I’ve been co-parenting with my ex-husband and his new wife for the last 14 years. Needless to say we’ve been through countless ups and downs throughout our journey. We are definitely not perfect but we have learned a lot along the way. We have tried to use every struggle as a chance to, not only fine tune our co-parenting skills but also, improve the lives of our children. If any of our co-parenting advice can inspire your own co-parenting situation, then we are thrilled.
My divorce, 13 years ago, was messy and littered with hate and resentment. I knew right away, as hard as it was, that I had to dig deep and find a way to not only co-exist with my ex husband for the next 18 years, but I also had to find and commit to the path of least resistance for my children. It wasn’t their fault that their Dad and I could not remain married, hence, I was bound and determined that those two innocent tiny humans never carry any additional burden as a result of our divorce.
I found and held on dearly to the quote you are about to read. These powerful words always reminded me of the bigger picture, even when my emotions were leading me a different way. These are the words of advice that helped me build the beautiful co-parenting foundation on which we stand together today. I hope that you can find peace in your struggles through these words as I did and will be forever grateful.
“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie
I have always known these words be true. I’m so grateful for them because it allowed me to forgive him more easily. Getting divorced was a huge weight off of my shoulders. I was a brand new person once I was relieved of the toxicity of our marriage, but I felt guilty for a long time because divorce is not supposed to exciting, right? Well, I was excited to be free and living life on my own terms. There was no time or energy for grudges. I knew holding a grudge against my ex would not serve myself nor our children.
Because of this, I was able to forgive him almost instantly. Unfortunately, this was not true for my ex-husband. He held a grudge, and rightfully so, for at least the first year after our divorce. This was clearly evident in every text message, phone call and face to face conversation we had that first year. His tone with me was always sharp and edgy. I dreaded having to communicate with him because I was usually left frustrated.
I used this quote to calm my frustration with my ex husband many, many times. It reminded me that forgiveness is a different process for everyone. Some people forgive easily and some don’t. It reminded me that he was still grieving, he was still hurt and he hadn’t forgiven me yet, it reminded me to stay calm and extend grace and patience towards him instead of spite and revenge.
Eventually, it happened and I can still remember the phone call when I knew he had finally forgiven me. It was a phone call he made to me… something in regards to the kids and for the first time his voice was soft and calm. He was asking a question with empathy in his voice instead of making demands. He actually said “Ok, thank you”, before he hung up the phone. After that conversation I remember smiling and thinking “Amen, he is finally at peace.” That was almost 14 years ago and I haven’t heard the edgy, sharp tone since.