Your Ex

This is something that truly gets to me, observing some relationships that are no longer relationships. I know it’s really easy to say certain things and have a plan on how to do it if it doesn’t concern you. It’s always different when you are stuck in the situation and even if you try your best to make it as easy on everyone as possible and to still talk about your ex in a respectful, maybe even loving manner, your ex might not do the same thing.

While you will have your reasons to truly dislike and maybe even disrespect your ex, you should never expect your kids to feel the same way. All you do is putting even more pressure on them and unsettle them even more than what has already happened. When love moves out it is usually not a nice thing and often hard to understand for outsiders as I tried to describe in this Blast From The Past a little while ago… I think it’s clear that someone loses here and for sure it’s the children. But I still wonder though, if your kids cannot also gain from a broken relationships too

Love. What a beautiful thing. You meet this person and you fall head over heel. You look after each other and grow that little seed called love. Your relationship develops, and after years and years together, you think you know each other inside out. And then boom…

Things go wrong. Maybe your love was not as strong as you thought it was. Maybe you were never really meant for each other. You grew apart. For whichever reason, it does not work out and you find yourself looking at the millions of shattered pieces of what used to be your dream relationship.

This is not about why it happens or when or whatever. This is about what happens after. Isn’t it amazing… not, let me rephrase it: Isn’t it shocking what happens to people, who once thought, nothing can come in between them? Isn’t it shocking to see how they suddenly treat each other?

I’ve witnessed a few couples going through separation and eventually divorce and what always surprises me is the intensity of disgust they suddenly have for each other. I am not even sure which word to use. But as strong as their love once seemed to be, as strong is the feeling they have for each other after splitting up.

So often you hear the sentence “I just don’t know where this new person comes from”. And I can understand, how strange it must feel to see someone act in such a different way. Someone you spent a long time with and now suddenly seem to have a different face.

I wonder what triggers this sudden lack of respect.

There are two couples we are friends with, who are separating at the moment. In both cases one of them cheated on the other one. What I think is interesting in both cases is, that the person who cheated and walked out of the relationship actually treats the other one with such anger and disgust. It doesn’t make sense.

I would understand if it would be the other way around. After all, it is pretty hard to walk in on your spouse. Discover the person you love in bed with someone else. If you then end up with anger and disgust and maybe even want to pay that person back, that is one thing. But if you were the person who cheated, why would you act in such a way? And yet, with both of those couples the person who cheated is on a “I will hurt and destroy you” trip… How come?

Is it because they have a new partner and the partner influences them? Is it because the relationship went south much earlier and the cheating was just the end to it? Is it because they feel like they’ve suffered? Or is it because they feel so immensely guilty that they try to turn it all around and make the other one feel bad too? I don’t get it.

Why is it that in separation and divorce the love we had for each other turns into a war? Especially when kids are around I can not understand it. I don’t understand why you would battle each other with not mercy.

Things go wrong. Relationships might not last. And that is just a part of life. I know how much it hurts if it does not last. But there is only that much we can do. And going on a rampage is not the way. Especially when kids are involved. Especially then we should keep on treating each other with as much respect as possible. The kids will suffer from the separation of their parents anyway, so why making it even worse for them?

There are so many bad examples out there and I hate this “I destroy you” mentality. I know it is easy to say if you are not in the situation, as so many things are. But there are also good examples. And I think we could all learn from them. It is, after all, about respect and dignity as so many things in life. And I feel we should be able to keep our dignity and respect the one person we once loved, even if they are no longer on our side.

24 thoughts on “Your Ex

  1. I love this and I would love to share it!! As someone with an ex who cheated, it is hard, however I have never thought my children should do anything but love their Dad. When I was a kid I used to say “even if someone gets divorced, how could you be so mean to someone you loved more than anything?” In the beginning I surely was mean, but eventually that wore off. The shock and the “getting back” and now he is my ex-husband. Someone whom I did love more than anything, someone who I shared my life with and someone who I decided to have children with. And at the end of the day, he is a great Dad and the kids LOVE him. Now, that is his only job that I have to worry about.

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  2. Once again, so true what you put out there. The kids shouldn’t have to suffer at the parent’s folly. All they ask for is love and attention and that’s the first thing that has to be honoured from both sides even if they have to fake it. It’s tough but like Ritu said, it happens. Hard to watch sometimes…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Parents when splitting seem to forget, that children are not possessions to be won or lost, but that they are people too. It’s one reason when I split, I made myself say “our son”, and always included his Father. I also continued to talk with our son about his memories of us, his parents and as a family, and encouraged him to talk about both homes openly. Children are people too, and they feel the anguish from divorce, sometimes, as deeply as the parents.

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  4. Agreed. We adults cannot bring our troubles to the children! They are not in the parental relationship, although they are part of the family unit. Partner issues remain with the partners.

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  5. Great post.

    Having experience with being divorced (no kids with my ex) and then separating for a brief time from my wife, I can understand the strain that it put on you. That being said, even during our separation, we worked together to make sure it was as painless as possible for the kids and that they knew we both loved them and nothing would change that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a big step to push the issues you have with each other aside and allow yourself and the children to treat the parent child relationship different than the one between the adults.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I once had a friend who had two stepparents. Things were not civil between his mom and her ex (and his dad’s wife) and my friend was all the worse because of it.

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  7. Pingback: Your Ex | Making Time For Me

  8. I used to listen to The Dr. Laura Program on the radio. She used to combine her local radio career with a private practice as a marriage and family counselor and also wrote self-help books based on issues raised by people who called in to her show. She advised staying together in the marriage until the children were grown, if possible. If not she advised the parent to not remarry until the children were grown. In either case, the what was best for the children was always first and foremost.
    As far as the nastier party being the cheater, I think that behavior is due to the underlying guilt for having broken up the marriage!

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