Anyone else get married, start a much wanted family, and then have it all fall apart years later? Leaving you to have to co-parent? I’m sure I’m not alone. My story below, can hopefully show you how to find the positivity within all the negativity.
My messy divorce happened 4 years ago. In that four years, both me & my ex-husband have remarried, and co-parent two beautiful boys. They are 9 & 7 now. My new husband and I, have recently added a baby to the mix. This has created, what is sometimes called, a blended family.
My lawyer, at the time, had told me since there were no safety concerns, to just play nice during the transition. That it would benefit the kids, more than people think. The bitter feelings lead to negative environments and the kids sense that. Since, there were no safety concerns, I went along with his advice.
How did it work out for us? Rough at first. Like 99.9% of them. BUT! We were able to come to a mutually beneficial access agreement, that allowed equal access. It gave the kids stability and routine. I listened to my ex-husband, even when he was not always playing nice. We came up with a plan, and got the access agreement done quickly. All without mediation, a lawyer or judge’s intervention.
The kids transitioned quickly. We didn’t talk negatively in front of the children (that they ever told me). The boys were thriving. Then when new partners were brought into the mix, I always kept the lawyer’s advice in the back of my mind. I kept my sight set on the kid’s happiness, and not expose them to the negativity that was out of their control. They never asked to have their parents, in two different homes.
Did it hurt, at first, knowing another woman was playing mom to my boys? Yeah. Yeah, it really did. But, she was now apart of their lives. Instead of being bitter towards her, I got to know her, and her parents. They treated my boys like their own, and put my boys first. She also didn’t see me as a crazy ex-wife, because I played nice to her. I allowed my boys form a bond with them. My boys were not exposed to bitterness, negativity, or fighting.
My ex-husband followed my lead. My partner was accepted. If my ex was jealous, he never showed it. Then, when we decided to add to our family, it was an easy transition for my boys. They were allowed to be excited at their Dad’s. The boys are so comfortable, they always want their step-mom to see their baby brother.
This all because I decided to play nice.
Now, I know, not all situations are the same. Being able to play nice, doesn’t work whenever there are safety concerns. Or say your ex, refuses to be involved consistently. I’m not talking about those situations. They are unique and sucky for your cubs.
But, if you are holding on to bitterness, like I was, try playing nice. Try opening yourself up. Don’t hold on to that negativity. Let it change your mindset. Show your kids what co-parenting relationships can look like. You’ll be surprised how happy it can make your cubs. I certainly was. Who knew a male lawyer, could provide such insight?
Be sure you are not being treated like a door mat, while playing nice. While it can open up doors, to a mutually respectful relationship, you don’t want to be taken advantage of.
Lastly, if you are currently experiencing this, know there is happiness to be found. The sun does shine again. And we, at The Mama Bears, send you many positive vibes.