Every day I hear or read another divorce war story.
And they are invariably horrible.
As Jackie Pilossoph from DivorcedGirlSmiling notes: “All post-divorce relationships are different. Few are good, even fewer are great, and most of what I see when it comes to couples’ post-split relationships is quite honestly, hideous.”
I wouldn’t say mine is great. How can it be “great” when you’ve split your family up? But it’s not hideous. At least, not at the moment.
We try to be respectful of one another and co-parent in the most effective way possible, despite the anger and hurt on both sides.
Jackie wrote an article about her son being involved in an accident and how it made her see her ex-husband in a different light. It made me cry. OK, it doesn’t take much to make me cry these days. But it reminded me that no one will care quite as much about my kids as my ex does. Our love for them inextricably entwines us forever.
And that’s why I hate him but don’t hate him at the same complicated time.
As Jackie and her ex stood in the hospital with their injured son, she writes: “At that moment, despite all the ugliness we’d been through in the past six years, I wanted to hug my ex-husband. I wanted to tell him he didn’t have to worry because everything was fine. I wanted to tell him that nothing on earth really matters except for our children, and that the divorce seemed so minimal and stupid and meaningless.”
She adds: “I think when something like this happens, the resentment, hostility, coldness you feel for an ex instantly disappears. The incident brings you back to what is truly important in life, and it makes you realize that the pettiness and the hate and the anger are a waste.”
Too often in the divorce war stories I hear/read the brawling parties forget what’s important: their kids.
I know it’s hard, but my advice is to try to be friendly with your ex, no matter what she or he did.
Why? Because as Jackie says “he co-created my two favourite human beings on earth.”
There is no (good) place for bitterness and anger and resentment in the lives of those little human beings you co-created.
There’s no place for it in your life either. You might think you’re hiding the ugliness from your kids, but it oozes from your pores. If you’re not careful, it will twist and corrupt your soul.
In the words of Elsa … “Let it go!”
That’s difficult – if not impossible – if you are attempting to co-parent with someone who can’t let it go.
It takes two to tango.
Fortunately – right now – my ex and I are dancing a pretty good tango.
And I am so grateful.
Song of the day: Queen “Crazy little thing called love”