My ex-husband and I ended our marriage just in time to save our friendship. We co-parent our kids the best way we know how — by remaining friends. In fact, the other night I was texting him about what a horrible day I had. And when I go pick up our kids after they’ve stayed the night there and I walk in and see them snuggled on the sofa with him and his girlfriend, I sit and chat for a while. I feel welcome and we are all comfortable together.
While our situation works for us, and we’ve found that we are better off as friends who parent together than as life partners, we still argue. Just because we aren’t married any more doesn’t mean we are free of each other’s quirks and annoying behavior. Really, we still fight about a lot of the things we used to disagree about when we were married.
While we don’t argue about things like money, custody, or who hurt whom more in our marriage — we’ve hashed that out and we’ve moved on — we argue about the little things.
He doesn’t like how I always double check on the kids when they are with him. He’s patient and kind about it, but he doesn’t like it. I miss them terribly and it somehow makes me feel better to check in. Also, since our separation, I am always running about 10 minutes late because I have not gotten used to getting three kids out the door on my own. It’s rude, I know.
I still nag him about getting things done around his place, even though I don’t live there. I really need to stop nagging him this way — how utterly annoying. Why do I even care?!
I wish he’d make sure that the kids eat breakfast. He has a more laid back, hands-off parenting approach than I do because he’s a more laid back person. But it really bugs me when the kids skip their first meal of the day!
He’s still horrible about responding to my texts; instead, he picks up the phone and calls me because he would rather talk. Too many things get lost in translation when you are trying to sort out kids’ schedules over texting. I know this, but I hate talking on the phone. Most of the time, I can’t stop what I’m doing long enough to take a call.
When he’s alone with them, I’m afraid he will forget something because, frankly, he does forget things all the damn time and is always calling (OMG TEXT!) to ask me what needs to be done.
Here’s the thing though: We argued when we were married and we’ve carried the little arguments over into our divorce, even though we said we’d try not to — we are human. Maybe we do this because old habits die hard. Maybe it’s because we like the sense of normalcy — we’ve been arguing for almost 20 years, why stop now just because we aren’t married any longer?
We are doing the best we can most days, but the truth is we’ll probably always disagree on things. I think it’s because it’s impossible to raise kids together and not have differences. Because whether you are happily married, happily divorced, or somewhere in between, arguing is inevitable. We just have to try our best to move forward and get along.