Making an Ally of the Other Parent
Is That Other Parent Really Your Enemy? – Part 4
The people you declared war on yesterday may one day be your best ally. Now this is funny, the person who only yesterday you declared war against is now your only ally in the fight for the best future you can create for your child(ren). Are you really going to alienate your only ally? Are you really going to treat your child’s other parent or their step-parent worse than an enemy? That’s normal.
I’ll have to admit that being different is tough work. In fact, it’s so difficult it’s hard to find examples of uncommon behaviors to help you become uncommon yourself. As it relates to making a blended family or non-traditional family work, you must do what’s not natural. You see, I know story after story of shared-time parents who fought over their situation as if they were enemies, well beyond child-support payments ended. In other words, the most common scenario is that of shared-time parents who fight each other beyond their child’s 18th birthday. Don’t you think that’s a bit much? Not really because it’s common.
What if you decided that as parents we’d wave the white flag to stop fighting and put our efforts towards the things that fight against our child(ren)? Wouldn’t that be a better place to put our energy? Would that be uncommon? Would that make a difference in the life we produce for our child(ren)?
You don’t get to continue to fight your ally.
Pamela gave me a book called “Welcome the Rain” early in our marriage. This book is like the staple of books as its point is to help one understand the concept of perspective. Your attitude which is just about the only thing you have complete control over is a matter of what perspective you choose. One can see negative impacts based on a situation or one can choose to see a positive impact. It’s a matter of perspective.
In your blended family mix, you can choose to see your child(ren)’s other parent as an enemy or you can choose to see them as an ally. You’ve already made the choice. When you’re enemies, you never agree, you fight for time, over money, and over who’s the child’s favorite parent. However, when you make the decision to be allies, all that changes. Rather than fighting over time, you compromise in light of what’s best for your child(ren). Rather than fight over money, you set a plan that works in favor of the child and take the other parent out of the equation. I look at it this way, if you were a single parent, you’d have to take care of your child? You and you alone. If you have this mindset, then whatever the other parent does is a bonus and an added benefit. Rather than trying to make your child hate their other parent, you do what’s necessary to make sure your child(ren) loves their other parent in the same way they love you. A key to remember in this (and in life) is…whatever you sow, you will reap.
An uncommon life produces uncommon results and a normal life produces normal results. If you’re after produces the results of war, then war. If you’re after produces results of working with an ally, then partner together to achieve a common “uncommon” goal.
You are uncommon when you form a family alliance.
You get to raise the white flag of I’m no longer in a war against you.
Now let’s chat a little more about this white flag of surrendering. At first, you’ll feel a little uncomfortable with combining force with the person you thought you should be fighting. That, my friend, is natural. Anytime you’re out of your comfort zone, that’s an indication that you’re in the uncommon zone. A different outcome that you’ve never encountered is about to appear. That’s more than enough reason to give it a try.
Let me help you a little more, what is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you by surrendering? Pamela and I tried thinking of worst case scenarios and found out we’d already been through the worse case scenarios. We’d already endured not being able to see our child(ren) because the other parent didn’t honor the arrangement. We’d already endured the financial impacts of child-support and other expenditures. We’d already dealt with the sleepless nights worried about our child(ren). Once we realized this, we were ready to face any other issue that would come our way because there was no way they’d compare to what we’d already faced. Because we decided to partner together, then we’d be building a family relationship with our child(ren)’s other parent. If you didn’t know this, you are family with your child(ren)’s other parent because they’re your child(ren)’s family. You can’t just get rid of them, they’re not going anywhere.
Therefore, I’ve concluded that we should never be in a family feud, but rather a family alliance. I bet that’s an uncommon term for you. No-longer-common is the person who moves from family feuding to forming a family alliance. I have to admit I like that myself.
I’d like to take a moment to review two key points here that I want to make sure you have as a takeaway. When it comes to making your family work, specifically a blended family, let’s make sure we go at it with an uncommon perspective. That’s one. Secondly, think of ways you can forge alliances rather than creating enemies. It’s easy to create enemies which detracts from you, but it takes effort to have alliances that add value to you.
Question: what would it make possible for you if your enemy became your ally?
Reference #1: Galatians 6:7 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed February 23, 2021, https://www.bible.com/114/gal.6.7.nkjv
Reference #2: Matthew 7:17 NLT, Bible.com, accessed February 23, 2021, https://www.bible.com/116/mat.7.17.nlt
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.