I’m learning as time goes on that when you have kids, you really never truly get divorced. Having children with someone means that you’re forever connected to this person, like it not. And well, since you’re divorced, chances are you’re heavily in favour of NOT liking it.
And oh, some days, you dislike it a lot more than others. For sure.
There is an ebb and flow in my relationship with my ex husband. We have periods of harmony, where everyone respects everyone else and things go well. Great, even. To the point where I feel lucky to have the relationship with him that I do. Then, eventually, conflict arises. We butt heads. Things get ugly. There is a push-and-pull. More often than not, I give in. To keep the peace. Or because I get tired. Or because past history tells me that no matter what, I am never going to win. There is then a “cooling off” period where we retreat to our corners, lick our wounds, and avoid one another for a bit. Eventually interaction is required and we are both cautious, but eventually we come back around and reach the point once again where everything is harmonious. And on it goes.
Looking at this objectively, I see that this is the exact same pattern we had in our marriage.The issues are different, the boundaries may have changed a bit, but the pattern has remained the same.
It was unhealthy ten years ago, when we were married. But now that we’re divorced? It’s downright insane. And it’s got to stop.
I realized this week that for a very long time, CBG was actually dating my ex’s wife, if that makes any sense. Sure, a lot of it had to do with the fact that he lived so far away and so wasn’t an active part of my everyday life, but a big part of it was me….and inability to draw clear boundaries and to shift the dynamic of my family unit. Sure, my ex will always be a part of my girls’ family, but he’s not a part of MY family anymore. My family unit continued to be me, our two girls, and their dad, with CBG on the periphery of that. And that, my friends, is a recipe for disaster. THAT is how remarriages and blended families fail.
Things have been shifting, slowly, in the last 6-12 months or so. Slowly, my family unit has been changing, to be about me, CBG and our girls. Sure, my ex will always be a part of our girls’ family, he is their dad, after all. But he is no longer a part of *my* family, and it’s high time that I started structuring my life around this fact. And that’s what I’ve been doing. And guess what? My ex has been pushing back against some of these changes, and conflict has been the result. I generally do my best to avoid conflict if possible, but I’m starting to see that conflict is often a part of restructuring the boundaries in a relationship. And there are some major renovations going on in my life right now.
Because even though CBG may have dated my ex husband’s wife. I sure as hell don’t want him married to her.