Divorce doesn’t have to be ugly. Please continue reading. I’ve gotten more than my fair share of unsolicited advice that wasn’t helpful and wasn’t wanted. Divorce doesn’t have to look like it’s portrayed on social media. It doesn’t have to be miserable. That’s such a misconception. I know a lot of people, even some of my dearest friends who have had ugly, painful, and exhausting divorces. I’m lucky in that regard.
The main reason we separated was because of poor communication. We had become strangers that just so happened to be married and had a child together. It was lonely. The specific incidence that led to use being done was a painful experience, we both stopped trying. The specifics of the final breaking point won’t be revealed here. It’s complicated and I will not post about that here. Sorry, but that’s between him and me. I never want to do something publicly that I couldn’t take back. The internet never forgets and I don’t want something I say out of hurt or anger to be out there forever, because I would hate if he did that to me.
Ultimately, our relationship was slowly sinking and we didn’t pay enough attention to try to work it out. So when a major fight happened, I think we were both relieved it was a big enough of a reason to finally call it quits. If that wouldn’t have happened we would probably remain married for the next 40-50 years. We would be in the same situation, both lonely, poor communication, and basically married to a total stranger. We stayed together for our daughter. We stayed together because it was comfortable. We stayed together because both of our parents are still together and there was a lot of pressure and expectations for our married. We had a lot of resentment towards one another, guess what doesn’t fix that? Lack of communication. We might have listened to one another, but we never actually heard what the other was saying. We both felt attacked and both felt defensive. It became this awful pattern.
There have been plenty of opinions, expectations, and pressure placed on both of us since we declared we were officially done. He and I actually get along so much better. We communicate better, like, significantly better. Several times, either one of us would ask the other if we were making the right choice splitting up. Each one of those conversations we both agreed that it was best to divorce. Because we get along so much better, people think we will get back together, or that we should make it work. Honestly, everyone needs to back off.
We have tried marriage therapy right after our daughter was born. We did give it the good ‘ol college try. Our relationship as romantic partners is beyond repair. We make AMAZING friends. I think since the pressure of our rocky marriage is no longer in the way, we are able to focus on our top priority, our daughter, and stopped resenting one another. We had a lot of anger towards one another, so much resentment. There are still a decent amount of people in our lives who don’t we are going through a divorce. I take pride in that because it shows that we are doing something right. An old therapist told me that our daughter doesn’t need married parents, she needs happy parents. That stuck with me. We are happy, we can do family stuff together and it’s not awkward at all.
People give us their opinions all the freaking time. It is so frustrating. This has been like a 14 month process so far. Never once, has it gotten ugly. We’ve had a couple of fights here and there, but nothing like we have had while married and living in the same house. We would rather our daughter see us being able to being around each other, not being placed in the middle. Not being confused because mommy hates daddy and vice versa. Besides; what people see from an outside perspective don’t know all the little details that broke down our marriage. They don’t need to and we don’t have to justify or explain to anyone why it didn’t work out. It’s not their marriage, it’s not their divorce. So their opinions, frustrations, expectations, disappointments are on them. Not him. And most definitely not me.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all sunshine and bunnies. It’s stressful. It’s heartbreaking. It’s scary. Neither one of us planned on ever getting a divorce. We didn’t plan on getting one some day. We have both hurt each other deeply. Both before, during, and after our marriage. In spite of it all, I couldn’t have gotten a better person to be my ex-husband/co-parent; whatever you want to call it. We are choosing how our divorce goes. We talk about it together. We work through issues together. It’s not easy at times, and there are a significant amount of tears.
From divorces I’ve seen and what you hear about other divorces, not to forget, social media and movies giving numerous examples of bitter, ugly, painful divorces; I didn’t know what to expect. He and I chose to do it our way. We chose and continue to choose to not just be civil, but get a long. When we start to bicker we focus on our daughter. At the end of the day, my feelings don’t really matter, neither do his. Our daughter’s feelings matter.
We were told that children of divorced parents who get along well, are statistically as happy and successful in their future compared to children growing up in a chaotic non-divorced home. They are also comparing that to married couples who get along. Remaining married to someone you resent and fight with all the time can be damaging for the kid(s). As long as we keep doing what we are going I think we will all be ok.
Right now, this is working very well for us. Our daughter is happy, healthy, and thriving. She is so loved and blessed to have extended family from both sides of the family near by to give her even more love. I’m proud of us. I’m thankful that we still work as a team. We weren’t working as a team while married, but we are figuring it out. There isn’t a manual for this. There is no one-size fits all divorce. We have found what is easiest for us and our daughter. We will continue to strive to continue to get along. We will adjust as our lives progress and there will be a lot of changes, probably a lot of curveballs along the way. I’m confident that we’ve got this. He’s a fantastic father and I’m proud to have him as my friend and co-parent. I will always be grateful to him. Also, our kid is by far the most beautiful creature on the planet and is so much fun. I hope others divorcing can find peace to get along or the ability to be civil with one another. Children are quite observant and watch everything we do, even when we think they aren’t.
Sorry so long, as always. I wanted to let others know that not all divorces have to be awful. Even when things aren’t easy and we’ve deeply hurt one another, you can get past it. It’s not an overnight thing. It can happen. I’m living proof. If I ever thought I’d be going through a divorce, I thoughts I’d be vindictive because he hurt me. While he did hurt me, I didn’t and still don’t want him hurting. He’s a great guy. I’m a great gal. We aren’t great together. Our divorce will be finalized sometime in August I believe. While this has been a long time coming, and even though we get along, it hurts. It’s sad. It’s painful and this was not a part of my long, specific detailed plan of how my life “should be.”
Once you’re able to get past the hurt caused by and to one another (if you can, some situations are significantly worse than others) focus on the important parts, your child(ren). If you remain married, be mindful of the child(ren). What they see is what they will expect to be treated that way or learn how to treat others that way. Respecting the other parent, whether you’re together or not, greatly impacts the future of your children’s future, self-esteem, school performance, ability to have healthy relationships with others, and a multitude of other things.
Our daughter turns 4 this week. I can’t believe it. But we celebrated her birthday this past weekend and I wanted to show a pic of Her dad, M, and me. I’m sporting the new trend of sexy neck braces. Both sides of our families came, along with friends. It’s weird if you make it weird. He and I don’t make it weird and if we feel it gets that way with extended family we tell each other to ignore it because it isn’t our issue. Look at my sweet girls’ face. She is happy. See, I can have some positivity. But I have to throw in some complaints or I know you’ll just miss them. The pain in the back of my neck is being a little bitch again, but I took a walk today for much-needed exercise, and I threw up 4 times on my journey. So, that is something……XOXO