Liana Meadon discusses the importance of maintaining a relationship with an ex when there are children involved.
It’s over, you’re divorced, but while you were married, you not only shared a washing machine, a fridge, a couch and a double bed, you also had a kid or two!.
It was my son’s Christmas play last Saturday and again, I felt so blessed that my ex and I are on speaking terms and are able to go and enjoy an event where our 4-year old is the focus.
Of course our relationship was not always this good!
It took years of fighting and negotiating to get to the stage where we were both just too tired to shout at each other. Our cows are dead and buried, and we have no more issues to iron out with each other. We knew that our relationship was a dead-end street and that it would never work out, so we let that go, and the minute that baggage left our respective selves, our relationship improved!
These days, we even have a coffee every couple of weeks… just to chat!
No, we’re not unusual, we just don’t focus on the past and we both want what is best for our boy
Our secret? We don’t have one. How you interact with your ex after your divorce, and how you set the tone for the on-going relationship with the father of your child / children, is your choice. That’s it, you have a choice. Either you carry on fighting or holding a grudge or acting like he owes you something, or you let it go and get on with it.
My ex and I have a good thing going
We have a vested interest in our boy growing into a healthy, well-rounded, developed, loved and secure man, despite the fact that he will have two homes.
Starting out, we had the usual problems divorced parents face: custody and maintenance
But let me promise you, even these two issues don’t have to be nightmares! My ex and I have joint custody so that solves the maintenance issue and throws it right out the window. That means we split costs 50-50 and share our son 50% of the time.
How, you might ask? We agree to a parenting plan at the beginning of the month and try and stick to it. Of course this is not cast in stone and we are flexible because life happens and things pop up, for example, a dinner invite, or a business meeting that runs late. But that’s where a good working relationship with your ex is vital!
Of course, my son is only four and what will happen when he is in primary school might complicate things a bit, but this is why we’re organic and need to remain organic about the whole thing. I discuss everything with my ex in terms of what’s best for our child and I know that I am super lucky to have an ex who is interested in his child and wants to spend so much time with his son.
So I hope that if you read this and your ex is willing to be involved in your child’s life, you will be able to extend the olive branch and open the communication lines to make it happen.
You have nothing to lose! Only lots to gain!
Even if you’re in a new relationship or vice versa… the important thing to remember is that you’re not doing this for you or for him, but for your child / children because this is about them. There is no better person to tackle the everyday issues of childcare and child development with than with your ex. So try it!
Talk to him, and keep on talking to him. Invite him for coffee. He won’t bite! You’re over him, remember? He won’t hurt you, and can’t hurt you like that ever again.
The benefits will be countless! Not only will you have the best babysitter in the world on call, your child will respect you for it, and you’ll re-build that connection with a friend that you’ll have for the rest of your life.