“What, you really are still friends with your ex?” – The expression on individual’s faces when I mention that me and my ex-partner are friends is a sight! The look of confusion and genuine disbelief is clearly shown, whether its friends or work colleagues the expression is the same.
You’re all thinking it, the norm these days is for couples that split up is for them to never talk or see each other again – they’ve been blocked on all social media and you’re ready to move on! But wait, you’ve got a seven year old daughter who needs her dad in her life.
So despite everything that has happened between the both of us, we had to form a relationship of another type so Lillie, our seven year old could see us co-parent with each other. This was strange, it was strange for both of us. Neither of us had been in this situation before. Initially when we separated it was very difficult to come to terms with the fact that me and Lillie wouldn’t see him every day like we had been used to and we no longer a family of three.
One major issue was finding the balance, the balance between co-parenting, being friends and not getting attached to the relationship we now have for Lillie’s sake. The one thing that kept me going was ‘this is all for Lillie and she comes first’. It’s a strange feeling loving someone that still means so much to me, and the truth is a part of me always will. That isn’t a bad thing – He gave me Lillie and that’s the best thing to come out of our relationship. Don’t get me wrong – we broke up for a reason and we are certainly both happier now than we were together.
We work together, anything that concerns Lillie is discussed between the both of us. Whether it be behaviour, school work or holidays – We both have an input no matter what. We are both flexible in the schedule that we have for Lillie and we compromise when things need to be changed – We don’t score points or prove who is the better parent, it’s all for Lillie’s sake. At the end of the day, no child needs to see their parents arguing and hating eachother. No child should be used as a pawn in order to hurt the other parent – Parents who do this should be ashamed of themselves!
We have birthday parties together, We’ve had previous Christmas’s together and I’m glad to say I’m welcome at the in-laws house – Now if that’s not an achievement then nothing is!
Believe it or not – I class him as a very good friend. Not only is he there for Lillie, he is there for me too. Anything I need or I’m struggling with he’s just a text away.
I have a new partner now, I say new but he’s put up with me, Lillie and our fat cat for over a year now. He gets the relationship that me and my ex-partner have and the co-parenting that we do for Lillie’s sake. When explaining the situation at the beginning he was very supportive and I can’t imagine how weird it is having your girlfriend be friends with their ex and having him be such a major part of all our lives now.
The once piece of advice I would give to anyone with regards to your ex, whether you have children together or not. Life is too short to be bitter and jealous. So it didn’t work out, make peace with each other and move forward. You’ll feel better mentally for it and any children involved will too.