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How To Make Co-Parenting Work After The Divorce

Divorce is usually a painful and complicated process, but when children are involved things can become even tougher. Co-parenting requires a delicate balance of positive, careful communication, but with the right techniques it is possible to raise a healthy, happy child despite the difficulties of divorce.


Be Consistent

One of the keys to a strong co-parenting dynamic is in consistency. Your child needs to feel secure and stable and a consistent set of rules, rewards and boundaries will reinforce their sense of what to expect in each household. Though you may have differing values and opinions on certain parenting strategies, it’s important to come to an agreement and then ensure that there are clear similarities between you.


Leave Your Kids Out Of It

Though your children will always be your focus, it’s important to separate your relationship with them from the divorce itself. If there is still anger, resentment or other difficult emotions between you and your ex-spouse, make sure you keep those feelings away from your kids. Use friends or perhaps a counsellor to vent your emotions to, and maintain a positive, calm focus when your child is present.


Try not to display your anger towards your ex in front of your child, as this can be confusing and upsetting for children – and those negative feelings can have a drastic impact on their relationship with each of you as parents. It can be difficult to mask these strong emotions when the pain of the divorce is still fresh, but maintaining a stable emotional environment at home is crucial.


Practice Communication Skills

While the communication may have broken down in your marriage, there’s no reason you can’t rebuild a new set of communication tools after divorce to successfully co-parent. Try approaching each conversation, with your child at the centre of your mind, always taking into consideration whether the discussion will benefit them or not. If you struggle to leave emotions out of the conversation, approach it as you would a talk with a respected colleague, and put your anger aside for the sake of mature, open communication.


Keeping up a consistent dialogue and stream of communication with your ex is extremely important, difficult as it may be. This will show your child that both of you are still united in parenting them, and that the family still exists, just in a different structure.


Get Help From A Professional

Learning to co-parent isn’t easy, so professional support can be a useful tool. Our specialist divorce counsellors and family therapists can help you come together as a team so that your family is able to move forward into a successful, happy future.

How to resolve conflict in your relationship

Fighting in and of itself is not the problem, couples who do not fight at all are more likely to end up divorced.

A resolution has designed this three steep resolution communication process to help couples communicate in a way that helps you feel loved, heard and understood.

This is a powerful communication process to help you and your partner resolve conflict.

The philosophy behind this process is that you allow each person to be heard and validated and you honour each other’s perspective before you move onto problem solving.


If you feel flooded (i.e., heart rate increased, shallow breathing, tension etc.) call a time out and set a time to come back to the discussion. Do not call a time out without setting a time to come back.

Speaker’s role:

Take turns at this role. Your role is to encourage your partner to understand how you feel and what you need.

Speaker Tips:

  • Use I statements (do not use You statements)
  • Describe your feelings (not what you think)
  • Describe a positive need (focus on what you want, not what you don’t want)

Sentence Structure:                    In this situation______I feel/felt _____ I need______

Listener’s role:

Take turns at this role. Your role is to acknowledge and validate the speaker without agreeing or apologising.

Listening Tips:

  • Postpone your agenda
  • Name and validate the speaker’s feelings
  • Acknowledge the speaker’s story

Sentence Structure:            Your feeling _______ you need_______ That makes sense because_____

Compromise and problem solve      

Identify each of your core needs in the issue and explain why it is core to you. This is where you persuade your partner to understand why this is so important to you.

You Your Partner
Core Needs Core Needs
Area of Flexibility Area of Flexibility
Options Options

How do we recover from the affair

An affair can cause severe devastation to your relationship and your sense of self. Discovering that your partner has been unfaithful can cause shakes and tremors in your family, daily life and work. You may move between feelings of fear and desperation to shame, guilt, rage and severe sadness.


You can feel intensely connected to your partner, but intensively repulsed and angry and push them away. Communication may open up but break down as you ask the same questions over and over again.


You may want to rush and make decisions but you can’t make sense of the options. You could feel hopeless, confused and vulnerable.


Whether you want to end our relationship or recover together, counselling can help you get through the initial trauma so you can make sense of what has happened and why before deciding to move forward.


Recovering from the affair counselling  by Heidi Smith Relationship Psychologist are based on the only program that’s been tested–and proven–to relieve destructive emotions in the wake of infidelity, “Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On — Together or Apart this compassionate book offers support and expert advice from a team of award-winning couple therapists.


Counselling can guide you through the initial trauma of dealing with an affair, and take you and your partner you step by step through the process of understanding what happened and deciding what to do next.


The first step to recovering from an affair is to talk about the affair and make sense of what has happened.  This is important because if you have no opportunity to get information to try to “make sense” of something that has turned your life upside down, you have no way of getting beyond it. If you can’t trust your spouse to be honest about the past, how can you trust they’ll be honest in the future.



Counselling can help you to:

  • Deal with the shock to keep you or your family going
  • Talk with your partner without making things worse, talk about the right things
  • Set clearly boundaries to help rebuild trust
  • Understand what went wrong, why it happened and how you can prevent it
  • Rebuild your relationship



It you would like to find out how we can help call our office 08 6555 7786




talking about affair counselling

How to talk about the affair

For many people the discovery of an affair is traumatic, the world in which you have invested so much time into is shattered and your future becomes shaky and uncertain. It is like some-one has pulled the supports from beneath you.

People have different ways of coping. Some people can come to terms with the affair within a few months, while for some it may take years on end. One of the most stirring discussions you or your spouse will ever have is about an affair.

Support for coping with the affair

Some people choose to talk about the affair on their own, others realise that talking with an experienced and impartial counselling psychologist would be most helpful. Counselling can help you understand the betrayal, grieving and healing process and also rebuild your relationship so you can move forward from a stronger position as a couple or as individuals. 

If you would like to book an appointment with an A resolution psychologist phone 08 6555 7786 (Applecross, Perth WA).


To talk about the affair or not to talk about the affair?

For some, discussing the affair is very relevant for the post affair mending though for some it is not so critical.

If you think and feel that discussing the affair will help you move past the affair then you should talk about it , if not then discussing it may not be relevant.

Anything opened must be closed, Anything started must be ended, In that context healing can only take place once all cards have been laid. Questions in your mind need to be answered, facts accepted, and misunderstandings finally understood.

Talking about the affair can bring up the past, how there was a lie one day about a meeting or business trip. How one has been deceived and cheated. One must really be prepared to be truly open and honest when answering all of these questions. 

For those who try to bend the truth, they are better off not talking because when the partner discovers these additional lies they’ll realize even more how much they have been cheated lied to and deceived. Lying  may undermine the healing process.

Often getting more facts and details can bring aggravated rather than favourable feelings. Hearing details about the clothes that they wore, the places they kissed and sexual positions they used is not useful. 

So what should you focus on as a couple?

When talking about the things that occurred, it is important that partners reach a distinguished understanding about why the affair occurred, generally what was involved, and the possible implications.

Below is a guide to how to process the affair, you can try to do it on your own but if you are finding that the conversations are very strained and difficult it is best you see a trained therapist who can help you process the affair and deal with the issues that led to the affair in the first place.

How to talk about the affair

  • When did the affair start? Is the party involved someone you know or even close to you?
    Did you like the person before or you were somehow drawn to him or her? Who came on first? Was the
    relationship intimate and how far did the intimacy go?
  • Who started it? Did either of you try to cease the relationship?Is the other party attached or bonded? Is the partner aware of it? How did the person’s partner react? If not did anyone of you attempt to disclose it?
  • What places have you gone together? and when was it? Till when did it reach? Were sexual activities involved? How often was it?
  • Did you both invest emotionally? From time to time how often did you and the other person talk or get in touch with each other? What other activities did you engage in?
  • Where you certain that the other person is free from any STD’s? How did you know and we’re both of you tested for STD’s before engaging to any sexual relationship? Have you used any protection method or birth control barrier?
  • Did you often exchange presents? What do you do with those presents or souvenirs? How much money was consumed on the affair?
  • Has the affair concluded? If yes, when was it and what came up for you to decide to finish it? Is this short or long term? Have you gotten in touch with the person since then? What strategies have you done to prevent communication from taking place? What does the other party want? How will you deal with it
    once the person gets in touch with you again?
  • Does anyone know about the affair? How much do they know and how did they know about it?
  • Are there any problems we need to consider ahead? Are there any issues involving job’s or anything concerning the law? Could the other party makes things worse or complicate us in the future? Are we of any harm or at risk physically?

It’s your personal prerogative to decide if you really need all the facts to reconstruct your marriage and move forward with your life.

Counselling can help you make meaning and sense of the affair and support you to make decisions about where you want to go next.

If you would like to book an appointment with an A resolution psychologist phone 08 6555 7786 (Applecross, Perth WA).