I am probably in the minority in that from the onset of my separation and through my divorce proceedings I had a pretty darn good relationship with my ex-wife. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and like many, I went through many of the emotions that we all go through during this process.
When my ex-wife and I had those difficult conversations at the onset of our divorce, we did establish one common goal – that we wanted to protect our children. We weren’t trying to protect our kids from the reality of the situation, as you know kids are pretty intuitive.
We just had the mindset that though this was going to be a difficult time for all of us, the well-being of our kids always came first. And how we treated each other along this tough road was the very most important thing we needed to show our kids. We wanted, in their eyes, to see how mom and dad handled a very difficult and painful situation. With mutual respect.
I have three daughters, and how they view men is important to me. How a man treats them or his ability to handle difficult situations and conflict is really important in who they choose as a future partner! Just like every person, I’m flawed and don’t always live up to that example, but my goal through the divorce (and even through today) is for them to see the following:
- That I respect their mom,
- That I honor my obligations to their mom, whether financial or otherwise, and
- That we (mom and dad) can still be a part of their lives as a team! We no longer live in the same house, but we can still attend events & celebrate certain holidays together as a family unit.
It takes two to tango here, and I am forever grateful that my ex-wife maintains the exact same viewpoint to parenting as I do. It makes it incredibly refreshing to have someone on the same team, and I understand how it would be incredibly difficult to do so if we weren’t aligned.
Our kids have come back to us repeatedly expressing their thanks for how we’ve co-parented. It makes it all of the effort so worth it!