Children are the heart and soul of every relationship. They most often become collateral damage during times when things go wrong. This becomes a delicate situation where people must tread cautiously to ensure that children understand it’s not their fault when the relationship breaks down becoming pawns between vindictive partners.
Make time you spend with your children about them and not about you or your issues. Children need to know they are loved even when it seems all hell is breaking loose for you internally. Don’t let your child hear you talking negatively about your partner. Remember they still love them no matter how much they have hurt you. Children need to feel secure in their love for both parents. Keeping your battles away from them will create the emotional distance that will serve them well during the difficult times.
Children are blameless in relationships. Don’t allow them to take on the blame for your problems. Ensure you and your partner agree to make the best effort not to poison the minds of your kids against either one of you. There is no such thing as an easy breakup when kids are involved but you both can work together to make it easier on them. You don’t have to cover for each other, but losing the insidious thoughts to use your children as pawns can motivate you to focus on what’s truly important.
Communication is the key. Learning to talk to your partner in your new realities will determine how your children respond to the both of you. Allowing your partner to truthfully know when they’re driving you nuts will hold each other accountable as to not escalate problems no matter how important or trivial. Accept the fact that life and relationships are sometimes messy. Learn to grow by forgiving yourself, and by forgiving your partner. When learning to do these things you can endure the breakup is as painlessly as possible. And you never know, if the two of you put what’s important first, then there is a greater chance at reconciliation.
About the Author: Elliot Zovighian is a Certified Coach Practitioner and author of the book, "Enough is Enough: Get Off Your @$% and Make It Happen!" from Toronto, Canada. He is president and founder of EZLifestyles, a motivation and development company providing custom presentations, seminars, and keynote speeches, for corporations, organizations, schools, and private groups.