Real Relationship Advice
So, you just got a divorce. According to the new stats that is what we do. You have tried to be civil. You have tried to be rational but let’s face it, if a hole opened in the ground and sucked your ex down into hell where the scum belongs, you would not be crushed. Yes, you still have those fantasies of your ex-spouse dissolving into the aether, never to be seen again. After all, why did you get a divorce if you still have to deal with your heartbreaker? Unfortunately now you share kids or dogs or fish or credit cards or a house or health insurance.
Ask any divorced couple and you will find that one of the biggest myths of divorce is the fallacy that he will go his way and she will go her’s and the two will never see or hear from the other again. This becomes even more obvious if you have children together and shared custody and all of the other crap that serves to remind you that you were married once.
So here are our last two tips on how to have a healthy divorce. Both of these tips are for the couple that has to share something, whether it be children or air. Here is a little clue, both tips have to do with boundaries.
4. Live and let live
You are in a new relationship with your ex and this relationship may have new players. Just because of the failure of marriage number 1 (or 2 or 3…) does not mean that you will not date, fall in love and maybe even marry again. If this happens, the kids are going to have mommy and daddy number two. They may call them Barbara and Sam. They may call them Twoey or mom2. They may call them their favorite or the scumbag.
The fact is that you are going to need to decide right up front how you are going to handle dating. This needs to be done both rationally and compassionately. We are talking about affairs of the heart and affairs of the genitals so your rules need to be open to mistakes, spontaneity, love and jealousy. Sometimes daddy is going to bring home a slut because daddy needs to get his groove on or mommy might need to play a slut because mommy gets to get her groove on too. The children do not need to know about this. But mom or dad might fall in love again with someone that isn’t mom or dad. Talk it out. If you do it right, your kids can grow up with two pair of people that love and protect them. Nothing bad about that.
5. My house is my house.
Every parent has had to have this conversation. ‘Grenalda’s mom doesn’t do it that way.’ What is your response? ‘I’m not Grenalda’s mom.’ If you are sharing custody, this dialogue is mandatory. At some point everyone needs to set the rules. My house, my rules. On a side note, if mom has custody on the weekdays and dad has the weekends, then mom is screwed. You took the hard job because it was best for the kids. Work with that. You are playing the long game. Don’t lose your shit and you will get the reward at the end.