Does there have to be a bad guy?

 In America

It’s interesting when the man you once loved and considered your best friend transforms into your worst enemy once you divorce and have to co-parent.

Post-divorce the “flaws” that you accommodated in marriage now seem like malicious character defects, designed to make your life miserable.

His lack of communication, his lateness, his difficulty making decisions are no longer mildly annoying parts of the package, they are downright terrible, awful…the worst (!) traits a human being can possess. Am I right?

But, why? What’s really changed about this man? Could it be that it’s our perspective that’s changed? Inherent in divorce is the concept of conflict, disagreement–a winner and a loser. We haven’t just parted ways to continue growing in our lives separately, we have become “estranged”. We are no longer on the same side. And caught in the middle are the kids who need us–more than ever–to act as a team for their best interest and safety.

What happens when we make our ex the “bad guy”?  Think about it. How does it affect your behavior towards him if you’ve grown accustomed to thinking of him as clueless jerk (if not worse). Is it possible that how you treat him (even if only in your thoughts) may actually manifest the person you now dislike?

What if you decided he’s not a bad guy…he’s just a guy. The father of your children…for better or for worse. And here’s an irrefutable fact: he will always be their father…FOREVER. How does it benefit you, or them, to view him in a negative, harsh light?

Just for today, try viewing him with the light of compassion…or humor if that’s easier. Maybe it will shift the story just a little bit. If not for you, then for your kids. Because they deserve to see their Dad in the best light possible. 

Just for today take a deep breath, drop the backstory about your ex and try co-parenting without a “bad guy”. You might be surprised to discover he’s not so “bad” after all.
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