So What Is There To Get? Some People Stay Friends After A Divorce

I guess you could say this blog has been a long time coming. It probably hadn’t written itself till now because, well, I just wasn’t ready. This blog is dedicated to all of you who have ever uttered this phrase:  “I just don’t get it”

Humans in general often struggle to accept in their lives  that which they do not, cannot, or simply will not, understand. They will then turn the thought, idea, whatever it is, over and , and then push it back  on to the original source and give it a label. Often, it’s an incorrect label. It’s one of mankind’s biggest disgraces. What we don’t understand, we criticize, because it’s the only way we can make it fit into our pretty little box.

We like to call ourselves open-minded, but in reality, very few of us really are. I myself have even fallen into this trap of labeling something as “Odd” or “Weird” that I simply could not grasp.

We will use our own upbringing, our supposed morals, or society in general, as a way to validate that label. And in doing so, we create an even bigger mess of things.

In my case, it happens to be my relationship with my ex-husband. This statement could apply to numerous other things in life, but for the purpose of this blog, we will stick with the ex-husband.

Society and history, more often than not, has taught us that there is no plausible way that two people who once loved each other enough to get married, have children, go through life together, could ever decide to STOP doing that, and still remain cordial.

As a matter of fact, society seems more than pleased with itself when the two individuals battle it out for the whole world to see. Deny it if you must, but people love  drama.

If they don’t immediately see it, they have to then create it. For some reason, other people’s drama often makes us feel better about OUR lot in life, so we kind of need it in many ways.

In my case my ex-husband and I are not only cordial, we are actually still friends. What? That simply cannot BE!!! (Insert collective cyber gasp here!!!!)

Yes. I am afraid it’s true. We are best friends technically, and I still talk to him about 3-4 days per week. Now add to your already overwhelmed brain that my current boyfriend of three years is also  friends with my ex-husband.We hang out frequently together.

I will just give you a minute to process that…

Okay, done?

Here’s the deal. My ex and I were always friends. We built our marriage on that friendship and for the most part we had 13 GOOD years. Our marriage was based on respect and friendship. There was love, sex and all that other good stuff. We also had a slew of great moments and a only handful of bad moments. We couldn’t, despite our friendship and outside counseling navigate those bad moments; so three years ago we divorced.

Now everyone has weighed in on that over the years and that’s fine.

I have always held to the belief that no one, no matter how much you think  you know about another person, ever truly knows another person completely. The same goes for couples or any relationship in general. You can view pieces of it. Snap shots if you will. And sure, you can probably accurately judge what is and what is not a great relationship. But really, at the end of the day, what goes on between two people, behind the walls of their home, is really only between those two people. The real truth lies between those two parties.

It was never easy. Divorce rarely is. Make no mistake. We weren’t dancing around in party hats under a confetti shower, but it was the decision that was made at that time.

But here’s the thing…Divorcing someone does not erase the love in the heart, the memories, or the life you built together.  I never stopped loving him as the person he was. Intelligent. Funny. Easy to talk to. He was a good husband. He was and is a great guy. He simply was no longer my guy. And people don’t “get” that. And you know what? that is okay.

None of us here on earth will ever understand, or “Get” everything that goes on in the world.

In any break up, people want a bad guy. They need to place their anger and frustration on one of the parties. And so I suppose in this one, I got the brunt of it, since I was the final decision maker. And I have taken more than my fair share of the anger and hurt from our friends and family for sure but the reality is, sometimes there is no bad guy.

Sometimes what was; no matter how good, simply ceases to be. Our job, in any circumstance whether it be a marriage, a friendship, or even a career, is to recognize that it has passed its due date, and then go about making the changes that need to occur so that everyone gets to live their best life. No matter how hard or scary those changes can be.

We can never let fear of the unknown prevent us from action.

Sometimes there is nothing to get. Sometimes a situation just IS. We can analyze it to exhaustion if we want, but at some point you have to just say it is.

There is nothing more to get. This is a decision we made. All three of us. Adults, with previous relationships under our belt. And it is working; or us.

Our way may not be your way. And that’s okay. I don’t expect or really even need you to do it our way. But for me, there was no other way. Our relationship changed. It didn’t end. And at the end of the day, all three of us are better for it.

Our unique situation and friendship has made all of us better people.

You want to see what you are really made of? Spend a few hours in a room with your ex-husband. Guess what?? All those things that drove you nuts before, while you were married… Well,  they’re still there and guess what? Now you can’t say squat about it. You turned in your “Free Nagging” pass when you signed on the dotted line. Hah!

Learning to keep my mouth shut has been the greatest gift this friendship has given me. In addition to that I now have TWO great men in my life. One who loved me once. One who loves me now. We have risen above the criticism, the jealousies, and the naysayers. Because of that  we have better, more enriched, and more well-rounded lives.

It is my humble belief that if more people did what we are trying to do the world would be a much more peaceful place. Right?

We were married. We were divorced. We have remained friends. Because we were always friends. There is nothing else to get. When you are comfortable with yourself, when you like yourself and the people in your life, then it really becomes a simple choice.

We  can only analyze something for so long before we must accept that it just is. Life is too short to waste energy trying to sort it all out. It’s too short to live your life full of doubts. Regrets. And full of hate and anger.

We only get one shot at this thing called life. Why not walk the path surrounded by a great group of eclectic people? Why not go crazy and do the unexpected? Why not look society in the face and say screw you, it can be done, it is being done, and I will show you how.

Go out and live your best life friends. And don’t let anyone else define how that life should be. It’s your picture. Color it as you see fit!

7 thoughts on “So What Is There To Get? Some People Stay Friends After A Divorce

  1. kc says:

    Wow! I’m going through that now. I have a question maybe you can answer. What do you call your ex when you introduce him to people? “Exhusband” seems kind of harsh these days and we can’t figure out a good way to explain ourselves to people. Any ideas?

    Like

  2. drbininger says:

    KC, That is a GREAT question and I have struggled with it myself. Two people who don’t know we were ever married, I say “This is my friend”. There seems to be no reason to point out that we were once married.

    And I agree, to constantly title him with “This is my Ex Husband” just seems overly redundant.

    Sometimes after a friendship is established I let people know we were once married, sometimes they figure it out themselves…

    We shared friends and a history and it just didnt seem right, to us, to just walk away from all that…

    Like

  3. Danielle Formaggioni says:

    Well, I don’t know if that’s going to work for me, but definitely worked for you! Excellent post!

    Like

  4. Elizabeth says:

    You cannot believe how relieved I am to find this blog entry. Here we were, thinking that we were totally alone in the world…ultimately divorcing each other (he is being deployed soon (again *sigh*) and wants me to retain my military spouse benefits while he is deployed, but he is already divorced in his mind…he initiated the ending of our marriage and I’ve not caught up to that place he’s at yet, but he is beyond patient and loving and understanding with me.) Here we are, on the road to divorce (and we have definitely passed the point of no return) yet wanting and needing to retain our best friendship. We have been married 13 and a half years, ALWAYS best friends, but not always so great at being spouses. We absolutely love each other and adore each other, but just are not good for each other as husband and wife. Thank you a thousand times for your blog…it is so good to know we are not alone.

    Like

  5. Todd Wall says:

    This could have been written almost word for word about my ex-wife and I. With us it is a few in my family that have the biggest problem with our ongoing friendship. They believe that my ex is “holding” on to me and doesn’t want me to meet someone else. I can’t convince them that it just isn’t that way, that I’m free to do whatever I please, and that my ex wouldn’t be happier if I did. Your article confirmed what we already knew, that what they think, in the end, just doesn’t matter. The unfortunate side effect is that they now harbor misplaced, ill-will towards her because like you said, people criticize what they don’t understand. Bigots dislike people of other races, homophobes lash out a gays, religious zealots are threatened by atheists etc. It seems we can add the people that can’t fathom exes that remain friends

    Todd.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s