Tension with Our Kids’ Mom Deeply Affects Our Fathering

When there’s tension with your child’s mother, it impacts everyone.

That might be an odd message to convey so soon after Valentine’s Day, but we all know what real life is like all the other days of the year that aren’t our anniversary or a special date night. And for many dads, the struggle is real.

Of course, many divorced dads know this all too well. There are still strong emotions toward their ex—often anger, frustration and other negativity—and dealing with her (or avoiding her) affects their motivation, satisfaction, and the time they get to spend with the kids.

That exasperation toward the mom may be less common and less severe for married dads, but it’s still a major factor. It’s different from what divorced dads are experiencing, but in many ways strife in a marriage can have a negative effect on a father’s confidence and desire to be a good dad, and it affects his children. They don’t get their dad’s very best, and they don’t get the day-to-day benefits of seeing that warmth, commitment, and teamwork in their parents’ marriage.

A study some years ago looked at the effects of marital strife on infants. Among parents whose marriage was rated as “troubled,” infants cried and fussed more, and were less engaged with their moms and dads in comparison to the other babies. Also, couples in unhappy marriages seldom cooperated in playing with their babies and were more likely to speak negatively to them.

Looking at fathers, the ones in unhappy marriages tended to withdraw from interaction with their babies, or when they did interact, they were more likely to cause overstimulation.

Let’s acknowledge that marital tension affects us as fathers.

We aren’t alone in this fathering task. Disagreements with our children’s mother can’t help but spill over into how we relate to our kids. Our words and actions (or our inaction) can have powerful consequences for our families and children. Recognize that these often-complex dynamics are part of the picture.

Maybe, like some dads in the study, we’ll withdraw from our fathering role, possibly even as a way of making life a little harder for our kids’ mom. Or maybe it’s not malicious, and we just become selfish and put our own concerns ahead of our kids, which means they don’t get the time, attention and respect they need. Sure, we feel strong emotions—even if we usually hide them. But we know it doesn’t do any good for our kids and families when we withdraw.

Likewise, exploding in anger can be even more destructive and can lead to truly dangerous situations. It’s natural that we’ll sometimes feel angry or frustrated toward our kids’ mom, but as dads it’s vital that we learn positive ways to handle strong emotions. We can’t risk losing control and doing something we’ll later regret.

There’s a better way.

… and it’s worth pursuing, even if it requires a lot of time, effort and even money. So, if any of this describes you—and it’s probably true for all of us at some times and to some degree—it’s time to take positive action in your marriage.

Start by looking at your communication habits, and maybe read a book together about how to improve in that area. Let go of little issues and irritations. Start a new habit of noticing and pointing out things about her that you appreciate, at least two or three times a day. Or maybe write words of appreciation and praise in short notes on a regular basis. Remember: in a strong marriage, there needs to be a 5-to-1 ratio of positive exchanges like humor and affection, compared to negative ones like criticism. Aim even higher than that!

As we often say and write, one of the best things you can do for your kids is love their mother. And yes, it does take work. So don’t hesitate to attend a weekend seminar or get help from a counselor. Do whatever is necessary to improve your relationship and learn to cooperate as parents.

Stay connected to your WiFi—your “wifie.”

Apologies for the bad dad joke. But you know what it’s like when your router goes out or your Internet provider has an outage in the area: it’s clear that something is missing. Maybe you have to find other ways to get work done or occupy yourself, or maybe your routine completely shuts down for a while. In the same way, without that essential and meaningful connection with your kids’ mother, something is missing that has great potential to make your fathering—and your life—much better.

And if this is an area you struggle with as a divorced dad, aim for respecting your kids’ mom, keeping in mind that it’s much better for your kids than the animosity. Keep them and their welfare in mind during every interaction with her.

What’s the #1 lesson you’ve learned about the importance of a strong relationship with your kids’ mom as it affects your fathering? Please leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Watch the replay of the Fathering Breakthrough Event

Join Dr. Ken Canfield and a handful of friends and partners as we give an update about our efforts to inspire and equip fathers all over the world.

There may be no more important work than turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and that’s what this is all about. We’re seeking to repair, rebuild and restore effective fathering for the benefit of children and families everywhere.

Slot Dana Slot Luar Negeri Slot Maxwin Slot Thailand Slot777 AyamJP Login Resmi AYAMJP Robopragma Robopragma Robopragma Robopragma CUPANGJP CUPANGJP https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/dana/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/luar/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/maxwin/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/thailand/ https://bkpsdm.melawikab.go.id/slot777/ Slot Server Amerika Slot Server Asia Slot Server China Slot Server Eropa Slot Server Filipina Slot Server Hongkong Slot Server Internasional Slot Server Jepang Slot Server Kamboja Slot Server Malaysia Slot Server Myanmar Slot Server Rusia Slot Server Singapore Slot Server Taiwan Slot Server Thailand Slot Server Vietnam Slot Server Luar Server Amerika Server Asia Server Eropa Server Filipina Server Hongkong Server Internasional Server Jepang Server Kamboja Server Luar Server Malaysia Server Myanmar Server Rusia Server Singapore Server Taiwan Server Thailand Server Vietnam