When I first got pregnant it was not rainbows and sunshine. In fact, it was more of a WTF! Tears and panic! As some of you might know, I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant and on top of that the guy I was seeing disappeared! Oh yeah! Quite the drama for my life- to say the least. (If you want more on the back story you can read all about it here.) I showed up to his door and told him I was pregnant and that’s where it all started.
He wanted to be together and try to make things work. In retrospect, I should have known better because he f*cking disappeared. He said nothing when we were dating, again, about where the hell he went. I take responsibility in not questioning him. However, as I am sure you might know what it’s like, you want the happy ending. You want the family. You want it to work.
Well it didn’t.
It’s been quite the journey. The most difficult part of all of this, is learning to deal with my ex at the capacity that I have. Trying to stay patient, trying to trust him, trying to be understanding. When in all reality, I just want to explode like 90% of the time and tell him what a worthless POS he is. The truth? He’s really not. He’s just naïve and has been able to run around and still live his life like he’s not having a child. Having a child is not on his reality radar as of right now. So getting him to understand certain things has been hard. Especially while I’m pregnant. Because you do have emotions, you do want him to be around no matter how frustrating the situation. In my case, I have also been recovering from childhood sexual abuse, I learned I’ve done a really good job of isolating myself. Which has caused the pregnancy and being single a little lonely. Actually a lot. Especially right now, when I’m 6 weeks from delivery.
Regardless of his actions and my feelings, communication has been a work in progress. It’s either a problem or it’s been great. Honestly for last several months he’s been just above MIA. But when he is around, I do make sure to communicate with him at the best of my ability. Even though it can be hard, communicating with your ex in a positive manner can be done. At least on your end.
Try to keep in mind you can’t control what he does. So as long as you’re giving a 100% effort and trying to do what’s right for your children, that’s all that matters.
Before I get into the 5 ways, I want to mention one thing that helped me the most.
As you might know, I had been working with a spiritual shaman, Johanna Burkhardt. We were having a coaching session one day. She said I can tell you think communicating with him and being around him is draining and exhausting. She explained if I continue to believe that, all our interactions will be exhausting and draining. I needed to change my mindset on it. I needed to believe we could have positive interactions and get things resolved as needed. Hearing that really changed the game. Of course she told me others things, like I can’t control him (which I want to. It would make my life a lot easier. LOL. And if you want more on control, check out this blog.)
With this information she provided I started changing my mindset. My thinking. We will have a positive conversation today, we will get things accomplished. It will be peaceful and meaningful. I would seriously prep for days and get into this mindset before seeing him. Because at first, I couldn’t even be around him on the fly. Everything with him had to be planned so I could mentally prepare to deal with him. Which was working for a bit. But I can’t live my life like that. Especially with crazy 3rd trimester hormones. Changing my mindset and believing in positive interactions really helped. If you do only one thing from this blog, let it be, changing your mindset when working or dealing with your ex.
Now the 5 Ways to make communication a little easier:
- Try to put your personal feelings to the side. I know how hard this is. Especially when you’re pregnant. You have no idea what they’re doing, who they’re with etc. You want to play the victim card so hard. I get it! But the most important thing you can do is put those personal feelings to the side. If this is really about what’s best for your child, your feelings are irrelevant in whether or not you can co-parent and communicate with your ex. It doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t real or you can’t tell him you’re lonely or you’re stressed out etc. It just means that it doesn’t matter how you feel if he’s already dating someone. It’s just the reality of it. Is it cool? No! It’s really a reflection of him and that girl. But you have to be able to look past it. If you need help with managing your emotions while pregnant, check out this blog.
- Pick your battles. Some sh*t is not worth fighting about. It’s just not. Like when my ex said his bestie’s wife could nurse our child, I almost smashed his face in the table. I was getting so angry. I was also triggered. (Feeling of being inadequate- which is related to sexual abuse.) I knew that reacting wasn’t worth it especially because he was trying to justify his words with science. I had my OBGYN take care of it a few weeks later. The topic has not been brought up again. And!!! He told the OBGYN it was a joke. Making it all the better I didn’t pick that battle. Picking battles will save your energy, your time, and save you from yourself-really. Need extra help with triggers? Check these blogs: How to Deal with Triggers, and How to Deep Dive into Your Triggers.
- Always speak up for yourself without causing damage. I hate to say this, but anyone can say stupid things. Ex or not. It really doesn’t matter. Just because someone says something stupid to you, doesn’t mean you have to hit below the belt. No matter how much it hurt your feelings or triggered you. You’re allowed to speak your mind. But do it in such a way that you respect yourself and your ex. Regardless of how he acts. This is not about him. This is about how you will define your responses to him in front of your children. Quite honestly, that’s way more important than his need for a reaction from you.
- Remember that in most cases he is just as confused, stressed, and hurt as you. He just doesn’t want to admit it. However, you will be able to see it in his actions and comments. Making you think: Really? I don’t understand. Try to remember everything he does and says is a reflection of him. It really has nothing to do with you. The things he says and does only have meaning if you give it meaning. Which for me, has been the hardest thing to learn. I still struggle with this today. I have improved dramatically though.
- Communicate as often as possible. The thing is, if you want problems resolved, support taken care of, visitation set, it’s up to you to make it happen. To have that conversation until it’s resolved. If he isn’t responding, again that’s on him. And you can go to court, if he doesn’t communicate and or cooperate. However, do your best in communicating as often as possible. Try to make it as friendly as possible. Remember this is really about the children.
- Bonus!! I had to share this. It really helped me a lot. Especially at the beginning when I was preparing myself to speak to him or go have dinner or whatever the case may be. I used essential oils! I used a diffuser. I would use DoTerra Balance, Breathe, and or Lavender about an hour before he came. It would calm me down and I would feel more at peace and in a better position to speak to him. If you want to get your hands on these oils click this link.
In the end, all that matters is putting your best effort to provide a happy, stable and healthy environment for your child/children. Sometimes that’s not always the case, but it doesn’t have to be brought on by us, as the mothers. Yes, we want our children to have fathers. Children need their fathers. But you can’t control a man into being on the same mental and emotional path as you. Or even understand anything you’re going through. I wish it was different. But you can’t really change it or control it. You can only try your best with communicating openly and trying to have an open mind, patience and understanding. Even if he doesn’t deserve it.
The truth in the matter is, next time, if you want things to be different, you have to know your worth and pick a good man. And a lot of that has to do with healing from your past. And you can read more about that here. You might be thinking but he was a good man, this and that. When you’re ready, really observe the relationship and yourself and decide if that’s really the case. (I’ve spent a lot of time learning my past was still controlling my decisions. Which put me in the position I’m in today. Not all bad. But not all good either.)
Have a story or questions? Leave a comment below. Let’s chat!