How Can Vulnerability Be a Strength?
Being “Vulnerable” means opening up your heart, soul, emotions, and mind. This entails acknowledging your errors and your need for assistance, followed by a request for support, direction, and assistance. It entails putting your life on the line.
I remember going through my divorce how afraid I was that the ex would try to take my daughter away from me, try to get more than her “fair” share of money, and then refuse to let me see my daughter after the divorce.
I was completely consumed by this fear, and that was all I could think about. It makes sense why things were only getting worse.
This is when I started working to gain clarity that what I really wanted for my three-year-old daughter was to be the best parent and the best father I could be for her regardless of what was happening so I could create an environment where she was thriving, even if her mother refused to cooperate to co-parent!
I took charge and told the ex that I would try to remain composed and be the best father I could be despite everything because our daughter was far too important to me for me to continue to react in a hostile manner.
At this point, the fundamental dynamics between my ex and I started to improve.
This is also the point at which my husband and I each began to lead by example for our daughter and use our actions as teaching tools.
No, we didn’t constantly concur. Yes, we usually had the ability to solve problems.
Patience and not taking things personally were lessons I had to learn.
Recently, I came across a wonderful quote… “Waiting is not being patient; being patient is how you conduct yourself while you are waiting.”
It is a life-changing realization when the ex responds with rage, contempt, disrespect, and other negative emotions that this is a product of their own conditioning and past experiences, and has nothing to do with you. You’ve merely been the catalyst for the situation so far.
These insights brought about lessons that fundamentally altered everything for me and, especially, for my now-23-year-old daughter, who is now thriving in the outside world.
The majority of people worry that if they are vulnerable, someone will hurt them. That person in a divorce would be the ex.
Men frequently believe they are capable of solving problems on their own. Men are also typically reluctant to ask for assistance.
I think this is because we are afraid to be vulnerable and open because we do not want to admit we are weak. Vulnerability is frequently perceived as a sign of weakness by men.
In actuality, vulnerability calls for composure, genuine fortitude, and bravery.
The positive effects for you and your children can be tremendous and genuinely life-changing when you can begin to let go of the egotistical part of you that prevents you from sharing in an open-hearted and vulnerable way.
Stopping yourself from acting emotionally reactively is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children.
How is the divorce proceeding for you?
Are they really how you want them to be? Or are you overcome with annoyance, rage, resentment, and anxiety like I was when I was going through my divorce?
Are your fears causing you to react to your ex almost every time you try to communicate, and as a result, she or he is reacting angrily towards you in return?
It’s time for parents to take charge, pledge to have increased awareness, and begin accepting personal responsibility for their decisions, actions, and reactions, as well as the outcomes that result from each.
It is much easier to relate to, listen to, and trust someone when they are being vulnerable.
However, divorce affects more than just the dads. Moms fear that if they are too vulnerable and open, their ex will exploit them and try to hurt them even more.
And yes, it can occur. But when it does, the main thing that happens is that the children are thrust into the center of the emotional and psychological dynamics, or the “triad,” as it were.
Due to the presence of the mother, father, and children, it is a triad.
Children are the unintentional victims of divorce because they have no control over the world around them and are affected by it at every irrational turn.
I think these individual parents are actually being totally self-centered when divorce gets downright nasty with constant reactive behavior, accusations, and threats. They prioritize themselves because they feel like they have been wronged, and as a result, they frequently react with venomous anger or even spite.
The victims of divorce who experience this are those who are most adversely affected.
Make a list of the things that you truly want to give your children, and then take some time to be very clear about what it will take for YOU to make it happen… even if the ex refuses to work with you to co-parent.
While it may take two to tango, only one parent can truly make a difference in a child’s life.
I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth it to be the bigger person, to be frank, courageous, and strong, to show openness and vulnerability by telling the ex what you really want and by finding out what the other person really wants for your children.
The fact that is so much larger than us is due to our children. They need us to take charge and to STOP acting in a retaliatory manner. They deserve it and you must give them the best parenting you can.
Vulnerability is essential because of this. Take a slow, deep breath and close your eyes. Hold it as you consider the things you want for your children…
Now exhale through your mouth and smile as you consider your children and how much they mean to you.
In that profoundly reflective moment, I realized how much my 3-year-old daughter meant to me and that she needed me to step up, let go, and commit to being the best parent and father I could be for her in the ways she needed me to be.
I became more relatable by displaying vulnerability. As a result, I was able to realize that I needed to start by forgiving myself for the part I played in causing our divorce.
Then I was told that I had to forget about the ex and the part she had played. Yes, we were all reacting, and each of us had a significant part to play in bringing about our unavoidable divorce.
These lessons have altered both my identity and my way of life. They undoubtedly played a role in my daughter’s life changing.
What self-awareness do you have, and what ensuing commitment will enable you to foster a divorce-friendly environment for your kids?