How Does Vulnerability Actually Strengthen Us?
Being “Vulnerable” means opening up your heart, soul, emotions, and mind. It entails admitting you are mistaken and that you require assistance before requesting 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 consumed by this fear, which took over my thoughts. 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 meant too much to me for me to continue to react in a hostile manner.
At this point, the fundamental dynamics between the 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.
Yes, but we didn’t always concur. Yes, we were almost always able to solve problems.
I had to develop my patience and learn to not take things personally.
Just today, I came across a great quote… “Patience is how you behave while you are waiting, not how long you wait.”
It is a life-changing realization when the ex responds with rage, scorn, 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 have merely been the immediate trigger.
These insights produced 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 are concerned about being hurt by someone if they are vulnerable. That person in a divorce would be the ex-spouse.
Typically, men believe they can solve problems on their own. Additionally, men typically do not want 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 interpreted by men as a sign of weakness.
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 situation going for you?
Are they really how you want them to be? Are you experiencing overwhelming frustration, rage, resentment, and anxiety, like I did 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 fathers. Moms believe that if they are too open and vulnerable, their ex will exploit them and try to hurt them even more.
Yes, this is a possibility. 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.
There are three people involved: the mother, the father, and the children.
Children are the unwitting victims of divorce because they cannot influence their environment and are affected by every irrational decision that is made.
These individual parents are, in my opinion, acting wholly selfishly when the divorce becomes 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 people who suffer the most when this occurs are the divorced children.
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.
Although it may take two to tango, only one parent can truly make a difference.
You must be the bigger person, be clear, courageous, and strong. You must also be open and vulnerable by telling the ex what you really want and by finding out what the other person really wants for your children. I know you agree that your children are worth it.
The fact that is so much larger than us is due to our children. They need us to take charge and to STOP acting irrationally. They deserve and depend on you to be the best parent you can be.
Vulnerability is crucial because of this. Take a slow, deep breath and close your eyes. As you consider your goals for your children, hold it…
Now exhale through your mouth and smile as you consider your children and how much they mean to you.
My 3-year-old daughter was everything to me, and I realized in that profoundly reflective moment that she needed me to step up, let go, and commit to being the best dad and parent I could be for her in the ways she required.
I became more relatable by being open and honest. This made me realize that I needed to start by forgiving myself for the part I played in causing our divorce.
Finally, 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 big part to play in setting the stage for our unavoidable divorce.
These lessons have altered both who I am and how I live. They undoubtedly played a role in my daughter’s life changing.
What self-realization do you have, and what ensuing commitment do you make, that will enable you to foster a healthy divorce where your kids can flourish?