My coParenting Experience After Divorce
After 8 1/2 years of being separated from my ex, and over four years since we’ve been divorced, he still can drive me crazy. Truly.
It happened today.
I was checking my emails. Saw one from my daughter’s softball coach, reminding us the girls have a practice Wednesday at 6:30. “Great!” I thought, “we’ll go after her piano lesson.” Wednesdays I have the kids, and I was looking forward to it. No big deal, part of the running and the small joys involved with being a parent.
I clicked out of that email and returned to scanning my unopened mail. Saw one from my ex. The subject line read “Wed practice/Thurs game” and it read, “… Won’t be at Wed practice. She jammed a finger on her throwing hand Sunday afternoon and can’t grip a ball or bat properly She’ll be at the game Thurs but only to be bat girl and work the gate. Hopefully, she’ll be fully healed for Sat game. Cheers.”
I READ HIS MESSAGE AND SAW RED.
With him, I go from calm and placid, to a full-blown storm in about 0.1 seconds. Wednesday’s are MY time with the kids. They’re with me this weekend, this Saturday, so who is he to un-commit our daughter to something on a Wednesday evening? She’s a drama queen who pretends to have health issues when none exist. I was livid, ready to destroy him. Eight and a half years later, he still has that effect on me.
My first thought was to email the coach, let her know our daughter lives with ME, and that I make most of the decisions. After all, I never commit her to activities during his time. I could have justified an outburst. Five years ago, three years ago, one, I would have done that. BOOM! Put him in his place. Made a fool out of me. Made the coach feel sorry for my daughter, all because I had to exert control.
Instead, I didn’t contact the coach. I emailed him. Here’s what I wrote: “Hi …, I was planning on taking her to the practice so she can at least watch. I’m curious why you emailed the coach about Wednesday without checking with me first.” Then my name. That was almost three hours ago, and I haven’t had a response.
I’m okay with no response. He knows that I know and that he overstepped. It’s part of our dance, our story. I know he did it because he loves being involved with his kids, and softball is an activity he likes and can relate to. He did it to be helpful, to be an engaged parent. When I stop and breathe, I get it. I understand it wasn’t a power play, but a moment of joy on his part. But I’m also proud of myself for letting him know, nicely, that he was overstepping. Boundaries have always been an issue for us, and I suspect always will be.
So I am proud of myself. I behaved like an adult. With compassion, and with strength. Still a struggle, but one that gets easier.
I thought this might help you, to know that I still struggle, but that it does get easier. May it get easier for you sooner than 8 1/2 years.