You Have a Child Together…
How to Sever Ties as Lovers & Build a Dynamic Co-Parenting Bond
There was absolutely no way I could forgive Rob, my ex-husband.
I hated him because of the infidelity and because of all of the unrealized expectations that shattered me in a million bloody pieces. I cried as I listened to TD Jakes tell me to “let it go.” I argued my case to anyone that suggested I should forgive him. “Be the bigger person” was the constant, half ass advice people would spew at me. But I knew they had no idea what I experienced because if they did they would stop with the ‘let it go’ talk and understand my heartbreak. Their self-righteous advice disregarded the fact that I dedicated my life to being his ride or die. I took the role of wife seriously. In him I invested my intellect, my sensuality, my compassion, my strength, my love. I invested my savings into his business and chose to give my life and body to birth and mother our children – all for the insult of his decision not to be loyal and committed to me..to us.
FLASH FORWARD TO HEALING…
Four Years Later, I Found A Way to Become Trusted Friend & Co-Parent With Rob.
I had a lightbulb moment when I heard someone suggest, “What he did was not done to deliberately hurt you.” They went on to explain that Rob had his own journey. I realized he was fighting for the fulfillment we all deserve. My heart softened toward him. I realized that none of us are being properly taught how to get our needs met, so we desperately roll the dice and hope that we can keep our promises to the people that depend on us.
I was ready for the hard questions. I asked myself, “Who I thought I was that Rob should owe me anything?” I had to admit that I’d known who he was when I chose him, and to expect him to be anything other than that was my desperate roll of the dice. I was challenged to get-down-off-the-cross and stop beating the “I did everything right” drum.” I learned that:
The Fastest Way to Heal from the Pain that Someone Caused is to Forgive Them for Having Caused it!
I began the process of forgiving, not only my Ex-husband, but MYSELF! I began to shift my energy and focus from the past to the present. I meditated and finally got quiet enough to ask myself, “WHAT DO I WANT?” That sparked even more questions:
- What do I want my children to experience?
- Who do I have to be in order to have peace, clarity & success?
- How do I want to show up for myself as a woman? I answered these questions every day and wrote the answers down religiously.
I let the answers to those questions wash over me like baptism, to heal me and create a NEW NOW.
A moment of confirmed healing happened one day when I was cooking dinner. I caught the kids as they tried to sneak some wings and greens outside to their dad who was sitting, waiting in his car. I shrugged and told them to tell their Dad he was welcome to join us and to fix a plate and eat. The look on their faces was priceless.
At this point, I learned that the course of forgiveness is extensive. As you get clear in one area, life brings you lots of new areas of concern. I began to stress about the type of woman Rob would have around our kids. I was clearing the forgiveness hurdles, but I was being tempted to pick up the torch of worry, instead. However, I remembered how prayer, meditation and envisioning desired outcomes served to refashion my life. So, I decided to carry that skill into this new agenda.
I began envisioning the type of woman that I wanted my ex-husband to date, possibly marry.
I used my mind’s eye to see someone good for my children because I knew they would spend a lot of time with her. I prayed that Rob would be in a healthy relationship with a woman who was loving, accomplished, brilliant and who could be my partner in mothering the kids.
I know, but guess what? My prayer was answered when Cindy came into our lives! She and I became sisters. Wait, I don’t want to pretty this up, this didn’t happen immediately, it took some time for us to find our flow. She was an empty nester but Rob and I had 3 school-age children who at that time were 14, 13 and 7.
Initially, Cindy made some decisions that really pissed me off. Her spur of the moment trips for Rob would leave me wondering how to arrange for travel for the kids, something that was his responsibility. After one too many occurrences, we talked and I managed to explain without popping off and being adversarial (AKA cussing Rob the hell out). I explained that having to stop and call around to find someone trustworthy to transport our kids is okay for emergencies, but not because you want a long weekend at the beach. Soon enough, we’d set enough ground rules to forge an alliance and closeness that surprised everyone!
It took a few years for us to settle into our new family dynamic and in time we began to sit together at the kid’s events and activities. They’d come over my house for Easter egg hunts or to help the teenagers get ready for homecoming dances and the prom.
Our lives began to click together and the work of healing and forgiveness was small price to pay.
* * *
Rob passed away in May of 2018 after battling cancer. The children got to see us laugh, get along and become family in an important way.
I realize now the process of forgiving is always an emergency. You never know how long you have to get your stuff together – how long you have to make amends and heal your family.
Do the work, don’t delay.
- Acknowledge the Humanity in Your Ex AND in Yourself
- Forgive (Give Up Proving Righteousness)
- Pray & Meditate (Get Quiet, Calm the Thinking)
- Write the Vision You Want