When my ex-husband and I first got divorced, we held so much anger and resentment towards each other that it messed up our lives and hurt our kids. Thankfully, we managed to heal and work through these issues, and though we’re living separate lives now, we’re on great terms. We even text each other every single day, and to be honest, I love it!
It taught me about recovery. I shudder when I think of the way my ex and I treated each other when we first split up. We were hurt and going through so much pain and heartbreak and didn’t know how to direct it anywhere but at each other. Now the fact that we’re able to share a laugh and a couple of texts daily with nothing but light, happy feelings makes me realize just how far we’ve both come. The process of learning to be civil and kind to my ex and vice versa has taught me so much about the healing process.
He knows me probably better than anyone else. My ex-husband and I didn’t spend all those years married for nothing. If there’s anyone who knows when I’m at my limit stress-wise or how to talk to me when I’m having difficulties with the kids, it’s my ex. We’re perceptive of each other’s needs and, though we’ve grown since our divorce, we can still be very good at giving each other a different, much-needed perspective.
There’s no competition, which is a relief. Our constant communication means there’s no such thing as “Dad day” or a “Mom day” for our children. There’s no battling for the favor of our kids—we’re just trying to make every day the best for them and it shows. This means that whenever my kids are away with their dad, my ex will call me and put me on speaker so I can talk to all my little ones, and I do the same for him. He’ll tell me stories about what’s happened so far on their trip, so I don’t miss them as much and always know what’s going on. There’s no malice in our relationship and we genuinely just want our children to be happy.
We’re always on the same page. By being polite and ensuring proper communication, my ex and I are always on the same page. We know for certain who’s taking the kids where, what the kids are and aren’t allowed to do, whether they’ve been especially good or naughty lately… everything important is on the table.
It helps me understand boundaries and respect. Learning to tow the line between friendly and overly personal when you’re a separated couple who used to share intimate moments together is a challenge. I’m not going to lie, there were some awkward exchanges when we first started trying to text more. Figuring out how to strike the perfect balance and maintain a respectful relationship with my ex has made me wiser about the nature of boundaries, and that has helped me forge healthier relationships with those around me and in my life.
It sets a good example for our kids. When we were going through the final parts of our divorce, our kids overheard us arguing and shouting at each other in the most immature, blame-placing ways. We hadn’t wanted them to hear, but our son woke up at night to grab a glass of water and eavesdropped on our screaming and he told his siblings about it later. I remember feeling so ashamed about it. Now, my kids get to see my ex and I communicating regularly in a way that is healthy, mature, and respectful. This sets a great example for them about how to handle their own arguments and mishaps, and I’ve seen evidence of this when they have disagreements with each other and try to work it out politely.
It’s improved my communication skills. When my ex and I first started texting again, it was a struggle not to allow pent-up emotions to burst forth whenever he made a mistake. But I very quickly learned that being immature or arguing with fallacies and personal attacks led to us going in circles. It hurt when he did it to me so I realized he probably felt the same. I’ve learned to communicate and discuss problems more effectively with my ex. We haven’t come to blows, even in the most stressful situations, for a couple of years now. I also notice I hold better, more effective discussion with friends and even in the workplace now. Go figure!
It makes the family stronger. In all honesty, I don’t believe that my relationship with my children would be quite the same if my ex and I hadn’t decided to start communicating regularly again. My kids will always be my number one priority, and by making sure I have a great relationship with my ex, they’re happier and know both parents love them and want the best for them. I couldn’t ask for anything more!
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