Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparenting?

Parental Alienation Syndrome, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparenting?

Postby mbxdad » Mon May 21, 2012 1:07 pm

I'm really getting burned out on interactions with the NJ around co-parenting. We have dramatic differences in parenting styles and she still harbors a LOT of resentment towards me (unwarranted, I feel, but that's another story) That resentment spills over into my S13 (who has some psychological challenges to start with). My S13 clearly suffers as a result of this.

Have any of you successfully moved from "bitter NJ" to "cordial NJ"? Any secrets? I really don't want to waste any emotional energy in a battle with her - I want to move on and just be cordial with our co-parenting.

Some people have told me this won't happen until NJ finds someone else, but that seems like a crap shoot (and takers? :-)

What was it that worked for you, if anything?

It has been a bit more than a year since finalization.
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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby nighthawk » Mon May 21, 2012 1:19 pm

Actually mine was that way, everyone on this site knows mine was an extreme NJ! After she was exposed in court, it still didn't seem to help her attitude! Even when she lost custody, it didn't help! So, I decided to start giving a little more than the court allowed, not much, just enough to show good will in trying to coparent. And when the NJ came back out in her, I took the small gifts back! She has now realized that getting along benefits her! Let's face it, some NJs don't care who they hurt, even her own children, but they won't hurt themselves!
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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby madalex » Mon May 21, 2012 1:21 pm

Here's some things that worked for me:

1. Stop engaging with the Ex. Instead of being sucked into her drama and trying to argue/refute every thing she says that I disagree with, I just ignore most of what she says and does and live my life the way I want to live it.

2. Acceptance of "differences in parenting styles." She does things her way and I do things mine. I can't change her, so I've stopped trying. I just try to do the best I can by my kids when they are with me.

3. Time, which grants perspective. It's been seven years for me since the divorce. We've gotten into a pattern since the divorce which means I know what to expect from her and don't let it bother me. It also means that I have come to realize that a lot of things that I thought right after the divorce were really important just aren't that important. Thus, I pick my battles on stuff that is really important and not let myself get worked up about stuff that isn't.
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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby Trevor » Mon May 21, 2012 2:36 pm

Quit the co-parenting rubbish and look into parallel parenting. Your kid's old enough not to need that level of parental cooperation for the most part, if he's a typical 13 year old kid.
Dual Parenting, not Duel Parenting.
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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby mbxdad » Mon May 21, 2012 7:05 pm

Trevor wrote:Quit the co-parenting rubbish and look into parallel parenting. Your kid's old enough not to need that level of parental cooperation for the most part, if he's a typical 13 year old kid.


I hadn't heard the term parallel parenting, so I looked it up. I guess that's what we've been doing more or less, except not so great at cutting off all communication other than that related to the child's health and welfare. Thanks for the hint. I'll read more.

My son has Aspergers, which throws a level of complexity on the whole thing.
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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby Trevor » Mon May 21, 2012 8:40 pm

I have no experience with Aspergers but I know the basic definition, so please adjust what I mentioned with your understanding of the child-dynamic.

Disconnecting the emotion by knowing your triggers and preparing so that they don't cause negative reaction can be learned. There are good books on emotional intelligence that can do it, but we have lots of experience among the good Dads to help. Hope more people respond with their experinces.
Dual Parenting, not Duel Parenting.
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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby RC411V » Tue May 22, 2012 9:45 am

The only way I think you can have no conflict with a NJ is if you do what she wants, so I don't think it is possible unless you don't want to be an involved dad. She only wants what is good for her, or things that make her look like a good mom to the people around her (which is another thing she sees as good for her), not anything else.

So you have to learn and find out how to manage her, how not to let her manipulate things, how to be a parent to your kids without her influence at all. Pretend she doesn't exist.
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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby dadmisseskids » Tue May 22, 2012 9:48 am

If it helps, I've had a lot of success moving from low to high conflict co-parenting.
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Mommy has Borderline Personality Disorder? She's very difficult to deal with? Buy this:

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Re: Any success in movgin from high to low conflict coparent

Postby cynicalDad » Fri May 25, 2012 12:19 am

If you can understand what your NJ's primary motivation is you can use it to improve things a bit. My NJ is irrational and illogical. I CAN'T fix that, not even worth trying. But I do realize now that she has a highly developed "victim complex" and that she is really selfish and loves to make everything "all about me". So I use that when I talk to her. It's really stupid but you might as well learn how to avoid conflict as much as possible since you are probably an expert at knowing how to have conflict or you wouldn't be divorced ;-)

Also, sometimes it's best to say nothing at all if you having nothing good to say. Taking the high road is a bit painful at times but eventually your NJ will be the only one yelling, the only one losing her temper, etc., etc. and by keeping your cool and acting rationally she will have a harder time blaming you as the bad guy (of course this won't stop her from blaming you but you knew that).

But don't be a pushover, stand up for your rights and the terms of your parenting plan. She may not respect you EVER, but she needs to know that you aren't going to accept certain kinds of behavior if it harms your ability to be a good parent. It's a lot like being a parent to the most unruly teenager in the neighborhood.
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