When An Amicable Divorce Becomes Not So Amicable

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I write with a heavy heart today that as I near the end of the divorce process — complete with an already signed property settlement agreement — things have turned not so amicable anymore.

I was proud for a long time of how amicable things were between my ex and me. I felt like, “Hey we didn’t get it right in marriage but we’re getting right in divorce.”

At least we were, getting it right.

There is a huge grief and loss in knowing that it has become so sad and despondent of a situation.

Is it inevitable that all divorce turns angry, uncomfortable and stressful?

If you asked me a few months ago, I would have told you no but now, I fear for the worst.

It’s not that we are having big parking lot arguments or phone calls to lawyers. Instead there is silence. Messages not returned. Sharp disagreements about situations and one in particular that involved our child.

And truly, there is a lot of pressure that I feel from within myself and from others and of course my kid, to keep things rosy and peachy. People don’t understand how tough this can be in divorce even for two people like my ex and me who truly love our kid and try to be good parents.

Despite it all, I know that he tries in his way and me in mine. Sometimes though, keeping things rosy has been hard to do. I recently took off my rose-colored glasses for a minute to realize that perhaps my other coparent wasn’t hoping for the best for me. That perhaps the other coparent hated me even, which seemed so unnatural and wrong to me.

Naive of me.

People told me my ex would change when he got a girlfriend. Naively again, I didn’t believe them.

We could be friends. Of course we could. Why couldn’t we be? Why can’t people divorce, find partners, and remain friends?

Sadly, they were right and I was wrong. All of a sudden, he was my friend when it was suitable for him and he needed something and then subsequently not my friend when he didn’t need me.

There was an issue regarding our kid. There were things not told to me. There were things repeated to me from a kid and not the other co-parent.

And from there on out, our communication dissolved into arguments or silence unless it’s a phone call to say hello to our child.

So far, our child is doing well. She hasn’t had the chance to be among us besides brief drop-offs and honestly that is better for all of us. Spending too much time post-divorce doesn’t help anyone move forward and maybe being friends was part of the issue. Maybe no one could move forward with us as friends.

I couldn’t understand how it all went wrong after being pretty easy for a long time (minus some rocky months) until someone told me something very smart:

We are the same people that we were in marriage.
And we are the same people with the same struggles and issues. We communicate the same. We fight the same. We are stuck in the same crappy pattern and that pattern didn’t help our marriage and didn’t get resolved in marriage counseling either.

The fact remains: when you divorce someone and you have kids, you are stuck with the same problems you had when married. How will you navigate this? How will you manage yourself?

These are the questions I am facing because at the end of the day, I can only control my own actions and not someone else’s.

Hopefully this is just another bleak period as divorce is certainly a roller coaster of emotions. Eventually, things must “go right” again. I am positive– perhaps naively so– that it has to get better. It’s the only way. This too shall pass.

At the end of the day, I want for peace for all of us and will let nothing get in the way of my relationship with my child and if something does, it will be addressed like the tough lady I am.

In the meantime, I hope for my ex a peace and happiness to overcome him and to remember how important it is that we coexist as peacefully as possible. I hope for myself to remember this as well when I am angry and heated. Until then, I will be roaring on. Nothing will stop me from living.

Nothing will stop me from hoping for the best and maybe this is my worst trait and my best trait at the same time: it will all work out because I want it to and I believe in myself as a mom. Eventually, with two parents who truly love their kid the way we do, the white flag will be waved.

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