Question submitted via Formspring:
“Do I really need to communicate to my ex-husband for sake of my daughter? The problem is I am the one who always makes the first move, which is annoying me; so I decided to stop.
Is this the right thing to do?”
The simple answer is: yes, you should keep communicating with him, and no, ignoring him is not the right move.
The more complex answer is, nothing is more destructive to a child than having parents in conflict with one another; and “daddy issues” can be especially destructive for little girls. The most important thing is that you should never get her stuck in the middle; never stoop to bad mouthing each other in front of her, since it’s in her nature to love you both. As long as both parents are alive and even remotely willing to still be a part of the child’s life, then you both absolutely should.
The main thing to remember, and to remind him if need be, is though you may no longer be married, you will always be her parents; both of you. That means you both have a say in her life, and what’s right for her; and God willing will both be there when she gets married and has a family of her own some day.
Your job as a parent is to do everything you can to protect your child’s physical and emotional well being; in most cases, this means making sure both parents are involved. There is only one situation where this doesn’t apply, and that is if the other parent is potentially abusive; be it physical, emotional, or even verbal abuse.
If for whatever reason you end up being a truly single parent, make sure you provide lots of positive role models of the opposite sex. Our parents teach us how to be a man or a woman, and more importantly how men and women are supposed to interact. Work to create as good a partnership with your ex as you can, since whatever your daughter grows up seeing is what she will create for herself in her own relationships.
While it may be ‘annoying’ to have to initiate contact, the fact of the matter is it’s not for you; it’s for her. More importantly, you once thought highly enough of this man to marry him and bear his child; a phone call or text message shouldn’t be so hard to do!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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