Co-parenting is the art of jointly raising a child after separation or divorce. It is often portrayed as a harmonious collaboration between two mature adults for the well-being of their child or children. However, reality can be far from this idealized picture.

Things can be a whirlwind especially when one parent becomes unresponsive. Then the other parent has to navigate the journey alone. This is the harsh reality many of us face, including myself. Today, I want to share my story and the liberation I found in having no contact with an unresponsive father.

When my marriage with my child's father ended, I held onto the hope that we could continue to co-parent effectively. I placed aside our differences for the sake of our child. However, that hope soon shattered as communication became sporadic.

Then things suddenly became entirely nonexistent. Messages went unanswered. Calls ignored. The attempts at discussing important matters regarding our children were met with silence. It was a heart-wrenching realization that I was parenting solo; despite our shared responsibility.

At first, I struggled with the decision to go with no contact. Society often tells us that co-parenting requires constant communication and cooperation. But what happens when one party refuses to participate? I wrestled with guilt.

I reached out to friends that went with their move of going no contact. I also had a therapy session in which I talked about why I was questioning if cutting off communication was the right choice for my children.

However, I understood that a healthy co-parenting relationship requires active participation from both parties. Once I started to see that two days out of the month was what the other party considered too much to do because he was paying child support; I ceased forcing communication where none only breeds frustration and resentment.

Going no contact wasn't a decision I made lightly. It was a process of self-preservation. I had to prioritize the well-being of my children alone. By removing myself from the cycle of disappointment and frustration, I created a more stable environment for my children. I no longer anxiously awaited a response that never came or wasted energy on fruitless attempts to engage with an unresponsive co-parent.

Instead, I focused on building a stronger and more efficient mindset. There were nights I watched my kids slumber while I cried from simply feeling overwhelmed and depressed. I sought out professional guidance to navigate the complexities of single parenthood through Zoom calls to ensure that my children’s needs were being met in every aspect of their lives.

Of course, going no contact doesn't erase the challenges of single parenthood. It also does not diminish the importance of a child having a relationship with both parents. However, when one parent consistently fails to uphold their responsibilities and actively participates in co-parenting, it becomes necessary to reevaluate the dynamics of the relationship.

In my case, having no contact with an unresponsive father wasn't about punishing or seeking revenge. It was about setting boundaries. I was about reclaiming my power. I wanted to create a healthier environment for my children to thrive. Letting go of the expectation that I could change someone else's behavior, I found freedom and peace of mind.

To those facing similar struggles in co-parenting, I urge you to prioritize your well-being and that of your child or children. Know that it's okay to set boundaries. It is okay. Prioritize your mental and emotional health. Surround yourself with a supportive community; if you have one. Seek professional guidance when needed. Remember that you are not alone.

In conclusion, going with no contact with an unresponsive father was a difficult but necessary step towards creating a more positive and stable co-parenting environment for myself and my child. It's a decision I don't regret. This decision has allowed me to reclaim my power and focus on what truly matters: the well-being and happiness of my children.

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