If I was given a $1.00 for every time I was asked “How did you move on with kids?” “Were you scared?” “How do you co-parent with a new partner involved?”. First let me state this, when I said vows and became a wife, I never thought it would lead to a divorce. I filed for divorce because I knew the relationship was no longer healthy & I knew it would not improve. Filing the divorce was the easy part, but once it was complete, I kept thinking I would be single forever because who would love me with children! I thought every single negative thought you can imagine. I also felt very ashamed because my marriage had failed.
When I met my current partner, it was random & believe it or not I did everything in my power to run this man off, just to see if he could stay through ups & downs. The fact that he seen me & my children as a “packaged deal “was how he stole my heart. My partner never tried to replace their dad, he never stepped on the other parent toes, & he always kept it respectful because he only wanted to see me & the children happy!
Love after divorce is the hardest because learning to trust, being open for love, & accepting that even this new relationship could also fail was not easy! The uncertainty is the scariest feeling in this world. The uncertainty and the emotional/mental health of my children was a major concern. I did not want my children to feel like me having a new partner, means that their dad was replaced. I was scared to trust my own judgment. I stepped out on faith & decided to give love another try, and I can now say it was the BEST DECISION of my life!
In the beginning it was uncomfortable because I had never done this before, and I did not know if I should introduce my ex-husband and my new partner or if I should just let things flow. My ex-husband moved on quickly after the divorce, and he never properly introduced me to his new partner & because she was the mistress while we were married it was already an understanding that her & I would not be interacting. But I felt the need to have the two of them met each other. Now that I have more experience, I would say your ex and new partner meeting is not a necessity for a healthy co-parenting relationship, especially if the divorce between you and your ex ended with hostility. I learned that keeping everything between my ex-husband and myself was easier than involving all parties. There was less conflict when only my ex-husband and I communicated about the children.
Although my partner was an active parenting partner for the children & the children were with us 90% of the time, my partner still never crossed any boundaries with the kid’s dad. My ex was hostile and often rude about my new partner being so involved with our children. My ex often spoke badly about my new partner and his new partner was often rude & disrespectful towards me. It was not easy navigating all these different people, and trying to keep the kids unaware and happy. Trying to keep everyone peace and all parties on the same page became way too much work. We even tried combining a birthday celebration by going to a movie as a “blended family” & we tried to show the kids we could be “blended” but that was not realistic because of the hostility & anger that was still in place due to how the marriage ended. We would do good for a few months, and them BOOM there was drama again.
So my new partner and I came up with the perfect solution on how to co-parent when there is a new partner/role model involved. For us we only cared about the welling-being of the children. We wanted the children to know that they have two homes, two new extra supporters, & they can love us all because we all love them. The goal was to not place any aggression, pressure, or any form of negativity around the kids. So, we started to simply follow the custody agreement to the T. We did everything legally right, and if there were any issues, we handled them through the courts. We stopped all unnecessary conversations and only spoke when it was necessary to speak about the kids. My partner and I decided that emailing was the best form of communication because it can be traced, and the co-parenting with my ex started to become more peaceful. The children seem to be enjoying the peace, and it is simpler for them and us. When I divorced and then moved on, I had this tv image of us all being “blended” and on family vacations together and having holidays together like Mashonda & Alicia Keys have done with Swizz Beats and their children. But the reality is… All divorces & co-parenting situations will not end in peaches and cream. It is important to know that your situation will be different from mines, and the next person. My only suggestion is that you focus on what is best for your kids, yourself, and the new person you love. Do not allow the other parties to control your life. “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” —Dalai Lama. There is light at the end of the tunnel, & there is sunshine after the storm!
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“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” —Dalai Lama.