weird." I hear that all the time. 


I can't understand why others are so put off by our parenting style and friendship. It seems as if others would be MORE accepting of a hostile relationship. One, in which, our children were raised by two seperate kingdoms altogether... kingdoms battling over time, money, property and the childrens' love. Who wins in that situation? Certainly not our kids. 


In our arrangement, my kids have the opportunity to have special time with just mommy and daddy, nobody misses Christmas morning, everyone they love is present for big life events and neither one of their parents will miss seeing their eyes light up at Disney or their first time in the ocean. 


Our arrangement could not work for everyone. I understand that some divorces don't end on an amicable note. But divorce does not NEED to be a tragedy. For us, it has been an opportunity for our childrens' and our own support systems to expand. 
 
Replied By: mwilcox2004 on Mar 5, 2015, 12:47AM
I have one bioligical son and take care of my stepson that my husband has custody of. Being a stepparent ican be extremely hard and emotionally exhausting as well. My stepson' biological mother has been in and out of his life. He goes for visitation with his mom's parents every other weekend. 

My husband works late most days so I'm the one that takes care of the kids. I get them ready, do their homework with them, and cook dinner. If my husband makes it home before I start on the homework and dinner, he very rarely helps me with any of it. He usually takes a nap on the couch, which I'm understanding most of the time until he falls into the weeks where he will nap everyday. My stepson has trouble reading and with math. Ive been working with him to get him caught up. (He got behind in school prior to his dad receiving custody of him.) 

Anytime his son does something that gets him into trouble, I'm ostracized and his dad will argue with me taking his side right in front of his son. I'm at the point where I dont want to tell his dad when he gets in trouble because I know he is going to get upset with me, raise his voice, then my stepson will hear and make me go above and beyond to prove it while my stepson is watching.  He makes me show him the emails from the teachers and will question me like im on trial if its something i seen. He buys him something everytime they go out & will forget to get spmething for our youngest son that stayed home with me. He is 4 and it hurts his feelings. He will leave the youngest son out by playing video games with my stepson amd not letting my youngest play too. I know a part of his dad feels guilty because the transition from moving into our house was rough on him. I think he tries to overcompensate for that and the fact that his mother is in jail and he is having a hard time adjusting to it. I have been taking him to counseling every other week to help him get through these rough times. He is 10 years old now and if I tell him not to do something he gets smart with me. His dad never says anything. 



I failed out of nursing school last semester. I have one last chance to try again this fall. My goal while I am om break has been to get my stepson to stop lieing and to put more effort into his homework. (He tends to huess on some of it) Ive tried talking to my husband numerous times about helping me more with the homework and issues with lieing but everytime I say something he raises his voice to the point the kids hear ane once again,  I'm outted be the evil stepmom.  He doesnt respect me at all. I think most of that was brought on from how he sees his dad treat me. Anytime I make a comment that he needs to include our youngest son usually ends up with him yelling his voice. It gets the kids upset. He has learned with time if he raises his voice I will stop talking about it to prevent getting them upset. 


Im miserable and very unhappy.  I feel like I have poured my all into our relationship and our children. Ive sacrificed so much to be where I'm at now. I dont feel he puts much effort into our relationship.


Does anyone else have this problem? 


Thanks in advance 
 
Replied By: momchoices on Feb 19, 2015, 2:45PM
I left my husband/relationship of 10 years as he never wanted to change or make the effort to fix himself, as he had a crack problem, drinking and cheating.... it took alot of strength to leave this marriage as i thought staying was best for the kids. he attacked me once he found out i left and stalked me for month and hired PI. He then decided to start new relationship with a women he has an affair with. now my children spend every second weekend with them and they are out to prove i am horrible mom and dont want to co parent. they put the children in the middle of adult issues, his girlfriend believes my children would be better off raised by her. so they continue to try and take me to court to gain more time with them but the court as not apporved it, as he is breaking court order by continuing to drink while he has them. he also does not pay his child support. he is 15 g behind. now in canada , child support and visitation are seperate, if he doesnt pay it , he still sees them. i do believe my children need a relationship with him and i am happy he does see them but co parenting is so hard as he doesnt see i am doing everything i can to provide for them and he doesnt do it at all. the hardest thing is to keep myself from getting angry at him but if i do get angry then he will see that what he is doing is bothering me and that would allow him to feel like he is in control so i do not say a word and work hard for my kids, i spent ten years in his control..now its time to take my life back.
 
Replied By: jeni867 on Jan 26, 2015, 10:21AM
I have lived this situation with my husband and step daughters. We have raised his daughters for 10 years and they have said everything and done everything that these girls have done except the mother was a already felon and didn't take them away. She lost custody when they were 6,7 and 13. It was like I was watching my own story. They accused my husband of abuse, sexual and emotional. They ran away, they hooked up with people on the internet and had an online predator come to our house and when we addressed it they said we were to harsh and they ran away to their moms when she didn't have custody.. We've had the police called on us several times because we raised our voices at them. The have never ever been touched.  Everthing that came from Brittany's mouth was said by our eldest! The three of them would also post everything on twitter and facebook about how mean we were. We also had them shut the computer off at midnight or had one or two hours of computer time. I block unappropriate sites and music when they were in Jr. High and I was a monster. When they would get punishment, it would be we would take their phones away. They would call their mother crying and she would call the police and make up some story about my husband. The mother also bought them another phone so in High School they had two phone each. One we paid for and one they paid for. This is not abuse, this is PARENTING! To Brian in this situation, it's not worth it, it's not worth the fight, the girls will always put their mother on a pedestal and hold you accountable. Our girls are over 18 now and only come around when they want money. I just wanted to let Brian know he is doing what is right for those girls whether they think so or not and I totally support him and his wife!
 
Replied By: howiedennison on Jan 10, 2015, 8:25PM - In reply to stayathome1974
Sorry to hear there is somone trying to keep you out of your children's life.  This sounds like it might be classic parental alienation.
 
Replied By: jayne65 on Nov 13, 2014, 11:32PM
I split up with the boyfriend during pregnancy.He took me to court when the baby was two weeks old for full custody.The Judge decided last week that we should split half custody of my baby.He is only 6 months old and I have not seen him this week at all.I am devasted.How can this be good for a 6 month old baby who has beenw ith me since birth to have no contact with me at all..I feel like my heart has been ripped out..I am all about right for dads but I do not believe this is the right decision..Any help would be appreciated..
 
Replied By: elizabeth4819 on Jun 24, 2014, 12:46PM
My ex husband and I co-parent our 5 year old son and have for over 4 years.  It wasn't easy at first but we both have put our son and his needs first.  Whatever hurt and anger we have caused each other, we know it doesn't do our son any good to let that get in our way for raising our son together.  We're able to see our son whenever we want.  We don't follow our parenting plan - though it's great we have one, we talk to each other - not talk down to each other, and we keep our focus on our son.  He's the one that's benefiting with having both his parents in his life.  We have never bad-talked each other in front of him or to each other.  He's our number 1 priority.  If only adults could quit using their kids against one another, they would begin to see how important it is to have both parents in the child's life.  The focus should always be on the children and not on how to use the children against the other parent - cuz in the end, it's the children who end up hurt.
 
Replied By: stayathome1974 on Jun 3, 2014, 6:57PM - In reply to jewleye
I am so sorry... I know what you are going through :(
 
Replied By: stayathome1974 on Jun 3, 2014, 6:52PM - In reply to maryanne64
I think it depends on the state... I think... with him being in the system who knows...
 
Replied By: stayathome1974 on Jun 3, 2014, 6:46PM - In reply to toni81
as a step parent, I dont think it should have ever been up to me when a my step-children had any contact with thier mother... I would get a little upset when everyone just assumed that I would pick up or drop off... but that was between my husband and myself... would never have allowed it hurt the kids by refusing to do it...
 
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