Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Bitter Truth About Getting Along with 'The Ex'

My ex-husband and I don't get along. At all. His wife and I don't get along either. It's a sad thing really. Just yesterday my 12 year old son told me that he wished his dad and I could get along like my husband and his ex-wife do(I hear you son, I really do). They have a great relationship. My husband made a decision when he got divorced that he would do whatever it takes to have a positive relationship with his ex-wife for the kids' sake. Well, it has paid off and they get along lovely. They converse via phone, shoot emails back and forth, sit within the same vicinity of each other at the kids' extracurricular events, heck - they even rode together to another town to watch their daughter perform in a play, just to save gas. (Now, I'll admit that I was not particularly comfortable with or happy about that and it's not because I'm jealous of his ex or anything like that. It's strictly a woman thing and I'm sure I was just being pissy because that is my job in situations like these. I did give him my 'whatever' blessing just that once because I knew he was doing it show his kids the importance of their mom and him having a good relationship. But now that they know how great the relationship is, can't we just stick to phone calls and emails from now on?)

As for my ex-husband and me, the battle started soon after our divorce - 6 months after to be exact- when he moved in with his current wife and her two kids. Now I'm not going to get into all of the particulars of why we can't get along, or begin a great 'hash-fest' of everything they have done that is horrible and immature according to Annie because that hasn't solved anything so far and in my educated guess it still won't. Also, they have their own list a mile long and admittedly, I have done my share of being the big 'B' word, digging my heels in and doling out the verbal-spankings because I am the 'mama bear' and I have to protect my young. There have been some actions I have taken that have been justified and some not so much. And if I could take back the 'unjustified just to be a pain in the butt and seek revenge because I am human and want them to suffer for hurting the kids' stuff I would. Both sides have been pretty darn stubborn and crummy at times and I want to know when do we just draw the line in the sand and say enough is enough, can't we all just get along for the kids' sake?

Wouldn't it be great if we could just sit down and have the 'Ultimate Forgiveness Olympics' or UFO for short? Instead of 'Let the Games Begin' it could be 'The Games Stop Here' or 'It's All About the Kids'. Sportsmanship would be of utmost importance - like no unnecessary dissing the other side(honestly stating how we have felt or feel about the other person is allowed as long as it's done in a non-hostile manner), no throwing F-bombs, no name calling, and we could call a time-out if we need to regroup and get re-focused on the ultimate outcome should those involved start getting a little tense. We could do the I Accept Responsibility for My Own Actions game and it would go something like this: I accept the fact that I have at times in the past said horrible things, flung dirt and called you (but never your kids) bad names, held grudges and withheld forgiveness, been stubborn and hard to get along with, secretly wished you'd get four flat tires while driving down the road, and considered you two of the crummiest most immature people I know. It would then be the next persons turn to state what they will accept responsibility for. The winners are the ones that can tell the other person if they are willing to forgive them for those things (and yes, we would hand out blue ribbons and only blue because forgiving gets 1st place no matter what).

For the closing ceremonies we could have a UFO flame. This would be a torch and each person writes down on a piece of paper what grievance they have against the other person and then we could burn those papers with the torch and sing Kumbayah. Once those papers are reduced to ashes, we can never re-hash or bring up these things again. It's done and over with and we take our blue ribbons and just focus on the kids.

Then we could just chat on the phone about the kids, shoot emails back and forth, drive to kids' activities together (ok, that's pushing it and absurd) - but at least we could sit within the same vicinity of each other at the kids' activities and when we look over at the other parent actually give them a genuine smile or the s'up nod instead of a smirk.

Now that would be awesomeness to the max indeed.


Joel said...

It's tough to get your blog going, and for a long time no one will even comment. That shouldn't stop you though. You know why you're writing and you do it with honesty. Few people will come to stumble on your blog I'm afraid, and it takes a lot of work to get noticed. I like your posts, Good Luck!


anyone you wish said...

Blogging is a great way to vent. I have a great relationship with my ex, but my husband's ex is a whole 'notha story! Good luck. =D