Full circle… that what I would call the last 5 years. On December 5, it was exactly 5 years since my divorce was finalized in court. And I feel like my ex-husband and I have come full circle in those 5 years. Well, I think most of it was just in the last year.
What is more crazy to think about is that on December 5, 2020… my ex husband and I were having a conversation on going in “together” to buy our children Christmas gifts. Years ago, we would not even discuss Christmas. Everything was separate and there was not even a discussion about gifts. He would have never had a conversation with me about what to get the kids or even asked for ideas. And today, we are going to sit down and actually discuss ideas and split costs for our kids Christmas gifts.
Actually, the divorce was the easy part of the last five years. No one prepares you for all the challenges after the divorce is finalized I have wrote many times about how co parenting did not work for us, how I had to set up numerous boundaries, and how important it was to stay out of the drama…
In the beginning, we said we would remain friends and always put the kids first, then over the next few years our relationship changed for the worse. We did not have much communication, it was very tense, many wasted hours spent in mediation and court, stressful situations with our children, etc…the list goes on.
I have always wanted to have a good co-parenting relationship with ex-husband. It was what I had envisioned when we went through our divorce. Unfortunately, my ex-husband had additional influences in his life, which prevented us from having any sort of co-parenting relationship. I spend the next four years, developing amazing self control.
I would have not made it through those years without building my self control and learning to let things go. Its amazing… that I did not lose my shit daily on the crazy requests…
So instead of fueling the fire, I learned to stay calm and let things go. I developed insanely strict boundaries. I would only respond to any communication regarding the children and I stuck to the facts.
I also learned that as my kids got older, I would initiate them to be involved in decisions and speak their minds with both parents present. I would refuse to be the middle person between them and their dad. I wanted them to learn to speak up for themselves. I would always offer support and input, if needed. And for some reason, my kids tend to feel more comfortable coming to me.
In addition, the best advice that I ever received was from a friend..she said, “ When it is your time with your kids, be with them. Do not worry about that they are doing on their dad’s time.” I kept to what was important, which was the time that I spend with them. I did not get involved in any outside drama that did not include myself.
And as much as I wanted to blurt out my opinions and comments to my children regarding their father, I always kept them to myself or my close friends..
I know I somehow pulled this off because my daughter, who is now 16, brings it up all the time. Of course, now having two teenage girls, they have lots of normal venting about their father.
So, After all those challenges, that I had to experience and muddle through… we have made it a full circle…
Blame it on covid, but we have even had to celebrate a few kids birthdays and milestones together. Honestly, it took me a while to actually feel comfortable doing this…I have had my guard up for quire awhile and I still keep my boundaries in place.
I am grateful that we have made it full circle…I believe that it does take time to get through all the muck after a divorce and the challenges will continue.. however being able to make it full circle, gives me hope.