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“Co-parenting” with an abusive ex

If you have separated from your partner, you are probably still sabotaged in your attempts to mother your children. Sometimes, painfully, women lose custody of their children to their abusive ex-partners. Some abusive men work hard – post separation – to alienate the children from their mom. These are some of the hardest and most painful situations we hear about.  Trying to mother children you are largely (or completely) separated from is extremely difficult and painful and we would encourage you to get support from people who truly understand what you are dealing with.

If you have separated from your partner, it is quite likely that he has access to the children and the children may spend part of every week with him. This has a serious negative impact on your ability to parent your children as he is quite likely to undermine you and try to sabotage the attachment your children have with you. You may also find that when your kids come home to you, they seem wild and their behaviour may be quite rude or unacceptable. Women who live with the reality of their children going back and forth with an abusive ex-partner have taught us that you need to give your children time “to land”. They need some time to feel settled at home and feel re-connected to you. It is good to give them some time and to try to do some intentionally pleasant things with them – like eating a meal, reading books or giving them a bath.
Trying to “co-parent” with an abusive ex is the hardest parenting reality we know about. It is not really co-parenting, it is trying to parent your children while someone else is actively trying to sabotage your parenting. You deserve as much support as you can find for this very difficult situation.

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