Marriage break-ups create so much collateral damage. I’m very grateful that my ex and I have managed to minimise the fallout for our kids.
We were together for 23 years – there were a lot of happy memories and experiences in our relationship.
Acrimonious break-ups mean never being able to reminisce with the person who was by your side when those memories were made.
It seems so sad to me to walk away from that connection.
Over the past six years, my ex and I have developed a new relationship with each other that’s centred on our kids and their well-being.
We have family meetings, catch up for birthday dinners and have regular contact about the logistics of co-parenting.
The other night we started sending each other old photos of the kids when they were little tackers (sparked by the photo I found of the youngest in a hula skirt), which was a very gooey, sentimental experience.
I don’t think new partners find photos of your offspring half as cute as you do, though they might make appropriate “nawwww” noises.
But your ex is just as gaga about them as you.
Not to mention equally worried by your kids’ setbacks or overjoyed by their successes.
I also send my ex a photograph of a drawing the eldest did on shrink paper, then baked in the oven. It was a Siamese fighting fish and I thought it was glorious. So did my ex.
It felt good to share the parental pride with him.
I’m so glad I’ve managed to emotionally separate the man who left me from the man who co-parents my kids.
I may never completely forgive him for how he handled our break up, but it no longer affects my relationship with him as the father of my children.
I think it’s a very good thing that we have each other to lean on as we negotiate the teen years.
I can’t imagine doing it alone.
I don’t understand exes who cling to bitterness over break ups.
I get it if you ex was violent or dangerous or abusive in some way. Walk away, never look back. But if your relationship failed for some other reason, I reckon it’s far better to create a new, workable relationship than totally cut them out of your life.
I don’t know what the future holds for my ex and I – our contact may slowly wane as the kids get older or there may be some terrible falling out over parenting differences – but right now it’s a blessing rather than a curse to have him in my life.
PS In other news, DD texted to ask how my day was going yesterday and I said it was fine except there was no booze news … dead as a door nail … AND THEN … a drinks company CEO stepped down, Tyrrell’s announced 80% of its crop had been lost to smoke taint and German hypermarket Kaufland announced it was withdrawing from the Australian market after spending hundreds of millions on warehouse and retail locations and employing 200 staff. OH MY GIDDY AUNT … I was a bit bloody busy after that.
And THEN just as I was about to go home, I discovered Yellow Tail wines was donating $US1million to bushfire relief. Blimey!
That’s four MASSIVE news stories in the world of drinks. Funny how much can happen in a few hours.
At least I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to fill my weekly newsletter now …
Song of the day: The Police “So lonely”