How Can I Push Past the Pain and Learn to Co-Parent with My Cheating Ex?

QUESTION:

"I have a three-year-old daughter with my husband. I filed for divorce after one of his side pieces confronted me in his presence and claimed they were in a relationship for as long as we have been married.

My question is: I have so much hurt and anger against him. I’m currently in counseling for my own healing, getting through this hell. However, I have to co-parent with him.

Currently, we share the same house; it’s in both of our names. Tomorrow he will be served with the divorce papers. He has no idea. I have tried to make things work, but he refuses everything, even counseling.

He now sleeps out most nights. I now feel like I was the owner who had the affairs (there are others). I have had enough. I am a working mother. My question is, how do I co-parent with him in a peaceful manner? Pushing back the hurt and pain and anger I feel. Advice needed."

RELATED QUESTION: Struggles With Co-Parenting: Advice?

TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

“First of all, I’m in awe of your courage!! I can’t imagine having to stay with him in the house. Don’t leave. Make him leave. The co-parenting without wanting to bash him over the head every time you see him a little later. You are so hurt and raw right now you can barely make it through the day. You need to document everything. Don’t ask him to help you. Ignore him when you can but be cordial when you have to talk to him. You don’t want to give him any ammo. I’m sorry this happened. Lean on friends and family. Be honest. Stay strong. Love yourself and your little one.”

“Co-parenting is all about the kids. You have to put personal feelings aside and let him be the dad that he wants to be. It’s definitely hard but once this settles down you will be glad you put your daughter’s feelings first.”

“First thing, you two need your own places. Secondly, only communicate about your child. Bless you. Once you heal try to make things as easy as possible for your daughter.”

“Oh wow really feel for you. Just think of the love you have for your daughter with the co-parenting and do it because of her that’s still her dad and she loves him no matter what. I can’t imagine how much pain you feel. But you got this. You’re going to be a beautiful strong independent woman.”

“Focus on the love you have for your child and know that she has the same love for both of her parents. So how happy she is growing up is completely dependent on how you treat each other. You deserve to be more than just a side piece to your own husband, let his side chick have him and she’ll learn really fast that it’s who he is and he’ll probably cheat on her too.”

“Just remember your daughter deserves the best from both of you. It is no longer about you as adults, but about her. Time will help to heal and you being in separate households would also help as you wouldn’t see him every day. Be strong for your little and you’ll make it through!”

“Been here… ONLY talk about the child. I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t try to argue about everything. My mom told me, “he meant what he did, or he wouldn’t have done it.” That right there made me realize no matter how much I yelled, or how many times I was petty, there was no going back. Just talk about the child and only the child. Everything else can be done through the lawyers.”

“That’s horrible what he did to you. Just focus on moving forward and your child/ren. Since the house is in both your names, sell and split the profits or one of you buy the other out. Split custody 50/50. Child expenses (school, clothes, doctor bills, etc) split 50/50. Only communicate about the divorce and kids. Good luck dear!”

“You need to have as little contact with him possible. Only about the child and only when necessary. Have a custody agreement in place and stick to it unless there are rare circumstances that occur. Your problem is that none of these things are in place yet so you are stuck in the hurtful and stressful time. Once everything falls into place you will start to feel much better. What is happening is super hard to deal with right now, but things have a way of turning out for the best. You will be sooo much better off soon. I promise.”

“Just take it one day at a time. I would just be (be there for yourself and child) and not try to force or be overly helpful towards him… once you aren’t under the same roof it will help as well…”

“The best you can do is what you did, to file papers. Don’t leave your house and try to get everything solved in a civilized manner. Co-parent the best way possible for the sake and sanity of the children. There is nothing more you can do.”

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52 Likes

I’m so sorry mama, you’re stronger than most for divorcing him. Goodluck.

1 Like

Whoever this is send me a message.

I understand your pain but you have to put your feelings aside when it comes to co-parenting or its going to be a nightmare. Same goes for him.

2 Likes

Oh wow really feel for you. Just think of the love you have for your daughter with the co parenting and do it because of her thats still her dad and she loves him no matter what. I cant imagine how much pain you feel. But you got this. Your going to be a beautiful strong independent woman.

3 Likes

It’s not about you. It’s about your child and what’s best for her.

My ex was a piece of shit. Cheated on me for years with so many women. Was abusive, controlling, manipulative. He dragged me through court for over a year. Not just me, but my unborn daughter, my current husband, my entire family. It was a nightmare.

However, we have a pretty peaceful comparent relationship. Can’t stand each other, but ITS NOT ABOUT US. Period. It’s about her. I see so many parents (women especially) who make their anger for their ex a priority over their children and it’s wrong.

My advice is too not let your anger and resentment into your co parent relationship. Get counseling for yourself so you can heal. So you can resolve those feelings in a healthy way.

Custody court is almost always ugly. Settle at 50 50. Split custody and time. Try to meet in the middle as much as you can. It sucks and it’s hard, but it’s not impossible. Custody judges do not like it when dirty laundry is aired in the court room unless it specifically relates to the child like abuse or drug use.

Technically you don’t have to even talk on the phone just basic texts work and it’s great for court purposes as well only text what needs to be addressed for the children and move on and find yourself and know that his choices have nothing to do with you not being good enought and that your baby will love you no matter what their are some many things to help you along the way but maybe start slow and make some good friends start going out do a paint and wine night ! Find a support system that’s healthy !!! Besides coucling that’s great but they aren’t really the person you wanna sit on the couch with while you try to make new happy memories !! This to shall pass the pain will lessen everyday and soon it will be like it never happens you will be so caught up with a newer happier life With out him

8 Likes

First thing, you two need your own places. Secondly, only communicate about your child. Bless you. Once you heal try to make things as easy as possible for your daughter.

5 Likes

Get a good lawyer.dont live in the same house as him.have him see your child in his own place. Take baby steps to start life over without him.you deserve better.just look at him like he’s a coworker.i wish you the best. love yourself.

2 Likes

Co-parenting is all about the kids. You have to put personal feelings aside and let him be the dad that he wants to be. Its definitely hard but once this settles down you will be glad you put your daughters feelings first.

5 Likes

Just remember your daughter deserves the best from both of you. It is no longer about you as adults , but about her. Time will help to heal and you being in separate households would also help as you wouldn’t see him everyday. Be strong for your little and you’ll make it through!

2 Likes

That’s horrible what he did to you. Just focus on moving forward and your child/ren. Since the house is in both your names, sell and split the profits or one of you buy the other out. Split custody 50/50. Child expenses (school, clothes, doctor bills, etc) split 50/50. Only communicate about the divorce and kids. Good luck dear!

1 Like

First of all I’m in awe of your courage!! I can’t imagine having to stay with him in the house. Don’t leave. Make him leave. The co-parenting without wanting to bash him over the head every time you see him a little later. You are so hurt and raw right now you can barely make it through the day. You need to document everything. Don’t ask him to help you. Ignore him when you can but be cordial when you have to talk to him. You don’t want to give him any ammo. I’m sorry this happened. Lean on friends and family. Be honest. Stay strong. Love yourself and your little one. :blush::pray::pray:

12 Likes

You need to have as little contact with him possible. Only about the child and only when necessary. Have a custody agreement in place and stick to it unless there are rare circumstances that occur. Your problem is that none of these things are in place yet so you are stuck in the hurtful and stressful time. Once everything falls into place you will start to feel much better.
What is happening is super hard to deal with right now, but things have a way of turning out for the best. You will be sooo much better of soon. I promise

Ouch! If I understand this, you two still share the same household? If so, it makes it hard. You simply can’t shutdown your heart.

You have to find the power to remember- co-parenting is best for your child. What helped me is DBT training. My ex would bring up the past. I would repeat " I hear what you’re saying. But today we are working on a parenting plan for our son." Every time he went off topic, I would repeat that. Early on, he knew he could side track me waste our session.

Today, we communicate only about our son. We keep things amiable for our son.

Let him go, pray for guidance

1 Like

Just make sure he is a good parent to her

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The best you can do is what you did, to file papers. Dont leave your house and try to get everything solved in a civilized manner. Coparent the best way possible for the sake and sanity of the children. There is nothing more you can do.

He hurt you not your baby, see it that way, she loves him and doesnt have a clue of how much of a piece of shit he is, and in the states dont judges favour the “good spouce” so have all the locks changed once hes been served with the papers so he knows hes fucked…do not have any contact with him unless it is to do with your kid, and make sure it’s all through txt or email so you have it all on record, if he rings decline and send txt…and what ever you do do not let your anger and hurt show in front of him cause he will play on that and use it against you by pushing your buttons to get negative reactions that could hamper your case…you are already in councelling babe you are doing a great job already by working on yourself…you’ve for this

First things first, one of you HAS to leave the house. Contact a lawyer to see if there’s a way that you can put his a** out. If not is there family or someone that you can stay with until the housing situation is settled? Once you’re in a separate living space things may get a little easier.