Divorced, yes, but never completely separated - Raising kids with your Ex
There are so many frustrating things that I could complain about when it comes to my ex. Because we have young children together, we may be divorced, but are still very actively in each other’s lives. We must speak regularly about the details of schedules, activities, social functions, birthdays and graduations, etc.. We also see each other weekly on the soccer and lacrosse fields, etc.
As a result, I am still exposed to all the things that drove me to leave him. I could go off about how he is never on time for anything and therefore the kids never get to games or practices or school or home on time. Or I could focus on how nasty he can speak to me or the children if he is not happy with a given situation. The list could go on for pages, but I will spare you.
I HAVE LEARNED to find the things about him that I can be grateful for and try to focus on those traits. With my ex, he is an active dad who wants to be with his children as often as possible. He is always there on his ‘days’ (perhaps late, but always shows) and he supports and attends all their functions. For me that is a huge blessing. It gives me an opportunity to have some free time and that makes me a better person and a better mom when I’m with my kids.
I have recently had an opportunity to date someone. I also just finished my first triathlon (I’ll save that for another post), so have been swimming, running and biking with a lot of my free time. I have also just begun an online writing course. All these things enrich my life as JustKaren, which after being the wife of… and the mother of…, is especially important to me.
When I start focusing on all the negative things, it puts ME in a negative frame of mind and that doesn’t do anyone any good. FINDING THE GRATITUDE for the good in their dad also helps me to cope better with the frustrating things about him that I will never be truly rid of as long as we are co-parenting our children.