It’s like we’re married

My ex and I have spent a looooooooot of time together over the past six days.

It’s been a bit weird but mostly fine. The interaction doesn’t bother me like it once did. I think my heart must be almost healed.

We had dinner at his place with the kids on Saturday night, following the first day of our youngest daughter competing in the National Rope Skipping Championships (rather delicious pulled Asian beef and baguettes). He collected our eldest daughter from me on Sunday afternoon. We sat together for the morning at the Nationals on Monday, then I had dinner at his place that night while congratulating the youngest on her win (equally delicious French/Vietnamese beef casserole). And tonight we’re heading off on another family outing.

Every encounter has been cheerful and chatty and filled with mutual admiration of our wonderful children.

A fly on the wall could be forgiven for thinking we’re still married.

Well, we ARE still married, but you know what I mean.

I know it’s a bit broken record of me, but it’s (yet) another reminder that it’s better to set bitterness aside.

I’m so very glad I haven’t made anger and revenge my mission in life.

Many exes DO choose that course and I just don’t get it. If your relationship is irreversibly broken, what’s the point in staying trapped in that awfulness?

Letting it go is the gift you should give yourself. Moving on means being open to a happy new life. Clinging to anger closes your heart and narrows your future.

Admittedly, my ex scored a Get Out Of Jail Free card when I met DD. It’s hard to hang on to the bad when there’s so much good in your life.

I’m the happiest I’ve been in years, something I wouldn’t have been if I was still with my husband. My marriage had overwhelmed me like a king tide and I was struggling to keep my head above water.

Escaping that misery and feeling the weight of its burden lift from my shoulders has turned out to be a delirious and unexpected relief.

So I see no point in continually caning my ex for his sins and his failings. I prefer to share the joys of our kids with him than scorn him.

As the years go by and the kids get older, our communication with each other will naturally fade. But right now parenting is a pretty enormous part of our shared world.

People praise me for what I’m “doing for my kids”, but you know what? I’m doing it just as much for myself. As a co-operative co-parent, I get to be involved in so many more moments in my children’s lives. I enjoy happy, well-adjusted kids. I have a heart that is open and warm, instead of closed and angry.

There will be slings and arrows as the kids go on holidays, celebrate significant events and live with a woman whose name still makes me flinch.

But I will face those challenges when they come with as much dignity and grace as I can.

Not just for the kids’ sake, but for mine.

Song of the day: Pink “So What”

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