We are currently frustrated with one another. I am writting this after a dispute happened during pick up this morning. We both walked away; although it was hard when ensnared in an escalated verbal mess.
On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being,”we dispute hardly ever”, and 10 being, “everything is a fight”) where do you fall ?
Sometimes we are low to high on the scale. Right now, it’s my job to figure out what I’m feeling, how to resolve (or go back down on the scale), and methods of how to get there.
Arguments are going to happen for a number of reasons, and it is 100% necessary to walk away. Stop talking and go.
You are allowed to feel, and own your emotions. You are even allowed to be angry and tell yourself they are wrong. All of that is fine. You are a human.
A few minutes after walking away, I like to get my mind off the other person and the argument. Clearing up your mind and calming your fight or flight response is important.
It has been a couple hours now since the argument happened. My mind space is available for analysis (plus the baby is asleep on me).
Collecting my thoughts and reflecting is my first goal. Not allowing myself to relive any emotional or physical experience is my first method towards resolving my issues. Repeating this as many times as I need to, until it’s simply emotionless facts left to analyze.
I’m thinking of his behavior and words, my reactions, his responses, and so on. Why, and How did the argument start? Why does he feel there is merit in his argument?
Sometimes we wont be able to answer every question. We won’t always get it right. That’s ok, because the goal isn’t to fix the other person.
What should you do now? Do you have a broader perspective?
Sometimes the only resolution I default to is us going back to a very formal coparenting relationship.
This is probably the best move to make for any coparent. It doesn’t require permission from the other parent. It is healthy for you and the kids (and the other parent). It is NOT punishment.
Sometimes the other parent might to to guilt you, become angry, or say you’re giving them the “cold shoulder”. This is not true.
When combative communication happens, I really hate it, even if I think I am right. But, it keeps us in check. One or both of us realize that our boundaries have not been maintained.
It’s like we slowly worked our way to the top of the rollercoaster, relaxed there for a second, and are now experiencing the acceleration of the fall.
We need to hit reset. Whatever amount of time we need to take to discipline ourselves (not the other parent) “is what it is”.
If he needs to not speak to me for a while (or vice versa) I’m okay with that. He will do his dad thing and I will do my mom thing, and we wont argue so the kids will be happy.
Once we are ready to communicate more freely, is when we are both in a healthy place.
Even if it takes sometime darling.
P.S. Please feel free to follow, or email questions (addressed to Either parent) you might have about a coparenting experience. Sometimes we don’t need advice or answers, just someone to talk to.