Saturday, June 5, 2010

Co-Parenting the Hard Way

Many people say that I expect way too much out of my co-parenting relationship with my X for having been divorced only 2 ½ months. Well, life doesn’t just stand still. I want both of us to be able to get over the past and move forward from here…for our daughter. I’ve found that it’s not that easy.

About a week ago, I wrote my X a 3 page letter expressing my feelings about our lack of civil communication. I explained that as things are going, he will not be permitted to attend Hannah’s birthday party in September. I am not to a point where I can be in the same room with him, especially my daughter’s birthday party. Last year, it was a disaster, as I had found out only one month before of my husband’s double life. He was there, and I cried the whole time. It was miserable for me. Thankfully, my daughter didn’t notice. But I’m not willing to put myself through that kind of suffering again.

You may be thinking, but that’s still 3 months away. Yes, it is, but I’m a planner. I need to know what to expect, so I can start planning Hannah’s party. He’s offered to help pay for it, but if he’s not invited, will he change his mind? I need to know these things now.

Anyway, in response to my letter, he called me one day to “talk”. He said he wanted to start the process of communicating civilly. I have to admit, I was impressed at his self control when things got heated. I was the one who had issues. I realize I still hold a lot of bitterness, and it was rearing its ugly face. My X makes me feel like he doesn’t care at all about how I feel about anything, which hurts, being that we were married for over 8 years. It also seems that he only wants to spend time with Hannah when it’s convenient for him. Summer is here, so Hannah’s out of school. He expects me to keep Hannah ever day, because he claims to be working, which he’s not. He goes to the office and surfs the internet, basically. This is how it always was in marriage, his cover for his double life. So, yes, his using “work” as an excuse still makes my blood boil.

That said, I’m going to try to handle things differently during our next conversation. After a lot of thought, I’ve learned that I need to keep it about me, not him. So, if he says he can’t keep her, and it’s his night, I can either decide to keep her myself, or simply tell him that I have other plans, and since it’s his night, he’s going to have to make other arrangements. This way, he has no reason to get defensive. He’s right when he tells me that his personal life is not my business anymore. What he chooses to do during the day is his choice, and I shouldn’t bring it up, knowing that is his giant red button. His reaction is not productive to finding a resolution.

I’ve been doing a lot of praying about this. I’ve prayed that God will take his actions out of my heart and mind. I find myself dwelling on things he’s done to me, and it’s so painful. Why must I keep thinking about the past? I just want to be able to focus on the present and future and never look back. But everything around me reminds me of these things.

I know with time, my heart will eventually let go of the past. They say, “Time heals all wounds.” I’m counting on it!

No comments:

Post a Comment