It is easy to let negativity and a focus on yourself dominate your perspective on an upcoming divorce. Some people want to punish their spouses or at least hold them accountable for certain misconduct, like adultery. The more acrimonious the divorce becomes, the longer it may take to resolve.
Of course, if you have children, you and your spouse aren’t the only ones who will feel the impact of the upcoming divorce. No matter what you do, you won’t have the clean break after divorce that many people expect. The two of you will have to maintain a relationship, which means that adjusting your perspective can be a very important step.
Instead of looking at this process as the end of your marriage, it can be much healthier to look at it as a transition from the two of you being spouses to working together as co-parents. Instead of employing a contentious, adversarial approach, you can handle every issue that arises with a focus on your future relationship as co-parents. How can you make co-parenting a more successful endeavor for your family?
Focus on the positive
While you may feel acutely aware of your spouse’s failings as an intimate partner, you probably recognize their positive traits as a parent. Those should be what you focus on the most when communicating with or about your spouse.
The earlier in the divorce process you start thinking of them as a form of support and someone who is important to your children rather than someone who hurt or disappointed you, the easier it will be for the two of you to cooperate.
Be realistic about the future
Although it can be nice to fantasize about a life where you don’t have to interact with your spouse at all anymore, the chances are good that you will see each other several times a week for many years, as well as on important days for your family for the rest of your lives. Even after your children are adults, you will see one another at college graduation wedding ceremonies.
Your relationship won’t end but will instead evolve, so your perspective about the relationship and how you treat each other need to evolve as well. If you can try to learn new means of communicating and accept that the two of you will interact regularly, you may have an easier time overcoming the challenges of co-parenting.
Staying positive and thinking about the future can help you take the right steps early in divorce that will set you up for a successful co-parenting relationship.