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Co-Parents, This Is What a ‘Breakthrough’ Looks Like

Becoming a divorced co-parent for the first time can be tricky business. After all, you typically go in to a parenting situation with the support of your spouse. When divorce occurs, that support can become fragmented. Yahoo! contributor Melissa Fleming had that very problem, but was able to find her way through after what she admits was a “grim divorce.”

In fact, it was so grim that it took the pair four years to finalize. 

Fleming said that she and her husband conducted communications primarily through email from that point forward until he suggested that they do something different for an upcoming custody-sharing period. Split the girls up for one-on-one time. Fleming claims she initially “balked” at the idea but that her ex convinced her to meet in person for coffee.

“When we came out of our email corners and sat across from each other, we easily reached compromises,” Fleming writes. “In person, we focused on the issue at hand without bringing in past emotional baggage or future what-ifs. I learned when to hold steady and when to let go. I was also able to recognize the role we each played in the downfall of our marriage and divorce trajectory, enjoying the freedom of my single time and moving on from the anger towards creating a fulfilling life as a trio.” 

Fleming believed this was an “emotional turning-point” in hers and her husband’s post-divorce life, and it led to some quality one-on-one time that allowed their girls to feel like individuals. 

This co-parenting “breakthrough” is a reminder of how much can be accomplished when you bring in face-to-face interaction. Obviously, that isn’t something you want to do if there was domestic violence involved in the relationship, but if it’s just you and your ex not seeing eye-to-eye, consider sitting down in a public place and interacting. You might be surprised at the level of compromise and understanding that you’re able to reach. 

And on one final note: if you try it once and it doesn’t work, come back to it later on. Time can help you cope tremendously with issues that seem like deal breakers today. Just something to think about if you’re struggling at this co-parenting thing. Good luck!

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