Divorce

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

I’m envious of people who can still be civil with their former spouse.  Occasionally in my Facebook news feed pictures will pop up of someone I know who is actually standing in the same picture as their ex-spouse. Or they’ve tagged them in something so you know they’re still friends at least on Facebook. Or even better, the ex-spouses and their new partners are all cordial enough to stand in a group photo.  Usually they are at some event for one of the kids.  Lucky them. They have figured out the art of co-parenting. Or at the very least are able to stand in close proximity to each other without killing each other.

Then there are those of us – the antagonistic ex-spouses – who can’t seem to get any aspect of co-parenting right. We’re the epitome of the “High Conflict Divorce.” You would never guess that the person who promised – in front of  God, Father Tim, our family, and friends – to put me first in his life, is the person who now slams the door in my face.

I was at the grocery store recently and as I was walking through the store, I saw him, my ex-husband.  We were both shopping alone, and I thought about how ironic that the two of us, were there, buying our separate things for our now very distinct separate lives. The minute I saw him I panicked.  I hoped that he would not see me. Then a wave of sadness washed over me, that I was even panicking over seeing someone I used to be married to.

I would lie and say I have no clue how we got to that point, but that would be a lie, because I do know how we got there.

We took things from them out of spite. We got the cops involved. We filed countless motions, spent thousands of dollars on attorneys to prove our point.  We used everything they said and did against them. We made stuff up to make our own self look better. We made people choose between us. We wrote hurtful emails and We played the victim. We wrote pointless affidavits. We kept things from the other parent. We yelled at them in front of the kids. We put the kids in the middle. We made the kids lie to their other parent. We refused to be flexible. We refused to cooperate. We refused to apologize, we refused to forgive. I am ashamed to admit that I actually did some of these things. I am not without fault, for sure.

We did everything that everyone says you shouldn’t do when you get divorced.

Not talking to him was the only way I could not fight with him or say something I knew I would regret later. Not talking to him was the only way I could avoid causing my kids any more heartache that they already have. Something tells me he is doing the same. But you know, it works. Try having an argument with someone who doesn’t respond. It’s like talking to a brick wall; you’ll get absolutely no where.

Unless you learn to let go, forgive, work through your emotions, or do whatever you need to do to move on from your divorce; you will be stuck in the same place you were when you divorced in the first place. Trust me, it is a horrible place to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Be Friends?

  1. High conflict divorces are like fires that consume all available resources – burning up time, money, mental capacity, and enjoyment of life in general. Once the divorce is over and the fire has died down, often times one or both parties seem to “miss” the excitement – and do things that (intentionally or not) cause things to flare up again. The fire never fully goes out because it keeps getting stoked / refueled. Sniping emails, nasty comments during kid exchanges, trash talking the other individual in the community knowing full well that it’ll get back to the target, etc. It’s toxic – and interferes with both parties being able to move on with their lives. Best to simply ignore / refuse to engage. Starve the fire and refuse to fuel it.

    You don’t need a “friend” like that in your life – doesn’t matter if it’s an ex or a random person on the street.

  2. I completely agree that I do not need a friend like that. At some point we liked each other enough to get married, so I know that we do have the ability to get along. I wish we could talk to each other, though, without worrying about starting WW3.

What do you think?