In good times and in bad…

Everything is rainbows and butterflies every day, there’s a pot of gold waiting just round the other side of the bend while we ride off into the sunset in a picturesque place… and then the alarm goes off and life comes back on into view…

As adults, we have the ability to gloss over or sugar coat, to refine and define, and to also elaborate on our ideal situation with conviction! We crave to be loved, accepted, supported and maybe even adored in some cases. It’s in our DNA to want to be appreciated and to never deal with drama or arguments. The reality is often much more a harsh place where these epic battles are a few choice words wrongly placed or carelessly uttered at inopportune times. Then what do we do? Well, seems there’s several choices. We can dig in and volley word after angry word at our partner or we and breathe in, breathe out, and step away from the situation. Easier said than done. Now, enter children… what a mess. We, of course, want what’s best for our families, our children especially… so if we are struggling to keep an even keel with mom/girlfriend/partner we have to address this anger and hostility with grace and compassion. Again, super easy to say. When 2 people argue there are a lot of things at play: was it over a lie, money, appointments, etc.. and because there are various distinctions between these types of arguments it’s important to remember these distinctions. An argument over money can become extremely difficult very quickly escalate until bad things happen. Regardless of what/how/when/why money, this is most often cause for arguments. Enter the children: an argument over custody, child support, or maybe just how to discipline can turn into a hardship quickly. It’s easy to see that the amount of time, not to mention the amount of topics of arguments, are as endless as grains of sand. So, what the heck do we do with all this quagmire? We simply can’t be under the impression that fighting won’t enter into our daily lives, we have to embrace this fact and try to remember a few things to help us make rational decisions in heated moments. Firstly- we love this person, or did love this person. Many times people grow apart and this can be age related, culture, or what have you. Try to remember that you shared love at one time, and now you possibly share children and your love is now within them. It’s not a great situation when the kids hear you fighting, they often blame themselves or read into the words you use and apply them to themselves. That’s a lose-lose situation at best. It’s not like you plan a date/time to argue either, so, when a argument does break out try and remember that the kiddos are not just collateral damage they are human begins who are deeply affected by your actions and are keenly aware of more then you realize. 

First rule of thumb: listen. Most arguments can be negated by listening. Truth. See, when you allow for the person to be heard you allow for a different perspective to enter into your situation in very quick bursts. You can say a lot by allowing that person to air their grievances aloud and just quietly sit and listen. Try to offer supportive words or body language to express that you are sincerely interested and wish to work it out because using your words to incite will only escalate the situation. Even if you don’t agree, allow for meaningful discussion to rule the day. However, if it turns out that you and your partner are separated then what applies here varies on what your intentions are. If you are trying to rekindle the relationship, the approach is different then if your separation is complete and finished. I know it sounds like splitting hairs, but these distinctions are important. See, there’s a need, as I’ve stated before, for us to be loved and appreciated…if the relationship is over we still wish to be thought of in a positive light more often then not. If we are trying to stay in the relationship then we must be extremely cautious about what we say and what we will allow to pass as truth. Loneliness can cause an ache that numbs reason, it makes us susceptible to inaccuracies and can make us angry and confused. We want to be loved!! So, we simply must trust our gut and listen to our intuition. Getting along with the other child’s parent is going to take a lot of effort, and it will most often not be an easy task, but to not have a positive experience can lead to even more complications in the long term. Mater and Pater, as old as time… this is a partnership born of love, tried in the court of trust and tested in the landscape of temptations… will you come out the other side stronger or broken beyond your wildest dreams? Either way, regardless of how tenuous, we must maintain the integrity of the bond between the child and the other parent in order to allow our children to live their lives full measure and to thrive in the face of emotional hardship. We are the keepers of each other, we are the stewards of our families and communities. It can not be overstated how important this bond is, but we can easily reference the outcomes when this bond is broken.. look out any window and see the pain and suffering around us… the moment we learn we are going to be a parent our lives are forever changed. It’s not about us anymore, it’s about we. If  you are not mature enough to maintain the “we” then educate yourself on how to become mature enough. We all pay a price for what we give the world, sometimes that price is a reward and sometimes it’s a debt. Wouldn’t you rather be owed gratitude? (::)