Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton: Will Their Relationship Survive Rumored Co-parenting Drama?

The Voice stars Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton have been dating for a while now. They seem very much in love and rumors of them tying the knot one day have been buzzing. Shelton has easily become part of Stefani’s family and often spends time with her and her three children, Apollo, Kingston, and Zuma. Although they’re getting along well, Stefani is reportedly not having such a smooth co-parenting relationship with her ex-husband, Gavin Rossdale. Will Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s relationship survive the rumored co-parenting drama with Gavin Rossdale?

If you’re in a similar situation, how can you make sure your romantic relationship stays intact? Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with therapists and relationship experts to get their advice on successful co-parenting. They also weighed in on Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton. Here’s what they had to say.

Put your children first

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani |  Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

If you want co-parenting to go well, it’s important to make sure your children are always at the center of every decision you make. Raffi Bilek, a family therapist and director of the Baltimore Therapy Center, told Showbiz Cheat Sheet the well-being of your children should come first:

The key to successful co-parenting is to always keep in mind the well-being of your kids. Whatever the other parent is doing–whether it’s dropping them off late, failing to enforce bedtimes, or other common problems–your kids will likely survive those shortcomings and make it into adulthood. (This does not include situations where your children’s physical safety is at risk.) By contrast, your kids are far more harmed by conflict between you and your co-parent than they are by the mistakes of either one of you on your own.

Avoid unnecessary arguments and check your ego at the door

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani at an event | Sam Morris/CBS via Getty Images
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani at an event | Sam Morris/CBS via Getty Images

When things get tense, it can be tempting to blame your partner and get into a heated argument. Try not to engage in unnecessary arguments, especially in front of your children. Also, remember to set your ego aside so you can think clearly and make the best decisions for your kids, suggests Melanie Crawford, a co-parent to three children under the age of 10. She’s also the writer, producer and star of The EX-Files Motivational Comedy Show, which is based on her account of marriage, divorce, and co-parenting. “My most profound advice is to find any method possible to learn the art of checking your ego. There is simply no room for ego in the designing of a new custom lifestyle. Know your triggers, and know your partner’s triggers, and respect them by having a game plan for when shots are fired!” says Crawford.

Limit conversations about your ex with your romantic partner

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale | Chris Polk/PMA2014/Getty Images for dcp
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale | Chris Polk/PMA2014/Getty Images for dcp

If you want a successful relationship with a new romantic partner, it will be important to limit discussions about your ex. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Merriam Saunders recommends talking to friends if you feel the need to vent about your ex-partner:

Setting clear boundaries with a new partner around expectations and parenting involvement will be key. You may or may not want your new partner involved. Consider informing your ex of any relationships that may become serious, once you intend to introduce him/her to the children. Let your ex know this will happen, before it happens, as a courtesy. Consider arranging a time to introduce them, if this new partner is going to be around the children a lot.

 The experts’ advice for Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale

Gwen Stefani Blake Shelton and her children |  Steve Granitz/WireImage
Gwen Stefani Blake Shelton and her children | Steve Granitz/WireImage

The experts agree that Gwen and Gavin need some outside help. Paige Harley, a mediator and divorce transition specialist who specializes in high-conflict co-parenting issues, says the celebrity couple should consider hiring a parent coordinator:

 Gwen and Gavin should hire a parent coordinator! If you have the funds these can be a great asset to any co-parenting family. A coordinator cannot change a parenting plan but he or she can work within the confines. For example, if you need to swap weekends but the other parent is being difficult, a coordinator can make that decision for the family if they can’t find a solution on their own. In some states, judges mandate them for cases when they think it’s appropriate.

The coordinator will consider the kids’ needs, offer solutions, and try and help find a solution. If they are unable to find a solution, they can act like an arbitrator and decide how best to handle the situation. The parents agree to trust the judgment of the coordinator. The decisions are legally binding, and coordinators can testify in court, so it helps keep people reasonable. It also helps keep tensions down, which is great for both parents and kiddos!

 Read more: ‘The Voice’: Fans Threaten to Stop Watching After Adam Levine Quits

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