As I assist many people in their journey through their divorce and adjusting to co-parenting, I notice that the focus is very much on acquiring ways TO DO things.
- How do I co-parent?
- How do I manage my emotions?
- How do I handle my ex?
- How do I protect my children?
- How do I move on?
Although these are necessary, it still remains within the belief that one can control events or people affecting them or that they are not the cause of their suffering.
Everything relates back to how we wish to be happy. All questions above, are not about acquiring certain skills in dealing with people or situations, they are about, ultimately:
- Being happy co-parents
- Feeling happy
- Having a pleasant relationship with your ex
- Being assured your children are happy
- and finding happiness in your new circumstances
My all time role model, William Glasser, says, “Happiness, is enjoying the life you are choosing to live, getting along well with the people near and dear to you, doing something with your life you believe is worthwhile, and not doing anything to deprive anyone else of the same chance for happiness you have.”
What resonates most for me here is: ” not doing anything to deprive anyone else of the same chance for happiness you have.”
Too often, I witness people being on a quest of destroying the other person’s chance of being happy, because they are struggling to be happy themselves and believe their happiness is compromised because of the other person’s doing. Truth is, no one can make you happy but you and no one can make you behave in a certain way but you.
Separating parents can engage on a life long quest to destroy each other, because they are not getting what they want from the other person, but in doing so, they are leaving their children hostages to painful childhood memories.
Everyone wants to be happy. Yet most separating parents focus on things which involve controlling their ex’s behaviour to meet their own happiness. Because a divorce is about money and children, these become the source of much conflict and while money is a commodity, children are beings whom, just like their parents, just want to be happy, and happiness cannot be bought!
Parents need money to raise children, and certain things need to be done to make sure this money is available, but mostly, people want to get on with their lives happily and want their children to be happy too.
While in your conflict, do you recognise yourself:
If you think about it. There is no way these behaviours are going to bring you close to feeling happy in any way and mostly, they are not going to get you any closer from the person you seek certain things from.
Instead, practice ‘Being”:
- Negotiating differences
Recognise that not only do children need both their parents to be happy in their lives, but both parents also need each other to compliment their needs to assure their children’s happiness.