It’s my ex-husband’s birthday today. OK, technically he’s still my husband. Should I just call him my “ex”? Add that to the ever-growing pile of uncertain rules of separation.
Even though it’s our second birthday spent apart, we’re both a bit lairy about how to handle the celebrations. When we were together, we’d go out for a fancy dinner and find increasingly less things to talk about as the marriage withered and died.
He sent me a “happy birthday” text on the morning of my birthday and organised an Athlete’s Foot gift card from the kids. A bit soulless, but very handy.
I sent him a “happy birthday” text today too. I also took the kids shopping for a gift that included a remote control mini-drone (as happens when you get kids to choose).
Our care arrangements meant I had the kids for my birthday, so we went out for burgers together. He only got them for a few rushed minutes this morning before dropping the youngest to band rehearsal.
So he’s popping over to my place for a birthday goodnight.
And I’m going to bake him a cake.
Before you start canonising me as a saint, I’m doing it for the kids. They will love icing and decorating it with sprinkles and lollies. They’ll be thrilled that he’s thrilled. They’ll adore singing happy birthday and urging him to blow out the candles.
I’ve chosen a good divorce over a bad marriage. Not that we’ve even embarked on that harrowing legal path yet, but I’m laying the foundations.
Comedian Laura Lifshitz wrote at Huffington Post last week (on my birthday, ironically) “How to Get The Best Revenge On Your Ex” and her advice wasn’t about burning his clothes or turning his kids against him.
It was about filling your own life with good stuff.
Ha! Sucked in ex!
Do you want to make your ex squirm?” she writes. “Always, and I mean always do the right thing by him … Is it fun all the time? No, but for the most part (and you may not believe me), it comes very easy for me. Why? I’m a nice person (sometimes too nice) and besides — if I want my daughter to love and respect her father (I DO!), I better be good to him. And nothing, and I mean nothing is gained from battling it out with an ex … Be kind. Don’t let him or her see your feathers ruffled. This will really get to your ex and set the tone for a peaceful divorce.
She concludes: “After you finally receive those divorce papers, the real goal is to find your happy life and you won’t find a happy life if you’re stuck on being bitter and angry at your ex forever. Besides, angry and bitter is not sexy one bit. Allow yourself to move on and watch as doors open for you and good people gravitate towards your new upbeat energy!”
I’ve chosen a happy life. And, if you’ve battling through a break-up, you should too.
“Divorce is giving you a second chance at love and life. That’s a gift. Take it – don’t throw it away!”
Song of the day: Cool & The Gang “Celebration”
I totally agree with you and Laura Lifshitz (great name). A good divorce is preferable to a bad marriage. I think it’s wonderful you baked that cake for your ex. I totally get it. And I think ex is the appropriate word even though you’re not divorced yet.