You won’t read this very often

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that The Ex pops up in my writing now and then; he’s still — and will always be — a part of my life because of our kids. While I admit to a few snarky comments, I haven’t written about my divorce per se because it was a while ago and it’s really no one’s business. Even during those dark days, weeks and months after we split, when I cried every night wondering why my life wasn’t where it was supposed to be, it seemed counterproductive to waste energy on regret, or on rehashing everything to death (although at the time I did do a lot of that with my friends — thank you, friends). I still believe that kind of stuff is counterproductive.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re divorced for a reason, albeit a fairly undramatic one: an extreme left-brain/right-brain combo gone bad, two people who are pretty much incapable of really relating to or connecting with each other under the surface. After nearly 5 years of being apart I can only say that there hasn’t been a single day when I’ve felt I made the wrong choice, one I can tell you honestly that I agonized over. But although we aren’t “partners” anymore, we are 100% committed to raising our children together.

I read this post at Babble.com (plus the related links) about amicable divorces and the effects of divorce in general on children. The Ex and I have worked hard to put our children first throughout this. We don’t always agree with each other, but he’s a good father, who wants to spend time with his children and to be involved in their lives. Neither of us is perfect. Our situation isn’t ideal, and I know people may not understand or agree with it. But it’s always been a priority for us to help our kids grow up knowing they are loved and accepted, whether it is in one house or two.

For that, Ex, I thank you for being a true partner with me.

(Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

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8 thoughts on “You won’t read this very often

  1. I don’t think you should be too hard on yourself for you parenting arrangement not being “ideal.” Even though you and your ex-husband are no longer together, if you are both focused on making your kids feel loved and accepted you guys are ahead of the game.

    I work for a small family charity whose aim is to help parents better meet the true needs of children when they are divorced or divorcing. It sounds like you and your ex-husband have already done a lot of constructive decision making on your own, but maybe our free resources could help your similarly situated readers. The charity has created a free and interactive website that helps parents reduce conflict and focus on their children. Many parents have reported back that focusing on their children’s needs was also the best path to their own healing. Please feel free to visit http://www.UpTpParents.org. All of the resources on the site are free and there are no commercial links.

  2. Jon, thank you for stopping by and sharing this link and your kind words. While I didn’t go through the interactive questionnaire on your site, I found the other sections to be user-friendly and informative, including the tools and documents available for professionals to use with parents. My Ex and I are lucky in that we did not have a messy divorce, and that we were able to work out a joint custody arrangement on our own. Divorce is never “easy,” but there are definitely ways to make it more manageable for everyone involved. Thanks again for this resource!

  3. I Stumbled accross this through a blog search. It is refreshing to know there are other parents that divorce and do not use the child as a pawn. Kudos, and keep up the great work!

  4. Lori, thanks for visiting and commenting. We’ve certainly had some rough patches and disagreements, and there are many times I want to (figuratively!) strangle The Ex, but I think we’re doing okay, all things considered. Our kids seem to be, too, which is what counts. Good luck and kudos to you as well for not letting the process and the end of a relationship drag everything else down.

  5. Susan, I’m glad you found the website helpful and informative. Please feel free to pass on or link the resource to any separating or divorcing parents who would be helped by it.

  6. Susan – my first husband and I divorced when my son was 2 years old. Without going into too much detail, we were VERY young and basically trying to “do the right thing.” Our split was not a bad one, and after 18 years, I am still very close to his family. When Gus was 3 1/2 years old, I remarried, and my ex and his family accepted my new husband with open arms. We’ve all shared responsibilities with Gus, and things could not have worked out any better for our son.

    It’s so nice that you have an amicable relationship with your ex. What a difference it makes when you can all work together!

  7. Lulu, compliments to you because I knew you were young when you had Gus (from what you’ve written). That is awesome that you and your ex AND his family get along…and even with your hubby GR. It can be hard (as you know), but I think families come in different shapes and sizes. I don’t know why some people have such a hard time with it. Personally, I do think “it takes a village.”

  8. hi there…surfed by of Madame Queen

    My parents split when I was in kindergarten and my brother was 2. Thankfully they tried very hard to get along for our sake. As time went by, I’m sure the pain, anger, and sadness eventually seeped away, because they get along well with each other…have kept in contact with each others’ families, and my dad and step-dad get along great. I watched my aunts/uncles split up and friend’s parents split up and they always seemed so messy, angry, and nasty, and the kids truly suffered because of it. So on behalf of your kids, I thank you and the Ex for at least trying…because that’s a lot more than most people seem to do.

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