Can I Make My Ex-spouse a Better Parent?


Divorce is a tremendously dis-spiriting and discouraging event.  Parents sometimes lose their parental vigor in the welter, confusion, and labor of divorcing.  In all likelihood, you were once a dear friend to your ex-spouse.  Be a friend again.  Your relationship has changed, but your kids still need two enthusiastic parents.  Meet with that spouse regularly to discuss your parenting challenges.  Rebuild a relationship with your co-parent.  Rebuilding a relationship is not a matter of brilliance or special skills.  It is mostly a matter of open and persistent caring in the face of failure and pain.

John Gottman, University of Washington relationship researcher, has written a book about fixing troubled relationships:  The Relationship Cure.  Click on the title to read my epitome of that book.  Then buy the book and read it.  Then do what it says.  Things will go better in your relationship with your co-parent.  When that relationship is re-established, work on helping your co-parent better understand and relate to your children.

For many, this process results in better parenting from both parents.