4 Kick-A** Strategies to Give You HOPE during your High Conflict Separation or Divorce

 

You want nothing more than to have the ‘white picket fence’ divorce.

You know the kind; Where you and your children’s other parent can attend parent teacher interviews together; Celebrate birthdays with one birthday party; Sit beside each other at Christmas Pageant’s; Have coffee to figure out what the summer holiday schedule will look like.

You want your children to have a ‘regular childhood’ even though their parents are divorced.

You want your co-parent to be happy, to find someone else to share their life with who makes them happy, to move on with their lives.

So you keep trying.

You tell yourself that your kids need you to keep trying.  If you stopped trying, what message would that send to them?

You keep searching Google for “strategies” or “possibilities.”  For anything that might give you a glimmer of hope that there is a better way.

I call this the Cycle of Hope:

Stress builds in the high conflict parent– there is a breakdown of communication, the optimist parent becomes anxious and feels the need to placate their co-parent (unintentionally)

Explosion – the high conflict parent explodes with verbal and emotional attacks – anger, blaming, arguing, threats, intimidation and manipulations.

There must be a better way – The optimist says themselves “That will never happen again, I will find a better way to do this”  And the Google search begins.

HOPE – Somewhat amicable communication between parents, the optimist feels a glimmer of hope that maybe ‘this time the strategy worked’ and the cycle will end.

REPEAT.

The Cycle of Abuse and the Cycle of Hope are similar – for sure.

But the similarity I want you to focus on is this – both include a high conflict person who will not change.

No amount of Google searches will give you strategies to change the other person, your co-parent.

They will not change.

They do not have the insight or ability to manage themselves sufficiently to implement the strategies they need to implement in order to change.

And because you are living the Cycle of Hope, you keep hoping and researching possibilities and strategies to try that will change the dynamic between you and your co-parent.

You are not a victim.  You have hope, you are an optimist.

And your optimism has finally paid off.

The Cycle of Hope has paid off.

Only you don’t need to be on the Cycle of Hope anymore, you can jump off and hang out in your life.

Below are 4 kick-ass strategies that will allow you to continue being an optimist, to give you hope, while stopping the Cycle of Hope.

4 Kick Ass Strategies to give you HOPE in your High Conflict Separation or Divorce:

1)Your co-parent is NOT going to change.  Stop hoping they will.  Nothing you say or do will get them to change.  Nothing.  Stop defending yourself against their attacks; it will only encourage them to attack more.

2)Disengage from the conflict – this takes time, do the work – you won’t regret it.  If your co-parents attacks are still triggering you, you are still engaged.  Love and Hate are on the same spectrum.  Your goal is to get to a place of indifference.

3)Decide what is worth your time and what isn’t.  Write down 5 uber important child related topics you feel strongly about – that are worth your time and energy engaging in communication with your high conflict co-parent about.  Having a plan about what you will and won’t engage in conversation about gives you the freedom to opportunity to decide NOT to respond to the daily attacks and manipulations.

4)Deliver the message you want heard.  Dr Phil says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”  How you are communicating with your high conflict co-parent isn’t working for you, you aren’t getting the results you are hoping for.   So change it.

You are not a victim.  You have hope, you are an optimist.  An optimist who now has the right tools and strategies needed to have confidence in your optimism, your hope for a better co-parenting relationship.