Before I get started, let me begin with, this is not one of those “conscious uncoupling” articles that talks about how you choose to develop a happy relationship with your ex while you are in the middle of a divorce. I have no idea how anyone can be calm and pleasant, choose to develop a happy relationship with your ex AND be in the middle of a divorce. We definitely weren’t. It was awful. We were intentionally horrible to each other, looking for the worst and finding it. I think that’s just part of the process. It’s also where a lot of couples stay. For years.
I thought for sure we would be one of those couples. And at first, we were. For the first two years, we didn’t speak much at all. We texted necessary facts and that was about it. Our children were on edge when we were in the same room and often felt like they had to choose which one of us to pay attention to. Mostly, they were trying to keep an explosion from happening. That must have been so horrible for them, I just can’t even imagine.
The Journey to Choose to Develop a Happy Relationship with Your Ex
As often happens after a divorce, part of the journey may take you deep into spiritual development. Spirituality has been part of my life for a long time, and I reached a point where I knew I had to make some major shifts in the life I was living, after my divorce. In fact, you can read more about it here.
In that journey, I was told that I not only had to forgive my ex-husband, I had to want all the good things for him that I wanted for myself. “Are you f—ing kidding me?” But, you know what? In the end, it was all truth. I had to choose to either stain in the life I was living or to change my all of that and in turn change my life profoundly. And, you know what, knowing what I know now, I would make that same choice again, just sooner!
Let me tell you what that looked like, because this is the journey to choose to develop a happy relationship with your ex.
I added my ex-husband to my daily prayers. Whatever I prayed for for myself, I prayed for for him. I really didn’t want to at first, but I did it because I wanted a radically different kind of life. Over time, those prayers became easier and easier. My forgiveness muscle got stronger and stronger. My deep-seated anger eased a little at a time. I became gentler.
Meanwhile, my ex-husband must have been doing his own work (I don’t know because I haven’t asked him) because the same shifts happened in him. It’s like we had an unspoken agreement that we could and would be decent ex-partners and great parents for our boys. His energy around me melted slowly. We talked more, stayed civil more. Even managed to laugh some.
I can’t point to an exact moment when it all changed. What I can say is that it took both of us deciding that this was how our relationship would be. While one person can absolutely shift the energy a little bit, it takes two people consciously deciding to re-make a relationship to get where we are.
What does that look like today?
“You are the most married not married people I’ve ever met.” My ex-husband and I hear that all the time. We are that divorced couple. We sit together at our children’s events. We have one birthday party and we are both there. We are always a team when we have to advocate for our children in any way. We also talk almost every day, about something. If I need help with something, I call him. If he needs help with something, he calls me. Our children are completely relaxed when we are all together.
I feel so fortunate that my family has found a way to be a team in its own way. Knowing that my children are relaxed when they see their parents together is worth every difficult moment I’ve navigated.
What are some of the difficult moments you are navigating? Stay tuned for more tips on how to co-parent effectively and with love even when you aren’t in love. And, if you need any kind of spiritual help or guidance in any aspects of your life, just reach out!
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