Unguard September 15, 2014
There’s only one other person in your world that loves your children as much as you do. In the heat of divorcing them, it’s hard for us to remember that one simple thought.
My ex picked my daughter up for breakfast one recent Sunday morning and I asked him if I could come along. I was hungry and dressed.
There’s a restaurant that we both frequent with her, individually. Never together. It seems to be our favorite place to have a weekend breakfast, although between the three of us we've never discussed it. The servers all know my daughters’ order by heart; Toast on the light side, crispy bacon, fruit and a side of cream cheese, with water.
We slid into a booth, me facing them, an image I don’t see very often. Her eyes on her iphone and her ears in our conversation. We had one light-hearted conversation after another with each other, and
yes, your main conversation topic is and always will be about your kids, whether it’s date night as husband and wife, or breakfast as exes.
A discussion about our absent 21 year-old son came up. My ex was already smiling huge about a seven year-old boy inside of a fourteen-year-old memory as he brought it back to life. It was one that I’d never heard. As he told it, his eyes filled with memory and liquid joy. It made his tight lips turn upward and his soft heart sit on his sleeve all wet and soggy. I took in the image innocently, happy to be on the receiving end. I tried to imagine what other memories might be ready to surface if I asked.
A drawback to divorce is that you don’t have that person in your life anymore to reminisce about your shared treasures.
It doesn't matter who comes into either of your lives. They won’t feel the exact same way towards your children as you or your ex do.
In the beginning, divorce brings on foreign emotions;
You've felt sadness before, but not quite like in your divorce. You've felt anger before, but never how it feels through your divorce. You've felt frustration before, but never like in a divorce.
We had our ups and downs, but I still think we had a peaceful divorce compared to most. I attribute it to how we handled ourselves, not how we handled the divorce. It’s easy to become defensive. SO easy. But we stayed on tract with who we were most days, and worried less about what the other was doing. We both had our son and daughters’ best interest at heart, and that goes a bountiful long way in order to be able to deal and then to heal. My kids and I also stayed at our local beach house for the duration of the divorce.
I HIGHLY recommend a beach house (and wine and sunsets and walks on the beach and a lanai that is screened-in because mosquitoes suck, literally) for your divorce. It enabled me to have peaceful memories from some unpeaceful times. I was on “vacation.”
I don’t know if he ever hated me, but I never had a moment where I hated him (that I can remember). And that helped when it was time to become friends again. Not the easy innocent friendship that we had when we first met and began dating. Not the committed friendship that we had while we were married.
But a new friendship that makes everything bearable when you see each other all the time for the rest of your lives because you have children together.
It’s so much easier if you stay true to you, while going through the throes of divorce because
at some point, you want to be able to look them in the eye again and feel okay about the past.
And it’s okay to still be a support to your ex if the opportunity arises. You've shared a life together and cared about one another to great lengths in the past. What's one more time. And don’t stand guard thinking your children need protection from their fathers’ love. Allowing his love to flow to your children freely without standing in the way of it will only benefit your children. Step to the side and let them love them in the way that only they can. Your children deserve it. And you won’t have to do it alone.
Katherine A. Rayne is on your side! She is an author, freelance writer for local and online magazines, blogger, preschool teacher of nine genuine hearts and a mom to two delights. Her book, Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing The Man) on Amazon.com, is her first published non-fiction. It's a secret weapon to help women fix relationships, including the relationship we have with ourselves. She has been blogging since January, 2014, but has been writing since childhood after discovering the magical rhythms of Dr. Seuss. She founded the Facebook Community www.Facebook.com/BackToBeingAWoman and posts #DailyChallenges for women on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BeingAWoman. Her blog resides on her website geared towards empowering women to be their best selves: www.BackToBeingAWoman.com. She began an "I Did It" campaign on her personal website at www.KatherineARayne.com to help women take on and take over their dreams and goals. She utilizes her years and experiences to inspire and encourage women to move forward in their beautiful life, and to leave worry behind them in the dust! You can contact her at Katherine@KatherineARayne.com and sign-up here for her Sunday Newsletter!