You think things are going well, and then the chess game of co-parenting starts to raise it’s ugly head.
You’ve done all you can, or so you thought.
You didn’t drag them through the divorce courts, because let’s face it, the only winners there are the lawyers.
You have allowed them to choose their own times to visit the children, never restricting access, or watching over them all like a hawk; not even by skulking the shadows.
You’ve even given them the opportunity to step up and be the parent you believed they could have been, or at least allowed you to think they could have been.
But it has all been lies, deception, manipulation at every turn. Just like all the discoveries you have made since the moment they told you they wanted a divorce.
The thing is this person you’re dealing with isn’t your run of the mill idiot. This is a very clever, highly decpetive person, who managed to lie and deceive everyone they knew.
They know the obvious trashy behaviour will do them no favours; so they start playing the chess game of co-parenting.
A game so clever it would leave the Grand Masters of chess stumped.
It’s carefully tailored liked a Saville Row suit from London, and at first you just thought you were being paranoid, but then bit by bit you start to see the entire jigaw falling into place.
They think they have out smarted you, but what they forget is the amount of soul searching you have done,
The amount of dissecting of their behaviour you’ve done over the years and just how much bullshit you discovered came out of their mouth.
But here’s the clincher, you made a choice which goes against the grain of society, and in society’s eyes, you’re the bad parent.
Very few people understand why you have done what you have done, and even those who commend you to your face, will very happily jump on the bandwagon with the haters behind your back.
Your desire to keep everything amicable is skating on the thin ice of patience and if something doesn’t break soon it will be your ever so cool exterior.
So what do you do?
Do you keep playing nice, call their bluff like the coolest Las Vegas Poker player, come out all guns blazing Al Capone would want to hire you, or do you offer to support them?
Because you know exposing them for the fake, manipulating narcissist will only cause your children harm and cause an explosion like Mount Etna is capable of.
You know you cannot play the children in this chess game of co-parenting, it is just ikky energy and you would be no better than them, but something has to be done.
You can’t reveal all your cards, but you have to make sure they know you are onto them.
What do you do?
You’re awake all night worrying, searching the internet and the only thing available is the bloody long distance co-parenting plans which are not the support you are looking for.
You can’t call social services, or obtain legal advice because that would be the red flag they need to take things and blow them out of all proportion.
You not even sure you can trust them any way.
You reach out to friends who work in different child services and legal professions, ask them their advice.
All they can do is ask you what you want, because it is you who ultimately has to make this choice.
Head home and play right into the other parent’s overall game plan? The one they have skillfully created to then pull the victim card out and make you look like the bad person.
Or simply get tactical yourself?
So many minefields, but whichever one you choose you are in check, and if you are not careful, do not consider your options carefully it will be check mate, and you will have played right into their hands.
But all this is ego.
The ones who are most at risk are the children and you have to put your ego aside, and think about what is best for the children.
I thought so.
And I get it. As a long distance parent myself, one who is away working, I get it more than most.
Add into the mix that I am the mother who is the long distance co-parent away from her kids, and the whole Scotland Saga you can imagine the challenges I face when my fellow co-parent and I do not agree on how to raise the boys.
Our situation is unlike many others, those of us who refuse to be put in boxes and parent alternatively. We are the trail blazers. The ones even family members turn on.
Look at the film Captain Fantastic by Matt Ross and this will show you just how alternative parenting situations are handled.
We give others courage to be who they wish to be; but many are too scared to leave the herd.
When push comes to shove, it means we’re out on a limb with no one to understand what we are really going through.
And sometimes it gets to the point that if we pull our hair out anymore, we’re not going to have any more to pull out!
Like I said, I get it, and I don’t have the answers for your situation, all I can tell you is this:
If you give in now, everything you have been fighting for, living forx will have been for nothing.
You will have fed the narcisisstic beast the meal they have been seeking, and your children will learn that this is the way things are done.
They too will develop manipulative, narcissitic behaviours and the negative legacy will have passed onto another generation.
You and I both know our children are smarter than the average bear and they see through the behaviours exhibited, they are just waiting and watching to see just how much you are going to tolerate.
They are watching to see how this game of co-parenting chess is going to play out; and trust me, you will be the victor.
You’ve come to far to not be.
And my advice?
If you don’t see the information out there you need, or the knowledge out there you wish you’d had access to, then why not start gathering a group of people together and collaborate on a project together?
Get that book written, get that podcast sorted, and the training, the group workshops, however it looks for you; and if you want a coach who gets it, one to hold space for you, someone to share over 20 years of entrepreneurship, over a decade of author experience and 17 years of long distance co-parenting, then send me a message and let’s talk about which one of my coaching programmes is the best fit for you.
Until then, I am off to my next destination.
Remember, keep the faith, keep living to laugh and laughing to live because it makes the frustration disappear a lot quicker than you can ever imagine!
With love, as always,