Do you know how to recognize the triggers in your co-parenting relationship?

Triggers are the actions, thoughts, and feelings that upset you, anger you, shock you or otherwise evoke strong emotion.  In other words, they set you off!  Learning to identify these triggers and tame them is the first step toward unhooking from your coparent’s behaviour and minimizing its impact on you.

If you are not sure what your triggers are, it is worth taking some time to think about it. Triggers tell us about ourselves. It’s a signal that we have something to learn how to manage so that you can reduce the impact that your ex has on your emotions and actions.

The first step in managing your own triggers is to identify them.  Here are just a few examples of events that can be triggering.

When your co-parent:

  • Shows up late or not at all for transitions.
  • Fails to communicate with you about the kids or important schedules.
  • Fails to adhere to the parenting plan or parenting order.
  • Withholds information from you about the kids.
  • Refuses to let you speak to the kids on their parenting time.
  • Transferring the children to your care dirty and tired.
  • Not returning belongs they need to.
  • Using the children as messengers.

Once you have identified what is bothering you, you can ask yourself these critical questions in order to understand them and diffuse them.

“Why do I feel this way?”

“Why did I make that decision?”

“Why did I act so suddenly?”

“Why can’t I get this off my mind?”

“Why am I so angry?”

You will probably discover that answering these questions will help you to calm down after you’ve been triggered. This does not mean that your feelings are not valid.

By answering these honestly, you’re acknowledging the associated emotions which is the first step in moving toward a solution.

Want to learn more about managing your triggers and defusing your emotions? Be sure to check out our online course.