As exes go, mine is pretty good. We can cooperate on many things without yelling or putting each other down.
Things could be better, in my opinion. Things could also be a lot worse. I’m saying this because many people will be reading this thinking “get over it” or “I would do the same as the ex here” or “you have it pretty good” and I completely get that. I really, really do. I have been extremely lucky, so I think it’s even more difficult now to be losing the comfort and respect for each other we had as exes for the last few years.
The heartbreak of realizing we could no longer be together is long past, but sometimes his lack of general empathy as a person and father astounds me and I have to remember that it’s not about me to avoid hurting all over again.
It isn’t fun to watch my children struggle with the way he communicates and the things he feels the need to say about me. And I know with some things, he just doesn’t get it, but I can’t accept that someone wouldn’t want to do better. Make changes. Work to not hurt the people they are supposed to love the most. Make changes in your own self to support and help them learn about how to be good, loving people in the world. It isn’t unacceptable or unnecessary to make changes to who you are, it’s called personal growth.
As only coparents now, I don’t need any warm fuzzies from him, like birthday greetings or general emotional support, I really don’t. I have wonderful, supportive people all around me now. We are divorced, so he doesn’t have to care at all about me if that’s where he is at. But when our daughter calls to say she’d like a ride to pick something up to surprise me for my bday after a rough night at group therapy and he says he won’t take her for a simple, quick trip to the store, that boggles my mind. Because it hurt HER, not me. Because to her it meant “I don’t care at all about your mother as a person and I won’t help you do something important to YOU for her.”
I know, I know, MANY divorced people would do the same as he did, but that is just not what we have been up until…
I set a boundary he didn’t like. I stopped watching his dog. Not kidding. He firmly believes that decision was out of spite or something and he cannot treat me the same as before now. I like his dog, but I didn’t want to keep watching her and interacting with him so much. It wasn’t emotionally right for me. I miss his dog.
The kids don’t need the details and they sure don’t need to keep hearing him say I won’t watch his dog. If there is something to get over, it might be that he should get over that I will not watch the dog.