Loss like death, divorce, estrangement, etc. can be traumatic when there is no clear reason why. Especially in a difficult separation or divorce, because we are convinced the person who left or betrayed us is withholding the answer to the “Why?”

Although co-parents believe they could have peace if they had the answer to why the other parent won’t be decent, it’s more likely that the other parent believes they are being decent, or fair, or acting in the best interests of the children – regardless of the pain it causes. 

It is also likely that the other parent can’t answer the why question. People do unanswerable things all the time because it felt right at the time. Sometimes it takes years (or never) to understand why we do what we do.

In light of this, don’t ask “Why?” in ANY of your co-parent communication. It will be interpreted as a negative rhetorical question rather than genuine, which will likely be met with defensiveness and counter accusations. 

Instead, just voice a concern. “I’m concerned that you are 30 minutes late most of the time to pick up the children. Do we need to change the time of exchange to accommodate for traffic?” That is a better way to start a negotiation than “Why are you always late?”

Most of the time, we already know the answer to the why, but we just want our ex (or even our children) to admit it. Stop asking questions you already know the answer to. The answer probably won’t make you feel better or give you any sense of peace. 

For more practical advice about co-parenting, listen at www.CPDilemmas.com or wherever you get your podcasts.