Tag Archives: support

Challenging Communication

As I work with individuals that are learning to co-parent after a divorce or separation, I am often approached by parents asking “How do I learn to survive co-parenting with a person that I really do not like and clearly does not like me?” Any one that has been faced with a similar situation knows there is not a simple answer to that question. I personally believe, and many professions would agree, the smartest strategy for cooperative co-parenting is learning how to remove anger, hostility and or vindictiveness from your interactions with your child’s other parent. We all know that is not always easy to do. The benefits you develop will more than make up for the sense of satisfaction or ego gratification you get when you hold on to damaging emotions. This is important for everyone that is involved in the life of the child, including both parents, as well as all spouses, grandparents, friends–the list can go on. Basically, all individuals involved in raising the child have a responsibility to empower the child for success in life.

If you are dedicated on creating a child-centered co-parenting relationship that strives for harmony between you and your co-parent and empowers your child, you need to practice initiating conversation and model win-win solutions. If your co-parent does not want to cooperate, that is when your patience will certainly be tested. Look for moments to clarify why working together as co-parents as often as possible will create far better outcomes for your children. Over time, hopefully, your co-parent will see how much more peaceful the family interactions become when you are not focused on “winning.” If your co-parent is not willing to make this a vital component while co-parenting, the part you play will be significant and noticed as your child becomes an adult. We cannot make people communicate positively, that is a choice, however we can do our best, show a good example to our children to help them be good communicators as he or she finds their place in society. In other words, you can only control your own choices, but how you chose to interact with your child’s other parent will dramatically impact how well you empower your child for future success.

It is most important that everyone involved with the child’s family to remember, respect the child’s parent(s), and for who he or she is in your child’s life. Children have one Mother and one Father. Other individuals can hold a very valuable place in a child’s life as well, even providing a valuable supporting role for the parent, but should never try to take the place of the child’s mother or father.

Social Media can be a wonderful way to keep up with your child and an avenue to communicate with your co-parent if parents are cooperatively working together. However it should never be used as an opportunity to interfere, undermine, or spy on the other parent—rebuilding trust is vital to successfully co-parenting. When individuals use social media as a way to “stalk” the other parent this can be very detrimental to a child. Because social media is not always well thought out, and impulsive, the real truth can be blurred very easily.

There are no magical solutions when a co-parent is out to spite or hurt the other through the child. However, behaving in the same hurtful way is rarely a viable solution. Focus your energies on discussing the well-being of your child in the short–and long–term. Demonstrate patience and determination while containing feelings of anger.

Do not hesitate to consult professional counselors, mediators, parenting coordinators, divorce or parenting coaches, clergy or others who can provide objective guidance on how to restore or create harmony for the sake of your children. These individuals can offer perspectives you had not thought of or wanted to consider which can lead to new options for all concerned. The more open and flexible you are, the better the possibility of turning a difficult situation into a more cooperative one.

Remember, your goal is always what is in the best interest of your children–even when it is not the ideal choice for you. When your children are at peace, everyone wins.



Divorce vs. Death

Why is it when we separate from those we love, whether it is by choice, or not the pain is so significant? One might be in a relationship that is abusive, either physical, verbal, sexual, and/or mental, even those that are very difficult each and every day to live with are painful to separate from.  A divorce or a breakup is painful because it represents a significant loss, much like death.  The dreams one once shared with another human being are no longer there. When relationships fail, the commitment has been broken and we feel profound disappointment stress and grief. When death occurs there is a sense of no turning back.

Whether one is dealing with separation, divorce or death it brings individuals into new territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity. A separation, divorce and even death bring uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship.

Recovering from these types of situations is often very difficult. However, it’s important to know (and to keep reminding yourself) that you can and will move on. But healing takes time, so be patient with yourself and the process.


  • It is ok to have different feelings. It is normal to go through a series of feelings that include sadness, anger, exhaustion, frustration and confusion, all which can be very overwhelming. You may feel anxious about the future. Accepting these reactions is very important and learning to understand what you are going through is normal although at times very frightening.
  • Give yourself permission to feel and to function at different level for a period of time. You may not be able to be as productive on the job or care for others exactly the way you are accustomed to for a little while. Give yourself the time to heal and re-energize. For those of you that have children or loved ones to care for, remember in order to effectively care for others, we must learn to take care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually, so take time for You!
  • Do not feel like you must go through this alone. Sharing your feelings with friends and family can help you get through this period. Consider contacting a life coach or joining a support group where you can talk to others in similar situations. Separating yourself from individuals that are supportive can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health.
  • While your friends and family are essential for support, it is very important to select your confidant carefully as many individuals even though are supportive may actually make matters worse or lead you down the wrong path by fueling feelings of anger or rage that are unhealthy or share information that only hurts. Choosing a divorce or a life coach can be a healthier and stable choice.

Should I Stay, or Should I Go?

FACING THE DILEMMA: Should I Stay, or Should I Go?

It is perhaps the worst feeling you have ever had. Clearly, you intended to stay with this person forever, but now you are faced with the dreaded question, “Should I stay or should I go?”

Many people are right where you are—feeling the heartache, the confusion, and conflicted feelings that go along with the mixed messages in your head and heart. Let me see are these some of the reasons why you are staying?

  1. We have been through so much together
  2. We have children
  3. I have invested so much of my time and energy in our relationship
  4. Marriage is supposed to be forever
  5. We have a business together
  6. I’m afraid of what life will be like being single
  7. I am fearful my faith will Judge me
  8. I will not be able to survive financially

I understand where you are coming from and how you are feeling, but now let me ask are these some of the reasons you want to leave.

  1. I am unhappy
  2. I am treated poorly
  3. We don’t treat each other like a couple should
  4. My spouse hurts my children
  5. I just thought our relationship would give me more satisfaction than it does
  6. We never have any money
  7. I no longer feel the love
  8. I just want more…

Each and every one of these can cause a person to have mixed feelings on what to do with their life. If this sounds familiar, I can help you as a Life Coach. My specialty is working with individuals that are contemplating divorce or separation.  Contact me today to set up a free consultation, which is the first step to doing something for YOU. I will walk with you down the path as you make the necessary changes in your life to make it the most fulfilling.