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Is Vulnerability a Strength or a Weakness?

Author: Peter Hobler
by Peter Hobler
Posted: Nov 09, 2020

First of all, being "Vulnerable" means being connected to your feelings and emotions.

It means opening up your heart, soul, emotions, and mind. It means admitting you are wrong, that you need help, and then asking for help, guidance, and support. It means putting yourself out there, on the line.

And it can mean openly and honestly sharing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

I remember vividly how afraid I was going through divorce that the ex would try to take my daughter away from me, try to take my assets, and worst of all refuse to let me see my daughter after the divorce.

This fear consumed me constantly, so much so that it became my main focus. No wonder things were only getting worse!

Why did things get worse? Because I was focusing on what I was most afraid of, so these things were heading toward becoming true.

When I realized what I was subconsciously doing, I got to work to gain Clarity on what I really wanted for my three-year old daughter. More than anything, I wanted to be the best parent, the best father I could be for her no matter what was going on!

Why? So I could create an environment where she was thriving, even if her mother refused to work together to co-parent.

I stepped up and out of my shell, and shared with the ex that I had committed to do my best to remain calm and to be the best dad I could be no matter what was going on between us as parents.

Why? Because I’d realized our daughter was far too important to me for me to allow myself to continue to react with anger.

This is when the underlying dynamics between the ex and me began to shift for the better.

This is also when the two of us each started to shift, setting a much more positive example for our daughter and more beneficially teaching her via our examples.

No, we didn’t always agree. Yes, we were almost always able to figure things out.

I had to learn about patience and not taking things personally.

I saw a wonderful quote a few days ago… "Patience is not waiting, patience is how you act while you are waiting."

Realizing when the ex reacts with anger, disdain, disrespect, making accusations, and so on, this is a result of their own past experiences and conditioning, and has absolutely nothing to do with you, is life-changing. You have merely served as the trigger causing her to react in the moment.

These realizations led to lessons that changed everything for me, and especially for my now 23-year-old daughter, who is now thriving out in the real world in her first job.

Most people are afraid when they open up, they will be hurt by someone. In divorce, that someone is the ex.

Men especially tend to think vulnerability is a weakness, that they can figure things out on their own and they typically do not ask for help.

Why? I believe this is because men do not want to admit they are weak, so are afraid to be open and vulnerable.

Men are not aware that this is their ego taking over, serving as an obstacle to self-growth and subsequent change… the change it takes to be the solution to the problem.

The reality is being vulnerable requires calm, true strength of character, and courage.

When you can start to let go of the egotistical part of you that is keeping you from sharing in an open-hearted and vulnerable way, the positive impact for you and your kids can be enormous and absolutely life-shifting.

One of the greatest gifts you can ever give to your kids is to STOP your reactionary behavior, which plants seeds of emotional and psychological trauma.

Slow down. STOP blaming the ex for a moment and ask yourself, "How are things going in my divorce situation and what can I do to create a positive shift?"

Is your situation the way you’d really like it to be?

Or, like for me when I was going through my divorce, are you feeling consumed by frustration, anger, resentment, and anxiety?

Are your fears causing you to react to the ex every time the two of you interact? Is this is in turn leading her/him to react with anger towards you?

As a parent, it’s time to step up and commit to having heightened awareness and to start taking personal Responsibility for your choices, actions, and reactions, and for the consequences of each that follow.

It’s time to start making choices that have more beneficial outcomes for your children.

Think about it… When someone is being vulnerable, it makes them much more relatable, easier to listen to and to trust.

However, it’s not just dads of divorce. Often, Moms think if they are too open and vulnerable that the ex will take full advantage of them and try to hurt them even more.

And yes, this can happen. But, if it does, the worst part about it is that the kids are put in smack dab in the middle of the emotional and psychological dynamics.

It becomes a triad because it’s you, the ex, and your children.

Children are the innocent victims of divorce because they have absolutely no say in what is going on around them, and what is going on impacts them with every reactionary interaction between their parents.

I believe when divorce gets really nasty, it is almost always the result of the emotional build-up inside of you stemming from the constantly reactive behavior, accusations, and threats.

Parents caught up in their fiery emotions are very reactive. What they do NOT realize is that they are actually being completely self-centered. They are putting themselves first because they think they have been wronged by the ex.

They often end up being filled with a venomous anger, spite, and resentment.

Again, what these parents do NOT seem to understand is that the individuals most negatively impacted are their own children.

Get clear on what you really want for your kids. Then spend some time getting distinctively clear on what it will take for YOU to create it, even if the ex refuses to work with you to co-parent your children..

"It may take two to tango, but it only takes one parent to make a positive difference."

I know you agree your children are worth it for you to be the bigger person, to be clear about what you want for them, and to be courageous, strong, open, and yes, to be vulnerable by sharing what you really want with the ex, and from your heart to ask what she/he really wants for your kids.

If you are at all like me, your children are the reason that is so much bigger than you. They need you to step up, and to STOP the reactionary behavior. They need you to be the best parent you can possibly be, and they deserve it.

This is why vulnerability is so important. Close your eyes and take a slow, deep, breath.

Hold it while you reflect on what you want for your kids.

Now exhale slowly through your mouth, and smile as you think about your kids and how much they mean to you.

For me, my 3 year old meant everything to me, and I knew in that moment of deep, self-reflection that she needed me to step up, to let go, and to commit to being the best parent, the best dad I could be for her, especially in the ways she most needed me to be there for her.

By being vulnerable, I became more relatable. This helped me to realize that I needed to forgive myself for the role I had played leading up to our divorce.

And then, that I realized I needed to forgive the ex for the role she had played. Yes, each of us had been reacting and had played major roles that led to our inevitable divorce.

Forgiveness came up for me through my being vulnerable. Forgiveness is vital because the individual most hurt by your own anger, regret, resentment, and anxiety, is you, the person in the mirror.

When you are angry or anxious, there is a negative impact on your kids.

Step up, forgive, and let go. For your sake, and for the sake of your kids.

Commit to creating an environment of divorce where your kids are thriving, even if the ex refuses to work together to co-parent your children.

These lessons have changed who I am, they have changed my life. They certainly helped to change everything for my daughter.

What is your self-realization and what is the resulting commitment that will lead to creating an environment of divorce where your children are thriving?

To glean insights on what’s going on and what you can do about it, take the free Split Harmony Quiz.

Go right now to

I look forward to hearing what you learn, and to what you’re committed to do to change things for the sake of your kids.

About the Author

Mission: To help Entrepreneur Dads of Divorce realize they can create an environment of divorce where their children are thriving, even if the ex refuses to work together to co-parent.

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Author: Peter Hobler

Peter Hobler

Member since: Aug 31, 2020
Published articles: 3

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