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Custody Chaos, Personal Peace: Sharing Custody with an Ex Who Drives You Crazy Paperback – October 1, 2001
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Again, if your case is only communication, this book would be very helpful.
If you are in my shoes, check out Child Custody A to Z winning with evidence and Family Law Examples & Explanations.
It has an excellent discussion on establishing clear boundaries with your ex, as well as a checklist to determine if something is really your problem - and your responsibility - or an unnecessary burden. I now know from personal experience that you can "teach" your ex to respect boundaries (if you phrase things in the right way). I also know that it is very satisfying to tell your ex that "This isn't my problem, this is your problem, and I will be glad to give you a few suggestions as to how you can fix it, but I can not (and will not) fix it for you". It greatly reduces the passive-aggressive/manipulation/no-win situations that so many of us know and hate.
But this isn't about being a door mat. It is about giving you the information you need to make sure that you are part of the solution and are not inadvertently a part of the problem. Finally, this book makes it clear that if your ex is abusive, then you need to seek assistance with the police and the legal system.
I have been so much more at peace since reading this book. My ex's behaviors are still problematic, but it doesn't bother me as much any more. I know that he is dealing with a mental illness, and I have to be the adult in the situation. He isn't getting the counseling he needs (and denies many of his issues, so that isn't likely to improve), and that means that I must be especially diligent to provide the right example for my kids - by maintaining my integrity and my sanity! This book put me on that path. :) I can't make him a better father, but I can give my kids the skills that they need to cope with the situation. And I can do it in such a way that they can see how to apply the knowledge to many relationships and that does not vilify their father. This book is also about seeing that each parent is responsible for their relationship with their children. I have learned that I must do what I can to keep my relationship with my kids as strong as possible, regardless of their relationship with their father. And in the end, his behavior will be a reflection of him, and my behavior will be a reflection of me, and as the kids grow older, it will become more and more a"parent" as to who is really raising them. ;)
This book helped me to see that you have to think long term when it comes to your kids. You have to make sure that their needs are a priority, and even if the gratification is delayed, your efforts will pay off in the end.
I found myself reaching for this book at the moments when my eyes were filled with tears of frustation and disappointment, only to feel like I was silly and unreasonable for feeling that way. His beginning messages might have been better served somewhere else in the book, not in chapter 1.
Not sure I'm going to finish reading. The book "drove me crazy".