One of the key reasons my marriage failed was a lack of trust. When I should have come home I didn’t, when I should have been there I wasn’t…
For several years now I have tried to consider how that trust might ever be rebuilt. Not to resurrect my marriage, but to facilitate a healthy parenting relationship between the kids mum and I.
What I have learnt, and yes it’s been the hard way yet again J. Is that once it is broken it becomes a ratio. Good deeds v less well-intentioned ones, making and keeping promises, timing, and apologizing from the moral standpoint not the political one. Last year we had both been working hard at improving our friendship so as to be better able to be the best parents we could. From my point of view it was probably the best we had gotten on in several years.
Like all things though, it came to an end early this year. In a break down of communication that would lead to Mediation we faced off and literally burnt all the good work we had done in a matter of minutes. It was truly heartbreaking…
As divorced or separated parents we ride a very thin line of knowing what to share with your ex-partner. From choosing to isolate them all the way to over-communicating to the point your current partner gets suspicious because you’re always talking to your ex. Ultimately, your duty as a parent must come first! This is where trust can start to be rebuilt.
I must emphasize that to think that by simply sharing all relevant information is the cure to trust would be a very simplistic view. Trust in terms of parenting comes with being able to admit when you’re wrong. To offering constructive ways of moving forward, and not, I repeat not, putting your kids in the middle of it. I see it all too often, and it always ends in tears.
Manage your own expectations; try not to get lost in the game playing. Put the kids best interests out front before you open your mouth or write an email or send an SMS. Naturally some of you will be reading this and saying to themselves that, ‘if you met my ex you would understand why I cant deal with her/him’. You know what, you are probably right, but that doesn’t exclude you from being part of the solution. Stupid is as stupid does to quote Forest Gump!
Here are some pointers;
- If you make a mistake, fess up.
- Stick to the facts
- Remain objective
- Document for clarity, not rock throwing!
- Keep the kids out of it; yet make their welfare the centre of all your actions.
If you were a part of why this marriage/partnership failed, then you sure can be part of repairing it to a state where the two of you can communicate effectively in the best interest of your kids. Put the egos away, yes you will lose friends, but that happens despite losing a marriage so move on! The good news is that I think we have repaired most of the damage done earlier this year, and let me say that life is a lot easier when you don’t have to filter your words.
Go at it people, its not fun, but definitely not the hardest thing you will do in your life!
Written by Jason Owen, August 9th, 2015 whilst working in Kuala Lumpur.
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