Dear Single Mom,
You might never have the perfect relationship with your ex, but one thing you can have is peace of mind. If you think your sanity depends on your ex's behavior, let me tell you, you are NOT at the mercy of your ex.
He doesn't own your power, you DO and it's up to you to NOT give it away to him.
These are my top 5 tips to get you free:
1. Do you inner work. Focus on you. Stop thinking so much about what he does or says. Let him off the hook! Remember, you can only control what YOU do. He will back off when you start to be responsible for yourself without attacking him or trying to control him.
Take some time to get to know yourself. Find a coach and community that offers support and great insight. Be around people that are positive. Do things that make you feel alive and happy.
2. Set healthy boundaries for yourself. Single mom, if he still gets his way with you, you are not setting boundaries for yourself. Setting boundaries means you are putting your foot down.
Write down the things you would love for him to honor and respect. After you do this, ask yourself this question, "Are you honoring your own boundaries? Are you respecting yourself? Are you walking your talk?" If you aren't, no problem. It's never too late - you can start now!
You have to start applying these tools in your own life if you want to gain respect from him.
Remember, the change starts with you. He cannot overstep your boundaries unless you allow him to. You have the power to say no when you mean no, and to say yes when you mean yes.
3. Ask for what you want. A lot of women are still terrified to ask for what they want. In my experience, when I've been the most vulnerable and open I have achieved the most success in my relationship with my ex.
If you want to co-parent with your ex and get the best out of him, you must speak up! Be kind and respectful, and refrain from using blame language. The minute you do that, you lose him and he won't be receptive to your requests.
Always start by acknowledging something good that he did. For example, say something like, "Frank, I really wanted to thank you for taking the kids shopping the other day. That was very generous of you. I heard the kids had a lot of fun too. I would like to ask you to ___. It is important to provide that because ___."
You get the idea. :)
4. Praise him. No matter how big or small their action is, men want to feel appreciated! Just because it's his responsibility (which is what you may be thinking) doesn't mean we can't be grateful. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! The more positive reinforcement you give him, the better Father he will be to your children.
5. Never talk negatively about your ex to your children. Please take my advice on this one. Every time you say something negative about your ex to your children, you are promoting negative energy between the two of you. He will feel it!
The kids will tell him at some point, and that will encourage him to get back at you the same way.
Remember, he is doing the best he knows how to do. You have a choice to either "get yourself together" and create your best life, or to let him make your life miserable. It's up to you to give your Power away to him.
To Your Highest Life....