As the Thanksgiving weekend ends, I reflect over the many things I am most thankful for like my relationship with The Lord, my amazing kids, family, friends, good health and a roof over my head. I am thankful for my lifelovemarriagedivorce journey. The journey was filled with ups and downs, heartache and heart rebuilding. The journey taught me valuable lessons about what real love is and what it isn’t. I learned about the importance of forgiveness, a peace of mind, and true authenticity. Therefore, I must include my ex because he was apart of my journey that inspired me to create lifelovemarriagedivorce, and for this I am thankful.
Divorce/breakups aren’t what couples sign up for when committing to one another but what I now understand is that in some situations, it’s necessary. If conflict can’t be resolved and we do our self-work which no longer denies the truth but accepts reality we can then move from blame, guilt, shame and no longer distance ourself from the one we once shared a life with, especially if children are involved. I knew that having a post divorce friendly relationship was needed because we are the parents of 4 beautiful souls. People frequently ask me, how do you get along with your ex so well? How do you talk to him after divorce? How do you forgive? My response is that he is the father of my children and that makes him my family. I also know that I have a higher calling than being his wife or ex-wife. Therefore, I made a decision to live in peace versus conflict. And when I look at my kids, they are my reminder that I have so much more to be thankful for than to be upset about. Most importantly, how I represent Christ is a reflection of how I treat others, including my ex. Therefore, finding common ground became my priority, which means we attend family events & spend holidays together, sit next to one another at our kids games, laugh and know that when our kids see us getting along, we’re doing something right. I simply know that my ex will always be my family.
I’ve heard and witnessed horror stories of exes not getting along, especially those who share children and I never wanted my kids to experience that kind of unnecessary, disrespectful pain. The kids carry the family name and so do I, so it made sense to find a way to cordially coexist for the kids. Does this mean we should have remained married…No! Does it mean that we are getting back together or I forgot about the pain associated in the marriage/divorce…No! Does it mean that everything is perfect…No; but what it does mean is that we respect our roles as co-parents and family. Many of you may say no way..once we divorce that meant the end, however if you have kids there are birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings, etc that will bind you as family. Think about your family, there are family members that you get along with better than others, some you like and some you don’t. Family who are considered close and those who are distant. So wherever you are along your journey choose a category to place your ex in for the sake of the kids. He/she may be distant but you can be cordial family members when sharing the same space with your children.
It took some time to heal and get to this place but I now know that it was possible to reach this place much sooner than we did. I also know that if we were supposed to be together, we would. But no one should force love or feel an obligation to be in a romantic relationship if it causes one to live inauthentically because that’s not living at all. If couples communicate and remember the person they met before the romantic relationship declined, it’s possible to reasonably find common ground in order to remain family friendly. It may take time to reach this state of mind but time is the great unifier, as all wounds heal in time. If you are the “unreasonable” ex who hinders the process of family friendliness by holding on to grudges, being difficult, hurtful or unwilling to compromise…you may need to ask yourself why? Think about how you look in the eyes of your children. And if you are a person of faith-you must remember your Christianity is always on display and your discord only delays your personal peace and happiness. (Disclaimer..all situations aren’t family friendly capable, especially if abuse of any kind destroyed the union and if family safety is a concern. This blog is meant to encourage those who aren’t dealing with those hardships to find ways to seek family friendliness for the sake of the kids, if at all possible.)
So yes, I am thankful for my ex; the awakening, enlightenment, maturity, experience, acceptance and appreciation of all lessons learned. I am thankful for the family that we have become. I hope this blog encourages those who may be separated or divorced that family friendliness with your ex is possible, for I am a witness.
Until The Next Blog,
Blessings & Love!