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Co-Parenting Really Sucks, Ok I Said It by http://DaddyGotCustody.com

Co-Parenting Really Sucks, Ok I Said It

Out of respect to my daughter, I haven’t shared much about my current co-parenting situation. As I review and compare DGC to other custody blogs, I realize I have purposely left out the million crazy instances of co-parenting with someone who has a very different moral and parenting style. As the title of this blog indicates, Daddy Got Custody, I have been the custodial parent since my daughter was four (she’s about to be 17 next month).

The rest of the world has NO IDEA how stressful it can be for blended parents. To always deal and parent in a back-and-forth situation. It is one of the worst experiences of my life. It’s a crazy solution to a growing divorce problem.

“Co-parenting really sucks. Ok, I’ve said it.”

During the last 17 years, I have been involved in 110 court appearances, three CPS investigations, several kidnappings, three police related incidents. My Ex, during that same time, has moved about a dozen times, only half the time I knew where she was, gone to jail on three different occasions, sometimes as long as 50 days, and created more altercations than I could even mention in 100 posts.

The 17 Years of Hell is Over

Then after 17 years of hell, my Ex facing about 5-7 more years of jail time, ask me if “I would let her out of back child support and her parenting responsibilities permanently?” While certainly not my first choice, we talked it over with our daughter, and then went to court and signed papers. That was October 2015.

After 17 years of keeping copies of my court order in my car, never knowing if CPS or the police would call each day–it is over. After 13 years of answering the cell phone on the first ring from my daughter’s school, or hearing reports that my Ex is making a scene on a school campus–it is over. After 17 years of getting verbally abusing calls and texts on a regular bases–it is over. After 17 years of studying a calendar and saying “No, my daughter probably can’t participate on that day, because that’s her mother’s weekend. You probably have to call my Ex instead.” AFTER 17 YEARS… it is all over.

It’s taken me four months, to actually look at a calendar and not count weekends or days for every major or minor event in our lives. It has taken me four months, to realize Caitlyn has the freedom to visit a college weekend. It has taken us four months to realize Caitlyn can enroll in a driver’s education course without having to schedule it online, or on 2nd and 4th weekends. It’s all over.

The tension I have felt for 17 years is also gone. Then I realized something I never thought about before…

Most divorce parents suffer in silence, because there are no perfect solutions. If you are blended parent, stop being a pill to your Ex. Do whatever is humanly possible to work with your Ex.

If not, maybe YOU are the problem. Maybe it’s time for YOU to take a sabbatical. Maybe it is time for a season of peace. Maybe that’s what is in the best interest of your children.

If you are considering divorce, don’t. If you can weather a bad marriage until the kids are grown, do. Bad co-parenting sucks. Not just for the kids, but everyone else as well.

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What are some of the struggles you deal with in co-parenting? How do you feel about the entire blended family experience?

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Fred Campos, Top Geek, blogs about everything from education to parenting. In addition to blogging, he is a public speaker and humorist in child custody, social media, web development and parenting. He is married to one SuperParentMom blogger, and raising three world changes. For more details on websites, www.DFWWebsiteDesigners.com. Like this post? Make sure you subscribe to this blog.

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  • Gary February 25, 2016, 10:17 am

    Hell yes! Way to go, this makes me smile from ear to ear. Unfortunately I know what it’s like dealing with a dumb ex (granted she’s a saint compared to yours), but kudos to you DAD for raising a successful daughter while managing all the bullshit!

    Reply
    • FullCustodyDad February 25, 2016, 11:12 am

      Gary,

      not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and Sloane, or all the other good Dads out there fighting a good fight. I don’t think the general public has a clue of what it is like to be a blended parent. It sucks from every angle. Even the winning one I sit from. People should stay married or grow up and work together. But then again I am preaching to the choir.

      Hang in there buddy. Love your blog. Give Sloane a hug from me! Tell her Fred said you are a great Dad!

      Reply
  • Dionne Howell February 25, 2016, 10:52 am

    This article gave me different emotions, on one hand, it made me realize that I’m not crazy and on the other hand, I feel more at a loss as to how to help my son. Coparenting has not worked because of the exact things you mentioned..different parenting styles, different morals..you name it.

     

    My sons father and I have a temporary order in place and return for the final trial in July, unless we can agree during mediation. My coparent, parents in a very harsh and unloving style…uses profuse profanity with our son and always seems to find the negative. For instance, our son had a great basketball game but the only thing his father pointed out was the shots he missed and how “he has to get better if he wants a college scholarship. By the way, our son is 10.

     

    Additionally, his father appears almost narcissistic and self centered. Our son was sick Monday and his school called me to pick him up. I immediately sent his father an email letting him know that Jason had diarrhea and a fever and that I was taking him to the doctor. His fathers response was “Stop playing games. I tried to text him last night and he didn’t answer. Now you’re saying he’s sick. Have my son call me TODAY!”

     

    He then called the school to confirm he was sick and blasted the school officials for not letting him know. Meanwhile, he decides to email our sons swim coach without even informing me to let them know that he would not be participating in his championship swim meet over the weekend. When I asked him to please explain, his reply was “he didn’t answer my text. He will have to pay for that”.

     

    Btw, he’s not punishing him from his weekend basketball game…only the swim…because he really doesn’t support the swim…only the basketball.

     

    Lastly, I had agreed that he could see our son on Wednesday of this week (it’s not court ordered) but our son was still having stomach problems and was behind on his homework after missing two days. My email said “I apologize but he is still having stomach problems and his stomach hurt all day at school. I’m going to take him home and give him the medicine the doctor prescribed. He will then try to catch up on some of his homework before going to bed”.

     

    His response was “so what does any of that have to do with you not bringing him”. He really wanted to spend time with him to take him to the gym to do basketball drills to further prepare him for college scholarship. He has not asked even once how he is doing with his stomach. It saddens me.

     

    I am fasting and praying that the Lord will guide me and protect my son. The doctor feels my son has stomach problems due to stress. It really happens every time it’s time for his dad’s possession. Im so sorry for the long response. But you really hit a nerve with this blog.

    Reply
    • FullCustodyDad February 25, 2016, 12:17 pm

      Dionne,

      the post was designed to hit a nerve, and no you are not crazy. Co-parenting is VERY, VERY hard. Almost as hard as staying married. *hehe*

       

      Well let me give you a little advise or insight that perhaps might help. Regardless of how you feel about your Ex, he probably cares very deeply for your son–just in a very different way than you.

       

      Not hearing from your kids when they are sick hurts. Not seeing them when they are sick hurts more. Expecting to see your son when he is sick, and then not getting too hurts worse than ever.

       

      The solution to this problem is counter-intuitive, and don’t let how my case ended encourage you the wrong way. Realize that courts and custody creates an adversary situation. It is a win/lose no matter what. So from that wrong paradigm, realize you are dealing with a hurting parent. Visitation trumps everything, sickness, homework, swim lessons, everything. Time with the parent comes before all that.

       

      Against your better feelings try not to make the exchanges negative. My situation is so rare, it almost never happens. (And should not happen for any kids less than 16 years old–my opinion.) Even during the worst of time, kids need both parents. It’s learning to make that work or having Exs that grow up that is the problem.

       

      Hang in there! – Fred

       

      PS. So often we pray for God to take AWAY the problem. To often, the lesson is to preserve THROUGH the problem and showing grace where it isn’t deserved.

      Reply
      • Dionne February 25, 2016, 12:50 pm

        Fred, I wish it was that simple. I could accept and really appreciate if his response was because he wanted to see our son because he was sick. But his dad really only wanted to see him to take him to do basketball drills. Our son doesn’t even let his dad know when he’s sick when he’s in his care because he says “my dad makes fun of me when I’m sick and calls me a baby”. I don’t feel that he called the school because he wanted to know our son was sick…he called to make sure I was telling the truth because he always says I’m lying.

         

        I really strive to not be negative towards my sons father and always stress that his dad loves him. I want our son to have a great relationship with his dad. My sons prayer every night is “Lord, please don’t let my dad be so angry and talk so bad about my mom. Please don’t let him ask any more questions about my mom and stepdad and please stop him from cussing me out”. I must admit, it’s very hard to remain positive when your ten year old son prays that kind of prayer.

         

        Side note: We were never married and they just started spending consistent time together about two years ago after I married. This was his fathers choice at the time. I will continue to pray for a positive father son relationship. I’m not trying to have him parent the same way I do,,,,,,but I really think it’s unacceptable to use so much profanity around our son.

        Reply
        • FullCustodyDad February 25, 2016, 1:52 pm

          Dionne,

           

          I hear ya. Hang in there. While it may not get better, you will blink and your son will grow up and it will all be over.

           

          Or at least get better. :) Hand in there! You are not alone. I can relate more than you’ll ever know. :)

          Reply
  • Renee groskreutz February 25, 2016, 11:05 am

    It is shameful when a parent behaves this way. There is no question in my mind that this harms the child above all things. May your daughter heal and grow from this.

    Reply
    • FullCustodyDad February 25, 2016, 11:23 am

      Thanks Renee!

      Caitlyn is doing well, all things considered. I think we underestimate the resilience children have in blended family situations. Nevertheless, I want to encourage people if at all possible to NOT let this happen.

      Reply
  • Nicole April 2, 2016, 8:23 pm

    Fred, I completely agree with you. Co-parenting is the worst. My husband is almost perpetually furious with me, though I am exceedingly generous and flexible with visitation outside of the order. A generosity, mind you, that is not reciprocated.

    What keeps me awake at night, wondering, is, “Doesn’t my husband feel how hard this is too?! I can’t believe he prefers battling and resentment, rather than reconciling.”

    But he will not relent, and it is beyond frustrating to have literally NO RECOURSE to stop this divorce from shredding my life and the lives of my children.

    (BTW: thanks for pointing out that a parent who was expecting to see his/her children, and was then denied due to illness, is doubly heartbroken. I might have made that mistake if one of my own boys was sick, thinking I was doing the right thing. Now you’ve shown me the other side, I will make sure that visitation trumps all. Dad still comes but we make it a quiet night.)

    Reply
    • FullCustodyDad April 2, 2016, 9:41 pm

      Nicole,

      sounds like you hanging in there. Yes co-parenting is hard and sucks. The currently solution creates an advisory relationship. Do what you can to preserve visitation time at all cost. Kids do grown up and it does get better–even if better doesn’t happen until the kids are grown. :)

      Reply