In the future I hope to be able to co-operate with my ex. As it stands at the moment, that is nigh on impossible. Firstly, because of what he has done; secondly, his attitude is appalling. His 'I'm alright, Jack' attitude is patronising and condescending. However, every now and again, I try to imagine myself in a parallel universe where the pain and grief has dissipated and I can ask myself the following question without getting angry and that is: How do you parent your child or children when you become a single parent but still have some form of contact with the other parent? Big question!
This, I believe, can depend on a number of factors. If the relationship with your ex is an amicable one, then hopefully it shouldn't be that difficult. However, depending on the circumstances of how both parents separated can be a determining factor in how you parent your child or your children in the future. If both of you have decided to call it a day on your relationship then this should be the least painful scenario for co-parenting for the future. If, on the other hand, one or both of you had left the relationship with a great deal of animosity (like he did), such as having an affair, then you are going to encounter a lot of problems.
Firstly, as most people say, you should always put the children first in such matters and that is how it should be. Unfortunately, if one parent has been betrayed by the other, this is going to cloud the whole aspect of parenting. This is due to the simple fact that one parent is going to be hurting a great deal and when a person is hurting it is more than likely that they are going to be consumed with some form of grief. That does not disappear overnight it has to be worked through by the grieving parent. As a result they are more than likely to not want to cooperate with the other parent.
To help that parent get through this process the other parent has their work cut out . Firstly, they need to acknowledge that their actions have not only caused a family break up but it has potentially destroyed their relationship with their former partner and possibly their children. They need to build bridges. That begins with realising the pain they have caused not only to their betrayed spouse but their children as well.
Secondly, they need to work out on some level how they are going to interact with each other for the benefit of their child or children. This takes time. It is probably best to deal with each other in a business like fashion. Simple courtesy should be the order of the day. Hopefully, in time, this business like relationship can develop into a more co-operative and even friendlier partnership, which rounds off my third point.
It is hard work to parent your children when you are together so doing it separately is a mammoth task. However, in time it may be possible to do it with some form of respect from both partners towards each other. I'll let you know if I ever reach this stage. At the moment, it seems like an impossible task.
...Why does the pain of an affair hurt so much? That question can only be truly answered by those who have experienced it, and as someone who has, I hope this blog can offer some insight to the agony that you are facing.