The harsh reality of not getting on well with your Ex
On many occasions I have seen – a father usually – frustrated that he is not seeing his children as frequently as he should, or in circumstances that he would prefer.
There are many reasons why that may or may not be right, but I do suggest that when you think about your contact with the children – and I’m talking about the parent who does not have main care of the children – the reality is that you start from a relatively poor position. You are not involved with the daily care of that child, and so you have someone else who has that important role. If you are not respectful to that person, you won’t be surprised to find that they are not going to be amenable to your proposals.
So think about how you handle that anger and frustration, that ‘she’s not doing something right’ as a mum, or she doesn’t seem to respect you – first of all you’ve got to try to build over that bridge to try to get some cooperation that is on the level and that is workable. In other words, I often say to people that if you come away from a poor relationship, the best thing you should do is try to establish a working relationship at least, for the purposes of your contact with your children.
Because the children will benefit from observing you both as parents working together, and from the child’s perspective, the last thing they want to see is the opposite of that – gripes and anger, doorstep arguments, even telephone comments to the child as well as to the mother. The mother coming away from the telephone upset and angry – that doesn’t help in an environment where you are wanting that child to see you with some respect and with love and affection, and notwithstanding that you are separated now, that you both as parents love and support that child/children, come what may.